March 3, 2006 -- The National Reined Cow Horse Association's 2006 Bayer Legend™ Celebration of Champions wrapped up February 26 with the World's Greatest Horseman Finals. Thirty-nine horses and riders traveled to the cowboy capitol with newcomer Andy Adams winning the prestigious World's Greatest Horseman title.
Adams, of Marietta, Okla., rode Just Plain Cat to an 871.5 four-round composite to win the 2006 World's Greatest by an impressive 7.5 points. He scored a 209 in the herd work, a 217.5 in the rein work and made a huge jump after marking the high steer stopping score--a 123. Going into the cow work, Andy needed a clean, correct run to maintain his lead. He drew the perfect cow for his horse and secured the championship and first-place check of $30,000 with a 222 down the fence.
"It takes a special kind of horse to come do four events, stay here all week and then come do it again all in one day," Adams commented. "I was so happy with my horse. He held together today. He was just good. Every time I called on him, he was there."
Robert J. Smith III owns Just Plain Cat, a 7-year-old stallion by High Brow Cat and out of Shes Alenaglow Rio. The 21-year-old breeding manager from Overbrook, Okla., bought Just Plain Cat two years ago. He placed his stallion with Adams at the end of last summer and the two men had a long-term goal of bringing the horse to the World's Greatest. With this being Adams' first time to compete in the event, and with Just Plain Cat being a fairly young horse, Andy and Robert had no idea they would leave Stephenville with such an accomplishment.
"Everybody wants to win," Adams said. "This is the first time I've ever been to this event and I'm a fairly young guy, a new guy. I just came here and wanted to make the finals so bad. I thought, 'boy that would really be a good deal.' To be sitting here today, where I'm at, it's just amazing."
Jacksboro, Texas, trainer Robbie Boyce earned the reserve championship riding PG Dry Fire, an 8-year-old Playgun stallion out of The Dry Look, owned by John Haynes of Amarillo, Texas. Boyce and the stallion qualified for the finals after marking the preliminary steer stopping high score. In the finals, PG Dry Fire earned dual 211s in the herd work and rein work. Boyce and the stallion came back in the steer stopping with a 221 and the horseman knew he was back in the running. With a final 221 down the fence, Robbie finished with an 864 composite to earn $23,775.
"I didn't get him shown as well in the herd work as I would have liked to because that horse is really good in the herd," Boyce said of PG Dry Fire. "In the reining, he was a little bit strong through his circles and didn't get stopped and turned as good as he can so I was a little disappointed about that. But I won the steer stopping in the first go-round so I knew that he could be good in the roping and good down the fence and thought we would have a shot to get back in it."
The remaining eight horses and riders, in order of finish, are: Sam Rose riding Legendary Colonel for Shannon and Hershel Reid of Hunt, Texas; Robert Chown riding Short Oak owned by Linda Wacker, Valley View, Texas; Doug Williamson and Wranglers Starlight owned by John W. Lacey, Paso Robles, Calif.; Ron Ralls riding Doc At Night for D & S Quarter Horses of Terrebonne, Ore.; Ron Emmons riding Roo Star owned by Diane Ceresola, Fernley, Nev.; Darren Lawley riding Smart N Chexy owned by Crystal Ward, Lincolntown, N.C.; Jake Gorrell riding Cuttin Diamonds owned by John and Loretta Showalter of Fresno, Calif.; and Todd Crawford riding Matt Dillon Dun It owned by 3 Peaks Ranch LLC, Bend, Ore.
The Bayer Legend™ Celebration of Champions ran from February 18-26 at the Lone Star Arena in Stephenville, Texas. Complete results from the competition, which included the NRCHA World's Greatest Horseman, the NRCHA World Championship Show and the Circle Y Derby, are available at www.nrcha.com.