There’s an old saying: If you want to win it all, you have to risk losing it all.
It was in August of 2011 in front of a packed house at the World’s Richest Stock Horse competition at the National Stock Horse Association Futurity in Paso Robles, California. The final fence work remained and would determine the event winner, and Bobby Starlight and Zane Davis were in striking distance to take the championship.
Running down the fence, horse and rider are rubbing chaps to cow hide at break-neck speeds, making this the most exciting and suspenseful of cow horse events.
Davis, a fierce competitor and top-flight horseman from Montana (he rode the gelding Reymanator to the 2009 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship) and 9-year-old stallion Bobby Starlight (Grays Starlight x Cats Bobby Sox x High Brow Cat), put the hammer down, and as the boisterous crowd shouted its approval, the pair was having what looked to be an event-winning run, when Bobby Starlight suddenly slipped and Davis came tumbling from the saddle, causing screams and concerns from the crowd. As help stormed onto the playing field, Davis lifted himself and was visibly disappointed in the wreck as he tossed dirt in the air. However, the good news was that he and the horse emerged unharmed.
“I had no doubts I was going to win it,” Davis said afterward. “After the first two turns, we had it in the bag. The horse circles really good, and I knew we pretty much won it, so I was already celebrating in my mind, so when we hit the ground, it was quite devastating. I’m glad that he [Bobby Starlight] was OK.”