A $2 million reined cow horse rider, Corey Cushing commented on some of his favorite horses that have carried him to the pay window throughout his career.
He’s a two-time National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open champion and a winner of the World’s Greatest Horseman. Now, Corey Cushing has become one of merely four elite riders who have passed the $2 million mark in cow horse earnings.
Quarter Horse News caught up with Cushing to find out more about his top five favorite horses – partners that contributed significantly to the many accolades he has earned. Along with them, he noted many horses not on the list also played a big part in his lifetime achievements.
CC Spin Cycle
The first major Open cow horse win Cushing received was at the 2007 NRCHA Stallion Stakes with CC Spin Cycle, a homebred gelding owned by his very first customer, Cathy Frank.
“The biggest thing is he taught me how to go down the fence,” Cushing said. “That was back when I was still learning a lot. It just seemed like right, wrong or indifferent, he was going to do it – regardless. I had my first major win on him, so that’s just something that really sticks out.”
CC Spin Cycle (Ray Gay Quixote x Lenas Peppy Cutter x Smart Peppy Lena) went on to accumulate nearly $100,000 in earnings. Cushing said the gelding made it easy for him to take the knowledge he had and build on it, knowing that no matter what, the horse would handle anything thrown at them.
The next horse on Cushing’s list of favorites is Smart Boons, a son of Peptoboonsmal out of the Smart Little Lena mare Smart Little Easter. “Boons” and Cushing earned $184,276 together, including the 2009 NRCHA Derby Open Championship.
“I felt like I could go do any event and be great at it, whether it be the cutting, reining or the fence work. The steer stopping was fun on him, too,” Cushing said. “You were just confident that he was going to be there with you every step of the way, no matter what event it was. You could always count on him to be pure all the way through.”
The SDP Buffalo Ranch-bred stallion, who is owned by Eric and Wendy Dunn, is the sire of earners of more than $280,000.
The first time Cushing won the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open, it was on a palomino son of CD Olena named CD Diamond. The stallion, who has lifetime earnings of $153,320, is out of Shiners Diamond Girl (by Shining Spark) and was the NRCHA’s leading money-earner in 2012.
A homebred belonging to San Juan Ranch, CD Diamond has been busy in the breeding shed since retiring from show life. His first foal crop was born in 2014, and he has seen five of his offspring pick up paychecks since. “It’s been really exciting,” Cushing said.
“The ‘Diamonds’ are really starting to come on this year, and I’ve got a couple really nice 3-year-olds for the [Snaffle Bit] Futurity.”
He also enjoys hearing that other riders enjoy the stallion’s babies as much as he does.
PRF Spoonful Of Gold
The World’s Greatest Horseman title is coveted amongst Western performance industry participants, and it takes hard work to be crowned the victor. In 2015, Cushing landed that designation with Michael Schraeder-bred PRF Spoonful Of Gold for owner Cathy Frank.
While he continued earning paychecks through 2017, life has dialed down for “Rock Star,” who lives with Cushing and is a steady mount for his kids.
“He was a really cool horse,” Cushing said. “He was gorgeous. “He was a bit of an overachiever – you kind of had to pay attention to how much you had him worked down and how much horse you had left, because he would get a little bit ahead of you in spots,” he recalled. “It wasn’t in a bad way; it was only because he wanted to do the right thing.”
When Lynne Wurzer called Cushing looking for a horse, he warned her it might take some time to find one. Several months later, he reached out to her about Good Time.
Wurzer at first was unsure about the price tag on the One Time Pepto gelding, but the next day, she told Cushing she was all in. Winning the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open afterward was the icing on the cake.
“He was extremely sensitive. He didn’t like being in trouble,” Cushing said. “If anything, he would try too hard and get himself in trouble. It was all for good intentions, and at the end of the day, you could always count on him to just keep going. He would never quit.”
Bred by Cindy Smith, the son of Dual Nurse (by Dual Pep) carried Cushing to $118,756 in earnings.
This article was originally published in the October 1, 2018 issue of Quarter Horse News.