horse and rider
Shining CD Light & Corey Cushing

Shining CD Light Sparkles in NRCHA Tres Osos Cow Horse Derby Open

After winning the 2018 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity a few months ago, the NRCHA’s new president, Corey Cushing, came back to Fort Worth with a different horse — Shining CD Light — and cut, slid and circled his way to another title. He and the stallion, who has not been in his program for very long, picked up the NRCHA Tres Osos Cow Horse Derby Open Championship after marking a composite 662.

Clayton Edsall originally trained the Jim Gauthier-bred horse, who is by CD Lights and out of the Shining Spark mare Jennys Spark. Shining CD Light’s owner, Ophir Creek Stables LLC, approached Cushing last fall to see if he was interested in taking the stallion into his program.

“I’ve seen him [Edsall] show him and train him, and I’ve always admired the horse,” Cushing said. “I got him beginning of December, and he’s been a lot of fun. It’s one thing I could get on him and just go ride him around. It’s another to — as intense as this thing is and the definition of everything and how good it’s got to be — really get him and I on the same page. It’s been hard by no means, but we’re coming together and I was just extremely pumped that it came together this week.”

At the NRCHA Celebration of Champions, Cushing and Shining CD Light kicked off their composite score with a 220.5 in the herd work.

“We had a good game plan as far as what cows we wanted to cut. I don’t do very good when we just go in there and wing it,” Cushing admitted, thanking his herd help — Matt Budge, Shadd Parkinson, Clint Allen and Kelby Phillips. “That horse has got so much draw and I just didn’t want to get myself in a bad spot being back into the herd too much.”

During the reining pattern, as Cushing went to slow down in his circles, the horse stumbled a little but came back on the same lead. The rest of the pattern went well, but Cushing was worried the judges would dock him for the bobble. His fears were unfounded, though, for the duo scored the second-highest rein work score — a 221.

It was really honest and it wasn’t like he was trying to be bad; it was just a fluke deal,” Cushing said. “I came out and was nervous what they were going to say about it, maybe minus the maneuver or whatever. I didn’t go and look at my scorecards; however, I was happy with what the end result was.”

The cow that trotted out during the fence work wasn’t as “jumpy and quick” as some of the other cows, and Cushing knew he was going to have to work strategically to make sure he had enough cow to show his horse.

The duo’s 220.5 cow work score secured the title, and Shining CD Light and Cushing banked a total of $26,028. It was a great start to their bankroll together, and Cushing thanked everyone involved in their success.

“A big thank you to all my sponsors, all my herd help, and Tres Osos for putting on a great derby,” he said. “It was fantastic. [I] had a lot of big smiles throughout the week, and it’s exciting when you have a great sponsor like that how things can keep growing.”

Intermediate Open

CR Tuff Taffy & Ben Baldus
15G (Woody Be Tuff x Peptocandy x Peptoboonsmal)
Owner: Sarijane Stanton & Bill Pinckard, Houston, TX
Breeder: Kelly Schaar, Goliad, TX
Score: 652.5 (216 herd/215.5 rein/221 cow)
Payout: $7,801

Limited Open

Rooster Cogboon & Clayton Anderson
15G (Once In A Blu Boon x Roosters Lucy x Gallo Del Cielo [Rooster])
Owner: Troop Quarter Horses, Marietta, OK
Breeder: James & Derba Bramblett, Vine Grove, KY
Score: 637 (214.5 herd/209 rein/213.5 cow)
Payout: $2,979

Novice Horse Open

Cats Wooden Heart & Brad Lund
14S (WR This Cats Smart x Gay Wooden Heart x Doctor Wood)
Owner: Jack Bogart, Oologan, OK
Breeder: Jack Bogart, Oologah, OK
Score: 653 (217 herd/212 rein/224 cow)
Payout: $3,006

Level 1 Limited Open

Bet Me Mister & Jill Cook
14G (Bet Hesa Cat x Misters Miss Remedy x Mister Dual Pep)
Owner: Cheryl Swanson, Wellington, CO
Breeder: Cheryl Swanson, Wellington, CO
Score: 636.5 (213 herd/210 rein/213.5 cow)
Payout: $3,800