Will Bushaw was out for redemption at this year’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Junior Youth Scholarship Cutting. He got it, thanks to some help from his horse.
Last year, Bushaw and Velvets Revolver won the Junior Youth go-round leading into the Scholarship Cutting Finals. However, he then broke his arm while riding in a golf cart with friends in one of the parking lots at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
The injury forced him to withdraw from that year’s competition, which was won by Makenzie Cowan.
Bushaw felt that he’d let his horse and his parents down. This year, he wanted to make things right.
“It was real disappointing, because my horse was being so good, [and] not being able to go out and win,” he said of his 2018 mishap. “So, just this year’s a redemption story, kind of.”
This year, Bushaw and the 2012 gray gelding (WR This Cats Smart x Velvets Best Shot x Playgun) won the Junior Youth Scholarship Cutting title with a 224. The Junior Youth Scholarship Cutting Reserve Championship went to Cody Gann and Hevvy Metal, who marked a 218.
The victory didn’t come without some anxious moments.
Bushaw lost a stirrup when Velvets Revolver, known as “Milhouse,” stopped extra hard while working their first cow. Something like that can end with a rider hitting the dirt.
“Especially with my horse,” Bushaw explained. “He stops really hard and he gets across there real quick…So it was really hard to stay on him.”
Things got interesting before he was able to quit that cow, but he and Milhouse — who is named after the character Milhouse Van Houten on The Simpsons television series — managed to pull it off.
“One time I kind of went over the saddle horn a little bit, and I was a little scared,” he admitted afterward.
Bred by Michael C Hancock, of Spotsylvania, Virginia, Velvets Revolver has lifetime earnings of more than $269,000. He is the leading earner for his sire and his dam.
His mother, Velvets Best Shot, is a daughter of Playgun who has foaled the winners of more than $430,000, according to Equi-Stat. In addition to Velvets Revolver, her other money earners are: The Golden Shot ($89,537, by WR This Cats Smart), Blu Velvet ($46,773, by Once In A Blu Boon) and Blisterbeetle ($24,726, by Third Cutting).
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