Shawn Hays pilots Moonshineandtwoadvil to World title.
Shawn Hays and Moonshineandtwoadvil are the 2019 AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse World Champions.

No Horse Show Hangover for Moonshineandtwoadvil

Shawn Hays resisted bringing Moonshineandtwoadvil to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2018. While the horse’s owners, Randy and Angela Massey, wanted to vie for a golden globe, Hays thought the 2014 bay gelding needed to grow and mature more before trying for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) world title. Turns out, Hays was spot on. The 5-year-old needed to wait until 2019 to win the Junior Working Cow Horse world champion title.  

Shawn Hays and Moonshineandtwoadvil are the 2019 AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse World Champions. Photo by Shane Rux Photography.

During his 2019 show year, Moonshineandtwoadvil picked up several wins in reined cow horse Open hackamore and Open derby events, earning more than $25,000. The maturity Hays saw in the horse and success at the October Snaffle Bit Futurity in the Open hackamore horse show class and the Hackamore Classic gave the trainer confidence to enter the Junior Working Cow Horse. 

“We had a really, really good show here,” Hays said. “We had a really good show in Fort Worth so I gave him a week or so off to chill out. He is a finished horse that knows his job. I got back on him and legged him up, then worked him on the flag a little bit. Since the SBF, I it’s rained a lot and I only was able to work him a couple days down the fence to make sure he was honest and get the cow fresh off him.”

 That minimal cow work got the maximum effort from “Keebler,” with a score of 222 from the judges and the high cow work score for the class. The pair marked a 221 in the rein work for a total of 443. They were 2.5 points above the reserve champion. 

Hays said that while the gelding is more relaxed showing in the hackamore, he opted to show in a snaffle bit for this event. 

 “This arena is really quick with a small set up [in Norick Arena],” said Hays. “I was concerned that with a hackamore, if something set up, I’d more bridle to get back in control. I went ahead and showed the snaffle, but I was up in the air.”

Hays felt his rein work could have been better, but he was happy with how the gelding handled the cow. 

 “The cow work, we worked what we had,” he said. “I didn’t watch any other runs. I kept to myself out back in another pen. I didn’t feel like the cow we worked was anything but average, maybe a little tough. It didn’t feel like the best run I’d ever had but it was good enough! It was nice and clean.”

By not watching other runs, Hays missed seeing that the cattle tried every pair in the finals event. When Hays entered the arena for the awards, he lined up next to Reserve World Champion Reyzinette, owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses, and rider Chris Dawson. Dawson commented to Hays that he thought it was between them for the win. 

 “I didn’t watch the class and he said he’d watched the first half. I didn’t even realize the cows were tough for everybody today. It was a little all over the place,” said Hays. “Anytime you can win a world championship it is a great feeling, no matter how many you’ve won. I think they are all special.”

While Hays has been the pilot in the show pen, he credits Clayton Anderson with putting a good start on the horse when it was a 2-year-old. The Massey’s weren’t in attendance on Tuesday night, but their excitement for the win was clear to Hays. 

 “These owners, they’ve always wanted to come to the AQHA World Show,” he said. “It’s special for them. Poor Randy was actually on a flight so he didn’t get to watch it! Neither one of them were here but they are so happy. I hated they couldn’t be here.”           

 There were 27 entries competing for $19,408.41 in prize money in the JS Ranch-sponsored class. For more reined cow horse results from the AQHA World Championship Show, follow