When Kristen Galyean and Coureygous laid down a sizzling 222 from the second hole in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Non-Pro finals on Friday night, it was a dubious proposition anyone would catch her.
That is until Brandon Westfall stepped into the arena on the second of his two horses, I Reckon So.
That pair matched Galyean and her sorrel mare (Dual Rey x Highbrow Supercat x High Brow Cat), creating NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Co-Champions to conclude the marathon horse show.
Galyean was beaming afterward, saying the new buckle would be one of her favorites. Welsey Galyean, Kristen’s husband, an Equi-Stat Elite $4 million rider, was beside himself with excitement for his wife’s accomplishment.
“I’ve been blessed enough to get to ride Button Down Supercat, who was also out of [Highbrow Supercat], and many other babies out of [Highbrow Supercat], and they’ve all been super, super great horses. So anytime you get to ride one of them it’s pretty special,” Kristen said.
Welsey Galyean said they picked out Coureygous — bred by Cross Timbers Cutting Horses of Claremore, Oklahoma — as a weanling, liking her build and stopping power. She has spent her entire life in the Galyean program, being ridden by Wesley until Kristen took the reins at the beginning of the NCHA Futurity.
Kristen Galyean gained confidence throughout the rounds, making smart cuts with the help of her husband in her corner. When it came time to compete in the finals, the mare was primed and ready.
Coureygous is aptly named, earning the barn name “Warhorse” for her courage and desire to succeed in the cutting pen.
Competing from the middle of the second set, Westfall and I Reckon So (Kit Kat Sugar x Just As Reckless x CD Royal) had their work cut out. Nobody had scored within a few points of Galyean, and he had already made a run on Desires One And Only (One Time Pepto x Desire Some Freckles x Freckles Playboy), the horse he has in the Open semifinals, scoring a 218.5.
But the 19-year-old, who said he had been dreaming of this title since he was a very young boy, found a way.
Westfall guided the sorrel stallion to do exactly what the horse was bred to do — athletically manage cattle.
Afterward, his proud mother Janet Westfall joked that she had tried for an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro championship for years and Brandon “got it at 19.”
“It’s all he thinks about,” Janet Westfall said. “And he’s just a really hard worker and helps us a lot.”
Brandon Westfall also showed appreciation for his parents, including father and Equi-Stat Elite $3 million rider Russ Westfall.
“I’d like to thank my parents first and foremost. They’ve been with me 24/7, through the thick and the thin,” Westfall said.
Russ Westfall has one horse in the Open semifinals, Sugarless (Kit Kat Sugar x Lil Bit Reckless x CD Royal).
“Honestly, the only reason I did the Open division last year was to get a couple of runs in for the Non-Pro, and it worked out well. I ended up making the finals in the Open. So, I did it again this year, just thinking the same thing, to get a couple of runs in before the Non-Pro. And I made the Open semifinals.”
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