Few, if anything, is more satisfying than long-held hopes and dreams fulfilled.
Simply ask Chuy Roman, whose joy was made clear in a smile he wore that was as wide as the John Justin Arena floor on Monday night.
The 32-year-old and Half Past Boon nailed down the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Limited Open Hackamore World Championship with a 436.5 composite, including a finals-high 222 in the cow work (214.5 reining) at the Celebration of Champions Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
When the pair had finished their run, Half Past Boon and Roman walked back to the gate, the rider clearly happy knowing they had impressed the judges.
“I had chills going through my whole body,” Roman said.
The victors were presented a check written out for $4,060, plus enough other prizes to fill a trailer.
“I just tried to stay with him. I let him do his job down the fence,” said Roman, in town from Temecula, California. “I was like I trust you … go do your job.
“He’s just a special boy.”
Half Past Boon “loves to go down the fence. I couldn’t be more happy with him.”
Half Past Boon is by Half Time Report and out of Boonalicious (x Peptoboonsmal). The 2015 gelding was bred and is owned by Rocking J Ranch of Glendale, California. He is the pupil of trainer Roy Rich, winner of $207,907, according to Equi-Stat.
Roman was an immigrant from Mexico who moved with his family when he was 8. His parents worked for Rich’s family. Roman took on employment with Rich about nine years ago, he said.
Little by little, he started reaching goals. Roman had an Equi-Stat $18,000 entering the Celebration of Champions.
“I got into the horses” when he was young, Roman said. “I’ve always loved them and here I am now.”
“Now” is the biggest night of his young career.