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Corey Cushing rode Hesa Dual Bet to the Open Championship at the 2021 DT Horses Western Derby. • Photo by Molly Montag

Hesa Dual Bet & Cushing Win DT Horses Western Derby

Hesa Dual Bet hasn’t been with trainer Corey Cushing for very long, but the new kid on the shed row quickly made an impact with a win Sunday, June 13 at the DT Horses Western Derby.

Cushing rode the son of Bet Hesa Cat to a winning composite of 664(218.5 herd/224 rein/221.5 cow) in an intense competition that saw loads of top-notch performances. They just edged out Reserve Champions Heza Rowdy Cat and Clayton Edsall, who earned a composite of 663.5 (219 herd/219.5 rein/225 cow).

The Arizona-based trainer was full of praise for Hesa Dual Bet’s former trainer, Matt Koch, who had piloted the horse to more than $105,000 in earnings during his career before he was bought by Teton Ridge Ranch. That included a fifth-place finish in the 2019 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity.

“I’ve only had him in with me for basically the last two months since the [NRCHA] Stallion Stakes. And … hats off to Matt,” Cushing said. “He was a real, real easy follow. Matt always does a great job with his horses.”

In the few months that he’s been with Cushing, Hesa Dual Bet has impressed the trainer with his intelligence on a cow.

“I think my most favorite thing that I love to do on him is cut on him, because he is so bright, he’s so electric and you can feel that through his body,” he said.

He also is impressed by how Hesa Dual Bet is a kind horse and also extremely strong.

“He’s so pretty out there in the show pen,” said Cushing, who attributed a lot of the horse’s positive qualities to the fact he got a strong foundation in his training. “I love every part of him.”

The $40,000 first-place paycheck earned by Hesa Dual Bet, along with $29,050 collected by Open Reserve Champion Heza Rowdy Cat and Clayton Edsall, helped push stallion Bet Hesa Cat to Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million status.

Bred in Canada by Wilderness Stables & Tack, of Calgary, Alberta, Hesa Dual Bet is the leading money earner for his dam, RJJ Miss Viagra Pep (by Dual Pep).