Third Edge is razor sharp right now.
The reigning National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open Horse of the Year marked a huge 229 with Wesley Galyean aboard on Wednesday, March 8, to win the 5/6-Year-Old Open at The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic.
In doing so, he defeated a stellar field that included fellow NCHA Open Horse of the Year and 2020 NCHA Futurity Open Champion All Spice, 2021 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Janie Wood; $296,967 earner Catolena Cashin In; $370,129-earner Hottish Metal and NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion Wood She B Magic.
It was his last start before an expected appearance at The American Performance Horseman, a lucrative invitational held on March 9 during The American Rodeo. Galyean was one of five cutting riders invited to the event, and his plans are to ride Third Edge. The winner of The American Performance Horseman’s cutting competition earns $100,000, and there also is additional money available during a team competition.
Third Edge has been returning to top form after some time off to focus on stallion duty. He’s standing his first year at stud this year at Brazos Valley Stallion Station in Weatherford, Texas.
“He felt like he’s got his sharpness back, his quickness back, [and] he’s thinking really quick on a cow,” he said. “Now [The American’s] a new test, just because it’s a huge pen. It’s probably the biggest pen that we’ve ever showed in. So, those will be some variables that are going to play a factor. And, it’s just a different setting. But at the same time … Those are variables but we’re tremendously blessed for the opportunity to get to be there and extremely excited and can’t wait to get to be a part of it.”
The other four cutting riders who will compete at The American Performance Horseman are Adan Banuelos, Lindy Thorn, Austin Shepard and Lloyd Cox.
Riders can pick any horse for The American Performance Horseman. Even before The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic, Galyean knew Third Edge would be his mount.
The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic was just the latest win by Third Edge. He’s won several aged-event cuttings, highlighted by the NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open Championship and the NCHA Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Open Co-Championship.
“He’s real athletic, obviously, but I think he’s just very dynamic and he’s got a melty, creepy way, when the cow gets slow and soft. It’s real pretty and cool,” Galyean said. “But then, he can be fast and strong too, when he has to be to go gather up the cow.” So I think it’s extremely dynamic and just very creative.”
Galyean said he’s grateful to ride Third Edge during his show career.
“I feel like Third Edge has been a blessing from God — just to be able to get to be the one to be on his back and riding him,” he said. “I’m just extremely grateful and thankful just to get to be part of that journey with him. It’s something I’ll always remember the rest of my life and, I’m in the middle of that journey.”
The $16,000 first-place prize at The Cattlemen’s Derby & Classic pushed Third Edge’s career earnings to more than $257,506.
The Cattlemen’s 5/6-Year-Old Open Reserve Championship went to Catolena Cashin In and Tarin Rice. They marked a 225 to earn $13,500 for owner Joel Colgrove, Sr., of Boligee, Alabama.
Click here for full results of the 5/6-Year-Old Open finals at The Cattlemen’s.