As the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) show season came to a close on November 15, the final tally was counted for top NRCHA riders. The top five earning riders from the NRCHA in 2023 will be attending The American Performance Horseman on March 8 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX.
The top rider of 2023 is Sarah Dawson. The EquiStat Elite $2 Million Rider earned a staggering $464,536.33 during the 2023 show season. Dawson’s season had many highlights including the Stallion Stakes Open Derby Championship on Autumns Smokin Cat, two major Two Rein Spectacular Championships on Smart Chic An Tari, and the 2023 Snaffle Bit Futurity Reserve Championship on Cash Trades (Reyzin The Cash x Smooth Peanutbutter x Smooth As A Cat).
Justin Wright earned $419,226.44 during the 2023 season and earned the second American Performance Horseman entry. Wright and Scooter Kat (Kit Kat Sugar x Scooters Daisy Dukes x Dual Smart Rey) became the 2023 The Run For A Million Champions in August where they earned $200,000 in just one day. They also won the Open Bridle class at the NRCHA Stallion Stakes in 2023. In the final show of the season, Wright tied himself three times for the Futurity Reserve Championship at the California Reined Cow Horse Association (CRCHA) Fall Classic taking home $13,334 on Scooter Five, Roanmeo, and Scooters Daisy.
Corey Cushing rounded out the 2023 season with $383,010.37. Of that total, $297,333.33 was earned on his five futurity finalists. As if getting five horses back to the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity finals wasn’t a big enough accomplishment, he took home the championship on Reysmhigh (Dual Smart Rey x Prowlin High x High Brow Cat).
Matt Koch was sitting fifth in the running before the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, and ended the year with the fourth slot to The American Performance Horseman. He earned $108,067.57 in the last month of the season to bring his total to $291,423.03. Koch had many big finishes at Colorado Reined Cow Horse Association shows throughout the year. In his grand finale, he made a trip to California worth his while and took home the CRCHA Futurity Championship aboard SJR Hitime Shine (High Brow Cat x Shiners Little Oak x Shining Spark) for $30,000 as well as eighth in the Open Futurity and a fourth and eighth place finishes in the open derby. He earned a total $43,000 at the CRCHA Futurity, Derby and horse show to boost his year-end earnings.
The final rider to qualify for the 2024 The American Performance Horseman was Clayton Edsall. Edsall qualified for The Run For A Million this year and rode Bet He Sparks (Bet Hesa Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark) to a tie for the fourth place finish worth $15,000. Edsall also won the South Texas Reined Cow Horse Association Road to Nowhere Futurity on Meyze Cat (Metallic Cat x SJR Cash Advance x Dual Rey) for $12,750 at the last minute.
Follow Quarter Horse News for more American Performance Horseman coverage as the event draws nearer.