Adan Banuelos and Storyteler * Photo by Amy Olson

Storyteler Creates Happy Ending for Adan Banuelos at The American Performance Horseman 2024

After winning The American Performance Horseman Cutting last year, Adan Banuelos was looking for back to back championships.

“Last year was an eye opening experience for me. It was something that none of us have ever experienced before and to be fortunate enough to be back here this year, I don’t have the words to say how grateful I am and how blessed I am to be here and thank you to everybody that helped me along the way. Thank you to Gail Holmes, thank you to this great horse that I get to ride and it’s just a special moment,” Banuelos said before he showed.

Family of Cutting Champions

Banuelos rode All Spice in 2023, the NCHA Open Horse of the Year is by Once in a Bu Boon and is out of Show Biz Kitty (by High Brow Cat). This year he rode her half brother Storyteler (Smooth Talkin Style x Show Biz Kitty x High Brow Cat) to an outstanding 230 score for the cutting championship.

Adan Banuelos and Storyteler * Photo by Amy Olson

Badboonarising carried me to my first futurity reserve championship. She (All Spice) carried me to my first futurity championship and my first American Performance Horseman Championship,” Banuelos explained. “And now today I rode her brother as well. So my hats off to their mama and what she’s done, and we’re all just here to make our momma’s proud.”

To date, Show Biz Kitty has produced the earners of over $2 million and is anticipating becoming the all-time leading Western performance horse dam in the near future. Storyteler’s win will no doubt bring her closer to the elusive title.

“To me his personality brings a lot of character to the show pen,” Banuelos said. “Last year I competed here on All Spice, and I think that they have a lot of this similar cow sense and a lot of similarities when it comes to reading a cow and this and that, but I have a lot of confidence in this horse and I enjoy his energy every day. He shows up to work as if it’s his, personal playground and and I enjoy that in a horse.”

American Winning Team

Another similarity to last year’s American Performance Horseman, Banuelos was on Team Royal Blue. His teammates changed, but the outcome of the team competition did not. Team Royal Blue came out on top and Banuelos was joined on stage by EquiStat Elite $4 Million Rider Casey Deary and EquiStat Elite $1 Million Rider Clayton Edsall this year to celebrate the glorious occasion.

The awards ceremony was followed by a Luke Bryan concert where fans sang along from the arena dirt where history was made. Livestreaming and live coverage of The American Performance Horseman was not available. Officials say the event will be broadcast on March 16 by Fox Sports 1.

Casey Deary, Adan Banuelos and Clayton Edsall celebrate the Team Royal Blue win. * Photo by Amy Olson