Hecox Photo Blog

The World’s Greatest Competition

Matt Koch stopping a steer during the World's Greatest Horseman

One of the NRCHA’s premier events is certainly the world’s greatest when it comes to photographing talented cow horses and skilled horsemen.

The Western horse world offers a slew of incredible events to watch, including the NCHA Futurity, the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Pendleton Round-Up, Road to the Horse, the World Championship Ranch Rodeo and The American. It’s been a privilege to photograph those events.

One event I always look forward to is the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World’s Greatest Horseman competition. Each entry is one rider paired with one horse, and each competes in four events—reining, steer stopping, herd work (cutting), and cow work (boxing, fencing and circling a cow). The horse must wear the same bridle throughout the event.

This year, Corey Cushing was named the World’s Greatest Horseman riding Sonita Lena Rey. The trainer from Scottsdale, Arizona, won $40,000. Photographing this event, with its versatile, high-caliber horses and talented horsemen, is always a thrill.

Matt Koch stopping a steer during the World's Greatest Horseman
Matt Koch of Colorado marked a 218.5 in steer stopping.
Corey Cushing celebrating cow work run at World's Greatest
Corey Cushing pumps his fist after completing a scorching run in the cow work. The Arizona trainer won his second World’s Greatest Horseman championship.
Abbie Phillips working a cow in the heard work at World's Greatest.
Abbie Phillips works a cow in the herd work, where she and Bed Head Cat marked a 218 score.
Darren Moore announcing at World's Greatest
Show announcer Darren Moore energizes the crowd in Fort Worth, Texas.
horse sliding to a stop at World's Greatest
Red River Rivalry slides to a stop in the reining, where the horse ridden by Shawn Hays scored a 216.
Zane Davis turning a cow at the fence during World's Greatest
Zane Davis and Rubys Radar turn a cow on the fence. The duo from Idaho finished reserve and won $25,000.

1 thought on “The World’s Greatest Competition”

  1. I’ve never been to a rodeo
    These photos convey all the colors of this action.
    Super pictures

    Good luck


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