Reined cow horse cowboy Clayton Edsall is proud to see four horses in his program compete in the 2022 World’s Greatest Horseman competition.
The World’s Greatest Horseman competition is a test of a good horseman. It’s also a test of a great horse. The competition is held every year in conjunction with the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Celebration of Champions world championship show and has been held in Fort Worth, Texas, since 2014.
The format of World’s Greatest Horseman requires each horse and rider combo to compete in four events—herd work, reining, steer stopping and fence work. It’s worth noting that the horse must be packing the same bridle in all four events.
This year, there were 66 entries vying for the title, more than any year in the event’s history. Competitors are required to go through the preliminary rounds in each of the four events before the cumulative scores determine the top15 finalists.
The horses competing in WGH are always exceptional athletes armed with years of successful show experience. The tough field of competitors makes a finals qualification a big deal.
Clayton Edsall, who won the World’s Greatest Horseman in 2016 with his horse Skeets Oak Peppy (Skeets Peppy x Oak Ill Be x Ill Be Smart), made the top 15 of this year’s 2022 finals aboard Metallic Train (Metallic Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark). It was the second year for the 9-year-old mare, “Coco,” to compete in World’s Greatest.
Besides being happy about making the finals, Edsall was also pumped to see some other horses he’d ridden in the past in the draw.
“We had four horses that are either currently in our program or have been in our program, compete in this year’s World’s Greatest Horseman,” Edsall says. “It was neat to watch them compete and see them do good.”
The stallion Bet Hesa Boon (Bet Hesa Cat x Flo N Blu Boon x Pretty Boy Boon), also owned by Beverly Servi, has an impressive resume with Edsall as a two-time (2018 and 2019) National Stock Horse Association open derby champion, reserve champion in the open hackamore at the 2019 NRCHA Stallion Stakes, and the 2018 NRCHA Stallion Stakes open novice horse champion.
“Bet Hesa Boon is still in our training program, but was shown by a friend of ours, Jared Jones,” Edsall says. “So that was fun to watch. He’s a great horse.”
The Edsall connection doesn’t stop there.
“Shining CD Light [CD Lights x Jennys Spark x Shining Spark] was shown by Adan Banuelos,” Edsall adds. “I had him the end of his 2-year-old year, as a 3-year-old, and part of his 4-year-old year. After I had him, Corey Cushing had him, had some success on him, and then Adan got him.”
And there is more.
“Another horse that we had as a 2-year-old was Ascencion Banuelos’ horse [Purrn Likeasmoothcat (Smooth As A Cat x Purr N Like Magic x Abrakadabracre)],” Edsall says. “Ascencion actually bought him, showed him at the [National Cutting Horse Association] Futurity, and has had a lot of success on him in the cutting. It was fun to watch him compete on him here.”
Edsall was quick to give credit to the men now holding the reins.
“I would never want to take anything away from the trainers that have gone on preparing, training and showing those horses,” he says. “I understand how much work it takes, and they deserve the credit. I’m just happy and humble to have been a part of those horses’ lives. I like watching horses succeed, no matter when and where.”
Edsall is a six-time World’s Greatest Horseman finalist in addition to his 2016 WGH win. He and Metallic Train finished 10th in the competition. Edsall is an NRCHA Millon Dollar rider. He recently moved from Oakdale, California, to Mineral Wells, Texas, were he operates Edsall Performance Horses.