Battle in the Saddle

Adan Banuelos named 2012 World’s Greatest Horseman Shootout winner at Battle in the Saddle, presented by RFD-TV.

By Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal
July 11, 2012

Adan Banuelos won the World's Greatest Horseman Shootout on MH Boon In My Blood

Adan Banuelos will have his name added to the permanent plaque at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City after winning the 2012 World's Greatest Horseman Shootout. (Tara Christiansen photo). For more photos, scroll to the bottom.

After three days of competition, a winner emerged from the World’s Greatest Horseman Shootout.

Adan Banuelos of Jacksboro, Texas, claimed the top prize after competing in herd work, rein work, steer stopping and fence work.

“I’m blessed and excited and happy and lucky – just humbled,” Adan said. “I’ve had some really good friends, (Chris Dawson and Sandy Jirkovsky), helping me, and it’s their horse, and I’m very grateful for that. I think the hardest part of this competition is just keeping a level head all the way through it and not getting carried away in any event.”

In the Shootout, five groups have two riders representing them in a contest similar to the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World’s Greatest Horseman competition.

Adan represented the National Cutting Horse Association on MH Boon In My Blood. The 2003 sorrel gelding is owned by Sandy Jirkovsky, and her son, Chris, has been training him.

“He’s been an awful good horse for me,” Chris said. “We’ve brought him up through the hackamore and the two-rein, and this is his second year in the bridle.”

MH Boon In My Blood is by Bodee Boonsmal and out of Royal Lenabell by Smart Little Lena. He was bred by Western State Ranches of Dublin, Texas, and Chris has only recently started him in roping classes.

“I’ve been real protective of him for about three years,” Chris said, but he agreed to let Adan show the horse. “My mom is supposed to start showing him, so this should be a good little test to let someone else go show him.”

Adan is a cutter, so that part was familiar to him, as was the roping, because he enjoys it as a hobby. But it was the fence work that really excited him.

"I think it’s really hard to beat going down the fence compared to any equine sport," Adan said. "It’s humbling, because it can go really bad and at the same time, it lets you go fast enough to where you have to go for something. The safer you try to be, maybe, the worse off you are.

"It’s a really fun sport – going down the fence is really awesome."

The individual results were:
1.    Adan Banuelos representing NCHA on MH Boon In My Blood
2.    Tripp Townsend representing AQHA on Sixes Sixgun
3.    Chad Little representing Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association on Lil Ruf Catalyst
4.    Dustin Rogers representing NRCHA on Skeets Nicker
5.    Jamie Stover representing American Rope Horse Futurity Association on Hard To Get Playboy
6.    Gary Wells representing ARHFA on Tiger Lilys Award
7.    Ben Baldus representing AQHA on Rey Jay Boonsmal
8.    Natalie Johnson representing CMSA on CTR Surfine Cat
9.    Thomas C. Scheer representing NRCHA on Who Could Be Smarter
10.    Bubba Matlock representing NCHA on Oh Cay N Short

The team results are:
1.    AQHA with 1,664 points
2.    ARHFA with 1,663 points
3.    CMSA with 1,602.5 points
4.    NCHA with 1,486.5 points
5.    NRCHA with 1,468.5 points

The Journal was on the road at the 2012 Battle in the Saddle – to view more Journal coverage from all of the events at Battle in the Saddle, visit www.battleinthesaddle.com. To learn more about the World's Greatest Horseman Shootout competition, visit www.battleinthesaddle.com/worlds-greatest-horseman-shootout.