Todd and his horse, Smart Luck, who stands at stud at Tom and Mandy’s ranch, lost a cow in the herd work portion of the World’s Greatest Horseman finals. (The herd work is also called cutting.) They separated a cow from the herd and made a few good turns with it—working it back and forth and keeping it separated. The cow turned away for a minute and stood still, then wheeled and darted back to the herd. The penalty points from that lost cow set them back a lot.
But in the next event, reining, they were the hands-down favorite. Mandy and Todd’s wife, Missy, made Todd change his shirt for better luck. I have yet to meet a horse person who isn’t at least a little superstitious. Smart Luck was already tired from his long week, but he delivered in the reining. Mandy and Missy and I made as much noise as possible cheering from the stands while Todd galloped and slid and spun. (Mandy’s famous whistle tends to clear out the seats in front of her. “Oh, do you know him?” the people near us asked.) A big score of 227 put them back in the running, with the steer stopping and fence work still to come.
In the end they didn’t quite make up the ground to win it. (Without that lost cow, they’d have won by a mile). They ended up third. But everyone could see what a great horse Smart Luck is, and I hope he books a lot of nice mares this year. Here’s a video of Todd and Smart Luck stopping their steer.