(Update: Adding video, comments from Steffen)
POWELL BUTTE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Shane Steffen of Powell Butte has been named the 2021 World’s Greatest Horseman at the National Reined Cow Horse Association competition in Fort Worth, Texas.
A total of 11 horsemen and horsewomen competed in the finals of the NRCHA World's Greatest Horseman title, but it was Steffen, along with his partner Gunna Be A Smartie, who came out on top during the 12-day National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions.
Steffen has competed in the national event three times. The first time, he made it to the finals of the competition. The second time, he did not make it to the finals. But this time around, he goes home with the top national title as the World's Greatest Horseman.
This also was his second time competing with the 2012 mare owned by McSpyder Ranch of Bend, achieving an 894 composite score that bested the field by 12 points.
“Training one horse to do all four events, it takes a lot of time. It takes a special horse,” Steffen said Monday. He added that it's not easy to get a horse to be able to specialize in cutting, steer stopping, reigning and go down the fence.
Steffen is the head trainer and owner at Steffen Performance Horses in Powell Butte.
Being named the world’s Greatest Horseman champion brings a $50,000 paycheck, plus a host of prizes.
Steffen's daughter, Haydin, said he was so nervous after completing his events that he didn't even want to know his score.
Steffen added that he made sure to stay focused through all four events, in order to not make a mistake.
Now that he's heading home with the title in hand, Steffen said he wouldn't have been able to make it without the support of his team.
“It’s a family," he said. "I'm just so thankful and blessed to have everybody that has walked with me through this journey.”