The American Performance Horseman Riders Announced

With the start of a new year comes the second annual The American Performance Horseman, presented by Teton Ridge Performance Horses. Five teams consisting of a top rider from the National Cutting Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, and the National Reined Cow Horse Association join together for the chance at $1,000,000.

The National Cutting Horse Association riders include Wesley Galyean, Adan Banuelos, James Payne, Morgan Cromer, and Austin Shepard.

Wesley Galyean recently won the 2023 NCHA Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity on Lone Woolf, owned by Billy Wolf. Galyean was the 2023 NCHA #1 leading Open Rider with a current lifetime earnings of $5,963,453.30. He also competed last year in TAPH on Team Purple with Andrea Fappani (reining) and Corey Cushing (reined cow horse).

Adan Banuelos won the NCHA Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity in 2020 on All Spice and won TAPH last year with a 229. His team consisted of Fernando Salgado (reining) and Sarah Dawson (reined cow horse). For the 2023 Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity, Banuelos rode Kateye, owned by Ten/27 Ranch earning a 219.5 finishing in the top 10. Banuelos has a total lifetime earnings of $6,227,550.98 as of the start of 2024.

James Payne of Overbrook, Oklahoma, concludes the 2023 show season with a total lifetime earnings of $5,079,400.85. Payne made the finals at numerous NCHA events on various horses throughout the season. One of his largest accomplishments of 2023 year was winning the Cotton Stakes 5/6 Open on Purdys Rebel.

One of the only two cowgirls competing, this is the first year Morgan Cromer has competed at TAPH. Cromer concludes the 2023 show season with a total lifetime earnings of $5,033,258.02. Cromer was also the only female to advance to the 2023 NCHA Open Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity Finals. She gave everyone a run for their money when she advanced to the Open Futurity Finals on two horses, Cool Guitar and Precious Blu Metal, earning $126,298 in one night.

Austin Shepard is returning to Globe Life Field in Arlington, with a total lifetime earnings of $10,097,851.39. Of those advancing to The American Performance Horsemen, Shepard leads in NCHA lifetime earnings with over 10 million dollars. He attended TAPH in 2023, riding Kittennish for a score of 220 for team Burnt Orange. Kittenish was named the 2023 NCHA Open Horse of the Year. Throughout the 2023 season, Shepard had continuous success on Kittennish, but he would not have been able to qualify for the 2024 The American Performance Horsemen without Wood She B Magic.

Congratulations to each competitor participating in The American Performance Horseman this year! The NCHA looks forward to the extreme competitiveness and dedication that each rider, owner, and trainer displays to be a part of TAPH. We look forward to the teamwork and camaraderie that the NRHA and NRCHA provide and can’t wait to see all three disciplines in Arlington again.

To learn more about the National Cutting Horse Association, visit

Media Contact:
Carley Myers
Director of Sponsorship & Marketing
817-244-6188 ext. 104