Meet Willy and Tyson, the Legendary Horsepower Owned by Curtis Cassidy

Curtis Cassidy is a $2 million cowboy with a track record of having top notch horsepower in the steer wrestling.

It started with Willy, a multi-time Horse of the Year in multiple organizations. Now, he rides Tyson, who is on Willy’s level when it comes to stacking accolades.

Cassidy’s main mount was Willy for 16 years of his career. The duo was together from high school rodeo well into Cassidy’s professional career. Willy’s retirement came at the age of 24 after a final trip to the Thomas & Mack. Without crunching the numbers, Cassidy’s guess is that Willy has close to $5 million in career earnings. Willy’s accomplishments include getting cowboys to four World titles, four Average titles and multiple Canadian titles.

“(Willy is) just a great horse that obviously anybody would be super proud to own or have anything to do with,” Cassiday said, “We were just fortunate he fell into our hands and then just got lucky and found another one, that’s Tyson.”

As for Tyson, Cassidy would say the bay horse averages anywhere from $600,000 to $800,000 in earnings per year, with upwards of $1 million some years if the guys riding him have good NFRs. He carried the likes of Cassidy, World No. 2 Jesse Brown, Scott Guenthner, Stephen Culling and more to wins at some of the biggest rodeos of the year including RodeoHouston, the Calgary Stampede, the Canadian Finals and the National Finals Rodeo.

“It means a lot to me when other guys want to ride him, for sure. And all the awards he’s won, that probably means more to me than anything,” Cassidy said.

Tyson, who finished second in 2023, had been named the AQHA Horse of the Year in the steer wrestling the three years prior. Willy, on the other hand, was a six-time Canadian Horse of the Year and Horse of the Year in the U.S. once.

The differences between Willy and Tyson are easy to spot. Tyson is tough while Willy has never been top of the pecking order. Cassidy says Tyson’s toughness is part of what separates him from other horses.

When it comes down to it, both Willy and Tyson have their own page in the rodeo history books and Cassidy says they are both once in a lifetime horses that he is super proud of.

“I’m fortunate to be a part of their careers and they helped me along the way too,” he said. “Without them, no one would probably even know who I am.”

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