Dan Hansen entered the 2011 National Cutting Horse Association World Finals with the non-professional title clinched.
During the World Finals opening performance, Hansen, who has homes in Weatherford and Nampa, Idaho, showed why he will leave Fort Worth with a gold buckle.
He and his horse, Woody Be Lucky, finished second with a score of 223.5 as the World Finals concluded its first of four performances Saturday night at W.R Watt Arena.
Justin White of Chapel Hill, who ranks No. 7 in the world race, won the first round with a 226 on Wild Hickory Bob.
After earning $4,846 in Round 1, Hansen leads the world title race with $116,222. Kelsey Conn, a Hempstead resident who tied for fifth in the first round with a 219 (for $2,180), is ranked No. 2 with $66,009.
Hansen and Woody Be Lucky turned in a high score, despite being scheduled to work in a undesirable spot, 12th among 15 competitors within the first bunch of cattle.