When Dustin Egusquiza put on a clinic in Florida at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo with Junior Nogueira, he was riding a new horse—and it was only a precursor to what would come.
In Kissimmee in April, after finishing no less than second in every round (worth about $22,000), only a leg penalty kept them from being national champs. And during the ten-day Independence Day run, Egusquiza and Travis Graves raked in $30,465 apiece, including runs of 4.1 seconds in Greeley, Killdeer and Cody, a 3.6 in Livingston and that world-record-tying 3.3 in Oakley.
Only about nine thousand bucks of that massive sum came aboard Egusiquiza’s new superstar (two of those 4.1s) because—get this—“Mohawk” is actually his long-score horse. But the red roan is already earning his Nutrena SafeChoice in those setups, too. For instance, on Mohawk, Egusquiza nailed the fastest time of the entire BFI Reno Open last month—a near-record 4.47—with TG in Round 5.
“I got him last fall and I don’t know if he’d ever been to rodeos,” said Egusquiza of Marianna, Florida, a three-time NFR header and just 25. “He’s already really turned my jackpotting around.”
The 11-year-old gelding was born and bred in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Although the big roan looks plenty Hancocky, Egusquiza assumed he wasn’t of that lineage because he’s registered as JE Shining Rowdy. Mohawk is by the Shining Spark son Shiney Knot, a stallion that’s out of a daughter of Zan Parr Bar. But Egusquiza was wrong—Mohawk’s dam goes back to the triple-Hancock-bred Rowdy Blue Man. The Blue Valentine stallion was a stout steer-roping horse so gentle that he could be ridden with a halter in a pasture full of mares.
“Mohawk is really gentle and could be a kid’s horse,” said Egusquiza. “Not everybody could rope on him because he gets high-strung, but nothing bothers him to ride around.”
The gelding’s incredible speed is courtesy of Shiney Knot’s dam, Miss Knotty Parr. Zan Parr Bar is by a Three Bars son, and was crossed on an own granddaughter of the great thoroughbred Top Deck. To be fair, Shining Spark himself goes back on his dam’s side to Three Bars, too, through Clabber Bar and Gay Bar King. And on the bottom side, Mohawk is out of a granddaughter of Hollywood Dun It.
He made his way out of Mexico and was trained by the late, great Robbie Schroeder, a former AQHA Horseman of the Year who died in December after amassing countless world titles at breed and snaffle-bit shows. Egusquiza bought him from Robert Rice of Texas.
“I had a horse I’d just bought that didn’t fit me real good, and when I ran three or four on Mohawk, Robert ran some on mine and we did some trading,” Egusquiza said. “It was a pretty incredible deal. Robert loves the horse I traded him—a horse that just wasn’t taking the intense pressure of our schedule very well.”
Egusquiza calls Mohawk just a good, honest horse with no tricks that tries for you every time. The roan has more speed than anything he’s ever taken to a rodeo—and never takes his throw away or gets too tight. If that’s true, it makes you wonder why anyone else bothers to enter Cheyenne or Salinas. Clearly the roan seems to have revolutionized Egusquiza’s season. He overtook RFD-TV’s American champ Erich Rogers to become the current World No. 1, with no plans to relinquish his hold.
“Mohawk is probably the fastest horse I’ve ever had,” Egusquiza said of the red roan. “I never had the luxury until now to take a few more swings if needed, but he has the gas if I wanted to do that.”
Wow. Thanks to this horse, the Southeastern long-bomber can now win even if he takes more than the half-swing he took to tie the world record at Oakley (where, for the record, he broke his own arena record from 2018).