8 Key Horses in the 2020 World Standings Race Going Into Round 10

How these horses do their jobs can make or break their cowboys' world standings chances. Here are their stories.
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Luke Brown's Texas Tallman (Cowboy)

Luke Brown and his horse, Cowboy, leave the box in hot pursuit of their Round 3 steer at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 2020 Arlington Texas Globe Life Field

Brown and Cowboy have won 65,987.18 world standings points so far at the 2020 NFR and enter Round 10 fourth in the average with a time of 51.70 seconds on eight head.

While Luke Brown's Slim Shady, Yeller and Fast Time got most of the press in the last decade, Cowboy has been quietly waiting in the wings. Previously reserved for long-score and jackpot situations (Brown rode Cowboy to win the BFI and Cheyenne), Cowboy had to step in after Brown lost his NFR mount Rebel just days before the 2019 Finals. Cowboy didn't disappoint in Vegas, and Brown finished the year third in the average with $97,154 in NFR earnings. This year, Brown's won 65,987.18 world standings points in front of Joseph Harrison at the 2020 NFR. Brown and Cowboy are in the driver's seat for the heading world title entering Round 10. 

Read Cowboy's full story.

Texas Tallman Cowboy Luke Brown

[Learn More: The 2021 Team Roping Journal Breeder's Guide]

Joseph Harrison's CRR Hurricane Fajita (Capone)

Joseph Harrison catches two feet from aboard his horse, Capone, in the arena in Round 6 of the 2020 Wrangler NFR.

Behind Brown and Cowboy, Harrison and Capone have won 65,987.18 world standings points so far at the 2020 NFR and enter Round 10 fourth in the average with a time of 51.70 seconds on eight head.

Joseph Harrison jumped on "Capone" after Round 5 of the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, feeling his 16-year-old great Main Street Boon struggling with the strong cattle and big in-field setup. The horse came from Oklahoma cowboy/trainer Miles Baker, where he was Baker's wife Daci's ranch-horse competition mount. Before that, Montana's Delon Parker rode the gelding at Ariat World Series of Team Roping jackpots in Arizona in preparation for the Billings Livestock Horse Sale. Brown and Harrison, in his first NFR out on Capone, placed in Round 6 with a 4.2-second run. Harrison enters the 10th Round needing a top-notch performance from Capone for a shot at the gold buckle. 

Read Capone's full story.

NOTE: Harrison hasn't ruled out the option of getting back on Main Street Boon, the horse he started the week on and won the $100,000 American paycheck aboard. Here's his story. 

Depiction of bloodlines behind CRR Hurricane Fajita, also known as Capone and, sometimes, Sug.

Erich Rogers' DMO Sand Drifter (Sandy)

Erich Rogers aboard Sandy in the arena at the 2020 NFR.

The bay roan mare Erich Rogers is nailing the start on night after night came from his partner Paden Bray's dad Ken and NFR header Logan Olson. On Sandy, Rogers has won 48,923.08 and leads the NFR average as the only header to have stopped the clock on each run. The mare, who won the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo under Olson, is a little snorty, and she has a funky requirement that she must pee before she rides off to warm up. 

Read Sandy's full story. 

Image of a spreadsheet depicting the bloodlines of DMO Sand Drifter (Sandy).

Paden Bray's EM Magic Bar Eleven (Slider) 

Professional team roper Paden Bray ropes behind Erich Rogers in the arena at the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The Bray family halter-broke "Slider", who came off the Montgomery Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, as a weanling. 

"My Pawpaw back home, he couldn't make it here because of his sickness, but he picked that horse out of a crop of colts and we halter broke him," Bray said. "Then, Marty Becker put about nine months training on him, and then I've rode the horse for literally nine years and he's 12 now. So it's pretty special."

Going into the 10th Round, Bray leads the average and is in the driver's seat for the heeling world title on Slider. 

Paden Bray's Slider

Clay Smith's Marty

Clay Smith Marty

Clay Smith and Jade Corkill aren't out of it yet, and that's thanks to the mastery of Marty. The grade, gray gelding has carried Smith to back-to-back world titles, and he's been the stand-out head horse at every Finals he's appeared. Marty was just a horse that came through the Smith-family horse buying-and-selling operation, and Smith almost didn’t buy Marty—who’s sire is known to be a Hollywood Dun It, Smart Little Lena-bred horse named Royal Dept—because he bucked when Smith tried him. Smith haggled on price with former owner and family friend Marty Caudle, but the next day, Caudle took Smith’s offer, and the rest, as they say, is history. Heading into Round 10, Smith and Jade Corkill are seventh in the average and fourth and second in the world, so for them, tonight is a one-header for all the marbles. 

Read Marty's full story.

Jade Corkill's JLC Royal American

Jade Corkill, wearing a #20 NFR bib on his back, pulls tight on a steer (out of shot) on his horse, Huey, while a horseback judge in the background prepares to drop the flag and call the time in Round 5 of the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Corkill got on Huey to win Round 5 of the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and has won 78,961 world standings points on the week. 

Huey was Travis Graves' second stringer, but for Jade Corkill, he's been magic. Corkill, who has owned some of the greatest heel horses of all time in Jackyl, Ice Cube, Caveman and Switchblade, fit Huey from the time he bought him back in 2018. Corkill started the week on Caveman, swapped to his gray gelding Champ, but then settled in with a Round 5 win on Huey. He enters Round 10 second in the PRCA world standings and seventh in the average, so Huey's given him an outside chance at gold buckle number four. 

Read Huey's full story.

JLC Royal American Jade Corkill Huey Pedigree

Nelson Wyatt's WYO Pay N Play

PRCA team roper Nelson Wyatt checks the scoreboard while riding his gray horse after roping in Round 1 of the 2020 NFR.

Nelson Wyatt's 11-year-old gray, Playgun-bred gelding Teddy Bear got him to the Finals, and he's given him a shot night after night, even when steers have come left into him. The horse even let him fish one on when it mattered most. Heading into every round, top ropers like Turtle Powell, Ryan Motes, Trevor Brazile and Jhett Johnson have called out the gray for his performance in Arlington. 

"My horse helps me so much," Wyatt told us earlier this year on The Score. "He's pretty free, and he tries to catch the cow. He's not trying to cheat me ever. He made it pretty easy on me over the Fourth and really the whole summer."

Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 3.29.09 PM

Levi Lord's Poco Sparta King

Levi Lord rides across the NFR arena on his horse, Little Bay, after his Round 7 run.

Levi Lord's Poco Sparta King is the fan-favorite NFR team roping horse. At 23, he's by far the oldest horse in the field. He only cost a 15-year-old Lord $2,700 when he bought him from Craigslist a decade ago, and he was nearly done last year after a major puncture wound sidelined him for months. He and Teddy Bear have Wyatt and Lord third in the average going into Round 10, with an outside chance at a world title. They're 50.70 on eight head, and have won 61,544.87 world standings points each this week. They'll rope sixth out tonight. 

Read Little Bay's full story. TRJ

Depiction of the bloodlines behind Poco Sparta King, a.k.a. Little Bay, or LB.

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