Brown’s New Stick Comes Courtesy Courtney Motes’ Quiet Hands
Luke Brown's Joseph was raised by Danny Connelly Motes and Winston Hansma in Weatherford, Texas, and trained by rodeo-wife extraordinary Courtney Motes.

Luke Brown has had some legendary horses over the years—Slim Shady, Fast Time and Yella, just to name a few. 

Now Brown, who sits at at number five in the PRCA world heading standings with $72,159 roping with reigning World Champion Paul Eaves, is looking for the next great one in his herd. Right now, he’s tapping the 12-year-old gelding he calls Joseph. 

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“I decided to take Joseph the week of Casper and Sheridan,” Brown said. “Fast Time was a little sore, so I left him with Bambi Robb. I’ve ridden him some, and I was wondering about how he’d do anyway. He did good at Cheyenne and Casper and Estes. We won a little bit, and he’s doing good. Joseph can really run and has a real good move. I’ve had trouble with his scoring but I halfway have it coming around. He’s fast and really athletic.He feels pretty good. He’s green to the rodeo part of it, and there’s a few little things. He’s not just a seasoned rodeo horse yet, but he did good.”

Joseph is registered as Joes Blues Bar and a son of Duals Blue Boon and out of the CD Olena mare CD Bars Jo. 

Joseph’s pedigree

“CD Bars Jo was a mare my stepfather Winston Hansma owned, and her dam, Brinks C Bars Jo, is an Equi-Stat all-time leading cutting producer,” Ryan Motes, who with wife Courtney first started Joseph in the heading, said. “It was kind of a funny deal. We always have people asking if we get big sized rejects and they want them for a head horse. Joseph was just big. And a kid named Dan Edwards started him. He was just a little bit big. He got a lot of outside riding for a cutting horse. He didn’t get in the arena as much as the cutters too.”

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Edwards used Joseph to give shots on his 2-year-old year, but Hansma didn’t think the horse would make it in the cutting thanks to his size.

“I called all these people who were always blowing us up about wanting one but they all couldn’t get there,” Ryan said. “Courtney got home from work one day, and took Winston the money right there. She started him, and she did most everything on him. She bought him as a 2-year-old, and we just did slow stuff on him. We doctored on him, and Courtney headed on him. He was good from the beginning. That was the naturally most talented scoring and facing horse I’ve ever been on in my life.”

Sisters Kelsi Rogers (left) and Courtney Motes (right) sit aboard AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year CD Starbucks and Joseph at the Motes family arena in Weatherford, Texas. Courtesy Ryan Motes

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Courtney’s patient demeanor let Joseph excel quickly, and Ryan was able to start jackpotting on him as a 4-year-old.

“Courtney is handy,” Ryan said. “She’s ridden in all different disciplines, which I do think helps. She spends a lot of time on them. If I run a steer and Courtney is going to run the next one, she’s already in the box before I’m undallied. She will go push her own steer in and spend the time around the chute that a lot of those horses need. Too often now you put too much pressure on them right off the bat, and they spend all this time getting gates rattled, but the time spent around the chute helps them. That’s what Courtney does so well. She’ll walk-score a lot. She’s so soft handed right there. If the steer is going to be stronger, she’ll walk them forward. She’s doing a great job with all of our young horses. She will literally ride one horse, run five steers, and spend three hours on them. The time doing it, not getting in a rush, is so hard.”

Pretty soon the world-class headers coming to practice with Ryan took notice, even though the horse was a little quirky on the ground, hating bell boots and fly spray but loving to set his hoof, gently, in Courtney’s lap.

Joseph chewing on Courtney Motes’ hood in the pasture. Courtesy Ryan Motes

“He was a big old pet,” Courtney said. “But he was too fast for me. I don’t like to jackpot, and I like riding young ones better than good ones. (Robertson Hill Ranch roping producer) Austin Robertson kept asking for him, and I had younger stuff to head on at the time.” 

Austin Robertson heads a steer for Ryan Motes aboard Joseph in 2015. James Phifer/TRJ File Photo

That was 2014. Roberston bought the horse, who hadn’t been to many jackpots, and started riding him, first at the jackpots and eventually at the rodeos. 

“He was a winner for me,” Robertson said. “The last time I was in Cheyenne I rode him there. Luke was looking, and he borrowed him to ride at the Windy Ryon, and that’s when he thought he needed him. It’s taken him a year to get along with him. I just kept telling him the more he’d ride him the more he’d like him.” 

Scarlett, the bay mare who is splitting the reps with Joseph on the road right now, also came through Robertson. He bought her from Chad Masters, and Brown’s reaping the benefits of having both bays in his rig. 

“Jockeying different horses in the heat of battle isn’t the easiest thing to do,” Brown admitted. “Joseph might be the best I’ve ever had, but if I don’t put him in it I won’t know.” TRJ

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