With his 11th consecutive Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualification, Luke Brown is looking forward to being back on Rockstar, who he often refers to as “Yella”. Brown and the 18-year-old palomino gelding, registered as Super Gold Baron, have been a great duo when it comes to spinning steers in the Thomas & Mack.
“That’s the one place he is exceptionally fun to ride with that barrier and that setup,” Brown said, noting that he’s also easy to catch on there. “I have a pretty good track record with him at the Finals. I haven’t missed too many on him at all. I’ve had a chance almost every time I’ve ever rode him to win the world on the last day.”
That world title hasn’t happened yet, but Rockstar’s confidence is up after his needed break.
“I think Yella was getting pretty burnt out after this winter, so I gave him to a buddy of mine, Jay Shaffer. He kept him for me all summer and he’d head and heel and whatever, just kept it fun for him. When I got home this fall I got him back, and he felt like he did when I got him from Brandon (Webb) three years ago. He felt like he enjoyed it.”
For most of the year, Brown has been riding Sugar Bar Gold Dust, better known as the ever-flashy “Fast Time”. He bought the 14-year-old palomino gelding in May of 2017 from Chad Masters, who had bought him from Colby Lovell.
“I rode him real good at the winter rodeos—he worked good and I rode him good. Then this summer, I didn’t ride him very good and we had some ups and downs. He’s real free and if you send him straight to the cow, he’ll run straight to the cow. I’ve just always roped with one stepping to the left, so it was a different style of roping that I fought my head with all summer.”
Brown was quick to point out that it wasn’t ever Fast Time’s fault.
“He’s the friendliest, funnest horse I’ve ever owned and rode. He’s so easy. He never changes–from day to day he’s the exact same horse. He scores the same. He runs the same. He does everything the same. You know what he’s going to do before he does it. He’s a really, really good horse.”
When it comes to deciding which horse he’ll take to the Wrangler NFR as a backup, Brown is still unsure.
“I have a mare that I rode some this summer too that I love.” He’s had the 13 year old bay “Scarlett”, who was trained by Masters, for about four years.
One thing is certain: “I’m as excited for this NFR as I was for the first one I went to. It never gets old. It’s the greatest job a man could have. I see guys that rope for a living that rope phenomenal—I mean outstanding. To be competitive with them guys, it just amazes me that I can do that. This rodeoing is so tough and there’s so much talent out there. It’s pretty cool to be a part of it.”