World Champion header Colby Lovell got his second American Rope Horse Futurity Association win of 2022—this time in the heading—aboard the 2016 gelding NRR Playboy Cole, owned by eight-time PRCA World Champion Joe Beaver.
At the Oil Can Classic July 9, the duo scored 911.95 on four head. That included a 231.68 and a 229.72 to win the first two go-rounds. For their efforts, Lovell and NRR Playboy Cole took home $7,560. NRR Playboy Cole is sired by NRR Cat King Cole , out of the mare I Have To Play (Freckles Playboy).
“He has that wow factor,” Lovell said. “That horse can really, really run. He wants to be good in the box, and he moves his feet and finishes. There’s no hang up with him.”
With a strong lead after the first two rounds, Lovell and heeler Dakota Kirchenschlager were able to back off in Rounds 3 and 4.
Where Did NRR Playboy Cole Come From?
South Dakota’s North Ridge Ranch bred the horse, and Utah cutter Walt Bowen bought him to cut. But he got too big. So standout Idaho heeler and horse trainer Max Kuttler added him to his string as a 3-year-old.
“I’ve bought some really good horses from Walt in the past,” Kuttler explained. “He had been heading on him a little bit. My wife and I went to look at what he had. I wasn’t even going to buy that horse. But my wife, Shyanne, is the reason we got him. She’s a sucker for big pretty bays. He looks like an old bucking horse, and she’s a sucker for those kind. That’s probably the main reason we ended up with him.”
Kuttler headed on him for two years. A natural from the start, the gelding wanted to do everything right all by himself. When he was just 4, Kuttler was tempted to take him to an Open jackpot in Arizona, because he just felt so good. Luckily, his wife talked him out of it for the sake of the horse.
“He’s always scored, and run and faced,” Kuttler said. “I don’t know why he’s like that—he was born that way.”
But busy with a new house in Arizona and lots of horses to ride, Kuttler thought he’d try to sell the standout young horse to someone who’d really use him.
“I sent his video around, and nobody really wanted him,” Kuttler said. “I guess they thought he was too young. But I sent Joe a few videos, and he bought him over the phone last November. We really appreciated Joe for trusting us to be true and honest people on telling him what the horse was and could be. It meant a lot. I kept riding him until we went to Houston a few months later, and that’s when I took him to Joe.”
Beaver sent the horse to Lovell about a month and a half before the Ardmore futurity, with much of the hard work of making a good one done.
“I just backed him off and tried to slow him down,” Lovell said. “He’s so physical, strong and talented. I think he’s got what it takes to go rodeo. I do know that. He wants to score good, too.”
Lovell roped slow steers most of the time, building the horse’s confidence in the box.
“I want him walking up in the box, keeping him between my feet and the bridle,” Lovell said. “It’s important to me keep it North and South, and don’t ever go East and West in the box. I want him to concentrate on looking at the cow, and when I draw the reins, I want him to concentrate and wait on me. And when I drop my reins, I want him to know it’s still OK to sit there in the corner like we’re talking to a friend. I’ve just been trying to make it easier on him so he doesn’t have to try 110% every time and give it to me when I need it. All of that is starting to come.”
Lovell’s Futurity Focus
Lovell showed four head horses and five heel horses in Ardmore, with his new focus on staying close to home and training young horses rather than rodeoing. He’s been riding with cutting trainer TJ Good, and riding mostly his own stock. Lovell showed Riata Buckle and Royal Crown stallion Metallic Payday (who Lovell himself owned and started originally) in the heeling for owner and reigning World Champion Header Kaleb Driggers. Driggers originally had ARHFA World Champion Andy Holcomb on Metallic Payday, but Holcomb got hurt earlier in the day so Lovell filled in—well enough to win sixth in the roping worth $2,282 with a 908.93.