We write stories about the best head and heel horses in the team roping business year-round, and come time for the National Finals Rodeo, we try to profile horses we’ve yet to cover.
As we near the end of the 2021 Finals, we thought we better remind you of some horse stories we’ve covered throughout the last few years JUST in case you’ve forgotten about the horses we haven’t written about this week at length.
Jade Corkill won Round 8 of the 2021 NFR on the grey gelding he calls Champ, named after the horse’s original owner—seven-time World Champ Clay O’Brien Cooper. The horse went out with a possibly career ending injury at The American this year, but made a comeback mid-summer and has gone strong all week in Las Vegas. Champ’s story.
Registered as Kartells Bluedrift, Buckskin YY is by Blue Drift Hank and out of the Kartell daughter Missy Kartell, reflecting hardy Blue Valentine blood on the topside and speedy Dash For Cash on the bottom. Tyler Wade swapped to him in Round 7, when he and Yates connected for 4.4-second run. Wade rode the horse owned and trained by JD Yates all year. Read his full story.
Wade turned 10/10 steers on Espuela Bro in 2019, and he rode him to win the first round again in 2021. The horse came from the famed Joe Murray, who raised the horse and who headed at the Finals for Gary Gist in 1976, Rickey Green in 1977, and Gary Hemsted in 1978. Read his full story.
Romancing The Chics, better known as Dude, helped catapult Yates into the spotlight when he rode him at the 2018 NFR to win the average in his first appearance there, that year behind Aaron Tsinigine. He’s been Yates’ main mount ever since, and he’s the horse Yates rode to win the first go-round behind Tyler Wade at the 2021 NFR. Dude’s story.
Dual Chip—Chip, as he’s long been known—is a 2009 gelding by Bobby Lewis’s late, great Dual Spark, out of the Zans Diamond Sun mare Zans Leo Girl. Graves rode him at all but two of the rodeos at which he competed over the Fourth of July run in 2021, making the horse responsible for some $25,350 of their record-breaking Cowboy Christmas earnings. Graves has ridden Chip in every round of the 2021 NFR and won Round 7 on the horse. Read his story.
At the 2020 NFR, Joseph Harrison cracked out a 7-year-old bay gelding registered as CRR Hurricane Fajita that he calls Capone, and after his great Main Street Boon needed a break again in 2021, Capone stepped in. Read his story.
Junior Nogueira has been riding Timon—registered as Kiehne’s Frosty Pepto—for the last three NFRs, and on him he led the PRCA’s regular season, too. Timon came from Maryland’s Kenny Brown, and he’s been easy from the get-go. His story.
Logan Medlin’s Drago is in elite company as a two-time AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year. He’s a 12-year-old ex-ranch horse who Medlin rode the bulk of the last two regular seasons, raised in Hereford, Texas, by Ronnie Mahaley and sold as a yearling through the Clovis Horse Sale to Rusty Henard, a rancher neighbor of the Medlin family. His story here.
Registered as Leos Hickory, a son of Scooter O Highbrow out of the Prices Kris Leo mare Leos Last Pokey, was bred in Oklahoma by DJ Mefferd, and eventually sold to heeler Kyle Crick. Travis Woodard made the NFR on him in 2016, and Brady Minor bought him after winning The American on him in 2017. His story here.
Erich Rogers cracked out a 13-year-old bay roan mare registered as DMO Sand Drifter—a.k.a. Sandy—at the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with a bang, winning the average and earning $122,962 there. He’s placed in four rounds on her at the 2021 NFR and spun eight out of eight steers thus far. Her story.
Cody Snow trained Annie start to finish, and to this day is the only one who’s headed on her. Cody’s ridden Annie at all six of his NFRs. He got her as a 4-year-old with 60 rides on her, and he’s amassed a million dollars in earnings in his career mostly on her. Annie’s story.
Courtney (Crites) Small first won on the horse before Brenten Hall won enough money in the #15 World Series of Team Roping Finale two years in a row to buy the horse. Hall won $237,061 on him at the Finals in his 2019 debut, and earned $90,145 on the horse in 2020. TimeBomb’s story.