Wise Beyond His Years

Hunter Koch’s Rockk Star Wins Four Rounds Across Two Divisions on Way to $20,500 Gold Buckle Futurities Spring 2024 Title
Hunter Koch's Rockk Star is, in fact, a rockstar.
Hunter Koch Rockk Star
Hunter Koch and Rockk Star won $20,500 across the Gold Buckle Futurity and Maturity May 11-12, 2024 in Ardmore. | Shelby Lynn Photos

Hunter Koch’s Rockk Star—a 4-year-old gelding by Peptoboonsmal out of Aristocratic Star by High Brow Cat—showed off and showed out in both the 6-and-Under Maturity Heeling and 4-and-Under Futurity Heeling, winning $20,500 for two go-rounds in each roping and the average title in the Futurity.

“We bought him out of the Solo Select Sale when he was 2,” Koch said. “We left him with Solo’s trainer, and he put three months on him. We got him back when he was 3, and I went to heeling on him. I actually showed him in December at the Gold Buckle as a 3-year-old in both the 4-and-Under and 6-and-Under.”

Rockk Star Hunter Koch

In December, Koch’s partner got a barrier, but Rockk Star still won the short round of the futurity. He won third at the American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s Oil Can Classic in Ardmore in late April, and the horse came back firing in the same arena two weeks later. He scored a 906.58, more than 11 points ahead of the second-place horse, Gunna Wanna (which he also piloted).

“He hit another level this weekend,” Koch said of the horse he owns with JD McGuire. “We didn’t have to train anything into him. He made himself. And he’s a real deal horse. He’s good in the box, but he’s really solid already as a 4-year-old. I could dang sure jackpot on him and do good already. We don’t want to blow him up or anything, but he’ll have a future past the show world. He’s real mature, real physical, with plenty of speed. You can throw on the first hop or the fifth hop on him.”

Rockk Star Hunter Koch
Hunter Koch and Rockk Star winning the Gold Buckle Futurities 2024 Spring Event’s Heeling Futurity. | Elite Equine Promo

Koch’s second place finish paid $16,500 (including a round win and the Elite Breeder’s Incentive) on a horse owned by Solo Select, Gunna Wanna, a mare that was fourth at the 2023 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity with Champion Corey Cushing.

Koch had the help of his ProRodeo partner, NFR average champ Cody Snow, throughout the roping.

“Cody is really savvy and good at handling the steer,” Koch said. “He knows each horse I’m showing. The horses like Rockk Star and Crypto (Canteburys Cherrey) feels more like our jackpot run. On the greener horses, we’ll slow it down a little more or make the corner real round. The ones he’s got confidence in, he’ll just spin them normal like we’re jackpotting.”

—TRJ—

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