National Finals Rodeo header Jake Cooper is dipping his feet into the rope-horse breeding market with the purchase of Colby Lovell’s great young stallion Reys Of Pep, planning to both showcase his abilities at the futurities and rodeos and in the breeding barn.
Reys Of Pep, first started and shown by Brad Lund at the Snaffle Bit Futurity, carried Lovell to the American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s Reserve Heeling World Title in 2022, marking the highest score of the entire futurity with a 242.84. He took a no-time in the heading short round after a miss on the heel side cost him, but he was sixth callback in one of the toughest heading short rounds in history, too, marking a 241.56 to win second in Round 2 on the head side as well.
“I was super impressed with him at the Rope Horse Futurity this fall,” Cooper, 38, said. “I hadn’t seen him go a lot, but he looked pretty dang cool on both ends. Then I found out he was a stud. Kaleb Driggers and I were talking about it, and I’m really enjoying the young horses now. With the futurity thing going good for rodeo, with intertwining the futurities and the rodeos, I thought it would be fun to get involved. I got an opportunity to be a part of that horse, and I jumped at it.”
Lovell, who also won the Riata Buckle in 2022, is busy at home in Madisonville, Texas, making young horses and isn’t planning to rodeo in 2023. With Reys Of Pep’s phenomenal abilities, Lovell didn’t want him to just stand around and show here and there. Plus, owning and promoting a stallion can be a full-time job that Lovell wasn’t ready to undertake. So, when Cooper was ready to dive into the stallion market, Lovell agreed to sell.
This isn’t the first up-and-coming stallion that’s come through Lovell. Driggers’ young stud, Metallic Payday, is one Lovell showed as a 3-year-old at the ARHFA on the heel side and one the 2020 World Champ had been excited about since his first ride on the steel gray horse.
“It is by no coincidence that Lovell had two great studs,” two-time and reigning World Champ Driggers said. “He has a great eye for a great horse, not only their ability but also their eye appeal and conformation. He puts the time in on them, and the product reflects it.”
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Driggers will show Reys Of Pep on both ends at the upcoming Royal Crown Rope Horse Futurity in Buckeye, Arizona, and throughout the 2023 show season. The stud will stand at Outlaw Equine for collection when he’s not on the road, and then Cooper will slowly work him into his jackpot string later in the year.
“I could definitely see myself rodeoing on him in the not too distance future,” Cooper said. “We’re going to breed my nice mares to him, and I’ve been working to talk to people to plan things out from there.” TRJ