ARHFA World Champ Juiced Up Cat and Thorp Geared Up for 2023 ProRodeo Season
Juiced Up Cat and Wesley Thorp are gearing up for the 2023 ProRodeo regular season, with their training and nutrition game to the next level.
Wesley Thorp Juiced Up Cat

Wesley Thorp will crack out Juiced Up Cat, his 2020 American Rope Horse Futurity Association World Champion mount, at the ProRodeos this summer—yet another example of a top-tier futurity standout making big moves into the rodeo world.

Juiced Up Cat has already earned $27,000 in American Rope Horse Futurity Association competition, and in just the last month few months he’s picked up another $45,000 at the jackpots and rodeos.

“He fits in mine and TWade’s run,” Thorp, 27, explained. “He’s a pretty good match for his horses, and great behind a neck catch. I’m going to have him in the trailer behind RayJ, my black gelding that I’ve been riding the last few years.”

Juiced Up Cat’s Feed Program: ADM PowerGlo twice a day, with Equinety, and some alfalfa. I’ve had really good luck with it. It helps fill him out—he was narrow and a smaller horse, and it keeps his mind really good. It helps him fill out and grow into himself.”

Juice’s Origin Story

By Jazarell Cat out of Juiced Up Jordie by Short Of Santana, Juice was bred by TKTKT and came to Thorp through sponsor Chris Pomeroy.

“Chris sent him to me in the fall of 2019, and he just wanted me to ride him and see what I thought,” Thorp said. “I called him right back and said I wanted to buy him. He was going to let me buy him, but he decided he wanted to keep half of him. He was very smart, and he had all the tools—foot speed, he was athletic, he was smooth, and I just knew he had a ton of potential. Everything I showed him, it wasn’t one day, it was one steer. He’d fix it. It was impressive how fast he let me smooth him out. He’ll fit anybody. He had the mentality and the athletic ability to put it all together.”

Thorp jackpotted on Juice in 2020—the year he rodeoed with Chad Masters—and then showed him behind Thorp at his first horse show, which just happened to be that $27,000 ARHFA World Championship.

Sophomore Sweats

But after that big win, Thorp learned a horse-training lesson with Juice that’s served him well throughout the rest of his program.

“I threw him to the fire at the jackpots that winter of 2021,” Thorp explained. “I kind of went backward with him a little bit. At a jackpot in Dublin, the steer was fighting the chute forever, and it scared him. He got nervous, even though he’d always been perfect in the box. I just slowed down with him from there. I went back to one jackpot a week, time off, and taking him to some small rodeos and circuit rodeos. I just wasn’t really relying on him, and I put in the work to make sure he was feeling 100% physically.”

Thorp eased him through 2021 by scoring a lot of steers and doing some outside riding, going back to the fundamentals of the game on his best-yet up and comer.

“I took for granted the value in just saddling one, exercising, riding, scoring then just unsaddling and being done,” Thorp said. “That whole experience taught me that I needed to put focus on building my horses’ confidence and knocking the edge off so they’re paying attention their best. I don’t want to rush and put a horse in a bad situation if I’ve not spend the right amount of time on the little details with them.”

Comeback Kid

In 2022, Thorp let BFI Champ Lane Siggins jump-ride Juice at the Texas circuit and amateur rodeos.

“Lane needed something to ride,” Thorp said. “And I needed Juice to see the sites again and experience some performances and some noise. When I got back from the rodeos myself, I started relying on him more and more. I’ve been riding him throughout the winter, and he just keeps moving up the ladder on my list now.”

“He’s just one of the horses that wins. Sometimes you want to pick horses apart or get to chasing fanciness, but when it comes down to it, you have to have on that’s a team player or on your team. Ones that aren’t trying to take anything away from you are as good as the ones that have all the stuff. ” — Wesley Thorp on Juiced Up Cat

Thorp and Juice have placed at jackpots big and small—from the Clay Logan Open to the World to the win in the #16.5 Shootout at the USTRC’s Cinch NFTR—racking up $45,129.29 in earnings in just the last few months off the rodeo trail.

Wesley Thorp winning the #16.5 Shootout behind Slade Woods at the 2023 US Finals.
Wesley Thorp winning the #16.5 Shootout behind Slade Woods at the 2023 US Finals. | Andersen/CBarC Photo

“He’s always had a really good style, and he doesn’t let you make mistakes in the run,” Thorp said. “He’s always been a winner. There’s really not much you can fault him on. The only place I can fault him is his speed, but his style is easy. He’s correct through the turn, he’s always on his butt and peddling his front feet. He comes off the steer well, and he lets you place your loop and is easy to dally and finish on and he’s still at the end of the run.” 

Thorp is currently ninth in the world with $35,750 won on the year, and he will start the summer run behind Wade, who’s 30th with $19,290 and ground to make up. TRJ

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