Getting Ima Dualin Cowboy and Douglas Rich to the pay window at the first-ever Roping Futurities of America High Stakes Heeling was a team effort for a group of National Finals Rodeo-qualifying friends.
Two-time World Champion Paul Eaves owned the 4-year-old gelding and the slot in the High Stakes event, while NFR header Coy Rahlmann had bought and put most of the heeling training on the horse. Rahlmann’s ProRodeo partner Rich hopped on the horse after the Finals this year, putting the finishing touches on him to prepare him for the Futurity, where Rahlmann spun the steers to get the job done.
The end result was an event-best time of 25.54 seconds on four head, worth $27,000 in the Abilene, Texas-futurity put on Feb. 2, 2022, by Dillon and Latricia Mundorf, the first major futurity of its kind without judges and with winners determined based solely on time.
“We were 6 on our first one, and our second some kind of 7,” Rich said. “Our third one was real good and loped. Coy nailed the barrier and we were 5.0. We come back on the short round second callback, and had to be just 9-something to go to the lead and had a good steer and went 6 again. We were just making good, normal jackpot runs.”
Rahlmann, for his part, knew exactly how to spin the steers for the horse, because he’d been the one heeling on him for the last 12 months.
“I knew that horse was finished enough to take whatever you can give him,” Rahlmann said. “With it being a normal time jackpot, and all the good guys here, I treated it like a normal aggressive jackpot runs. We didn’t have to be that fast to take the lead, but high call was close to us. I was just giving him normal jackpots spins so I didn’t have to help my partner bandaid it any.”
Rahlmann originally bought Ima Dualin Cowboy from the same people he got the sorrel and roan horses he rode throughout the ProRodeo season, and the same people he, Eaves and Rich have all ridden plenty of horses from over the years: Illinois’ Eric Myers and Tim Glasco.
“They’re all good, solid horses,” Rich said. “They don’t really do nothing bad. They make good, solid horses, and they’re very useful horses.”
Myers and Glasco raised and started the colt, and Rahlmann bought him and went to heeling on him pretty quickly at the start of his 3-year-old year.
“I always buy their colts and mess around with them to make a little money,” Rahlmann said. “I bought him, and I was heeling steers to give him a job and have some fun. I didn’t have a secret to the training—he’s just had more of it than any other horse there. We went and roped every day at Paul’s since he was an early 3-year-old. He was one of the most finished because he’d had so much of it.”
Eaves had shoulder surgery in early December, but had been watching the horse go for a year. He’d committed to the slot in the Roping Futurities of America High Stakes Heeling, but he sold all his colts when he went in for surgery.
“I rode him 10 minutes and didn’t rope on him, and decided I wanted him,” Eaves said. “I just wanted to get a few good ones back again. So watching the futurity, I was driving all day, and I felt like a cutting horse owner watching the NCHA Finals. I was so nervous.”
It was Eaves’ horse that Rich rode to an average placing and go-round win at his first NFR this past December behind Rahlmann, so it was fitting that Rich could jockey Eaves’ colt to a big payday in return. Not to mention, the win helped Rahlmann’s heeling training cred.
“I’ll give Coy the credit,” Rich joked. “He was so pumped that horse done good because he come from him. He had a little to do with it, you could say, and he was the one helping me.” TRJ