The Good Ones

Yates’ New Superstar ‘Marlboro Cat’ Pulls Double Duty in Ponoka for Nogueira Win, Leads Mandan
TCross Ranch-raised Marlboro Cat is winning big over Cowboy Christmas.
Junior Nogueira
Ponoka Stampede Finals Monday, July 1, 2024 | Jeremy Wombold Photo

The jury is still out on the top earning team ropers over the Fourth-of-July run, but one heel horse is out front as one of the top-earning mounts as of July 3: Trey Yates‘ Marlboro Cat.

On Marlboro Cat, Yates won $14,390 for third at the Ponoka Stampede, and Nogueira jump-rode the horse in the final two rounds to get the win and pick up $8,000 of his $17,131 weekend. Yates, behind Jake Cooper Clay, is also winning Mandan, North Dakota, with a 4.4, and he was 4.9 at Red Lodge, Montana.

“He’s just a winner,” Yates said. “My dad saw something in him, and this winter I made my mind up that’s what I was going to ride, and I rode him pretty well everywhere. He takes the hauling well, and he’s just good.”

Marlboro Cat is a 10-year-old gelding raised by TCross Ranches, by Cowtowns Cat out of Charmin Melody by Charmin Jose. J.D. Yates showed Marlboro Cat to win the ARHFA Sun Circuit in the heeling back in 2020, worth $8,750, earlier this year Trey won the Heel Horse of the BFI Bronze on the gelding.

Yates and Marlboro Cat at the 2024 BFI | Andersen/CBarC Photography

The chestnut gelding is an adjustment for Yates, though, who spent most of his career on his signature bay 2006 gelding, Romancing The Chics. “Dude” is the horse Yates won the 2018 NFR average title aboard, but he’s been recovering from an injury since halfway through 2023.

“Nobody will compare to Dude,” Yates said. “If I can make the Finals, I’ll ride him there and that will be it.”

It’s been on Marlboro Cat that Yates has placed along all of 2024, and as of July 4 inside the top 15 in the PRCA world standings with $43,254.75, not including the money he won in Ponoka or any rodeos yet to end over the Fourth.


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