Professional heeler Quinn Kesler qualified for his second Wrangler NFR, but this time on the youngest horse to play a leading role for a team roper this year–a 7-year-old mare. Miss JB 117 “Alice” was born and raised on the JB Quarter Horses Ranch in Texas. Owners Joe and Dee Braman are family friends who have sent Kesler horses to start and rope on over the years.
Kesler got Alice two years ago when she was turning five.
“She was broke pretty good, but almost everyday she’d want to try to buck," Kesler remembers. "She couldn’t buck hard but she’d dang sure try it."
Because of that, her name back then was “Crazy Alice” off of the John Wayne movie, The Cowboys. Kesler rode her in the mountains and on his family’s ranch near Holden, Utah.
“I messed around roping on her right away but then I did a lot of ranch work on her," Kesler said. "The more I rode her, she got less bronc-y. She was pretty dang easy to train. She wanted to be cowy and wanted to do it and could really stop."
Kesler kept roping on her for about a year and was going to nearby jackpots. Then a friend of his, Jade Anderson, needed a horse to rodeo on for the summer so he borrowed her. He rode her at 2017 Wilderness Circuit Finals, too.
When Kesler’s bay horse “Cody” that they raised and trained got hurt in February and he had sold his other horse, Alice got the call.
“She was about all I had," Kesler said. "It needed to work out, and luckily it did."
Kesler is excited to have achieved his goal of qualifying for the NFR and credits Alice.
“She really helped my confidence stay up there and catch enough to make it,” Kesler said.
Alice, who is out of a Paddy’s Irish Whiskey mare, and Kory Koontz’ Mr JB 0839, who is out of NU Bar mare, have the same sire–One Hot Jose.
“I think they’re very similar," Kelser said. "I think they’re both pretty dang tough. I don’t remember having to ever give her any bute or anything over the whole year and I rode her almost everywhere. They both can run plenty and watch a cow."
Also impressive, Alice is one of only five mares to go up and down the road this year and played a big part in a team roper’s success.
“This mare was super great from the start as far as ability," Kesler added after pointing out that he typically rides geldings since his family’s horse program, Double Dollar Livestock, has a higher demand for geldings."If my best one is a mare, then I’m going to ride a mare. Honestly, she’s pretty dang good for a mare. I don’t know of any quirks she has. She’s good to be around. She doesn’t act like a mare very bad hardly ever."
Kesler will ride Alice at the upcoming Wilderness Circuit Finals and then in December at the Thomas and Mack.
“I think she’ll be good,” he said. “She’s got a lot of run and obviously a lot of stop, so I think having enough run is pretty important there to be able to get out and around them quick enough.”