Billie Jack Saebens rode Macho Man Whiz for his bosses at Dixon Flowers Quarter Horses to the first American Rope Horse Futurity Association heeling title in 2017 as a 4-year-old. This year, Macho Man is better than ever and ready to defend his title while Saebens also tries his luck on seven other horse in Fort Worth, too.
Is Macho Man even better than last year?
He's gotten really good. When this futurity is over, I'm going to take him to every single jackpot I can. The only thing is, he's just learned to rub his mane out–I might have to roach it. He's gotten really solid. I expect a better showing this year than last year. As long as I can do my job, he's a really good chance.
What do you expect from the other horses you're bringing?
Four of the five we own that I'm showing, I showed last year, so they were far along. Lane Reeves—he ropes good and has been working for me for three years—he maintains them, and knows to not do too much. I've got a 4-year-old I started before I left this summer, and he wasn't very far along, and I didn't think he'd be ready. But I got home and he was pretty dang good so I entered him too.
The horse I won third on last year, called Nu Jersey, that's a really good horse. I sold that horse to a guy named Bruce Morris in South Texas after the futurity last year with the condition to show him again this year. That horse is really good. Obviously Macho Man–he'll do good. I've got a sorrel mare, too, that I took to California. I've got another 4-year-old named Old Crow Whizkey by Whiskey N Diamonds and out of a mare named Gallo Del Cash that's pretty dang good. I've never rode him anywhere but by the house. I bought him last winter, and he's got a good chance at the 4-year-old incentive for sure. There's a grey we sold that I'm going to show, too, that is a really good horse and will show really well.
Do your mares come along at the same speed as your geldings?
The mare I'll show, I've been riding for two years. It's taken longer to get her solid. She's never really bad, but she's only great on three out of five. The geldings are a little dumber or quieter or something. They relax and come to their pattern faster. The mare, the whole 'mare' things you have to deal with, it's taken me a long time to get that figured out. If she comes into heat or whatever, you never know what she's going to be like.
Do you have any favorite bits we can expect to see on most of your horses?
I'm going to use those Daryl Davis corrections. I really like them a lot. I ride a couple in a hackamore, that I don't even know who made them. I got them through JD—but most of the time, I'm riding in the Daryl Davis corrections.
Are your customers enthusiastic about spending money on this new venture for their horses?
A lot of people are excited about it. People can go down there, pay $1,500, win $20,000, versus the AQHA where it's an expensive, year-long process. It's a big deal. It's not such a constant, all-year deal. A lot more people are starting to get involved. I've had people calling that have colts, 2 and 3-year-olds, who are starting a breeding program with the idea of showing their horses at the futurity. I was reading that deal you guys did with the NFR horses' papers, and you said their average age was 13. After this deal, I'm curious to see what the papers of NFR horses will look like in say 10 years. Maybe you will start to see people breeding specifically for a rope horse. At least now there's a little bit of a way to get your money back. Otherwise you'd try to just get lucky as a jackpotter.