The Team Roping Journal Breeder’s Guide, like you’ve never seen it before.
The rope horse breeding game is the next frontier of the Western industry, and never has there been more opportunity and more passion for making good head and heel horses. From legendary programs to new players spurred into the sport by booming incentive opportunities, rope horse breeders are offering stand-out stallions and prospects eligible for millions of new dollars in earnings each year. Breeding to stallions in this guide or buying prospects from these programs will all but guarantee your chance to win more money than ever before in team roping.
Welcome to the Future: The Team Roping Journal Breeder’s Guide
When The Team Roping Journal launched in September 2017, it did so with 12 pages dedicated to the rope horse breeding and training programs our staff deemed critical to growth on the horse side of the industry.
We touted the horses as quickly becoming more critical than ever, with the Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale payout topping $10 million at the time. That was a month before the first American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s World Championships turned all those heads in Fort Worth, so we weren’t really even thinking about the young horse side of the business as its own separate financial engine. We never dreamed that some five years later, we’d be talking about a $16.1-million Finale, on the heels of a $2-million stallion incentive-based event in the November 2022 Riata Buckle.
You see, in 2018, we started tracking the names of the horses the best in the world rode at the National Finals Rodeo. That was a massive undertaking, because, at the time, plenty of those guys didn’t know where their horse papers were, while others rode grade horses—or horses they made grade by never keeping track of their papers.
By 2019, Trevor Brazile had retired, and he was thinking of riding some futurity horses to see if that would fit his competitive needs and fuel his fire. He agreed, at the same time, to come on as a columnist with our magazine, letting TRJ be the place he shared his horse-training process on these young ones. That year, it got a lot easier to round up those NFR horse pedigrees, and it’s gotten easier and easier every year since.
And by 2020, we decided it was time to dip our toes into the breeding market, with a small Breeder’s Guide. That issue had 18 studs or programs, most of whom you’ll still find in our now 115+ page Breeder’s Guide, filled with 76 programs highlighting the cream of their crops and the stallions who produce them.
We partnered with the American Quarter Horse Association in December 2022, delivering round-by-round pedigree information to AQHA’s QData software during the National Finals Rodeo, so, for the first time, QData has available a rope horse’s NFR earnings.
Meanwhile, you probably saw the announcement that the Riata Buckle is now partnering with the Ariat World Series of Team Roping, the U.S. Team Roping Championships and National Team Roping to bring this whole deal full circle—from the breeders to the pros to the recreational ropers that make up 98% of the industry, the horse business is a whole new world of opportunity.