The best 15 headers in ProRodeo in 2023 got to this year’s Wrangler National Finals Rodeo on the backs of some of the best head horses in team roping, and the pedigrees of the best rope horses in the world are as diverse as the setups in the sport. In our fifth year, here’s our list of the head horses that carried the top 15 headers in the world to the NFR.
Analysis on 2023 NFR Head Horse Pedigrees:
- There are four mares on the list, with Kaleb Driggers riding Runnin In Stilettos (who came from Garrett Tonozzi, and now owned by Jake Cooper), Erich Rogers nearly exclusively riding Popular And Famous, Jake Cooper Clay borrowing Brenten Hall’s RR Smoken Drift and Luke Brown subbing in DDD Miguelssmartbusy throughout the summer. In 2022, only three mares made the Finals, so that’s up one in 2023.
- The average age of the head horses on the list is 13.2—exactly the same average age as the top 15 head horses in 2022.
- Kaleb Driggers leads the heading standings with $160,185 won, and he rode at least nine horses this year at official PRCA rodeos.
- Shake Em Tanquerygin, owned by Driggers, is the only futurity head horse on the list.
- Our favorite horse name on this year’s list? Marcus Theriot’s gelding Guys Can Turn N Burn. Because we’d really like to see Theriot try (and rumor is, there’s actual footage).
- For the second straight here, no sire or dam has two horses on this list.
- Who’s riding straight run? Driggers when he rode Runnin In Stilettos and BHR Super Shake (owned by Riley Minor, who bought him from Driggers who bought him from Chad Masters); Coleman Proctor on Mabee Jessy Can; Andrew Ward on RLJ Cashnczechtafame and Cole E Man; Clay Smith’s Flinty; and both of Brown’s horses, DM Jet Off and DDD Miguelssmartbusy. The “straight run” numbers are up dramatically from past years.
- High Brow Cat is the paternal grandsire of Uno Amarallio Gato owned by Nelson Wyatt, Raisedabobcat ridden by Driggers and DCC Colonel Cat ridden by Tanner Tomlinson.
- Dual Pep is the maternal grandsire of Raisedabobcat owned by Drigger and paternal grandsire of Popular And Famous owned by Erich Rogers.
- Frenchmans Guy is the maternal grandsire to Theriot’s Guys Can Turn N Burn and paternal grandsire to Driggers‘ (actually Minor’s) BHR Super Shake.
All 2023 NFR Head Horse Pedigrees:
1. Kaleb Driggers, $160,185.89
Raisedabobcat, 12-year-old gelding
Runnin In Stilettos, 11-year-old mare
Shake Em Tanquerygin, 6-year-old gelding
Stylakid, 18-year-old gelding
Fin Bar Whiskey One, 13-year-old gelding
Chics Like Hickey, 8-year-old gelding
Remis Gays on Ofadoc, 16-year-old gelding
BHR Super Shake, 11-year-old gelding
WSR Hesa Alive, 19-year-old gelding
2. Tyler Wade, $154,941.67
Espuela Bro, 16-year-old gelding
3. Nelson Wyatt, $145,083.21
LR Gatlin, 14-year-old gelding
Uno Amarallio Gato, 12-year-old gelding
4. Dustin Egusquiza, $138,347.99
Cajun Treat, 12-year-old gelding
JE Shining Rowdy, 13-year-old gelding
5. Derrick Begay, $138,115.41
Caseys Glory, 13-year-old gelding
DISCLAIMER: Submitted as Derrick’s horses’ papers by JW Todd.