Twice As Nice

Turbo Tops Again: Patrick Smith’s Kadabra King Wins 2023 Nutrena Heel Horse of the Year Title
The top 25 heelers in the world voted Patrick Smith's Turbo as the best in the game in 2023.
Patrick Smith heeling steer Cody Wyoming Rodeo
Smith pulls back to win the 2023 Cody (Wyoming) Stampede with a 4.6-second run on Kadabra King, his two-time PRCA/AQHA Heel Horse of the Year. | Hailey Rae Photo

For the second straight year, two-time World Champion heeler Patrick Smith’s Kadabra King is the PRCA’s Nutrena Heel Horse of the Year presented by the AQHA, having carried Smith to his 14th Wrangler National Finals Rodeo at No. 8 in the PRCA world standings with $118,706 in 2023 earnings.

Smith’s Kadabra King is a 13-year-old gelding by Abrakadabracre out of the Holidoc mare Quixote Jessie, raised by the South Point Hotel & Casino owners Michael and Paula Gaughan, with training by NCHA Hall of Fame Cookie Banuelos, WPRA World Champion Hope Thompson and Ben Gambrell.

Smith’s Full Program ONLY on

“I want to give God the glory for letting me be the privileged owner of this horse, and I’m extremely grateful that I have him,” Smith, 43, of Lipan, Texas, said. “He was a handful the first couple years—he wanted to buck every time. He’s a character. But when it comes to rodeo, he’s all business in every situation he gives me a chance to win. He means the world to me and my family, and I’m extremely grateful and honored to have him and to have a horse that can get this award two years in a row.”

On “Turbo”, Smith set the NFR aggregate record in route to the 2022 NFR average title and the reserve PRCA world title behind Junior Nogueira. In 2023, Turbo went to most every rodeo with Smith, winning nearly every penny of Smith’s earnings on the year, including a win at the Cody (Wyoming) Stampede over the Fourth of July, a win at Nephi, Utah’s Ute Stampede and Elko and Nevada’s Silver State Stampede. Fully one fifth of Smith’s runs in 2023 were under 4.5 seconds, with his catch percentage at 74% behind Tanner Tomlinson.

Kadabra King Patrick Smith Pedigree

“This is an extremely prestigious award,” Smith added. “And I want to thank everybody who voted for him. They’re competitors and they’re friends of mine, and I appreciate them for having the respect for Turbo and voting for him. Turbo has meant the world to me, keeping my career alive. Roping with Tanner, and having a horse that’s fast enough to be behind somebody who can reach the way that Tanner does, is definitely what’s kept my career moving in the direction it’s been the last couple years.”

Turbo got his first big win at the Wildfire Open to the World way back in 2017, when Smith heeled for second-partner Aaron Tsinigine and split the roping and the $100,000 payday with Kaleb Driggers and Junior Nogueira. But the horse didn’t really get his shot at the big leagues again until Smith’s great stallion WSR Hesa Dunofa Lena got hurt in 2021, and Turbo got the chance to step up. Since then, Smith has barely gotten off of him, riding WSR Hesa Dunofa Lena only at Mandan, Killdeer and Belle Fourche (all to paychecks) in 2023.

Since the start of the 2022 NFR, Smith has won $257,940 on Turbo—money tracked in QData through Top-Tier Reporting. While the AQHA’s earnings database QData has been around for decades (previously as Robin Glenn Pedigrees), rope horses only joined the fold outside the futurity and horse show space starting with the 2022 Finals. That money makes Turbo the all-time leading rope horse earner at present, with Wesley Thorp’s Juiced Up Cat leading the 2023 season with $126,620 in earnings (not including the final rodeo of the season in Sioux Falls.)

Full 2023 Nutrena ProRodeo Horse of the Year Results

Team Roping Header

  1. Mr Joes Shadow Bar, “Joe,” ridden by Clint Summers – owned by Clint Summers
  2. (Tie) Espuela Bro, “Spur,” ridden by Tyler Wade– owned by Tyler and Jessi Wade
    LR Gatlin, “Colt,” ridden by Nelson Wyatt – owned by Nelson Wyatt

Team Roping Heeler

  1. Kadabra King, “Turbo,” ridden by Patrick Smith– owned by Patrick and Christi Smith
  2. Two Socks Chic Cody, “Garfield,” ridden by Hunter Koch – owned by Hunter Koch
  3. (Tie) Apolo Oak, “Apollo,” ridden by Paul Eaves– owned by Paul Eaves
    TRR Freckles Holidoc, “Cantina,” ridden by Logan Medlin – owned by Logan Medlin

Steer Roping

  1. Son of a Glow, “Junior,” ridden by Slade Wood – owned by Slade Wood
  2. JS Frosty Badge Badger, “Goose,” ridden by Scott Snedecor – owned by Scott Snedecor
  3. Mesquitewood, “San Antone,” ridden by Cody Lee – owned by Cody Lee

Steer Wrestling

  1. EDS Famous Bar, “Eddie,” ridden by Dalton MasseyTanner MilanStephen CullingRyan ShuckburghCurtis Cassidy, Mike McGinn, J.D. Struxness – owned by Tanner Milan
  2. Dashin Haze, “Tyson,” ridden by Jesse BrownDakota EldridgeKyle IrwinCurtis Cassidy – owned by Curtis Cassidy
  3. Be Dun By Three, “Benz,” ridden by Clayton Hass, Ty EricksonWill Lummus – owned by Clayton Hass

Tie-Down Roping

  1. Stylish Bugsy, “Bugsy,” ridden by Shane HancheyCaleb Smidt, and Hunter Herrin – owned by Shane Hanchey
  2. Chuchara Sal, “Sally,” ridden by Ty Harris, Joel Braden Harris – owned by Ty Harris
  3. Seven S Tomahawk, “Smoke,” ridden by Haven Meged – owned by Haven Meged

Barrel Racing

  1. Fame Fire Rocks, “Poprocks,” ridden by Taycie Matthews – owned by Mission Ranch LLC
  2. Jets Top Gun, “Benny,” ridden by Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi – owned by Busby Quarter Horses
  3. Fiery Miss West, “Missy,” ridden by Jessica Routier – owned by Gary A. Westergren

Breakaway Roping

  1. No Wimpy Turns, “Onna,” ridden by Shelby Boisjoli – owned by Shelby Boisjoli
  2. Kits Tiana Play, “Little Man,” ridden by Kelsie Domer – owned by Kelsie Domer
  3. Baybe Bullet, “Baybe,” ridden by Joey Williams– owned by Taylor and Joey Williams

Pickup Man

  1. Baby Hes Hot, “Baby,” ridden by Tyler Kraft – owned by Tyler Kraft
  2. Buckle Set, “Wiggles,” ridden by Josh Edwards – owned by Josh Edwards
  3. DriftersDocsClay, “Bay,” ridden by Tommy Pettit – owned by Tommy Pettit

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