Paul Eaves Bids Farewell to Career-Making Horse Cadillac
Paul Eaves Cadillac
Paul Eaves and Cadillac ride out of the arena at the 2012 NFR. | Hubbell Rodeo Photos

Paul Eaves started his career with a signature gray gelding named Cadillac, and September 14, 2023— 11 years after Eaves and Cadillac made their first Finals together—the Missouri heeler and his family said goodbye to the horse that shaped Eaves’ early career.

At 25, Cadillac was struggling to get around, Eaves said, so when he came home from the rodeo road after the Pendleton Roundup in mid-September, Eaves decided to let Cadillac go with dignity at home before winter hit.

“He never put me in a bad spot,” Eaves said. “He never took my throw away. He wasn’t perfect for everybody, but I’ve come to appreciate how great he was for me then. All these years later, I really understand how much a horse like Cadillac made my job easy and how lucky I was to have him. He meant so much to my wife, my kids, my parents and me.”

Paul Eaves Cadillac
Paul Eaves on Cadillac at the 2012 NFR behind Dustin Bird. | Hubbell Rodeo Photos

Eaves rode the horse registered as Easy Blue Fork from the time he lived at Allen Bach’s in his teens.

Shot Branham started the gelding and sold him to Bach. Eaves kept his eye on Cadillac, and finally took out a big loan to buy him from Trey Whiteman in 2009. 

“The thing that stands out most to me is that, when I bought him, he cost a bunch,” Eaves said. “Three or four days later, I went to the US Finals and paid for him that first week I had him.” 

Indeed, Eaves placed third in both the US Open and #15 Shootout for a $36,000 haul on Cadillac that week. The gelding just kept getting better with age. In 2012, he took Eaves to the Canadian Finals Rodeo and National Finals Rodeo. It was a rich 10-year-ride for this pair. Since 2017, Cadillac enjoyed his days turned out in Millsap, Texas, in the pasture with a couple of mares he was very protective of.

Truth is, Eaves could have probably injected a stifle on the great heel horse and used him some more, but he didn’t want to do that. Cadillac was responsible for most of the first million dollars Eaves earned in his career. TRJ

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