The 2023 American Rodeo features some of the best heelers and heel horses in professional team roping.
Paden Bray and Buddy Hawkins will both ride grade horses in their quest for the American Rodeo team roping title, while Tucker White and Junior Nogueira are both on paternal grandget of Peptoboonsmal.
American Rodeo Heel Horse Bloodlines:
Junior Nogueira & Kiehnes Frosty Pepto
Nogueira will be back on Timon for The American, the horse he considers his No. 1. Timon is the gelding Nogueira won the 2021 PRCA world title aboard and whom he rode the first half of the 2022 Finals.
Patrick Smith & Kadabra King
“Turbo” is the reigning 2022 PRCA Heel Horse of the Year, and the horse Smith won the 2022 NFR average (and set the record) aboard.
Jade Corkill & Sixes Posse
“Champ” came from Clay O’Brien Cooper and has been Corkill’s rock. He got hurt at The American in 2021, but the 18-year-old is back for a shot at the 2023 title.
Buddy Hawkins & X
Hawkins will, of course, be on X, his signature grade heel horse gelding aboard whom he won the 2022 American Rodeo championship.
Levi Lord & Zoomin Diamond Prom
Lord is stoked about Birdie, the horse he bought from Jake Minor that he’s had wild success on since 2022. It’s the horse that lets him go fast behind Dustin Egusquiza, but at The American we’ll see him once again behind JR Dees.
Jake Long & The Star Pepto
The Star Pepto—CJ—came from Trevor Kirchenschlager and has filled the void left by the semi-retirement of Long’s great Horse of the Year Colonel. He’s been Long’s No. 1 for the last three years, and he’s who Long rode to win the Contender Finals as well.
Jeremy Buhler & Knight Robber Son
Buhler’s Knight Robber Son—a.k.a. Hoss—has been absolutely key to the success Buhler’s had in the last few years with Rhen Richard. From Bucky Campbell, Hoss has allowed Buhler wins at Salinas and Pendleton.
Paul Eaves & JM Bourbon Gilligan
Eaves’ 8-year-old mare “Bourbon,” helped him pull off this heel shot in The Contender Finals on Thursday and will be back in Globe Life Field on Saturday.
Tucker White & JC Bumpy Rocket
Paden Bray & John Wick
John Wick’s been a part of Bray’s practice string for a while, but in 2023 he’s stepping up to first string.