Bo Crutchfield on Big Valley MS Haida and Chris Littlefield on That Bold Pepto CCL connected on four steers in 33.34 seconds to win $61,000 and the first-ever Riata Buckle Handi-High Futurity, one of five $400,000 ropings at the new $2-million event.
Owners of each horse’s sires Seven S Big Valley and Bold And Beautiful will receive $9,420, while the breeder of each horse—James Pettus Bode Jr. on the head horse and Littlefield himself for his heel horse—will receive $4,710 each.
Full results will be posted as soon as they’re available following audit.
“Our first three steers was in the middle of the herd,” Littlefield, 48, a rancher and horse trainer in Henrietta, Texas, said. “We roped them plenty sharp. I’m not going to talk about my position or fundamentals on my short round cow. I remembered the steer from yesterday, and he wasn’t all that good. Today I turned in a little quick, and I kind of had to wait on him. Matter of fact when I dallied, I was thinking, ‘Man I hope that was fast enough.’ I kicked over him a couple jumps.”
For both men, the day was all about the horses. And those horses were connected, too, thanks to Seven S Big Valley. The Riata sire Bold And Beautiful, the daddy to Littlefield’s horse, is by fellow Riata Sire, Seven S Big Valley—the sire to Crutchfield’s mount. Proving that good genetics—paired with some honest-to-God cowboying—can sure make a difference.
“The horses took it as good as they can take it, especially for 5-year-olds” Crutchfield, 37, of Goliad, Texas, said. “A friend of mine bred her mom to my in-laws horse—Seven S Big Valley. I bought her from him, because I was looking for some broodmares to add to our herd. I sold everything I had that was old enough to rope on, so I brought her up in February of this year to come here. I took her to break in steers, her first time I hauled her away from the house, and I sold her. But with the intention I could get her back to rope at the Riata. She’s just been easy to ride.”
“But what he isn’t telling you is that he can do in about three or four months than most people can do in a year,” Littlefield added about his partner and friend Crutchfield.
The horse is owned by Mick O’Brien of O’Brien Ranches in Refugio, Texas.
Littlefield’s horse is owned by the Tequesquite Ranch’s Billy and Lyn Ray, who bought the horse to pasture breed their mares but still send him to Littlefield to rope and ranch on six months at a time. The Rays, who operate Lyn’s great, great-grandfather’s ranch founded in the 1870s, drove from New Mexico to watch their horse at the first team roping they’d ever attended.
“We swap him back and forth between the owner and myself,” Littlefield explained. “She picked him up off the mares and dropped him off in July. I broke him and rode him as a 2-year-old, and she brought him back fall of his 2-year-old year. He’s been at my house six or eight months each year. And that mare, he’s out of a daughter of Peptoboonsmal that I trained and rode.”