Best of the Best

Clint Summers’ Mr Joes Shadow Bar is the 2023 Nutrena PRCA/AQHA Head Horse of the Year
Clint Summers' "Joe" is the top head horse in ProRodeo in 2023.
Clint Summers turning a steer for Jake Long in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Clint Summers and Joe turning for Jake Long in Spanish Fork, Utah. | Avid Visual Imagery

The top 25 headers in ProRodeo voted Clint Summers‘ Mr Joes Shadow Bar the 2023 Nutrena PRCA/AQHA Head Horse of the Year, the same year the 2011 gelding won the Head Horse of the BFI title.

Mr Joes Shadow Bar is by Mr Joes Bar Song out of Princess Hailstone by Nick Eyed Cody, and Summers rode him at ‘probably 65 of the 75 rodeos’ he entered this year. Summers is one of the few PRCA competitors who won’t get in an airplane, so “Joe” was in the same rig most of the year up and down the road, the whole way across the country and back more times than most others. Summers has $100,522 won on the year with Jake Long and enters the Finals 13th in the PRCA World Standings.

@teamropingjournal It’s official: 2023 Nutrena Horse of the Year presented by AQHA awards have been determined ‼️ 𝐓𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐑𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐇𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 1. Mr Joes Shadow Bar, “Joe,” ridden by Clint Summers 2. (Tie) Espuela Bro, “Spur,” ridden by Tyler Wade; LR Gatlin, “Colt,” ridden by Nelson Wyatt 𝐓𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐑𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐇𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐇𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 1. Kadabra King, “Turbo,” ridden by Patrick Smith 2. Two Socks Chic Cody, “Garfield,” ridden by Hunter Koch 3. (Tie) Apolo Oak, “Apollo,” ridden by Paul Eaves; TRR Freckles Holidoc, “Cantina,” ridden by Logan Medlin Full stories to follow, thanks to Soft-Ride Equine Comfort Boots, but for now, check out our archives on Joe and Turbo at the #linkinbio ♬ original sound – ginny

“This is pretty special, I’m not going to lie,” three-time NFR qualifier Summers, 32, of Lake City, Florida, said. “I always try to buy the best horses I can, but to win this, it’s cool because Joe deserves it. Joe is so easy going, and he doesn’t ever get excited about anything. When you get in the box, he doesn’t realize anything is going on. He scores so good, and he has the run to go with it. Normally when one has that run, there’s more you have to deal with. But never with Joe.”

Summers bought Joe, who raised by Missouri’s Randy and Treva Smyser, from the iconic rope-horse trainer and fellow NFR switchender J.D. Yates when he got home from his 2022 campaign. After missing the Finals last year, Joe turned things around for Summers in 2023.

“When you ride a horse that good, they’re scared of you,” Yates laughed. “He basically sold himself out there for Horse of the Year. I don’t know another horse that went that much and went to so many rodeo, and that horse was put to the test. And he proved himself. That horse is a freak. A good horse is a good horse. We can study breeding all day long, but it doesn’t matter—he’s just that good without a good explanation.”

Clint Summers turning a steer for Jake Long to win the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo in 2023.
Clint Summers on Joe to win the 2023 Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo. | Avid Visual Imagery

Yates bought Joe in Iowa after seeing him go in the non-pro for his accountant and friend Jim Garren, but after an injury sidelined Garren, Yates went to using him at the circuit rodeos, big jackpots and as a help horse at the horse shows.

“I tell people I have one that good, but they don’t seem to believe it,” Yates said. “It don’t seem like I can sell a horse like that of that caliber. People say, ‘Sure you have one that good.’ But then they see him out there winning, and they know he’s good. When they see the things that horse has done, that’s when they believe it.”

Yates, coincidentally, owned the very first heel horse of the year back in 1989, in his gray heel horse, PacMan, registered as Flits Friend.

Mr Joes Shadow Bar is stacked with Pitzer-Ranch blood, and the Pitzer’s Jim Brinkman isn’t surprised he lasted through the grind of the ProRodeo season.

“That horse is a tough sucker, and most of ours have no quit,” Brinkman said. “That’s an old-style of thinking. We don’t like the ones that have quit in them. We say we like them better in the fourth quarter than the first quarter.”

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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