Few other horse markets have stayed consistently as hot as roping. A case can be made that it started when numbered team ropings opened the door for all ability levels. Breakaway is arguably the hottest pro-rodeo event, and now the high-money rope horse futurities are making headlines.
Check out the bloodlines that are consistently showing up in the American Rope Horse Futurity Association results: Peptoboonsmal, Freckles Playboy, Docs Hickory, Shining Spark, Smart Little Lena, Dual Rey and Peppy San Badger … you get the trend.
“Rope horses need a lot of toughness, cow sense, explosive speed, athleticism and willingness to learn,” summarizes Long Pines owner Deb Brown. “That’s basically the same list for reined cow horses.” If you’re unfamiliar with reined cow horse, here’s a good primer.
“If a horse has some degree of reined cow horse training they have skills that really fit roping. Heelers really like the stops and headers like the speed and try,” Deb adds. “We’ve also found that ropers like that they are from horses that spend most of the time on the range.”
A significant number of Long Pines horses have gone for roping. Offspring of Bettin Yer Smart already have a track record.
Smokin The Jay (Bettin Yer Smart x Smokin Hickory Girl) was a winning reined cow horse when Chris Wehling was searching for a new heel horse. Now, the pair have made the pay window routinely, and so has his preteen son. Full brother Yer Brakes R Smokin has taken Brodey Serres to World Series of Team Roping wins, usually in the tough #13.5.
Judges Chambers (Judgemental x Spark Plug Cat) proved that speed plus cow can be a perfect fit for roping. A grandson of both Judge Cash and Shining Spark, this gorgeous gray was sold to Colorado for high school rodeo. But when the daughter turned to other interests, mom picked him to begin their roping careers together.
In 2021, several prospects where purchased by a family in Iowa who train rope and rodeo horses: Yer Reydiant (Bettin Yer Smart x Smart Miss Dual Rey), Bettin On Reminic and Yer Smart Remedy (Bettin Yer Smart x Dox Remilina), Dry White Wine (Bettin Yer Smart x Shiners Spumanti), and ranch horse Bet Ya Shine (Bettin Yer Smart x Spark Plug Cat).