November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City
Journal at the World

November 19, 2011

At the World with C.R.

This could be "Smurf's" last World Show.

By AQHA Professional Horseman C.R. Bradley
The American Quarter Horse Journal

Zans Even Parr and AQHA Professional Horseman C.R. Bradley of Collinsville, Texas; owned by Jason L. Layfield of Chesapeake City, Maryland

Zans Even Parr won the senior tie-down roping, and it could be his last world championship. (Journal photo)

November 19

It has been a few days since I’ve been able to blog on here, but here’s what we’ve been up to the last couple days.

On November 16, we competed in the junior tie-down, and senior heading and heeling prelims. I got two horses back in the junior tie-down and one back in the senior heeling, which I was happy with.

We went home that night and worked our horses November 17. I got to play with Cooper, which was great. We scored a lot of cattle and made one run on each horse.

We came back up to OKC yesterday and had a really good finals November 18. “Smurf,” the 23-year-old gelding (Zans Even Parr), won the senior tie-down roping world championship.

He was fantastic. He scored really, really good, caught up pretty quick and he had a great stop. His stop is probably what won it – it was huge. He worked a lot of rope. When I flanked the calf, I took a long time tying him, and Smurf kept the rope tight perfectly and never moved at all – kept it tight the whole time, just like they’re supposed to. He was perfect – like he normally is.

I didn’t know for sure how it was going to go, but when you’re riding Smurf, it doesn’t really surprise you to win. That might just be my last ride on Smurf. He’s 23, and I’m thinking that might be a good way to end it. I love riding him, though, so you never know. Thanks to my client Jason Layfield for letting me ride him here! I think Smurf is going to go back to Jason’s place in Maryland for a while and enjoy some time off after this.

In the junior heeling, I had a really good run on Ms Triple Baron Red, who I’ve had in training for about two years now. I rode her dad, Mr Gold Bucks, at the World Show a few years ago, and we won the tie-down roping prelims on him. She was really good last night. The steer was fighting in the chute, and she had to stand there a long time, but she was great in the box.

There were 22 in the finals because of the shootout, and it took a 221 to get into the top 10. We finished fifth with a 225, which I was really happy with. She deserved it. She scored really good, was great going down the arena, turned really good … she did everything as good as she could do it. It was a really good class – maybe the best I’ve seen here. There were a lot of great horses, so I was very pleased with how we finished.

We’re looking forward to the finals tonight. I’m showing Ms Triple Baron Red and Stylish Shag in the junior tie-down roping, and then I have Gay Wooden Heart and Bowmans Dry Mate in the heeling. “Bobo” is Cooper’s horse, so I’m hoping to do well on him! Cooper is coming down from his grandmother’s house in Stillwater, so he’ll get to see him. Come out and join us for a great night of finals tonight!

November 16

November 15 was the first real day of open preliminary roping competition. We competed in the senior tie-down, junior heading and junior heeling.

"Smurf” (Zans Even Parr) was really good in the senior tie-down. Our goal was to make the finals, so I really wanted to get out of the barrier clean and make a solid run. Smurf was really good in the box. The calf ran a little bit. I had to run him halfway down the arena, but Smurf worked really good. We ended up tied for third, which wasn’t too bad. My goal was just to make the finals and we did, so I’m pretty happy about that.

I also rode Gay Wooden Heart, my Superhorse contender, next. She had a calf that ran really hard, and it didn’t work out too great for us. The calves were pretty good all around, but it just didn’t work for her, and we missed the finals on that one.

I showed next in junior heading. My horse wasn’t bad, but I didn’t get a good face on the run. The timing for the horse show face has to be really precise. She can face better than she did, we just didn’t get our timing quite right. We had a 218, and it took a 220 to get back to the finals. It was a very good junior heading competition – one of the best preliminary rounds I’ve seen. All around, the roping the whole day was tough – the horses were all good here!

In the junior heeling, there were 85 entries. I made a pretty good run – got a little bit of a late start out of the box, but we scored a 220, which qualified us for a new thing they did this year, the shootout.

When there are more than 80 horses in the class, they take the top 15 to the finals, then the next 16-30 come back and run another steer in the shootout. The top five scores out of that go back to the finals. We made a better run the second time – my horse, Miss Triple Baron Red, worked really good. We scored a 224 on that run, got fourth in the shootout and made it back to the finals.

This year was the first time for the shootout deal, and I really liked it. It’s a good thing. The shootout round was as good as the prelims for sure. Everybody made really good runs – maybe even better the second time around. The shootout was fun, and I think it was fun to watch, too. There were a lot of great horses and ropers who really made great run trying to make the top five spots! Roping is one of those things where you have the cow, rider and horse to all factor in. Every run can be different, so having a second chance can really make a difference for everything to come together just right.

I only had one horse in each team roping class, and I got half the horses I showed back yesterday, and that’s pretty good. It’s hard to make the finals here. If you can get half back, you’ve done good. I’d have liked to get more back, but when it’s that tough of competition and that many entries, you have to make a really good run to make it back.

After we got done roping, I went with a client and ate at Cattlemen’s for lunch. Today, we’re roping over in the Performance Arena (Barn 6) starting at 1 today. I have two in each class, the junior tie-down roping, and senior heading and heeling.

After we’re done, we’re going to load up and go home for a couple of days and work the horses that made the finals. I’m excited to see Rosie and Cooper, and to sleep in my own bed for a couple of days before we come back for the finals November 18.

November 15

Well, this is my first blog in a few days. Sorry I got behind. We went home for a few days last week and during the weekend to try and get everything ready for this week. On November 13, I came back to Oklahoma City to move into my stalls and get ready for FedEx Open Week here at the AQHA World Championship Show.

My first event of the week was performance halter mares Sunday afternoon. I was showing Gay Wooden Heart, my Superhorse contender. It’s definitely different than roping! I wasn’t too nervous, and I’d like to do it again. You walk in, walk by all the judges, and then you trot around the corner. They check the horses for lameness, and they look at the profile. Then they line the horses up nose to tail, and each judge looks at every horse. I probably didn’t practice enough for it, but she was decent. I had to wear a coat and tie and slacks.

There’s not a lot more than that to doing halter. You have to get the horse really clean. I did get called off the rail; I was really happy about that. I’m lucky I have a good hand in Bryce Briggs to help me with that stuff!

On November 14, we rode all the horses, gave them baths and cleaned all the saddles. We watched a little of the cow horse competition, too. We’re didn’t do a lot. Today, we show in senior tie-down roping, with Zans Even Parr (Smurf) and Gay Wooden Heart. She’s a world champion junior tie-down horse, and Smurf has won the open tie-down twice and the amateur twice, as well as the heeling. Ms Triple Baron Red is my heading and heeling horse. She’s 5, and she’s really good. She’s owned by Gary Norris. He owned her dad that I showed.

I don’t have a lot of stuff I do to get ready for competition day, but I do always clean my saddles and swing all my ropes to figure out which one feels good. I’m fortunate to have good help here. Bryce helps me out, and one of my owners, Jason, flew in to watch his horse go this week, and he keeps us company.

I got some good news today. One of my sponsors is sending us a set of front and hind boots to use when we haul “Roanie” out to the NFR. I’m excited about that. It’s a really good product, and Roanie deserves all the pampering she could get. Thanks, Debbie!

We’re going home November 16 after we show to work on horses at home and see the family. We come back up November 18, and Rosie and Cooper are coming up that night. That’s pretty much what we do here at the World! We work all day, go out to dinner and go to bed. Some of my favorite places in Oklahoma City are Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill, Texas Roadhouse, On the Border, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse…that’s pretty much it. We don’t do a lot except ride, sleep, take care of the horses and eat. Hopefully we’ll have some updates for you after we get done roping today. Enjoy the World!

November 10

I want to say congrats to Jim Bound for winning both the amateur tie-down roping and breakaway roping on Bound To Whiz. I had the chance to show that horse last year at the World Show – Jim does a good job.

I’ve got a couple more days of practice at home before we go to Oklahoma City for FedEx Open Week. Tuf Cooper came over to rope with me today. He’s riding my world champion mare, “Roanie” (Twisters Enola Gay), at the NFR again this year. He brought a horse that he’s going to show at the World Show next, too. We worked our horses, and I let him pet Roanie. We don’t work her much at home at all. At 19, she knows her job when she gets in the pen. I didn’t let myself practice on her, so he doesn’t get to, either! We’ll probably let him run a couple before Vegas – if he’s lucky.

I ran one today on “Smurf" (Zans Even Parr) today. It was the only calf I’ve run on him since Congress. He’s entered in the open senior tie-down next week and is always a contender. We’ve been exercising him, but he’s pretty much like Roanie when it comes to doing his job. I worked all the rest of my World Show horses today and then came in to play with Cooper before he went to bed.

On November 13, I’ll be showing for my first time in performance halter. That means I have to get dressed up – a jacket and tie and dress pants. Should be interesting!

I’m looking forward to sharing the World Show from my point of view with you over the next week. I hope you have a chance to come out here! It’s a chance to see the best American Quarter Horses in the world, break some records, meet up with old friends and make some new ones, and (my wife says) do a lot of great shopping. I wouldn’t know about that, but I do know it’s the highlight of our year, so come out and join us!

November 8

It’s Bank of America Amateur Week at the AQHA World Championship Show.

I’m not here the whole week, but I did come up for the roping events. I wasn’t in Oklahoma City much longer than just for the roping November 8. I drove up with another trainer, and we both had to get home when it was over. Jim Bound won first, second and third in the prelims in the tie-down roping, which was pretty cool. We’re going to use the same calves that the amateurs roped, and they looked good for next week!

I had one client, Dan Ochs, make the finals in the amateur tie-down roping. I thought the competition was pretty tough. I didn’t get to watch all of it, but what I saw of it, I thought it was really good.

November 9 is the amateur roping finals. Right now, I’m driving back to Oklahoma City from my place in Collinsville, Texas. I went home and worked my horses this morning. It’s nice to be able to live close enough – a little under three hours – that I can drive back and forth. I like to be able to work my horses at home, eat dinner with my family and spend time with my 2-year-old son, Cooper. He’s growing so fast I hate to miss a day! He was very excited to get a new cowboy hat last night. A friend of ours who works at Resistol came out and brought him a cool hat from Charlie One Horse: He looks so cute in it!

Tonight after the amateur finals, I’m taking the horse Dan is showing back home to get her ready for me to show next week. I haven’t had her; he’s had her at his house in Wisconsin, so that’ll give us a couple days to get together before we go back. I’m showing her in the heading next week.

AQHA Professional Horseman C.R. Bradley is an 11-time AQHA world champion and six-time AQHA reserve world champion, as well as a former National Finals Rodeo qualifier. He trains from his facility in Whitesboro, Texas, where he resides with his wife, Rosie, and their son, Cooper. C.R. is sponsored by Cetyl M/Response Products, Oxy-Gen, Bluebonnet Feeds and Classic Equine/Equibrand. To learn more about CR, visit his website at www.crbradley.com .