by Tara ChristiansenThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman C.R. Bradley of Collinsville, Texas, won the senior tie-down roping on 23-year-old Zans Even Parr at the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show. (Journal photo)
Zans Even Parr was no spring chicken when he won the senior tie-down roping back in 2008 at the AQHA World Championship Show.
“He’s got a lot of heart,” says AQHA Professional Horseman C.R. Bradley of the 1988 sorrel gelding bred by Joan Crews Hoyt of San Angelo, Texas. “He’s been a great horse forever.”
Forever is right – the son of Zan Parr Bar and who is out of Dusty Foot by Moon Fox won his first world championship in junior heeling in 1992, and he’s racked up quite a few more between then and his most current world title, senior tie-down roping at the 2011 AQHA World Show.
“He was great,” says C.R. of Collinsville, Texas. “He stopped so hard, and that’s what he’s best at – he’s so honest. We scored really good, the stop was just amazing. As hard as he stops, he really gets back.”
In 20 years of competition, “Smurf” has racked up 375 points in tie-down roping, 175 points in heeling and 68.5 in heading, plus he’s shown in everything from halter to working cow horse, team penning to barrel racing. His World Show earning’s totaled $23,725.66 prior to the 2011 event. All of Smurf’s accomplishments are too numerous to list, but it goes without saying that seven world championships and one reserve speak highly of a decorated career.
C.R. had been taking it easy this year on the veteran rope horse, who is owned by Jason Layfield of Chesapeake City, Maryland.
“I think I showed him in Fort Worth, (Texas), and we did good there. I think there and Battle in the Saddle were the only two places I showed him,” C.R. says. “He spent some time back with my mom in Indiana this year and had some rest and she rode. He didn’t get roped on – I bet you he didn’t run 20-30 calves all year, so he’s had it pretty easy.”
The win on November 18 marked the beginning of Smurf’s gradual retirement.
“We won the world (three) years ago,” C.R. recalls. “I won the last two Battle in the Saddle (tie-down ropings) on him … He won a lot more before I ever got to ride him.
“I’m just (thankful) for having the honor to get to ride him. He’s been a great horse for forever. He’s 23 and I think that might be my last run on him.”
Life will be pretty sweet for Smurf, says C.R.
“He’s going back to his owner, Jason Layfield, back to Maryland, so hopefully it’s not too cold for him,” C.R. laughs. “(Jason will) still run him, but I think that’ll be my last run on him.”
C.R. has several people to thank for his success, but there’s one in particular who was essentially to the win.
“My wife, Rosie, all of my sponsors,” C.R. starts, “and the horse, especially.
“I started riding him when he was 20 … I’m glad to get to.”