angle-left Heeler’s Choice: Team Roping Horses

Heeler’s Choice: Team Roping Horses

Ten-time Wrangler NFR qualifier Brady Minor dishes on his top horses, three of the best the team roping industry has ever seen.

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By Julie Mankin for Performance Horse Journal

In the past three decades of honoring AQHA-PRCA Heel Horses of the Year, Brady Minor is only the second heeler to have ridden two different winning horses. Remarkably, the horses were only 5 and 7 years old when Brady got his hands on them. 

He spent 11 years riding CDs Quixote, known as “Dugout,” who was voted the 2011 AQHA-PRCA Heel Horse of the Year. Dugout is by CD Olena and is out of the Doc Quixote daughter Dox Maiden Quixote.

As the seasons piled up for the veteran heel horse, Brady also began readying Rey Shines On Top. By Shiners Lena Rey and out of Kings Sly Sugar, “Rey” was started by Dean Tuftin and packs the strong foundation mare line for which Dean’s DT Horses program is known.

Brady earned $84,000 on the horse in 2012 at the Bob Feist Invitational. Then, in 2013 – his first full season of competition – Rey placed second in the voting for AQHA-PRCA Heel Horse of the Year. Rey Shines On Top won the title outright in 2014 and 2015, and placed third again in the voting in 2016.

Rey easily won Brady’s ballot.

“He’s got plenty of speed, doesn’t run by the corner, stops real straight, is easy to dally on and takes a jerk well,” says his rider.

Only Rich Skelton has had two horses win the prestigious AQHA-PRCA award – Boons Smooth Val, aka “Roany,” (four times) and Pets Ten, aka “Chili Dog” (twice). 

Brady downplays the status his horses have conferred, putting him in company with the eight-time world champion. However, he’s quick to give credit to his mounts.

“Great horses are hard to come by these days, because you can’t really just go out and buy one,” he says. “Maybe I’m picky. I do know I’ve passed on a lot of horses. And I knew these two had potential.

“Dugout was really easy to ride for a long time,” Brady says of the horse he bought from B.J. Campbell. “Jade Corkill won the George Strait Team Roping Classic on him in 2011, so he shined that year.

“And Rey, it has been a stroke of luck that he turned out to be a good one,” Brady acknowledges. 

Unfortunately Rey was sidelined at the end of 2016. Since Travis Woodard was planning to sit out the 2017 season, Brady was able to lease Travis’s good NFR horse, Leos Highbrow, aka “Sug.” Brady won the $100,000 American paycheck on the gelding and now owns Sug. Sug finished third in the AQHA-PRCA Heel Horse of the Year voting in 2017 and 2018.

“I didn’t raise or train him, so I can’t take any credit for him,” says Brady of the horse who came as a youngster from Kyle Crick.  “He’s a real easy, good little horse. Other guys were trying to buy him while I had him leased, so I pulled the trigger, since I didn’t know how much longer Rey would be out.”