World Championship Ranch Rodeo: November 7

The good ranch horses on display at the WRCA Youth Cow Horse Championship are helping make tomorrow’s cowboys and cowgirls.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

The youth championship is sponsored by AQHA and is held during the World Championship Ranch Rodeo every November in Amarillo.

TRR Smoking Pep strides confidently into the arena like he knows he’s doing something important.

And he definitely is, according to Mary Ann and John Luedecke, who manage the Working Ranch Cowboys Association Youth Cow Horse Championship. The streak-faced bay gelding – as well as the other horses who competed in the junior division of the youth show on Friday – are, in fact, carrying the future of the ranching industry.

The youth championship is sponsored by AQHA and is held during the World Championship Ranch Rodeo every November in Amarillo.

It’s open to youth, 12 and under and 13-17, who are associated with ranch teams that qualified for the WCRR, as well as to the winners of each age group at Alpine, Texas’ Big Bend Ranch Rodeo. The youth cow horse show actually originated at the Alpine ranch rodeo, which is why that event is retained as the only qualifying event.

If the limit of 15 entries per age division isn’t reached with those kids, then entries are opened up to anyone.

“It has to be the family’s horse,” Mary Ann says.” It has to be owned by the immediate family or the ranch that that family works on. That’s what we’re encouraging.”

The idea is that the kids are the ones who put in work on their own horses.

“It’s the process that makes the horse, and in turn it makes the kid,” Mary Ann says. “I think it engages them, keeps them on the straight and narrow, keeps them out of trouble, because it’s not something that comes easy. You’ve got to work at it.”

Mary Ann – elected just a few days ago as a justice of the peace in her home county of Jeff Davis County, Texas – especially loves to see kids on the path to becoming good, solid citizens. 

John says he and Mary Ann also enjoy seeing the names of up-and-comers in the Ranch Horse Association of America.

“A lot of them are kids that started with us here,” John says, “or we’ve watched them come up through the ranks here.”

No doubt, Brazos Roberts is going to be one to watch.

He and TRR Smoking Pep won the junior division of the youth cow horse championship, doing a fine job of representing their home ranch, Tongue River Ranch of Paducah, Texas.

Brazos’ dad, T.J., manages the ranch, and his mom, Kristin, home schools  Brazos and his two siblings, who are also competing in the ranch horse show (as is T.J.).

“Brazos, he goes with T.J. all the time,” Kristin says. “They help wean and brand, and they do a lot of team roping here lately. The boys get to go all the time, since we’re home.  They get to do what dad does, every day. They have a good time.”

It sounds like heaven for a 9-year-old cowboy.

“It’s wonderful,” Kristin says. “Not many kids get to do that anymore. We are definitely blessed to live that lifestyle, and Tongue River has the best people in the world to grow up around.  They learn a lot that school doesn’t give them; they learn a lot out there on the ranch.”

Brazos, a polite young man, is a good example of that.

“Big Boy, he really minds me really good. He listens to me,” he says. “He used to be Tom (Moorhouse’s) horse; he used to be the manager there.”

Kristin knows how lucky her kids are to be able to ride horses bred and owned by the Zoetis-AQHA Best Remuda-winning Tongue River Ranch.

“Brazos has enjoyed him,” she says of Big Boy, the big bay who’s helping raise the next generation of ranchers.

Journal Coverage of the World Championship Ranch Rodeo

  • November 9 – Some Colorado cowboys come out on top, with the help of cowy American Quarter Horses at the World Championship Ranch Rodeo.
  • November 8 – This event offers AQHA a great chance to honor ranch horses and their breeders – and cultivate some new cowboys and -girls.
  • November 7 – The good ranch horses on display at the WRCA Youth Cow Horse Championship are helping make tomorrow’s cowboys and cowgirls.
  • November 6 – Top ranch horses come to town for the 2014 World Championship Ranch Rodeo.