Proving Themselves in Fort Worth

Jordan Williams and Kuki Sioux come out strong at the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge during the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The American Quarter Horse Journal


With $15,000 in added money on the line, a new rider stepped forward to claim some money and make his coach proud in Fort Worth, Texas.

On January 14, Jordan Williams of Rhome, Texas, rode Kuki Sioux to first place in the marquee open 4-year-old class during the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge presented by Bar G Feedyards at the Fort Worth Livestock Show & Rodeo.

“It was pretty exciting,” Jordan said. “It’s the first time I’ve been able to show this horse.” AQHA Professional Horseman Bozo Rogers of Rhome had been training Kuki Sioux for owners Wes and Sarah Williams of Dove Creek Ranch in Rhome, but back surgery in December sidelined him and put Jordan in the saddle.

“It was a great opportunity for me to get to show a horse like this,” Jordan said. “It’s obviously the best horse that I’ve ever ridden. It was really neat. I wish (Bozo) could have been here to be part of it. But to be able to ride under him for two and a half years and to come here and follow him on such a good horse and be successful – it was a warm feeling for me.”

Kuki Sioux is a 2012 sorrel gelding by A Shiner Named Sioux and out of Kuki by Cats Merada. He was bred by Ranching Heritage Breeder Wagonhound Land and Livestock LLC of Douglas, Wyoming.

“I’d been schooling the horse quite a bit lately, and at the beginning of this week, it was just one of those feelings: This horse is ready to go,” Jordan said. “So really I rode in there and wasn’t nervous at all. I expected the horse to be pretty good. He took care of me. Thank goodness for that, because when you’re riding one that good, I try not to think. That’s when you get in trouble – at least that’s what I’ve experienced.”

In a class filled with top trainers who brought their first-string cow horses, Jordan concentrated on staying steady and going calmly from one maneuver to the next.

“(Bozo’s) main concern was he wanted me to get the horse shown quietly,” Jordan said. “He didn’t want me to get on the horse trying to prove something. He’s been coaching me for two and a half years. Even when I show, I hear him in the back of my head. Without him coaching me along, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”’

“Kuki” responded to that steady approach.

“He doesn’t get excited,” Jordan said. “He’s an old man stuck in a young horse’s body. He’s something else.”

Wes and Sarah bought Kuki in December 2014 at a Wagonhound production sale.

“We thought he was a really good-looking horse, a real level-headed horse,” Wes said. “We bought two horses up there, and they delivered them to us this week last year.”

Kuki’s next stop will be the National Reined Cow Horse Association Derby in February, but his ultimate destination is the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championship Show, because Wes and Sarah really appreciate a versatile horse.

“Everything is geared for versatility,” Jordan said. “That’s what Bozo’s been hauling him for and we’d like to see it finished, for him and for all of us at Dove Creek Ranch.”

Open 5/6-Year-Old

In three years of competing at the Ranching Heritage Challenge at Fort Worth, Royal Smart Fletch has never been beaten.

In his last year of eligibility for the 5/6-year-old class, the stallion proved himself again, once more with Boyd Rice of Perryton, Texas, in the saddle.

“I’ve never lost on this horse here (in Fort Worth),” Boyd said. “I did at Reno. He’s a good horse. He’s real quick – he’s just a good horse. He does all the events good.”

In the working ranch horse class at the challenges, riders perform a short reining pattern, then box a cow at one end of the arena before working it both ways down the long side of the fence, and then roping and stopping it. They get scores for the dry work, the fence work and the roping that are added together for a final score.

“It was perfect (today),” Boyd said. “He was good in the reining, perfect down the fence and then the roping. He’s just good everywhere. He’s settled, and he lets me do whatever I want to do.”

Royal Smart Fletch is a 2010 sorrel stallion by Royal Fletch and out of Little Smart Ginger by Smart Little Lena. He was bred and is owned by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders Kit and Charlie Moncrief of Fort Worth, Texas.

Boyd said the stallion’s next stop will be the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman.

Brown Day

It was Brown Day at the challenge as Lanham Brown and Myles Brown placed first and second, respectively, in the cowboy class, Amanda Brown won the youth boxing class, and Lydia Brown won the limited amateur division. All of them were riding horses bred by the Rob A. Brown Ranch of Stinnett, Texas.

Lanham won on RAB Go Pep Hancock, a 2005 sorrel gelding.

“This is my older horse, ‘Frito,’” Lanham said. “I gave him three months off this fall and came back and rode him a little bit. He’s better when I’m not training on him, I guess. He was good today. I’m glad he could go out and make two good runs in a row.”

Lanham was also second in the amateur class. He said that while riding for the Texas Tech University stock horse team, he has learned to accept horses as they are.

“It opened my eyes to letting him be what he is and go show him for what he is and not try to make him any more than what he is,” Lanham said. “I had a 4-year-old that I learned a lot from, that taught me a lot. I came back to (Frito) and it opened my eyes to see that every horse isn’t going to be the same.”

Frito is by Gold Peppy Freckles and out of Mis Smooth Hancock by Hesa Eddie Hancock, and Lanham purchased him through the family ranch’s sale.

“He was 9 when I bought him and he’d never been in the arena really,” Lanham said. “He’s the same whether you give him three months or three days off. He’s not going to try to hurt you or put you in a bad spot.”

In her first Ranching Heritage Challenge, Amanda was thinking about consistency.

“I was thinking, ‘Remember the pattern,’” she said. “Try and show her as best I could. She’s a 7-year-old mare that my dad raised, and my brother started and I’ve been riding since then, and she’s a pretty sweet mare.”

Cherry HancockRAB is a 2009 sorrel mare by Hesa Eddie Hancock and out of Bonnie Travis by Continental Fly.

“She was a real bright red when she was foaled,” Amanda said. “That’s why we named her ‘Cherry.’ She’s got a real good disposition and a good mind. Just a good horse.”

Amanda was excited about winning her first horse show check and said she will be back.

“This is exciting,” she said.

Other Class Winners

Open Limited 4-Year-Old

Grays Blazing Pistol – 2012 gray mare by Scottys Pistol-Grays Double Minnick by Right This Minnick. Bred and owned by M-Heart Corp/Gray Ranch of Vinton, Louisiana, and ridden by Shawn Holden

Open Limited 5/6-Year-Old

Grays Last Light – 2011 brown gelding by Little Til Light and out of DDs Last Catalyst by Right This Minnick. Bred and owned by M-Heart Corp/Gray Ranch of Vinton, Louisiana, and ridden by Shawn Holden


Kim Lindsey of Dickens, Texas, and Judys Ten – 2006 buckskin gelding by Ten O Sea-Crows Judy by Black Chick Gold. Bred by Bill and Dana Smith of Spur, Texas, and owned by Kim.

Limited Amateur

Lydia Brown of Stinnett, Texas, and Lexy Hancock RAB – 2007 gray mare by Hesa Eddie Hancock-Shesa Eddie X Lady by Flying X 6. Bred and owned by Rob A. Brown of Stinnett, Texas.

Amateur Boxing and Novice Amateur Boxing

Brooke Wharton of Vernon, Texas, and Do It Classy – 2011 brown mare by Cat Man Do-High Class Senorita by Mr Solano Smoke. Bred and owned by the W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch of Vernon.

Open Ranch Riding

Reata B Rejoicing – 2011 buckskin mare by CDs Boonolena-Roosters Note by Roosters Shorty. Bred by Kimberly Wilson of Las Animas, Colorado, and owned by Jody Wilson Brooks of Lipan, Texas. Ridden by AQHA Professional Horseman Mike Major of Bowie, Texas.

Amateur Ranch Riding

Jecca Ostrander of Gordon, Nebraska, and Boxo Heavens Blue – 2008 red roan gelding by SNW Heavens King-Snippy Blue Card by Masie’s Blue. Bred and owned by Jecca.

Youth Ranch Riding

Sidney Dunkel of Archer City, Texas, and Boots Be Tuff – 2010 sorrel gelding by Woody Be Tuff-Pretty Poco Boots by Doc O Boots. Bred by the W.T. Waggoner Estate Ranch of Vernon, Texas, and owned by Ashton Dunkel of Archer City.