Little Extra Credit Carries K.C. Jones to the Pay Window

Steer wrestler K.C. Jones gives credit to the little black mare for his win in Round 1.

AQHA Media

K.C. Jones and Little Extra Credit (PRCA/Larry Smith Photo)

It only took 3.4 seconds for steer wrestler K.C. Jones to earn $26,230 on the first night of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and he gives a lot of the credit to the little black mare he was riding.

“That’s Jud Little’s little mare called Little Extra Credit,” K.C. said. “She’s basically the biggest reason I won the round tonight. That steer was supposed to run a little bit, supposed to fall a little bit slower, but she’s just so athletic that she just knocked the bear out of there and let me catch him pretty quick.”

It was almost a Round 1 record.  

K.C. said that for the brief period he was on the horse he calls “Smoker,” “I was just trying to hang on for dear life going that fast. ... She’s so strong through the hole, she sets my feet to where she basically just throws the steer. Hats off to Smoker, she’s an amazing little mare.”

Smoker’s owner – well-known barrel horse breeder Jud Little – is on hand in Vegas to watch his mare perform.

“It’s kind of like watching a kid in the rodeo when you have your horse in the rodeo,” K.C. said not long after his run. “I bet he’s pretty proud. I haven’t been to my phone yet, but I’m sure that’s the first phone call I’ll get.

To be sure, Smoker has the pedigree to be comfortable where she’s at.

Jud’s website says this about the mare’s sire, Cash Not Credit: “At the time of his death (in 2014), Cash Not Credit (Dash For Cash-Cute And Sassy by Azure Te TB) was one of the all-time leading sires of barrel horses. He sired (Barrel Futurities of America) World Champions Sooner Superstar and Thinkin Of Cash and an impressive list of NFR qualifiers: Smooth My Credit and Chicados Cash, who qualified with Little’s wife, Benette; Sooner Superstar, who ran with Tiffany Fox; Flitin Firin Cash and Shebe Firin For Cash, who carried former ranch trainer Kassie Mowry to the NFR in 2005, and Little Extra Credit, a steer wrestling horse ridden by K.C. Jones.”

Although most of her brethren are barrel racers, K.C. said that Smoker is perfectly suited for steer wrestling.

“She’s a sweetheart,” he said. “She wants to please you, but she’s high energy. She wants to go. She has that bulldogging mentality where she wants to try hard. And sometimes she overthinks a little bit, wanting to try too hard, but this is our fourth year we’ve rode her out here (at the NFR), and she gets better every year.

“She’s just a great mare, and Jud raises great horses.”

And more are on the way. K.C. said that Smoker has two embryo-transfer foals by 2012 NFR qualifier and AQHA world champion pole bender JL Dash Ta Heaven, who is by Dash Ta Fame and out of Dynas Plain Special by Special Feelins.

“I don’t know,” K.C. said, smiling. “I need to keep winning a lot of money so I can buy ’em.”

K.C.’s round win takes his 2015 earnings to $107,216.

As part of negotiations to keep the NFR in Las Vegas, Las Vegas Events guaranteed $16.5 million annually in purse and sponsorship for the Wrangler NFR. Part of that is a contestant purse of $10 million each year from 2015-2019. This means that American Quarter Horses competing in the timed events at the NFR are competing for $6.25 million in purse money.

The AQHA Media team has been at the NFR all week. Read more of our coverage here.