If there’s one breakaway roper who knows the importance of horsepower on rodeo’s toughest stages, it’s Taylor Hanchey.
Hanchey is the only cowgirl to qualify for both the NFR in barrel racing (2013, 2015) and NFBR in breakaway roping (2021). The Carmine, Texas, cowgirl currently sits No. 3 in the world standings with $63,411.51 over 68 rodeos.
Hanchey’s valuable knowledge on finding, making and maintaining the greats is impressive on its own, but it’s deadly when combined with her world champion husband Shane Hanchey’s ability to train some of the best tie-down horses in the country.
In 2022, she’s locked and loaded with a pair of aged horses that know how to win. One of these is her 19-year-old mare, Lanas Little Duel, or “Pam Pam.”
Pam Pam’s Backstory
Shane purchased Pam Pam in August of 2017 because of both her ability and her bloodlines. She is the full sister to “Bam Bam,” Shane’s standout gelding who carried him to the NFR after losing his great horse, Reata. Shane purchased Pam Pam from Mike Johnson, who trained both Bam Bam and Pam Pam.
“Bam and Pam were so much alike, that after I rode and bought Bam I knew Pam would excel too,” Shane said. “I tried and bought (Pam) one year later. Although she was still green to performances, her timing made her really easy to rope on.”
Bam Bam tragically passed away in February 2020 at the height of his career, which meant that Hanchey needed a horse to step up. He said in a social media post after Bam Bam’s passing: “(Bam Bam) was one of the best things that ever happened to me. He let me transition from Reata so easily. He was a winner. I am going to miss him terribly. Bams little sister Pam is going to step up. I know she will.”
Pam did exactly what Shane hoped and helped secure his 11th consecutive qualification to the NFR in December 2020. As of the spring of 2021, now 19-year-old Pam Pam gets to go down the road with Taylor and compete mostly in breakaway instead of pulling full-time tie-down duty.
Despite her age, Pam Pam doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
“She does not act old,” Taylor said. “She gets excited during the (performances). I have to put earplugs in before I even walk up to the arenas, and I lope her down beforehand.”
While some breakaway ropers prefer a horse that punches in their stop, Taylor explained how Pam Pam’s smooth slide has become an asset in breakaway.
“She really gets on her butt and slides,” Taylor said. “But she’s gotten really good at holding her space, so it doesn’t take long to pop off. She’s kind of adapted. She’s very fast and pops it off fast, too.”
Taylor has been traveling with Madison Outhier, Beau Peterson and Tacy Kay Webb, with Pam Pam in one rig, and her 18-year-old gelding, Palo Pinto Cat, or “Cat Man,” in the other. Pam Pam has not only helped Taylor win big at rodeos like Dodge City, Kansas, Prescott, Arizona, and Greeley, Colorado, she has helped out the other cowgirls in the rig, as well.
Recently, Webb rode Pam Pam during the finals at Kennewick, and her 2.5-second run helped Webb win the finals and tie for the aggregate win at the rodeo with a time of 4.8 seconds on two head, worth a combined $4,046.
Taylor is an overall supporter of riding veteran horses when traveling up and down the ProRodeo trail.
“I have the geriatric crew,” Taylor said. “The older ones just do their job. I don’t have to worry about them. It might sound spoiled— but with them, all I have to worry about is roping. It makes my job way easier.”
She makes sure to take top care of Pam Pam and Cat Man to keep them feeling great on the road.
“They get taken care of and that’s why they have lasted as long as they have,” Taylor explained. “They get liniment, baths, their feet packed–whatever they need. Dr. Tanner, my veterinarian, is a big part of my team, and they stay on Nutrena feed and Platinum CJ.”
More “Ams” Where Pam Came From
The Hancheys are thrilled that Pam Pam’s legacy will be carried on long after her breakaway and tie-down career is in the history books.
“We’ve got some babies out of (Pam Pam),” Taylor said. “Her oldest are yearlings now. One’s by Hashtags, one’s by CR Got Ya Covered and one by Smooth Talkin Style. Their names are Sam, Pam and Cam. We’re pumped.”
“I hope her babies are as easy as her,” Shane added.
Once viewed as “just” a barrel racer, Taylor has worked hard to earn her spot among the ranks of breakaway’s best and is working to push through the end of the season while appreciating the success she has had this season.
“I feel like I’ve had an exceptional year,” she explained. “I keep thinking ‘Don’t get too excited, there’s going to be lows,’ but I’m also trying to humbly enjoy the success that I’ve had.”
Pam Pam Quick Stats:
Wins with Shane Hanchey:
Baker Montana (Arena record holder)
Wins with Taylor Hanchey:
Dodge City, Kansas
Wins with Tacy Webb:
Horse stories from the ProRodeo trail are brought to you by our friends at Vitalyze.