Macie Rae Warken picked up $7,240 in the Royal Crown Breakaway Feb. 11.

North of the border, Coronach, Saskatchewan’s Warken family is a dominant force in the rope-horse game. And in 2023, they put their prowess on display at the Royal Crown in Buckeye, Arizona, with 15-year-old Macie Rae Warken winning the All-Ages Breakaway aboard their 2015 gelding Maples Runnin Money.

Warken also won the all-girl sidepot in the 4-&-Under Breakaway aboard Gunna Mambo, making the family’s drive from their winter spot in Maricopa, Arizona, well worth the effort.

Warken Family Puts Horsemanship First With Big-time Results—including 2023 Royal Crown Title

The Details

The trip—worth $7,240 for the day’s work—comes just two months after Warken stood out at the Yeti Junior World Finals in Las Vegas on Maples Runnin Money, who’s a son of the Canadian-bred JB Cables Runaway out of the Especially Smart Peppy mare Maple Lena Free. With the run on the top side of the pedigree coming from Beduino and the cow coming from horses like Peppy San Badger and Two Eyed Jack on the bottom, the run-cow cross shows in the quick-footed brown gelding.

“We bought the horse from a friend of ours as a 2-year-old,” Vaughn said. “He’s by a stud horse we had owned, but we wanted this gelding out of him.”

Vaughn started him and heeled on him, and then Kiel Wilson showed him as a 5- and 6-year-old in the heading at the rope horse futurities. In 2021, Wilson and Maples Runnin Money won third at the Royal Crown and made the short round at the American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s World Championship in Fort Worth, winning $11,072 that year according the QData.

Warken Family Puts Horsemanship First With Big-time Results—including 2023 Royal Crown Title

Macie Rae took over in the summer of 2022, easily transitioning the horse to the breakaway by putting her horsemanship first.

“He was super easy to just take to the breakaway roping,” she said. “The guy that was riding him had him super broke so it was really, really easy. He scores, runs and he can stop. He’s one of my favorites. He has a lot of run.”

Practice Makes Perfect

Roping comes natural to the Warkens, so they spend their time in the practice pen on the horses—because that’s what’s set the family apart.

“We mostly work on horsemanship,” Macie Rae said. “We work on getting my horse to where I can be faster and getting the run faster every time.”

Vaughn, who also trained and won on the head side on JT Rising Sensation, shown by Kaleb Driggers to a high-call spot at the 2022 ARHFA World Champioship, spends his time in the practice pen working on horses alongside Macie Rae.

“Our major deal, when we practice, is horsemanship,” Vaughn said. “We work a lot on scoring. We’re always doing different things to help her horse score and for her to gain confidence in her scoring. I believe in taking a hold of the horse in the corner and basically being very simple and having no grey areas. We do a lot of half-gates and rattling the gates. I do a lot with Macie’s concentration. I might open the gates when she nods or I might open the gates when she doesn’t nod and have her focusing and concentrating on that calf.”