Legendary Hall of Fame rodeo announcer Bob Tallman dubbed the Thomas & Mack Center “The House That Joe Built” after the Texas roping revolutionary rocked the house the first year the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo came to Cowboy Town back in 1985.
Spotlights were optional during Joe B’s reign of tie-down and team roping terror, because he was lights-out brilliant in both events. I watched a very special moment go down on the arena floor right in front of me last night when Joe B protégé John Douch took the Round 1 victory lap after a 7.7-second run. Who else saw John point at his second dad, who was swinging that Cowboy Channel microphone around his head like a rope?
Joe and Jenna Beaver are family to my sons and me, so I’ve had a front-row seat to the rise of John Douch. I have precious memories of sitting in that 8X Ranch indoor arena alongside Joe’s late momma, Bonnie, and Jenna, watching my Lane and Taylor, and the Douch boys, John and Kobe, when they were just little squirts. Mr. Breeze (Mike Arnold) was there, too, with wisdoms when Joe went to saddle another horse or run to the house.
I’ve had Thanksgiving with this crew, and when Joe and Jenna are your friends, you’re family. Their hearts are huge, and their love is a bottomless source of support for us lucky ones.
John Douch would not be roping at third-straight NFR without Joe and Jenna Beaver. And he knows it.
“Joe and Jenna have taken me in like their own son, and there’s nothing they haven’t done for me,” John said. “Horses. Rigs. Entry fees. Meals. The roping. They’ve done it all, and if it wasn’t for them, there’s no way I’d be here. Joe and Jenna are family.”
If you think John’s a bad cat, I can’t wait for you to watch Kobe work. Joe and Jenna lost their own son and only child, Brody, a few years back. We all miss him so much, and there’s no replacing him. But Joe and Jenna have chosen to fill the holes in their broken hearts with love. They’re also family to 2023 National Finals Breakaway Roping average champ Cheyanne McCartney.
Carl Guillory became a great friend to my family through mutual friends the likes of Joe and Jenna, and Roy “Super Looper” Cooper. When Carl left us suddenly after suffering a heart attack in 2020, his baby girl, Cheyanne, lost her biggest fan.
Fast forward to October 7 of this year, when Cheyanne Guillory said “I do” to Cody McCartney on a Dominican Republic beach in Punta Cana. Who walked Cheyanne down that sandy aisle? You guessed it, Joe B.
“I’ve known Joe and Jenna since I was little through my dad,” Cheyanne said this morning. “I’ve had a lot of people step up in my life, and be there for me since my dad passed away. Joe and Jenna have helped me with horses or when I needed a place to go, and are always a phone call away. They aren’t just there for me in the big moments, but the small ones, hard ones and happy ones, too. Joe and Jenna are like family to me. And I know I’m not alone.”
Nope. Joe and Jenna Beaver have helped raise so many of our rodeo kids, and always with wide-open hearts. We can never repay them for what they’ve done for us and this sport, but we can stop to say a public “thank you,” and love them big back.