New Mexico all-around talent Tauna Alcorn and Hesa Young Cat got the 1D win at the Ruby Buckle futurity in Guthrie, Oklahoma, on April 24 and added a totaled $9,020 to the gelding’s lifetime earnings with a time of 7.65 seconds on two head to clinch the aggregate.
“Michael,” is a 2018 model out of Bet Hesa Cat and by Young Amanda x Young Gun. Breeder Ken Williams earned $660 for the aggregate win, matching the 6666’s cut for owning Bet Hesa Cat. Owner Sterling Kelly earned the heftiest check at $5,280.
Alcorn—who can snag the horns in the heading as well as she does the necks in breakaway— and Michael were rock solid in both rounds, earning third in the first round with a 3.65-second run, worth $736 for Kelly and $72 each for the 6666’s and Williams. They won the second round with a 4.0 as well, earning $1,232 for the owner and $154 to the stallion owner and breeder, respectively.
Brooke and Rodney Wilson of Wilson Cattle Co. purchased Michael as a 3-year-old and brought him into the fold of their training program, taking ample time to bring him up to par in terms of fitness and nutrition before diving into heavy work. Next, Michael was consigned to the summer 2022 Clovis Horse Sale in Levelland, Texas.
“My husband had ridden (Michael) for a little while to help prepare him for the sale because Rodney broke his leg,” Alcorn said. “He heeled on him. I told our friend, Sterling Kelly, that he needed this horse. He said “Alright, I’ll bid on him,” and he ended up getting him bought.”
Alcorn put the pressure on the guys once again, but with with incentives in mind.
“I told them I thought he needed to pay into the Riata and Ruby Buckle so I could breakaway on him,” Alcorn said. “At Riata (in November 2022) he had maybe 20 days in the breakaway, so he was pretty green.”
Michael was much more prepared for the Ruby Buckle in April 2023, however.
“I got him back from Sterling about a month ago,” Alcorn said. “I roped a bunch of slower calves at home. I did (exhibition) when I got here and I saw the calves were a little stronger. I ran my first one just to make sure that he was going to go and break hard to the pin. These were good calves, just stronger than what I’m used to. Then I scored one.”
No Stress Zone
The calves at Ruby Buckle were chute ran but Alcorn didn’t overthink which calf she’d end up with in the pen on either run.
“I just winged it,” Alcorn said. “If I start thinking about what calves do when I know I have a good one, I just overthink it. So I tend to just try to rope what’s in front of me at that time. I don’t need any added stress—I stress myself out enough as it is. Clint Robinson was on the line telling me I could just kind of go with them and I knew I was a couple inches off it when I saw a good step on my exhibition run, so I went ahead and tried to see that same start, hoping (Michael) would just break better and better).
Preparation in the Pen
Alcorn has put an entry in the hat every year since the inaugural Ruby Buckle breakaway in 2021, first with Epic Leader progeny, and now moving to the Bet Hesa Cat bloodline with Michael. She’s getting the recipe down for creating young, consistent winners, backed by years of experience.
“I run a lot of slow calves,” Alcorn said. “I rope a lot looks in the arena, lots of just walking up with the calves. What’s hardest for me is getting them hauled, but there’s getting to be more jackpots where I live. I just try to keep them quiet when they do go places, so I don’t have to worry about the field in the arena as much as anything else.”
While many horses in attendance struggled with leaving the box fluidly in Guthrie, Michael appeared confident behind the rope barrier. This was no accident.
“As soon as they know to leave the box, I put flag tape up and run them through it,” Alcorn said. There’s no calves, no pressure at first. I just let them see that it’s not scary. I don’t want it to be a big deal, so the sooner, the better.”
Gold Stars for All
Alcorn had praises to sing for all connections to Michael.
“I haven’t roped off the Bet Hesa Cat’s before,” Alcorn said. “But I’ve ridden a few. I haven’t seen a bad one yet.”
Fast Fact: The Bet Hesa Cat progeny have quickly made a statement as roping mounts at the Buckle incentives. In 2022, Cassidy Boggs and Bet Hes Classified won the inaugural Riata Buckle breakaway.
She also praised the Wilcon Cattle Co. program and Kelly’s ease to ride for as an owner.
“I just want to send a huge thank you to Sterling for letting me put him in the Riata and Ruby Buckle and for letting me ride him and take him,” Alcorn said. “I’ve had him for a month, so it’s been great that he is willing to let me do what I need to do to prepare.”
2023 Ruby Buckle Open Futurity Breakaway Results
|1D-1||Tauna Alcorn||Hesa Young Cat||7.65 on two||$5,280||$660||$660|
|1D-2||Hailey Humphrey||A Streak of Jess||9.24 on two||$3,520||$440||$440|
|2D-1||Micah Samples||IC Metallic Heaven||11.54 on two||$1,540||$193||$193|
|2D-2||Alyssa Bigon||TragicEpicAmazing||3.59 on one||$1,012||$127||$127|
|2D-1||Micah Samples||IC Metallic Heave||5.81||$847||$106||$106|
|1D-1||Tauna Alcorn||Hesa Young Cat||4.0||$1,232||$154||$154|
|2D-1||Micah Samples||IC Metallic Heaven||4.62||$847||$106||$106|