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Gold Buckle Futurities paid stallion owners a full 50% of each incentive purse, the highest rate of return in the futurity business, while still paying ropers dividends for their efforts.

BELTON, TEXAS, December 30, 2023 — The inaugural Gold Buckle Futurity paid out $660,100 over three days in Belton, Texas, providing a year-end boost to stallion owners, ropers and trainers as the biggest year for growth in the history of the rope-horse industry comes to a close.

The event—produced by PRCA World Champions Haven Meged, Shane Hanchey and Kaleb Driggers as well as WPRA World Champion Shelby Meged, NFBR and NFR qualifier Taylor Hanchey and Western Bloodstock’s Jeremy Barwick—succeeded in paying back $194,250 of incentive money to stallion owners who supported the program in just its first year.

Full Event Results

Bobby Lewis’s stallion Time To Glo, a son of Hickory Holly Time out of Look at Her Glo by CD O Cody, won the Gold Buckle Futurities’ first Super Horse Title, winning the heeling average and Gold Buckle Futurity Incentive, worth $37,000 under the guidance of Cade Rice. The horse also had a strong showing in the tie-down roping and breakaway under Cody and Cheyanne McCartney.

“I feel so blessed to have a such a nice horse,” Lewis, an NCHA Hall of Famer, said. “He’s been a good horse the whole time, and Cade did an excellent job of showing him down there.”

The highest-earning rope horse sire of the weekend was Woody Be Tuff, the 2001 sorrel son of Nitas Wood out of Tuffs Junie by Tuff Lena, whose offspring raked in $80,500 across the breakaway, tie-down, heading and heeling. Woody Be Tuff’s offspring have earned over $11 million, and Woody Be Tuff is the highest-producing rope horse sire of 2023.

“There have been so many people who want to come up with stallion incentives in so many disciplines, but I can appreciate that this one paid so much back to the stallion owners,” Woody Be Tuff co-owner Melanie Smith said. “This incentive is unique because it brings together people from each part of the rope horse industry who are truly the best in their disciplines, and then they bring in somebody like Jeremy Barwick, who is such a visionary across the industry. There’s not a better group you can have to produce a stallion incentive. We appreciate these guys are giving the rope horses an opportunity to run for more money. After everyone has seen this is such a first-class event, I believe the growth will be exponential in 2024.”

The spring Gold Buckle Futurities event presented by Bill Fick Ford is scheduled for May 9–12, 2024, at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Oklahoma. In 2023, some 72 stallions supported Gold Buckle Futurities Stallion Incentive, including senior stallions who were named for junior stallions.

“We want to continue to up the ante, raise great money and have somewhere for people to go and showcase their ability,” Hanchey said. “These stallion owners have a lot of incentives they can pay their stallion into, the fact that they’re taking a chance on us, it makes us proud that they see that we care about stallion owners too.”