The stars aligned for Chase Wiley and Ace Pearce at the All-American ProRodeo Finals, which took place October 10–17, 2015, at the Heart of Texas Fair in Waco, Texas. The duo won the event with a 4.6-second time to take home a check for more than $12,000.
Ace heeled aboard one of his favorite mounts, the 2001 bay tobiano gelding JT Sparks. He found the gelding—who is by Lil Rapid Dancer and out of Sheza Dun Shining (QH)—by chance while killing time on a late night drive to Amarillo, Texas.
“I actually got on Craigslist and went to looking, just piddling around. A gentleman had him there in Brady, Texas, and roped a little bit. I went back by Brady and looked at him, and he was turned out with a bunch of cows,” Ace said. “It was raining, so I couldn’t really do anything, but I got on him and rode him around. He let me take him back to the house and let me run some steers on him. He was green; he didn’t know a whole lot, but he kind of knew the pattern. I started practicing on him, and he’s turned into a nice horse.”
At the tournament-style All-American Finals, consistency is a roper’s biggest asset. After winning the first round with a 5.3-second run, Ace and Chase advanced to the semifinals and won the round, laying down a 4.6-second run.
“After we won the semifinals, it put us last out in the finals and we got to watch everybody else go. At the time, I think Garrett Tonozzi and Tyler McKnight were at 4.9 seconds. To win it, we had to be faster than 4.9, and to win second all we had to do was have a clean run,” Ace said. “Lucky for us, we drew a steer good enough we could be 4.6 seconds on. I had a buddy who had the same steer in a previous round before us, so I called him and found out what our steer did; going into it, we had an idea of what our steer was and had a game plan.”
Because “Cochise” isn’t fully seasoned, Ace practices on the Paint before major events to get him dialed in.
“The morning before I went to the finals, I had my dad spin me some steers to just keep his mind focused and paying attention to what we were going to be doing that night, so I didn’t have to worry his mind wandering or doing something different. He knew what he had to be focused on when we went to the rodeo,” Ace said.
Cochise has turned out to be quite the find for Ace.
“He’s just a natural winner, and he’s really comfortable to ride,” Ace said. “He’s still by no means finished or fully seasoned, but he’s paid for himself quite a few times. He’s turned into a good horse, and he’s getting better and better.”
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