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In the Loop

The next generation of roping enthusiasts are passionate about their sport and all it can teach. Flash recently caught up with AjPHA member Jacob Grinstead of Hutchinson, Kansas, to learn more about his love of the sport and his fast-moving Paint.

Tell us about your Paint Horse.
My rope horse is Super Sonic Clue, a 1993 red roan overo gelding. My dad bought “Turbo” as a 5-year-old and broke him to rope. He’s 22 now and is still a solid rope horse; he scores well and is quick out of the box. I also have competed in Western pleasure, but my main focus is now roping.

If your horse was someone famous, who would he be and why?
Turbo would be Willie Nelson. I like to imagine him as pretty cool but eccentric at the same time.

When did you start riding?
I started riding as soon as I got home from the hospital. My earliest memories are of me sitting on a rope horse with my mom while my dad competed at local jackpots.

What has been your most memorable riding moment to date?
I couldn’t say what my proudest moment was to be honest. I try not to be too satisfied with what I’ve done so I can always be shooting for the next goal. That being said, I do have a moment of personal victory that’s memorable to me.

Every pen of steers I’ve ever practiced on has that one steer who was assigned a special nickname because of some trait unique to them.  Our practice pen has a steer we call “Fireball” because he’s ridiculously fast and hard to catch. I’ve tried to rope Fireball more than a few times and found that he’s pretty elusive. One time, however, I got a really good start, caught him, and turned him off for a complete run. It’s not the kind of thing you get buckles for but it was a good source for a sense of personal achievement.

What do you love about Paint Horses?
I love Paints and the breed’s athleticism. I also love their sheer versatility. I’ve seen Paints successful in just about every equine event, from rodeos, reining competitions, shows and everything in between. Paints do all of this with chrome.

Do you have a lucky charm for riding or competing?
I always wear my uncle’s 99 Arena buckle. He gave it to me after I spent a week helping him recover from shoulder surgery. He and my aunt really helped me when I started roping. I wear it to remind me that there are people who are supporting me in my roping goals.

What do you like to do when you’re not riding?
I own livestock, and I’m involved in the cattle business. I am involved in the Kansas Paint Horse Association, FFA and 4H, devoting time to leadership projects. I am competitive and like to compete in livestock and horse judging and other agriculture contests.

What is your favorite website?
Probably National Ropers Supply. I spend too much ordering ropes off the site and I like looking at saddles I can’t afford.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t have a finite plan for my future, but I would like to rope professionally and put on clinics. I plan to attend college for an animal science degree. Either way, I will be involved in the livestock and equine industries in some way.

Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to Buddy Hawkins. He’s a professional heeler who puts on roping clinics.  I recently attended one of Buddy’s clinics in Kingman, Kansas. Mr. Hawkins represents what I strive to be because he’s a successful roper who understands proper horsemanship in the roping arena. He held a cowboy church service where he spoke about choosing to be content and happy with yourself. Buddy talks about making the choice not to be satisfied and settle with where you are in life. In essence, by choosing not to settle you’re choosing to make constant progress. I hope I have that perspective later in life.

What Paint Horse or equestrian would you love to meet and why?
I would love to meet Allen Bach. Mr. Bach is a professional roper who has been amazingly successful, winning several world championships. Today, he’s one of the most respected roping instructors and clinicians in the world. Allen Bach’s ideas on everything from balance affecting the swing’s power, to positioning, to general horsemanship have revolutionized roping.

What is the best part of AjPHA?
AjPHA has given me a number of opportunities. Whether it’s meeting other people interested in Paints, competing in something I am passionate about or simply becoming more involved in the industry, AjPHA has proven beneficial to me.


We love to hear about fast Paints and young riders! Contact Flash to tell your story.


[Reprinting all or part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to Flash and a link provided back to apha.com.]


About Flash
Flash is an annual publication produced by the American Paint Horse Association that celebrates Paint Horses excelling in timed events—racing, barrel racing, roping, shooting and sorting/penning—along with the people who love them. Check out our free digital magazine at MyFlashyRide.com or pick up a printed copy of Flash at major events across the country. And check MyFlashyRide.com/news often for the latest news about fast, flashy Paints.