While Todd Crawford has trained and shown Jerry Smoke since the gelding’s 2-year-old year, it took until the horse was 6 to garner a major title. And, “Jerry” did it on a big stage, taking the 2019 Lucas Oil American Quarter Horse Association’s Senior Working Cow Horse World Championship on Saturday, November 9, in the Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.
Owned by J5 Horse Ranch Management of Weatherford, Texas, the gelding is by Dual R Smokin and out of Kool Arista Cat, by Cats Merada, and had $28, 588.94 in Equi-Stat lifetime earnings prior to the World Show. Yet, in spite of his years of competition, the horse never really put it together until this year, Crawford said.
“He is an absolute great horse to have in my barn and I’ve always loved riding him,” said Crawford. “For one reason or another, he’s been difficult to put together in the show pen where everything works. I’ve done this and that, and [his owners] have let me keep showing him.”
The Blanchard, Oklahoma, horseman knows when he is sitting a talented horse, as his more than $3.6 million in earnings proves. With Jerry Smoke, Crawford worked and waited for it all to come together.
“Throughout this year, his two-rein year, he’s finally starting to be a cow horse,” said Crawford. “He has always been pretty solid in the reining and very consistently a 72 or 73 kind of reining horse, but inconsistent in the cow work. He would miss a little down the fence or do something to where he was a 72 on a cow, but that doesn’t win you a whole lot. I had to work a real tough cow in the prelims and he handled it. Now, I feel like I can handle whatever cow they put in the pen. He has a lot of speed and a lot of stop, and he reads a cow good.”
With a monster 226 in the fence work and a 220 in the rein work, Crawford and Jerry Smoke’s 446 composite score topped the reserve champion by seven points. The horse most definitely handled the cow.
Fifteen talented senior reined cow horses vied for the $23,002.56 purse. Crawford was thrilled that the gelding stepped it up on Saturday night.
“I think most of those horses and riders I see regularly at the reined cow horse major events. It’s awful nice to be competitive with those horses,” said Crawford. “It was fun, a lot of fun! It ain’t getting any easier. To do work like that, there ain’t nothing better!”
Crawford did good work with Jerry Smoke and his second mount in the Senior Working Cow Horse finals, Lookslikelucktome (Smart Boons x Dual Lookin Pep x Dual Pep). The mare, owned by Timothy and Katherine Miller of Pueblo, Colorado, placed third. The pair earned the bronze globe with a 437.5, scoring a 216.5 in the rein work and a 221 in the fence work.
The veteran trainer credits both horses’ owners— Contance Jaeggi is the driving force of J5—with their confidence in his decisions to show the horses where they can shine.
“[Jaeggi] has been gracious enough to let me go [show] where I thought Jerry Smoke could be competitive,” said Crawford. “She has given me, kind of, free rein, which is awesome for an owner to do that and have the faith in you. I always thought I was kinda letting them down because I just couldn’t get him there. I knew he had it, I knew he had it, but I just couldn’t get it. Maybe now we have it!”
The reserve champion horse, Quahadi (Bet Hesa Cat x Ginnin Attraction x Tanquery Gin), was piloted by Boyd Rice to a 216 in the rein work and a 223 down the fence. The stallion is owned by Burnett Ranches, LLC from Fort Worth, Texas. The day prior to the Senior Working Cow Horse finals, Rice rode Quahadi to the Level 2 Senior Working Cow Horse World Championship against the 19 Level 2 qualifiers.
There were 32 qualified entries to the Senior Working Cow Horse class, which was sponsored by the Four Sixes Ranch. For more cow horse results from the AQHA World Championship Show, follow Quarter Horse News.