Rodeo and Riata

Rodeo and Riata

May 9, 2024

by Keri Whitney

Three-time Wrangler National Rodeo Qualifier Jake Cooper knows the importance of horsepower.

Cooper's life has been in the rodeo world, and his father, Jimmie Coooper, is an All-Around World Champion, Cinch Timed Event Champion, and ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee.  Growing up, Jake rose through the classification ranks in the early days of the USTRC, and he and his brother Jim Ross were young superstars.

In 2022, Jake ventured into the horse side of team roping, purchasing Reys Of Pep, a standout son of Dual Rey, the No. 3 All-Time NCHA Leading Sire with Progeny earnings that exceed $53 million, Jake jumped in right away to get Reys Of Pep in the Riata Buckle.

"I see the Riata Buckle getting big," Jake said. "I have always liked to be somewhat involved in whatever Denny Gentry is doing. I know I can't rodeo forever, so this provides me another avenue in team roping to be involved in. I don't have to travel much, and I like to ride younger horses. It just seems like a natural fit for me."

In just two short years, Reys Of Pep took the rope horse futurity world by storm. The 2017 AQHA stallion became one of the winningest rope horse futurity stallions in history, earning over $114,000 being shown by World Champions Colby Lovell, Kaleb Driggers, and Kollin VonAhn. 

"Pressure on horses is different in the futurity world versus the rodeo world," Jake said. "You have to be so perfect. Like, in the box, when a horse isn't acting right, you just have to go with it, because it's a judged event. You try not to be too aggressive and stay calm; you want the horse to show pretty and do his job.  Versus roping at rodeos and jackpots, where you can help the horse with your feet and hands and ride up and reset if you need to, ask him to do something different. When you jackpot, you hope it all comes together, and that he responds when ask him to do something quicker or different."

But for Reys Of Pep, the transition has been easy.  "Pepper" makes it easy for Jake just to make runs in the practice pen.

"We forget sometimes that, when a horse is so good, that they're still so young," Jake said. "So in the practice pen, the slow steers help keep him collected. And then on the real  live, jackpot steers, I see the start, let them out and get them, and he feels ready for that sort of action. But for 2024, my plan is to not throw too much at him at once even though it's so easy for him."

Reys Of Pep will be roped on at the 2024 Riata Buckle Championship. Though Reys Of Pep is now too old for the Pro Futurity at 7, Jake's sister, Jill Tanner, will rope on the stud in the Riata Buckle Cowgirls Steer Stopping. Jake's mom, Shryl Cooper, will be turning steers for his dad, Jimmie, in the #10.5 All-Age Championship.

Reys of Pep stays at Jake's place in Stephenville, Texas, but is hauled back and forth to 113 Equine in Millsap, where he currently stands.  This year will be Reys Of Pep's first foal crop with Jake, and he isn't messing around with his mare power. All of his personal mares have pro ProRodeo money earnings, include embryos from his NFR mare, Bucks For Bullet and his current rodeo mount, Running in Stilettos, a horse raised by Garrett Tonozzi who Jake bought from Kaleb Driggers.

For more information – Reys Of Pep | Riata Buckle