Harrisons and HR Smart Rey

Harrisons and HR Smart Rey

Oklahoma's Elsworth and Kathy Harrison have built a life together for 45 years, built on a foundation of great horses—topped off by HR Smart Rey, the 2009 brown stallion they enrolled in the Riata Buckle in 2022.

Elsworth and Kathy met in 1965, when they were just 11 years old. It was late summer, and the rodeo season was about over for the kids of Oklahoma. Kathy was running barrels that day, and a "cute boy roping calves caught her eye."

When the Oklahoma Junior Rodeo Association season started back up that March, they met and became best friends. After high school, Kathy went to Lamar Community College on a rodeo scholarship, and Elsworth went to Oklahoma State University. She eventually transferred to OSU, and the rest was history. They got married and had a daughter, Tabitha in 1978.

The Harrisons have been rodeoing and in the horse industry their entire lives. For a decade, both held their pro cards. Elsworth calf roped in the PRCA, Kathy held her WPRA card.

"I wanted to travel with Elsworth, so I turned in my pro card and got an amateur card," Kathy said. "He doesn't like to travel. So, we got involved in Quarter Horse roping classes. That way he can stay home, train and go to shows."

Living on the same property on which Elsworth was born, they've raised and trained rope horses for 40 plus years.

"I've had some clients for 30 years," Elsworth said, who holds an AQHA specialty judge card, and just judged the AQHA Youth World Show. "We've never seen horses so high [in price]. No one can find breakaway or tie down horses. There is such a need for breakaway horses. The cowgirls are buying up all the calf horses."

They purchased OSU Sonny Rey Girl as a 2-year-old, and Ellsworth trained and competed on her. Tabitha won the short go and fourth in the average on her at the 1996 National High School Finals Rodeo, and she followed that up with the 1998 WPRA Rookie of the Year title in the heeling. The same year, Tabitha won the Women's National Finals Rodeo average title heeling behind Venita Dearing.

In 2009, Sadie had a brown colt by Smart Peppy Doc, who was a full brother to Smart Little Lena and himself won $124,489 in his career and produced earners of $1.4 million.

"We were thrilled," Kathy said. "At the 2021 AQHA World Show, Steve Orth showed him in the Open Heading, and he had the second highest score in the preliminaries and came back to place in the top 10."

HR Smart Rey is now a Riata Buckle stallion, giving offspring a chance to compete for $2 million Nov. 3-6, 2022 at the Lazy E in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

"We are really excited about the Riata Buckle," Kathy said. "We've put our whole life into our program. We're a small operation. But when you raise those horses of 40-something years, and you get a bloodline you like and do well and people get along with, and someone comes up with this idea is just helps enhance our program. I can't begin to tell you we've had so many people call wanting Gus's colts. We are so appreciative. It's really helps us as breeders. It encompasses everyone in the horse business. It's a win-win."