High Point Performance - The Newest Players in Team Roping

The Newest Players in Team Roping

Back in February, Highpoint Performance Horses was one of those premier stallion programs that jumped in on the Riata Buckle horse program before any information had been out at all.

The Pilot Point, Texas-based program signed up Winners Version, MP Sugeray, Slye By Design, HP Dash Ta Fiesta, Slick By Design and Brace for Bernal. Five months later, the World Series of Team Roping announced that Highpoint would become the official stallion breeding program for the organization. This marks the start of a two-year agreement between these leading breeders and the richest recreational sport association in the world.

Charlie Cole and Jason Martin are the owners and trainers at Highpoint and have over 80 world titles between them, including 65 in the AQHA alone. Their horsemanship interests have been diverse, and they've been real drivers grow each industry.

"It was a natural progression the way this all came together," Martin said. "The Pink Buckle was a game changer for us in the last five years. So if there was any chance that Riata would do the same thing on rope horses, we had to be there. Once we took that step on Riata—talking about developing horses specifically for roping—the next logical step was getting directly involved with World Series of Team Roping. We just never have done things halfway. So it may look like we jumped in with both feet, but we feel that we walked in with our eyes wide open."

Highpoint had already been ahead of the game in designing some of their breeding program toward team roping even prior to Riata. In 2022, they purchased Paul Eaves' World Champion mare Docs Gunslinger Chic, crossing her on Show Me The Buckles as well as Slick By Design for 2023 foals. Martin and Cole are now planning to offer one of those embryos in the exclusive Riata Buckle Sale at the Lazy E this coming November.

"We think the timing is perfect," Martin added. "I don't think Riata would have worked a few years ago, but Pink Buckle showed everyone what was possible. There are enough barrel racers who are wives of team ropers, so the information about how the incentives work has filtered through. I realize the roping formats and some of the things they are designing that are innovative and new to everyone, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing."

Team ropers have no clue what tracking earnings on rope horses is going to do for them, Martin said.

"That came out in the first press releases that Equine Network would be involved to pair the winners with the AQHA horse information. That was another reason that we decided to sponsor the World Series of Team Roping: to make sure at least one sponsor was supporting the efforts on tracking winnings."