Pam Minick finds show-ring success in her two ranch horses, both purchased from the Invitational Ranch Horse Show & Sale held during the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
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Amidst all of Pam Minick’s accomplishments – champion breakaway roper, businesswoman, actress, stunt person, Women’s Professional Rodeo Association vice president, sports commentator – the Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee had never competed with horses in a judged event.
So when she decided to give ranch horse events a try at a Stock Horse of Texas association show in 2019, she was shocked at all the point additions and deductions a horse-and-rider team could amass in a single run.
“I’ve always been in timed events where the stopwatch determines who wins,” Minick says. “And my friend, Jill [Dunkel, executive director of Stock Horse of Texas] said, ‘You were in the Miss Rodeo America pageant and won, and that’s judged!’ I said, `That’s totally different.’”
Minick’s ranch horse show journey began riding Smart Smartie (Smart Like Juice x Smart Little Jewel x Smart Chic Olena), a 2006 gelding her husband, Billy, had purchased at the 2018 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo Invitational Ranch Horse Show and Sale. The horse was consigned by Tripp Townsend of Sandhill Cattle Company in Earth, Texas.
“That ranch horse sale only offers horses from ranches that were invited to the sale,” says Minick. “The horses are bonafide working chops, not just the best-looking horse on the ranch. The horses compete against each other in the ranch horse show prior to the sale.”
The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo offers two horse sales: The Fort Worth Heritage Sale, which features the AQHA Best of the Remuda Sale and the Select Breeders Quarter Horse Sale, which for 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, January 15; as well as the Invitational Ranch Horse Show & Sale on January 16.
Minick says Billy saw a child riding “Smartie” before the ranch horse sale started, and he was calm as a cucumber — a very talented cucumber. That was enough to convince him to place the winning bid.
And the winning continued when Minick and Smartie were named level 1 ranch riding reserve world champions at the 2020 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show.
“It was all serendipitous the way it worked out,” says Minick. “Usually, I’m not a fan of buying a horse at a sale because I want to make sure the horse fits me. But since it was the FWSSR horse sale and the horse being from the Sandhills [Cattle Company], and you can ask the
Townsends, Smartie knew what he was doing. He knew how to gather cattle. He knew how to stop. He knew how to do it all.”
Pam has had success with another horse purchased from the FWSSR Invitational Ranch Horse Show & Sale in Bet He’s Chrome, a 2014 gelding by Bet Hesa Cat and out of Zans Diamond Sugar by Zans Diamond Joker. Consigned in 2019 by Terry Stuart Forst of Stuart Ranches, Robert Forst showed the palomino in the FWSSR Invitational Ranch Horse Show & Sale to a reserve place finish among the impressive group of geldings. Texas horseman Bill Casner, friends with the Minicks, purchased the horse, and later sold it to Billy. Billy gave “Champ” to Minick as a Valentine’s Day present.
Minick and Champ placed third at the AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships in 2021, despite a “scary” jump in the pattern most horses spooked at.
“Because of what the horses in the sale have been exposed to as a ranch horse, there are a lot of ‘boogers’ that don’t bother them like they would other horses,” says Minick.
“From a buyer’s standpoint, you know you’re getting something proven,” says Minick. “You’re getting something that’s been there, done that, not a 30-day wonder. There’s no tricks to these horses. These are horses you can go and use, or hopefully put ’em up and get ’em out when you need to. And I think the Stock Show is so proud of the sales. They don’t want to dilute the playing field of the FWSSR Invitational Ranch Horse Show & Sale.”
The 2022 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo runs from January 14 to February 5. Shop for your next blue-ribbon winner during the Heritage Sale on January 15 and at the Invitational Ranch Horse Show & Sale on January 16. Visit fwssr.com to view the sales catalogs.