Champs a big part of sale

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Paul Tierney knows what it means to have a high quality performance horse.

In his lifetime, Tierney has utilized great horses on the ranch and at rodeos all across this land. You see, he’s a two-time world champion from Oral, S.D., having earned the tie-down roping title in 1979 and the coveted all-around gold buckle a season later. In 2008, he was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

Paul Tierney
Paul Tierney

But his admiration for performance horses runs even deeper, and he sees the need for many others who can benefit from the powerful equines. That’s why he is working with Nate Morrison of The Breeders Connection to produce the Champions Select Performance Horse Sale, set for Monday, May 12, on The preview will begin Monday, May 5, on the website.

“I believe there are a lot of people out there who have never been exposed to a better horse,” said Tierney, whose sons, Jess and Paul David, are among the elite cowboys on the rodeo trail today. “You’re going to be able to subject yourself to possibly buying this horse. Somebody from California who wants to rope calves but has never been exposed to my horses will now have that exposure.”

Clay O'Brien Cooper
Clay O’Brien Cooper

Tierney is just one of several legendary horsemen who are part of this sale, joining several elite cowboys from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, including world champions like Clay O’Brien Cooper, Jake Barnes, Rope Meyers and Jhett Johnson. They will be joined by National Finals Rodeo qualifiers Beau Franzen, Bill Parker, Kyle Lockett and Cody Cowden, as well as Jess Tierney, a three-time qualifier to the National Finals Steer Roping.

Cooper and Barnes were the marquee tandem in team roping for many years, earning seven world championships in the 1980s-90s. Cooper, a heeler, has qualified for the NFR 27 times, while his longtime partner, Barnes, has 25 appearances on ProRodeo’s biggest stage.

Jhett Johnson
Jhett Johnson

Meyers qualified for the NFR seven times and earned the gold buckle in 2001; he followed in the footsteps of his world champion father, Butch, who won steer wrestling gold in 1980. Johnson, a heeler, won the world title in 2011 during his fifth NFR qualification.

Parker qualified for the finals in both tie-down roping and team roping, while Cowden and Lockett were finalists in team roping. Franzen is a two-time NFR qualifier in steer wrestling.

“I think it’s a great opportunity with the marketing tools that Nate has for us to be able to expose ourselves to the whole gamut of people who are looking for horses,” Tierney said. “They’re looking for a good calf horse or any type of rodeo horses.

“Nate has established his website as a great marketplace. I think it’s very advantageous to anybody in the horse business that needs to expose their horses to the market. We’re not just exposing our horses to the people who are reading the magazines, but from all over with the internet. We’re able to have more exposure, which helps you open up to a bigger audience.”

What will potential buyers see when they log on? They will see horses that have been trained and developed by the professionals who know what it takes to compete on these amazing animals.

“When you’ve done this for as long as Jake, Clay and myself, we know the aspects of the horses we have,” Tierney said. “We know what that horse has to do. What we want these horses to do most is have a connection with anybody.”

Training an animal to be able to perform like that is easier said than done, but that’s what makes the Champions Select horses special.

“We really believe we’re going to have the kind of horse on the video that anybody will be able to ride and use,” he said. “This isn’t just the high performers who are looking at these horses, but we’re going to say that a person of less ability will be able to ride these horses because there’s a great amount of control that the horse has in him.”


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