JD YATES AND DT AIR JORDAN WIN SECOND CONSECUTIVE WORLD CHAMPION ARHFA HEADING TITLE
American Rope Horse Futurity World Championship, Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 18–19, 2018
An emotional JD Yates won his second consecutive American Rope Horse Futurity Association World Champion heading title in 2018.
JD Yates piloted the 6-year-old bald face sorrel gelding DT Air Jordan to his second consecutive American Rope Horse Futurity Association heading world title with a score of 929.54 on four head.
DT Air Jordan is by Shiners Lena Chex out of Margies Little Jess and was raised by Dean Tuftin. The horse is owned by Kyle and Greg Hause of Gill, Colorado. Greg hopped the arena wall as the roping came to an end to hug his jockey.
“It’s just the idea to compete, and have a chance to win big,” an emotional Yates said, choking back tears on the floor of Fort Worth, Texas’ John Justin Arena after the win. “It makes it all worth it. Hard work, just what anybody does, just happened to be roping for me.”
Yates was second call-back on DT Air Jordan and fourth call-back on the horse’s full sister, DT Juno Shines. But with DT Juno Shines, Yates’ son and NFR heeler Trey roped a leg. Visibly frustrated, Trey rode back up the arena, had 30 seconds to regroup, and backed in the box on his great bay, Romancing the Chicks.
“I just told him, ‘We’ve got another chance.’ That’s really how you grow as a roper. A kid his age, learning to be what he wants to be—one of the best in the world—you need to have flaws in your life like that to have to reach down and step it up on the next steer. There was no doubt in my mind that he’d catch that steer. If there was anybody going to screw up on the team, it was me. Those moments are what make you a better person and a better roper. I have got to hand it to him. He rodeoed all year, came home and rode all my heel horses and helped me work them. I’m getting to the point in my life where I can’t take it like I used to. And he’s really trying to step it up and do the right thing as far as helping me. That’s what it’s all about. The winning is one of the most outstanding things in the world, but how you play the game—there’s no better feeling.”