Brown Joe Hancock
( Foaled in 1940 by Joe Hancock P455 and out of Triangle Lady
5, P450, Brown Joe Hancock obtained 21 AQHA performance points
and achieved his Open Register of Merit in 1957)
"One day I needed a horse to go run the saddle horses in on
and there was none available," Shoat said. "So, I put a rope
halter on one of the studs and set out to bring the horses
in. As we neared the pens the horses missed the gate and I
had to really get after the horse I was riding to head them
off and bring them back through the gate. When it was time
to stop the horse that I was riding, I pulled back on the
rope attached to the halter. That horse just set down when
he stopped and I mean, he really stopped. I made up my mind
right there I was going to rope calves on this horse." The
horse was Brown Joe Hancock, a three-year-old stallion, who
would be Shoat's main calf roping horse for the next several
"He was always the same. I could count on him to be consistent,"
Shoat said. "He could run to that perfect position behind
a calf and then really stop when you waved that slack. I had
lots of match ropings while riding that horse and he was the
one thing I never worried about. When I came home from a calf
roping, Brown Joe Hancock was turned loose with the geldings.
We fed the horses we were using and roping on, but we never
stalled or pampered them. When someone came to visit they
couldn't believe a stud was running with the other horses
and at one time there were two studs in with the geldings,"
Brown Joe Hancock sired several colts and all seemed to have
lots of ability. One of the colts ended up belonging to Bill
Lawrence, Shoat's neighbor and sometimes traveling partner.
This colt made an outstanding roping horse and Shoat used
him in many of the calf ropings he entered. This horse called
Joe was like his sire (Brown Joe Hancock) in many respects.
He was very consistent and dependable, could really stop and
always worked a good rope.
Shoat used Joe in a calf roping match with perennial champion
Toots Mansfield. "Joe worked outstanding all day long," recalled
Bill Lawrence. "Shoat's belly was black and blue where Joe
had jerked them big Brahma heifers into him. Shoat won the
match, though, and he used Joe in lots of ropings after that."
Since Lawrence lived only a couple miles from Shoat, Joe was
always available. Both men laugh today as they tell how Shoat
and whoever was traveling with him at the time, would stop
by and get old Joe. It simply didn't matter if Bill was home
or not, they took old Joe and went off 'rodeoin'. "Someone
could have stolen him for all the information I had," Bill
laughed. "When I saw the horse was gone, I figured Shoat had
been by and got him."
While Shoat owned Brown Joe Hancock, the horse won the registered
roping** at Denver three different times. Leonard Milligan,
a close friend of Shoat's, wanted to own a horse he could
win those 'registered' ropings with, so Shoat traded Brown
Joe for a gray horse Leonard had in training with Slim Whaley.
This new horse was named Milligan's Roany and he would pair
up with Shoat and become almost as famous as Popcorn. Milligan's
Roany proved to be a talented horse, but completely opposite
Shoat's great horse Popcorn.
There was probably no way Shoat would have traded Brown Joe
Hancock off if it had not been for the fact he had other horses
coming on. Shoat always believed that while you had a good
horse you should be working on another one because injuries
and other mishaps could take away your favorite horse for
some time. While Shoat was traveling to rodeos, each time
he came home he would spend hours riding horses that were
going to become roping horses.
Horses like Rib and Triangle and a little later, a son of
the immortal Leo, known as Deck. "While these horses were
in training, I rode them in the pasture just like any other
horse," Shoat said. "If you couldn't ride them in the pasture
just like any other horse, he didn't stay on the place," The
one exception was Deck, a good looking sorrel. "Deck had all
the ability in the world in the arena, but he simply did not
ride very good in the wide open spaces." Shoat remembered.
"I don't know why he didn't ride very good outside, but he
was so outstanding while roping calves, I figured we could
overlook a few of his shortcomings. I won the registered roping
on him three times at the Fort Worth horse show." Glen Franklin
rode Deck throughout the year in 1965 to win his third calf
roping title. He also rode him in a much-publicized match
roping with Jim Bob Altizer, which he won at San Angelo, Texas.
** registered ropings are the early
AQHA ropings for AQHA registered horses.
A chapter from the rare out of print book "Shoat a Champion
Roper" by R.D. Carroll. The story of Shoat Webster. Sent to
us by Lee Jones, C-J Ranch. Thank you Lee!!
"Shoat signed my book, saying keep raising those Hancock
horses they have always been the best." ~Lee