Brown Joe Hancock

A chapter from the rare out-of-print book "Shoat, a Champion Roper" by R.D. Carroll

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 years.

"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," Shoat remembered.

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

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