Brandon Stokes and Son Of A Slick (Slick By Design x Luck Sure E Tacs x Dash Ta Fame) Top the field at the Yeti Classic Futurity in Big Piney, Wyoming. Photo by Western Edge Photo

Brandon (BJ) Stokes knew the competition would be tough at this year’s fifth annual Yeti Classic Futurity, but that did not deter him nor 5-year-old gelding Son Of A Slick from bringing their best to the Sublette County Fairgrounds in Big Piney, Wyoming, from June 2–4 to take their shot at the Yeti Classic Futurity title.

“I thought going to the show, ‘Geez, there is a lot of tough competition here,’” Stokes laughed. “I knew that my horse had all the speed and potential—it was just a matter of whether he could focus and do the job.”

When the weekend ended in Big Piney, it was Stokes and “Slick” who rose to the top of that tough futurity field. In the first go, the pair clocked a 16.630 to win the go-round and $1,077.

“He went in and found his spots and worked really well,” Stokes said. “I knew about halfway through the first run that he was putting one together. I just had to trust him.”

In the second go, Stokes says the plan was simply to do what they had done the day before. They returned strong with a 16.705 for third place and $653. With an aggregate time of 33.335, the pair also topped the average to add another $1,436 to their weekend earnings.

“He went in and worked really well,” Stokes said of the gelding by National Finals Rodeo stallion Slick By Design. “I was very pleased with both of his runs. I was excited. This is our second foal out of a mare that we own, Luck Sure E Tacs.”

Stokes, who trains futurity horses full time out of his West Jordan, Utah, facility, says he is excited to have one of his own colts performing so well. 

“I started him as a 2-year-old and then came back his 3-year-old year and rode him a little more consistently,” Stokes shared. “I’m not real big on futuritying 4-year-olds, so I decided to hold off until he was a 5-year-old for maturity. I knew he had a lot of speed and a lot of talent. I also knew I didn’t want to push him too hard. It paid off last week.”

Stokes says that while Slick is all business when he goes to work, the gelding definitely has his silly moments outside of the barrel pen.

“Warming up, you kind of have to watch him. If you’re loping a circle and another horse comes up by him, he thinks that other horse is going to get him. He is all for bowing out,” Stokes laughed. “He’s quirky that way. He thinks that horses and other things are out to get him. But when it comes time to go into the arena, he’s very focused and aggressive. He’s all about it once you turn him loose. Sometimes he’s almost too much—there are times I’ve had to back him off and say, ‘Whoa, you’re not ready for that kind of speed.’ I’ve had to learn to ride him more reserved to his first barrel and let him build off of it.”

Stokes says one of his favorite things about Slick is his natural ability to get underneath himself in his turns. He believes it is a trait passed down by the mare, whom Stokes owns and plans to continue breeding.

“After I bought the first one out of Luck Sure E Tacs—[a 2012 gray gelding named] Snowlucky—off the track in California, I knew I wanted more of those babies. I was fortunate enough to buy the mare and Son Of A Slick from Stanley Watkins,” Stokes explained. 

Stokes plans to finish what he hopes will be a successful futurity and derby career for Slick before finding the gelding a new partner.

“My goal is to find him the right fit—maybe a rodeo person who wants to take him and finish out his career since I am more focused on the futurity and derby part of things,” Stokes said.

Stokes thanks his partner Mike Austin for his help and support.

“He is half-owner of Slick,” Stokes shared. “He’s really helped throughout the training process and is knowledgeable with breeding. He has been a big help.”

Yeti Classic Futurity Average Winners

  • Futurity 1D Average: Brandon (BJ) Stokes on Son Of A Slick, 33.335 (16.630, 16.705), $3,166
  • Futurity 2D Average: Britta Strain on Streakin Boon Stars, 35.240 (17.451, 17.789), $957
Yeti Classic Futurity Round Winners
  • First go 1D: BJ Stokes, Son Of A Slick, 16.640, $1,077; 2D: BJ Stokes, Donnas Lucky Lady, 17.764, $718
  • Second go 1D: Lora Nichols, French Dynamite Stik, 16.550, $1,077; 2D: Laura Lambert, RGR Tellemimfamous, 17.612, $718

For complete results from the Yeti Classic, click here. Learn more about the event at chasintimeproductions.com.

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