STOLI THE SHOW
One money-making horse gives way to another for steer wrestler Matt Reeves.
By Amy C. Witt
In over a year, Stoli the Show, aka “Roy” has helped six-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo steer wrestling qualifier Matt Reeves haul in a half-million dollars. And in July, the 10-year old grandson of legendary Frenchmans Guy helped Reeves earn the coveted 2018 Calgary Stampede Champion Steer Wrestling title, not to mention $114,500 Canadian dollars.
“As of now Roy has helped me make the biggest part of my best year,” Reeves said.
But his Calgary win was bittersweet. The second round offered a challenge with a muddy arena and a steer that hadn’t been caught. After making a long run, Matt looked and noticed Roy was possibly crippled. Immediately examined by a vet, Roy was hauled back to a veterinarian in Texas who treated him for sprained medial and lateral collateral ligaments.
“My thanks to Dakota Eldridge for letting me ride ‘Rusty’ at Calgary. But Roy helped me move on, Matt says. “He is major part of my career and life.”
Before the Cross Plains, Texas cowboy started rodeoing off of Roy in February of last year, he had been competing on his good horse, French Wonder, aka “Ote.” The 2002 palomino was second in the AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year voting in 2013. Matt’s wife, professional barrel racer, Savannah Reeves was turned on to Ote by fellow barrel racer Jordon Briggs when Jordon mentioned the horse had a lot of potential but not as a barrel horse. Interested in Ote’s bloodlines, Matt and his father in-law, Sam Koenig drove to Jordon’s house and jumped steers off Ote for the very first time. In that moment, Matt knew Ote would be something special.
“Ote definitely turned my career up, made things go faster and just allowed me to do better,” Matt says. “We had an unbelievable connection.”
Regardless of who rode Ote, they were almost guaranteed to win a check. Professional steer wrestler, Bray Armes knew that no matter where he rode Ote, he would be smiling in the winner’s circle. In 2013, Bray lost his best horse, “Ricky Bobby” so he called Matt and asked Matt if he would mount him on Ote at the upcoming rodeos. Matt agreed. In a short amount of time, Bray went from not winning a dime to cashing in every time he and Ote made a run. By the end of the season, Ote carried Bray to the pay window multiple times. A month before the 2013 NFR, Bray offered to purchase Ote from Matt. They made the deal, and within the 10 rounds of the NFR, Ote helped the two cowboys win approximately $180,000.
With the 2014 rodeo season approaching, Marr was in need of another horse. That January, Jordon calle to say she was familiar with another prospect that had speed: a 6-year old out of the great producer Sixes Future by Stoli. The mare sports a whole host of legendary speed horses on her topside like Dash For Cash and Beduino, and revered cow horses on her bottom side, including Doc O’ Lena and Peppy San Badger. Other Sixes Future offspring include barrel racing futurity and derby standout Stoli My Guy (by Traffic Guy) and Frenchmans Future (by Frenchmans Guy), who later went on to win the 2014 Barrel Futurities of America Juvenile Futurity. Matt was immediately excited. The big gelding with a sorrel blazed face had never been in the box and never had any steers tracked on him. But after tracking a few, Matt instantly knew that this horse was meant for him. He bought Stoli the Show that same day.
“I wanted him because of the mare, but I also knew what I wanted him to feel like…and he did,” Matt says.
Quickly, Matt discovered that Roy was not only birthed from an outstanding mare, but he was sired by a stud who was significant: French Wonder. Yes, Matt’s beloved Ote had been kept a stud and sired 43 colts before he was gelded, which was his status when Matt purchased him years before..
As Matt went down the road in 2014, newbie Roy was his back-up horse. But in September 2016, Matt’s first-string rodeo horse, “Nacho” cut himself in the pasture and Matt was forced to humanely euthanize him. With the 2017 rodeo season approaching, Matt realized he had a 9-year old back-up horse and it was time to see what he could do.
Since entering their first rodeo, Roy has helped Matt win more than $550,000 in less than two years’ time while accomplishing many of the Reeves’ family’s goals and dreams. Matt anticipates he and his sorrel horse will be together in the arena again by late September.
“I am very thankful and glad that everyone had faith in me that I could do this. You can teach a horse a lot but I think they can teach you more.”