by Alexis BennettThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Bobby Gray and Terry Brooks
Bobby Gray of Ralston, Oklahoma, is not new to the AQHA world championship show scene. In fact, he boasts two world championships in ranch sorting and two in team penning, as well as six reserve world championships between the two events.
And he was no less successful this year.
He and partner Terry Brooks of Blanchard, Oklahoma, secured their world championship title August 25 at the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show in ranch sorting.
The crowd cheered in the finals as the pair held the herd, awaiting the buzzer that signified that their time was up. There was a definite strategy in this move.
Bobby: We wanted to “Just be on the safe side. Three cattle would get us a check, we didn’t know where, but it is pretty safe. The cattle were tough.”
Terry: “Bobby’s strategy was to get three when we went in there. Experience knows best, he’s been here and done it.”
After a successful preliminary run, the two did not want to test their luck in the finals.
Terry: “(Our) preliminary run was pretty interesting. I kept cheering him on to go get another cow. It was our day.”
Terry also competed in the team penning.
Terry: “I had an opportunity in the penning, but our ride fell apart, so I was really pressing on this deal, especially coming in with the lead.” The world championship in the sorting “felt pretty sweet.”
Along with his world championship, Bobby also secured a reserve world championship on a different horse with partner Mike Belter of Lookeba, Oklahoma.
Bobby and Terry’s horsemanship helped them secure their title. They each utilized the strengths of their horses.
Terry: “I told (Bobby) when we started this deal that I’d like to just stay in the gate because the mare I was on is really tough in the gate. She’s just a good, solid horse.”
Bobby competed on Ladys Silver Spoon who is by Hes A Peptospoonful and out of Lady Sadie Solano. Though her rider is a veteran, this is the 6-year-old bay mare’s first time at this event. Terry competed on his gray mare, FLS Playin On Time, who is by Playgun and out of Oaks Cowgirl by Doc’s Oak.
Though Bobby is the veteran to the winners circle, Terry is no novice to the horse world. He comes from a family full of American Quarter Horse enthusiasts. His uncle is legendary racehorse jockey Roy Brooks; Terry’s cousin is racehorse trainer Jack Brooks, who has won the All American Futurity a record eight times.
Terry: “My family has been in the Quarter Horse business, the racing, since I was very young. I’ve got an uncle who’s one of the oldest, active riders. As a kid, I stayed with them a lot. I’ve got cousins who are trainers and uncles who are trainers; it’s been what we’ve done.”
He picked up sorting and team penning after a friend introduced him to it. He wanted a hobby outside of the horse racing world. Plus, his partner Bobby is quick to point out, “he’s too big to ride racehorses.”
It's your moment; make it last forever! Videos of individual runs and class finals from the Adequan Select World Championship Show are available for purchase at www.aqha.com/mymoment. Plus, you can watch Adequan Select World video footage 24/7. This new service is optimized for Internet Explorer 10, Safari and most mobile Web browsers.
Terry: “I tried to get down to 120 pounds in the day. At 6 foot, I was just too big. I could ride, but I just couldn’t get the weight. I just decided, after my kids graduated high school that I wanted another hobby. A local friend, Don Bell, introduced me to sorting.”
Terry Brooks has paved his own way in the horse industry, securing his first world championship in the sorting with partner Bobby Gray. The pair’s thoughtful strategy paid off as they made their way around the arena for the victory lap.