November 6-21, 2015, Oklahoma City

Junior Dally Team Roping Heading

After an injury, AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates and Dancing With Heart rope the gold trophy.

After months of recuperation from an injury, AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates was back to win junior heading with Dancing With Heart at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show.

“Well it’s been a long year for me, I haven’t had much luck this year,” J.D. said. “I got hurt early, so the guys that work for me had to do a lot of the work. So it was pretty special to get (a win).”

In fact, some of the 2007 red roan mare’s qualifying took place after J.D.’s injury.

“I don’t do all the work,” he said. “Actually, my cousin, Jay Wadhams, and the boy that works for me, Jordan Allyn (do a lot). I spent about five and a half months on the sidelines, just sitting and watching and trying to tell them what to do after my surgery.

“Jordan actually finished qualifying her for me and I just took her to one show before he rode her. (He) kept her in shape and kept her working all year for me.”

After qualifying, though, J.D. didn’t have a whole lot of time to practice before coming to the World Show.

“We didn’t go to a lot of shows with her because I was down and we just didn’t go to a lot of shows,” he said. “So actually Jordan did a lot of the work. He and Jay did most of the work throughout the summer. I mean, I did the first initial part of it.

“But (when) you have surgery in May and you don’t come back until two weeks before the World Show, you don’t get a lot of time to ride your horses. So I feel fortunate that I have good help and those guys stepped up to the plate and took care of me.”

And Jordan and Jay weren’t the only ones working hard to get everyone to the win. Dancing With Heart did a lot of the work herself.

“Don Murphy turned me onto (her) a couple of years ago, and I bought her a couple years ago for myself actually,” J.D. said of the mare. “And then Dixon Flowers Quarter Horses came by and wanted to buy her and have me show her.

“She’s by Boonlight Dancer, so she (had) quite a bit of talent before I got her,” he said. “And hopefully we didn’t stay in her way, and she kinda did her job for us.”

J.D. was very proud of how well she did during their run in the arena.

“I thought (she) scored really (well),” he said. “She ran hard and I drew a steer that ran hard. She was really good getting a hold of that steer and turning him off. I probably could have faced her a little stronger, if I was to watch it and want to critique it, but these are junior horses, 5 and under, and you can’t expect them to be 100 percent (all the time).

“I personally think she did a really nice job, she faced really clean. I’ve had her face faster and stronger, but she did a lot of other stuff that was so good (and) I just kind of relaxed on the face. I probably could have asked for more, but she was so good throughout the run that I just trusted her to do it.”

J.D. wasn’t the only one excited about Dancing With Heart’s run at the World Show.

“The people who own her, (Lindsey Dixon, of Dixon Flowers Quarter Horses), is pregnant with twins and they’re supposed to come the first of December,” J.D. said. “And she was so excited that she made them get her a wheelchair and brought her to the horse show.”

It turned out to be well worth the trip for everyone involved. And although this is just one of numerous awards for J.D., winning junior heading still holds meaning to him.

“You know what, when you win one, it seems like it’s forever before you get another one,” he said. “So anytime you get one, it means a ton to me. It’s what we work for all year, to come here and get one, and we come here thinking we could win every class and hoping we have the talent and the horses. (We just hope) we did our job throughout the year so that we could win every class.

“But we’re not the only ones who think that way,” he said. “Everyone who wants to compete on a high level should think that way. So you know, when you come here and compete against the quality of horses that are here … If you get one, that’s a pretty successful week in my eyes, and I feel blessed that we got one.”

“We’ve been pretty lucky,” he said.
Dancing With Heart and AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates

AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates and Dancing With Heart rope the world champion title at the 2012 AQHA World Show. (Journal photo)