2023 Steer Roping Horse of the Year Son Ofa Glo

2023 Steer Roping Horse of the Year Son Ofa Glo

Slade Wood celebrates career year on steer roping horse of the year. 

Slade Wood and Son Ofa Glo in steer roping.

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The American Quarter Horse Journal logo

By Lane Karney for The American Quarter Horse Journal

Texas steer roper Slade Wood this year qualified for his second National Finals Steer Roping and finished a career-best fifth in the world with $116,655. He got it done with the help of his equine partner, “Junior,” who’s registered as Son Ofa Glo. It was a bonus on a banner season when the best steer ropers in the world voted Junior the 2023 Nutrena Steer Roping Horse of the Year, presented by AQHA.  

Slade and Junior have traveled the rodeo road together. And they’ve arrived. 

“We got Junior from Cody Stanley when he was probably 7 years old. I headed on him in junior high and high school rodeo,” Slade says of the now-15-year-old sorrel gelding. “When I was about 16, I started roping steers, and right about then, my dad (and fellow NFSR qualifier Neal Wood) started roping steers on him. We both rode him some the first year I bought my card (Slade was the 2021 steer roping and all-around Resistol Rookie of the Year in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association). This is the first full year I’ve gotten to rope on him at the rodeos all year.”

The sorrel gelding is by Doc Acre Glo and out of Skipa Frosty Sue by Skipastarsky. He was bred by Rosemary Harrison of Maysville, Oklahoma. 

A great horse plays a serious role in the success of every great cowboy, and maybe even more so in the steer roping. It’s no coincidence that Slade had the best season of his young career aboard the horse voted as the very best by the top 25 steer ropers in the world.

“I feel like without a horse in the steer roping, it doesn’t matter how good you rope or tie. It’s almost impossible without a good one. Junior makes it so much easier, and if you don’t have one that’s honest and trusts you, it’s so hard to trust them, which is really important,” says Slade, 21, who is a native of New Ulm, Texas, but now calls Stephenville home. “Junior is the same go every time. He doesn’t leave until you drop your hand, but then he’s hauling butt to them. I don’t have many steers get up, then he’s leaning into the end of it. Not one time this year did he get me.”

Regardless of the recognition, it’s a special feat for the Woods to have trained the steer roping horse of the year and have Slade and Junior accomplish what they have together since the start. 

“It’s a pretty cool feeling. I had guys texting me to make sure I nominated him, because if I hadn’t, they were going to. For all those guys to think mine was the best is super cool. I didn’t think much of it, but after he won it, I thought it was really cool,” says Slade, who also won the team roping title at the 2023 College National Finals Rodeo heading for Logan Moore. “I was way more happy for Junior than I was for myself. My dad was beyond excited, too, because he started him in this event. To grow up roping on him, make my second Finals on him and have my best year yet on him was pretty cool.” 

Scott Snedecor’s 2021 Horse of the Year JS Frosty Badger, aka “Goose,” was voted this year’s reserve steer roping horse of the year. Cody Lee’s Mesquitewood, known as “San Antone,” finished third in the voting.