Ropers Sports News | June 2021

By Julie Mankin A dozen years ago, when Kory Koontz picked up the dun yearling that is now the defending Montana Silversmiths Heel Horse of the BFI, it took him three hours just to get him loaded in the trailer. The colt was given to Koontz in hopes he’d be the second coming of Iceman, the dun that 30 years ago launched the ca- reer of the now-22-time NFR qualifier. Of course, Koontz had another dun named Jackyl, on whom Jade Corkill won two gold buckles. Plus, he once owned Switch- blade, on whom Corkill won his other gold buckle, and LB, on whom Clay Cooper won an NFR average title. These were the four horses that packed Koontz to most of those NFRs and so many epic jackpot wins that even prior to this March, he was the undisputed best big-money heeler of all time (five Wildfire wins; three George Strait wins; two BFI victories and a US Open title). So in 2009, hoping the new colt would be a combina- tion of all four equine superstars, Koontz nicknamed him “Remix.” He would laugh ruefully about that over the years. Because Remix tried to kill him, and several times, Koontz wanted to kill him back. But remarkably, not even a le- thal trailer accident a year ago kept the horse from fulfilling his destiny. Finally. “He can fly, but you don’t ever feel it because he moves real easy,” Koontz said of his 13-year-old first-stringer. “He has a longer stride and can stretch out and haul butt and then rates down real smooth. It doesn’t ever feel out of control; it doesn’t get you out of your saddle when he makes that corner.” But here’s how it started. The first time Koontz saddled Remix, he bucked so hard that he jumped a gate, flipped over a fence, and ran off, forcing Koontz to rope him. Over those weeks, Koontz tried ponying him for miles and then getting on. He’d still buck. So Koontz sent the 24060 N. Ray Rd., Lodi, CA 95242 • 209-333-2924 • • R OPERS S PORTS N EWS JUNE 2021 V OL . 53, N O . 5 $2.50 “The Original Team Roping Publication” O FFICIAL P UBLICATION O F : • California ACTRA • California $hoot-Outs Postage Pre-Paid TIME DATED MATERIAL – DO NOT DELAY See RENEGADE REMIX on Page 18 Popular Three Rivers, CA Event Makes A Comeback Saddle winners at the Three Rivers Roping were Caleb Cowden and Trey White. Robert Lea presents. – Deb Mann Photo THREE RIVERS, CALIF. – After a three-year hiatus, the Three Rivers Lions Club Roping made a comeback the weekend of April 23-24. The ACTRA ropings along with calf branding, barrel racing and pee wee events made this a fun weekend for the whole family. The event was produced by the Robert Lea family. See THREE RIVERS on Page 4 Renegade Remix The fifth epic horse owned by defending and three-time BFI champ Kory Koontz has a colorful background. Kory Koontz has been known for his winning mounts, but Remix is the first that he broke and trained himself. – Performance Horse Photography Saddles were awarded to the high point ropers Caleb

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