Genetics Used In East Texas Rodeo

The sport of rodeo has become a "high-tech" field for breeders, trying to reproduce the sport's top athletes, the horses and bulls! Two of the top outdoor rodeos in the country are right here in East Texas, and each year new stock is needed for them. Many ranchers are specializing in an area that provides future champions, rodeo genetics.

The excitement of rodeo is spurred by the wild energy of rodeo bulls and broncs, who perform magnificently. And for the last 12 years, rancher Alvin Jones has specialized in providing the animals that make exciting rodeo.  "We get some of the best bucking bulls out there. You get a good bull that's producing and you need to have a few of those on hand," says Jones.

By tracking the best performing animals, Jones and others like him try to isolate a genetic trait. The offspring of a few animals carry the thing breeders are looking for.  "A lot of people say you can train them to buck, no, no, no. That's just bred in them like a racehorse," he says.

Most of the cows are artificially inseminated with the genes of well-known performers, but that's no guarantee the offspring will produce. Jones even tests the young bulls' energy by putting a remote rider on them. And adding a little humor, those who don't pan out, still make a contribution of sorts. "That's when they go to Whataburger" Jones says.

Jones loves rodeo, but now on a different perspective. "I used to be for the cowboys but now I'm for the bulls".

Jones says the offspring of a champion's bloodline can sell for as high as $100,000.

Bob Hallmark reporting,