top of page


Story By: Lizzie Iwersen

In its second year of production, the Riata Buckle Championship delivered on its promise of paying out the most added money in team roping history. Winners of the #12.5, Tyler Singleton and Jesse Jolly, won the week’s biggest paycheck, splitting $115,432. The cowboys had not met prior and were matched by Riata Buckle’s partner-finder. Tyler, of Brundidge, Alabama, didn’t even know about the Riata Buckle until he unknowingly added a Riata Buckle-eligible horse to his herd in August 2023 from Clovis Horse Sales.
The Clovis Horse Sales’ August sale has had a team roping focus since 1994. They hold a team roping jackpot prior to the sale that conveniently doubles as a preview for consigned horses. In 2023, longtime CHS consigners Wilson Cattle Co. brought eight Riata Buckle-eligible geldings to sell at sale held at Levelland, Texas’ Mallet Event Center. Brooke and Rodey Wilson of Canyon, Texas, combined their reputation for selling well-trained team roping horses with the draw of Riata eligibility to create a special session within the regular sale. Their offerings — and one in particular — caught the eye of Brundidge, Alabama’s Singleton family.
“We saw a bunch of videos of the horses the Wilsons consigned to Clovis on their Facebook page,” Tyler recalls. “My dad saw a sorrel horse called Traveler. He showed me, and I thought, ‘yeah, he handles real good.’ We kept watching the videos, registered online and ended up bidding on him.”


Tyler Singleton won the #12.5 at the 2023 Riata Buckle on Lone Jonez, a 5-year-old gelding he purchased at Clovis Horse Sales’ August sale. 

Photo Courtesy Anderson/CbarC Photo

Tyler had been to the Wilsons’ the year prior to try some horses and had his sights set on owning a Wilson-trained horse. 
“I like the way they put a handle on their head horses and how they get ahold of the steer going across the pen,” Tyler said. “I just really like the way their head horses handle.”
While the selection of horses were all advertised as Riata-eligible, the Singletons did not factor that into their decision to bid on 4-year-old

Lone Jonez (Travelin Jonez x Rubies Lil Sis x Mr Dual Pep), admittedly because they didn’t know anything about the Riata Buckle. 
“Tyler didn’t even pick up a rope til he was 15 years old,” Jodie Singleton, Tyler’s mom, said. “His good head horse has been out two years with a suspensory injury, and we are trying to get him rehabbed back but we wanted to get him something else while we rehabbed him. We didn’t even know how the Riata roping really worked.”
Tyler’s previous head horses were on the bigger side, and Tyler wanted to try something smaller this time around. 
“I’ve got mostly bigger horses, and Traveler was a little smaller,” Tyler said.  “He looked like he was a little quicker and a step up from the horses I’ve got.”


Moving forward on the faith the Singletons had in the Wilsons’ program and hearing good things about Clovis Horse Sales from fellow ropers, the Singletons registered to make their first-ever online bids from home in Alabama. Their high bid secured the gelding, and Tyler's dad and a friend headed out to Levelland to get Lone Jonez and another purchase to bring home to Alabama.
“Until we got Traveler home, we had only just been paying attention to the horse and how he worked, not about Riata Buckle,” Tyler, who works with his family at their scrap metal business, said. “When we looked into it and understood he was eligible, that’s when we decided to go.”
Getting in sync with a horse before a major event in only a few months can be a quick turnaround. Thankfully, Traveler made it easy.
“It was real easy to get with him when I brought him home,” Tyler said. “The first time I got on him, I thought, ‘this is the one.’ He felt a lot quicker than my other horses. Me being a bigger guy at 6’ 6”, those smaller-type horses can kinda get out from underneath you quicker, but he felt real good. He was good in the box, he scored, he was everything they said he was.”

Jodie traveled to Guthrie with her mother and Tyler’s girlfriend.  “We’re a pretty tight family so we’re always together,” Jodie said. “We thought he was second or third high call, and that’s what we were texting everyone back home. Well, when they were saying the call backs and never said his name, we were looking at one another. When they said he was high call, my mom and his girlfriend just went crazy. I teared up and couldn’t believe it. We were definitely the loudest in the arena when they roped that last steer.”
Tyler and Traveler kept their cool down in the arena. 
“When I walked in the box as high callback, I really just tried to block out all the noise and just
go make the same runs I’ve been making all day and keep my head focused,” Tyler recalls. “I
wasn’t trying to think of the money situation or none of that, just trying to think about it one steer at a time.”

The #12.5 at Riata Buckle is open to all ages of horses. As a 5-year-old, Traveler was eligible for the 5-year-old and under incentive. Jesse Jolly’s 2019 mount, JJ Fire In the Hole, was qualified as well. This meant the two were roping as high call for the win of the roping and the 5 years and under incentive side-pot. Tyler kept his nerves in check and so did Traveler. 
“Walking in the box as high call, he felt the same,” Tyler said. “I figured with my nerves being a little high that he would get antsy, but he stayed calm.” Tyler and Jesse made another smooth and clean run to capture the win and the big payout of $57,716 per man. With the money, Tyler says he’ll probably buy some roping steers and save the rest.  There will certainly be some more road trips with Traveler in the future. 
“There are several US ropings around home that I go to,” Tyler says. “Allen’s Roping Productions, JX2 Productions. I’m hoping to make the trip to Vegas to the World Series Finale next year. If I do, I’m definitely taking Traveler with me.”


holding check.jpg

Tyler Singleton won the #12.5, and the 5-year-old and under Incentive for a total of $57,716. Lone Jonez, “Traveler,” is by Travelin Jonez and was consigned by Wilson Cattle Co.
Photo courtesy Jodie Singleton

bottom of page