Reliance Ranches has a not-so-secret weapon in their barrel racing program, and her name is Laura Mote.
Every major industry player has their secret weapon, and for Reliance Ranches, it’s Laura Mote.
The 19-year-old from Llano, Texas is forgoing college to pursue horse-training excellence much like her parents, four-time PRCA Bareback Riding World Champion Bobby Mote and wife Kate.
“I’ve always ridden Reliance Ranch horses, since my dad started working for them,” Mote said. “I hadn’t been a huge part–especially the barrel horse part–but the last couple years I’ve gotten more into riding the younger horses and the like 2- and 3-year-olds.”
It was a slow burn for Mote, who has always enjoyed the rodeo scene. Now, she’s turned her attention towards training competitive futurity horses while rodeoing on the weekends.
“I knew a little bit about barrel futurities, but I wanted to do more of it,” Mote explained. “I love rodeoing, but I also love to train horses. I’m kind of just doing both at full speed and we’ll just see how it goes.”
Mote tag-teams the colts’ training with her father Bobby, who will head and heel on them to teach them to use their bodies correctly.
“Normally, me and my dad will switch off. I’ll have a horse for about a week and then he’ll take the horse and he will head and heel the Smarty on them. It really gets them using their mind on a job,” Mote said.
There are plenty of prospects to go around, especially with the Reliance Ranches upping their performance-breeding game with the purchase of several top-notch stallions.
Mote was perhaps the most excited one on the ranch when Gary McKinney, owner of Reliance Ranches, purchased Bucks Hancock Dude (Watch Me Dude To x San Tip Hancock x Leon JP Hancock) in early 2022.
“I was really happy when Gary bought Bucks Hancock Dude because I knew that meant some barrel horse prospects would be coming through,” Mote said. “We’d always gotten really good Reliance [off-the-track] prospects for roping and barrels, but I always wanted to train true barrel-horse-bred horses and see how that would work out.”
Now, Mote has several Bucks Hancock Dude prospects under saddle and says the stallion – who was an AQHA Reserve World Champion tie-down horse under Bobby Lewis and the sire of Emily Beisel’s accomplished Namgis D 33, known as “Chongo,” – has certainly passed his talents along.
Reliance Ranches announced the acquisition two more stallions in November too; the Relentless Remuda’s Show Me The Buckles (Wimpys Little Step x Sunset Whiz x Topsail Whiz) and the Relentless Remuda and Solo Select Horses’ Dirty Fling (Metallic Cat x A Streak Of Gin x A Streak Of Fling). Show Me The Buckles is already the sire of two American Rope Horse Futurity Association World Champions—one in the 4-Year-Old division and one in the Intermediate—with only three performers in the discipline. Dirty Fling will make his competition debut under Brazile this February in Buckeye, Arizona at the Royal Crown Rope Horse Futurity.
“I think Dirty Fling would be really cool to cross on Gary’s racehorse mares,” Mote said. “I think that would produce some good rope and barrel horses. I just love that horse.”
Meet the Team
Red Hot Redbull “Red Bull” 2013 gelding (Reb Hot Fame x Little Rock Misty x Spires Rock)
Mote’s mother Kate trained Red Bull, and the horse overcame a fractured skull to be started his 4-year-old year.
“My favorite rodeo horse is Red Bull,” Mote said. “We own him, but Reliance Ranches bred and raised him. He absolutely loves running barrels. He’s the one that I qualified the American on and I’ve never known a horse to overcome as much as that horse has.”
Lead On “Frito” 2019 gelding (Corona Cartel x Charm Dance x First Down Dash)
According to Mote, Frito is smaller than expected for a Corona Cartel, but he has plenty of turn and is coming along in his barrel training.
“He’s heading and heeling right now, and he’s going to do rope horse futurities,” Mote said. “I’m going to barrel futurity him in 2024. Right from day one he wanted to wrap around the barrel, drag his butt around them and can fly in between.”
Namgis D 167 “Walker” 2020 gelding (Bucks Hancock Dude x FDDS Key To Romance x First Down Dash)
Walker is a big 2-year-old with a knack for scooting around the barrels in optimal position, according to Mote.
“I’ve never ridden a horse like him before. He’s really big and has a lot of leg underneath him, and he can turn around a barrel with my leg against the barrel while having his leg underneath him,” Mote said. “He’s also the sweetest horse to be around.”
Mote’s Tips for Success in the World Champions Rodeo Alliance
Mote is a staple at WCRA Majors. She’s been nominating her runs to the WCRA since 2018, when the organization was formed. She’s an avid supporter of the WCRA, and shares some of the best qualities of the organization.
Fewer Runs on Horses
“One of my favorite things about the WCRA is it really limits the runs on your horses,” Mote said. “You can just go to the rodeos or barrel races you’re already going to and nominate those ones. You don’t have to put any more runs than you already are on your horse [and] to win the big money at the major events, you don’t have to make a ton of runs in a row.”
Chooses Her Best Rodeos
“The rodeos I like to nominate the most are the ones that I know my horse does really well at or the ones with multiple rounds, so it’s a higher division and you’ll get more points,” Mote said.
“One of my favorite things about the WCRA is everybody has an equal opportunity no matter what you did at the last rodeo. It starts over and you can make [the next one] count,” Mote explained.