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The Evolution of a Rope Horse

Southwestern Oklahoma cowboy, Miles Baker, is no stranger to making great horses. Creating those great horses from scratch with a fine-tuned breeding program was one thing he and business partner Trevor Brazile had in mind when they created the Relentless Remuda.

The horses of the Relentless Remuda are designed to compete across the western performance disciplines and at every level of team roping competition, from the futurities to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and Ariat World Series of Team Roping Finale. We delve into the science behind what makes these athletes with Baker.

Miles Baker, photo by Elite Equine Promotions.

“I grew up right against the Wichita Mountains on our family ranch where we ran cattle. I grew up with horses, and I grew up horseback,” Baker explained, “When I was 3 or 4 I’d ride with my grandfather, he day worked for a living, so you could say that horses have been a part of my whole entire life.”

Baker says the horses on his family’s ranch had a job; to work cattle.

“Looking back, I wish I would have focused on roping more, I didn’t really do that until I got into college,” Baker recalled, “When I was in college, I spent a lot of time around some guys that trained horses for a living. That really set a fire in me to do more training than just competing, and that pushed me to where I am today. I don’t like to say I’m self-taught, but I have been a student of the game of roping for a long time; I’ve studied as many things and people as I possibly could have when it comes to making a great rope horse to develop the program I have today.”

Now, the game of roping has exploded. There are more events than ever, and different opportunities for a cowboy beyond roping in the local rodeo. “I always enjoyed rodeoing, and I love to compete. In the past I’ve attended a lot of circuit rodeos close to home, but now with the roping futurities things have gotten to where I can stay home and compete on these horses I’ve trained,” said Baker. “If we do our job right as trainers, my owners are essentially paying me to go down the road and season these horses. Then when their futurity year is over, we can sell these seasoned horses and make a return on their investments if they want.”

Expecting Better as Horsemen

One of the great things about roping is anyone can decide to be a team roper, and Baker believes that’s what makes the sport or team roping amazing. But at the same time, ignorance is bliss.

“It’s no secret right now that other parts of the western industry like the reiners and cutters think team ropers are terrible horsemen, and the sad truth is that 90% of ropers, in general, are terrible horsemen,” Baker laughed, “I think if people would invest in their horsemanship, they’d win more and they could make more money. And the horses would be better off too.”

“The market has gotten high and you’ll hear some people complain about it, but I think if people would invest in themselves they could take those lower-priced horses and make them better, and make money on their investments with better horsemanship. And if we improve our horsemanship, the ropers and horses both win.”

Studying Genetics to Win

“The rope horse futurities have gotten incredibly competitive the last couple of years, when Trevor and I created the Relentless Remuda we were trying to stay ahead of the game with our breeding and training program. We wanted to ride talented, beautiful horses that we knew could get the job done in the roping pen. People raise cutting horses to cut, and the reiners and cow horses in general have the genetics in their breeding programs down to a science. We wanted to do the same thing.”

That is how Baker and Brazile wound up with their first stud Show Me The Buckles. The 2008 Palomino stallion is sired by Wimpys Little Step, and out of Sunset Whiz by Topsail Whiz. The Relentless Remuda also acquired another stallion with the partnership of Solo Select Horses; the 2019 homozygous roan stud Dirty Fling, who is an own son of Metallic Cat and out of a running bred A Streak of Fling mare.

“I always said Buckles had old school cow on his papers, the kind of horse that wants to go to a cow,” Baker explained, “which is exactly what we want for a good rope horse.”

“We bought big, strong mares that would cross well on our studs. We have cow-bred mares, reining mares, and even more, we have running-bred mares that have produced and won on the track,” Baker said of their broodmare band, “no matter the discipline these mares come from, we are crossing horses for qualities and characteristics we want in our rope horses. We’ve devoted our time and knowledge into studying what makes the best rope horse genetically possible.”

Between competitors, stallion owners, and incentives, the roping world has exploded. With the number of ropings added, the bigger payouts, and the quality of events, the competition has grown tougher as well. While that may be disheartening for some, Baker sees it as an opportunity to raise the bar. “The quality of horses we are raising and training because of that is next level,” said Baker, “so we are rising to the occasion trying to breed, raise and train the best roping athletes we possibly can.”

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“It’s exciting because it’s the competition that is driving the industry to really study their breeding programs and refine them. I feel like Trevor and I have been at the forefront of developing our breeding program to take advantage of the opportunities we are seeing now, and it’s really exciting to see it start paying off when our colts do good and win.”

“The other great thing is the futurities have opened so many doors, it’s getting the general public more involved, where trainers have client horses in their barns, and the market for rope horses and embryos out of good mares have become a big deal,” Baker said excitedly. “I feel like I’ve gotten to the scene at the perfect time and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it right now. The horses as individuals have really become the focus, the competitions have become more about the horses and not just the ropers.”

“For someone like me who ropes because I love the animals, I can say our industry has taken a turn for the better when it comes to the horses, and I am very blessed to be a part of that, I am excited to be a part of the industry that’s making it a better place.”

To find out more about Miles Baker, Trevor Brazile, and their breeding and training program at the Relentless Remuda, you can visit their website at

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