J Bar J Rodeo Company – Among the elite in the business | TheFencePost.com

J Bar J Rodeo Company – Among the elite in the business

Brandon Westphal
Greeley, Colo.

Three time WNFR Bucking Horse, Faded Charm, tending to business between rodeos.

“You get out of it what you put into it.” Words of wisdom from Montana cowboy and rodeo stock contractor Sparky Dreesen. He, with wife Marlene, and family have made their life’s work raising bucking horses and bulls. What they get out of it is shared with every cowboy who climbs aboard an animal with the family brand.

Dreesen, who began his rodeo career as a bareback rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) Badlands Circuit, entered the stock contracting business in the 1980s with the purchase of an existing rodeo company from Harlan Gunville. He and Marlene started off producing high school and amateur rodeos, then upped the ante in 2004 by merging with Dr. Bruce Fink and Gold Buckle Rodeo Company. The next year they made the move to producing PRCA rodeos, and in 2008 decided to go “all-in.” Dreesen bet the ranch, literally, with the purchase of the J Bar J Rodeo Company from Jim and Maggie Zinser.

J Bar J Rodeo Company was founded by the Zinsers in 1969 on 600 acres outside of Clare, Mich. The foundation of their herd was the cross between an outlaw mare, purchased from a riding stable in Detroit, Mich., for $150, and a stud from South Dakota. The offspring of the Michigan mare, No. 29 “Nightmare,” and an athletic stud from the Bud Dancy Ranch, “Mr. T.,” have become legend. The story continues under the guidance of the Dreesens.

“You don’t normally think of Michigan when you think of bucking horses,” states Dreesen, “but by adding this string to the Gold Buckle herd, we believed we could have something special. It was a big gamble and I remember telling Marlene at the time that this would make us or break us.”

No city welcomes a gambler more than Las Vegas, Nev., and as fate would have it, the city also welcomes the world’s greatest rodeo contestants and livestock to town every December for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR). During last year’s rodeo the PRCA awarded J Bar J, Inc., the 2010 PRCA Remuda Award. The award is presented each year to the stock contractor providing pro rodeo’s best and most consistent pen of bucking horses. The award is known as one of the highest honors bestowed upon professional stock contractors and is a tribute to the wager made in 2008.

“Winning the award last year was a big surprise,” remembers Dreesen. He may have been the only person in the room who felt this way. In the Bareback riding alone, close to 20 percent of the horses handpicked to compete in the rodeo were either supplied by him or tied to his breeding program. This honor places the J Bar J name among the elite in the business. When asked what elevates someone to this level, the humble cowboy’s answer is no surprise. He credits the stock.

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“Some people out there believe we make these horses buck,” he says. “We don’t make our horses do anything.” He adds with a chuckle, “If you’ve seen them you would know they’re too big to force much of anything on.” With pride he finishes by explaining, “Every animal on our place likes what they do. Every time we start the truck, they come running toward the barn excited to load up and go to work.”

Twelve J Bar J horses are headed to the 2011 WNFR, December 1-10 in Las Vegas, Nev. Each round will be televised live on Great American Country (GAC), so tune in each night and watch Faded Charm and friends doing what they love.

“You get out of it what you put into it.” Words of wisdom from Montana cowboy and rodeo stock contractor Sparky Dreesen. He, with wife Marlene, and family have made their life’s work raising bucking horses and bulls. What they get out of it is shared with every cowboy who climbs aboard an animal with the family brand.

Dreesen, who began his rodeo career as a bareback rider in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association’s (PRCA) Badlands Circuit, entered the stock contracting business in the 1980s with the purchase of an existing rodeo company from Harlan Gunville. He and Marlene started off producing high school and amateur rodeos, then upped the ante in 2004 by merging with Dr. Bruce Fink and Gold Buckle Rodeo Company. The next year they made the move to producing PRCA rodeos, and in 2008 decided to go “all-in.” Dreesen bet the ranch, literally, with the purchase of the J Bar J Rodeo Company from Jim and Maggie Zinser.

J Bar J Rodeo Company was founded by the Zinsers in 1969 on 600 acres outside of Clare, Mich. The foundation of their herd was the cross between an outlaw mare, purchased from a riding stable in Detroit, Mich., for $150, and a stud from South Dakota. The offspring of the Michigan mare, No. 29 “Nightmare,” and an athletic stud from the Bud Dancy Ranch, “Mr. T.,” have become legend. The story continues under the guidance of the Dreesens.

“You don’t normally think of Michigan when you think of bucking horses,” states Dreesen, “but by adding this string to the Gold Buckle herd, we believed we could have something special. It was a big gamble and I remember telling Marlene at the time that this would make us or break us.”

No city welcomes a gambler more than Las Vegas, Nev., and as fate would have it, the city also welcomes the world’s greatest rodeo contestants and livestock to town every December for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR). During last year’s rodeo the PRCA awarded J Bar J, Inc., the 2010 PRCA Remuda Award. The award is presented each year to the stock contractor providing pro rodeo’s best and most consistent pen of bucking horses. The award is known as one of the highest honors bestowed upon professional stock contractors and is a tribute to the wager made in 2008.

“Winning the award last year was a big surprise,” remembers Dreesen. He may have been the only person in the room who felt this way. In the Bareback riding alone, close to 20 percent of the horses handpicked to compete in the rodeo were either supplied by him or tied to his breeding program. This honor places the J Bar J name among the elite in the business. When asked what elevates someone to this level, the humble cowboy’s answer is no surprise. He credits the stock.

“Some people out there believe we make these horses buck,” he says. “We don’t make our horses do anything.” He adds with a chuckle, “If you’ve seen them you would know they’re too big to force much of anything on.” With pride he finishes by explaining, “Every animal on our place likes what they do. Every time we start the truck, they come running toward the barn excited to load up and go to work.”

Twelve J Bar J horses are headed to the 2011 WNFR, December 1-10 in Las Vegas, Nev. Each round will be televised live on Great American Country (GAC), so tune in each night and watch Faded Charm and friends doing what they love.