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Happy Trails with Dawni O'Bryan: Jasper and Tongue Twister

By Dawni O'Bryan

December 8, 2023

As a writer of this weekly article, I am always on the lookout for interesting people, events, and situations related to the western way of life. I stumbled across this youngster at the American Rope Horse Futurity Finals in Ft. Worth, TX a couple of months ago. We were introduced by his mom down in the stall area and he was a little shy at first, but switched his rope out of his hand to give me a proper cowboy handshake. His name is Jasper Pullara and he is the son of Nick and Chelsea Pullara of Wickenburg, Arizona and formerly from Fountain, Colorado. Jasper is only 9 years old and is quite handy with a rope, a horse, and a steer.

After a little chatting, Jasper began to tell me about his Jersey steer, “Tongue Twister.” This steer came to Pullara Performance Horses from Jordan Weaver as a potential lead steer for the Pullara’s rope horse training business. He was too slow to rope in a team roping run, he then was determined to be too slow for a lead steer, as well. So, when Tongue Twister didn’t quite work out for that job, Jasper had started taking a liking to him. The gentle spirit of the steer allowed Jasper to eventually get a saddle on him. Then he put a bridle on him, complete with an O-ring snaffle, and wanted to break him to ride. I’ll be go to heaven if that is not what he did. He put a britchen, commonly used on mules and donkeys, around Tongue Twister’s backside to help keep the saddle in place. He has ridden this steer in a specialty act at a rodeo carrying the flag of the Wickenburg Wranglers with the entire football team there. He stood on top of the steer waving the flag. When he speaks of Tongue Twister, it is similar to a boy and his dog. They have a very tight friendship. He rides the steer on trail rides, he was pulling the roping dummy for his cousin at Rancho Rio, and he has even roped a steer riding a steer. He has been approached by people to place Tongue Twister in a horse sale. He declined. He has also been asked to possibly bring Tongue Twister to an elderly woman that would just like to touch a cow. Jasper may be getting himself a lucrative side gig. When asked about the future of Tongue Twister, Jasper has made it very clear that butcher is not an option, even though older brother, Landon, teases him that taco meat is coming. I did ask Jasper if he would sell him. The price tag was in the mid-five figures. So, it looks like Tongue Twister will be a permanent fixture at Pullara Performance Horses.

Meanwhile in Amarillo, TX, the 19th Annual Christmas Ca$h produced by CBT Barrel Racing was held November 24-26 at the Amarillo National Center. On Friday, in the Race of Champions, Shali Lord was first in the 2D on Hayday’s Valentine for $913. In the Saturday open race of 465 runners, Lord was 2nd in the 1D on Frosted in Fame (15.189 seconds and $1044) and 9th in the 1D on Rain Man (15.376 seconds and $203). Stephanie Spitz was 3rd in the 2D (15.684 seconds and $725). Tracy Housholder of Syracuse was 4th in the 3D (16.190 seconds and $483) and Tori Hawks of Wiley was 5th in the 3D ($348). Braya Ferris of Eads placed in the youth with her run of 16.918 seconds and $130. In the Saturday SuperSizeds sidepot, Lord was 1st and 5th in the 1D for another $1691 and $725. On Sunday, the open race had 426 runners. In the 1D, Syracuse cowgirl, Angie Hoss, was 8th (15.261 seconds and$214). The 2D was won by Dwana Salisbury of Lamar aboard M’Lady (15.558 seconds and $890). In the 3D, Zoie Ginter of Kim was 8th (16.128 seconds and $134). In the Sunday Nifty Fifty sidepot, Hoss was 1st in the 1D and Salisbury was 3rd for $262 and $159 respectively. In the KoolSpeed Bonus Bucks sidepot, Salisbury was first in the 2D for another $388. Other barrel racers that went but didn’t quite slip into the money were Leslie Morris, Madison Crane, Lana Brown, Leeann Ridley, and Karisa Brookshire.

Never underestimate the bond between a boy and his steer.

Happy Trails.

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