A Lil' History:
JD Yates is one of the most recognized trainers in the performance horse industry. JD has had an unlimited number of awards and titles, including 34 AQHA World Championships with five Super Horse Titles (Smokin Okie, Popular Resort Figure, RS Lilly Starlight, Chex This Dually, and BFR Igniting Sparks). JD captured the AQHA Junior High Point award 7 years, and the AQHA Senior High Point Award 9 years. He has been the AQHA leading exhibitor 9 times from 2003-2014. JD Yates is also a 21 time National Finals Rodeo Qualifier and has earnings in excess of 1.4 Million in the PRCA.
JD Yates started his horse training experience on the rodeo trail. At the age of 14, JD started roping heels behind his dad, Dick Yates. They spent many hours on the road, traveling to rodeos and jackpots. The days were long, between keeping the horses tuned and ready to haul, and fitting time in for school! JD is one of the youngest cowboys to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo at the age of 15. Through the years JD and Dick qualified eleven separate times for the National Finals Rodeo. One year the Yates duo turned into the Yates trio at the National Finals when Dick and JD were competing together in the Team Roping and JD's sister, Kelly Yates was competing in the Barrel Racing! Rodeoing during college was also successful, JD won two college rodeo championships.
The experience gained from roping in the rodeo arena helped JD transition to the horse show pen. JD still loves competing in rodeos and travels to select rodeos every year. Focusing on horse shows allowed JD to spend more time in the saddle and less time on the road.
From the beginning JD was always training heeling or calf roping horses while Dick trained the heading horses. Gradually the training evolved into a major business as outside people began sending their horses to the Yates' for training.
Today the family business "Hitch Rack Performance Horses" is located on the home ranch just outside of Pueblo, Colorado. Dick still helps JD in the arena and even shoes some of the horses! Jan, JD's mother is responsible for taking care of all the bookkeeping and behind-the-scenes tasks! There is a state-of-the-art show barn, countless stalls and pens, a large outdoor roping arena and fresh cattle-ready to rope at all times!
Jay Wadhams, JD's cousin is a key component to the success of showing and rodeoing. Jay has tons of experience, and roping ability! The hours that JD and Jay have spent hauling and roping together have given them a strong friendship and working relationship. The camaraderie they share is not often seen among cousins!
Just as Dick shared his love of roping and ability with JD, JD has shared his love of roping and ability with his son, Trey. Currently Trey rodeos with JD. In addition, Dick and Trey compete in the USTRC roping events. In 2009 he won the AQHA World Championship in Youth Heeling (see video below), Reserve World Championship in Youth Heeling, Reserve World Championship in Youth Breakaway Roping, and a Bronze Trophy in Youth Heading!