[ Josh & Jonathan Torres both sit at 17th in the PRCA Standings and share the common goal of qualifying for the WNFR this year. ]
Josh and Jonathan Torres, lately of Stephenville, Texas, share the bond of brothers, team roping partners, and business partners, along with their common goal of qualifying for the WNFR this year. Josh, 29, is the header, and Jonathan, 26, is the heeler, both sitting 17th in the PRCA standings. The brothers spent their early years near Miami, Florida, following after their dad, who rode horses and kept a small herd of cattle. They high school rodeoed for Florida and later moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to attend McNeese State University. Despite their three-year age gap, they were able to rope together for two years and qualified for the CNFR in 2012 and 2013, where they won several rounds.
“I just like roping, period. But I like that you have to have somebody that also has the same plan and goal as you,” says Jonathan. “You pretty much have to be a team player for everything, and you both meet other people who help you out. Then you have two people with ideas and strategies, not just one.” Josh feels the same about teamwork, both with his brother and his horses. “It takes such special horses, and when a team is working on getting those horses together, you realize how many you have to go through to get a couple of good ones. I think trying to get on a lot of good horses or make them or find them is the best part about team roping. If I didn’t have a fun head horse to ride, I wouldn’t be doing it. I like to show them off and have fun doing it—that’s what keeps a guy motivated to do what we do.”
Josh’s main rope horse, Junior, is an 8-year-old gelding he purchased from his friend Willie Brooks in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who asked Josh to season Junior. “He’s extremely smart. I asked my friend if he wanted to sell Junior just because he was so athletic. He’s kind of hard to ride—his feet move so fast, so your mind has to move just as fast. He’s been fun, and I wouldn’t be entering any rodeos if I didn’t have that horse.” Jonathan has ridden his 12-year-old gelding, Biggie, for the last two years, whom he purchased from Brock Hansen. “He’d been rodeoed on before by Cesar de la Cruz, and Brock had him and didn’t need a heel horse. He wants to win, and he’s a powerful, big horse. Biggie is out of a Playboy Boonsmal stud horse, and he’s kind of gritty and cocky.” Jonathan and Josh also took two other younger horses on the road with them this year as backup horses that they’re seasoning.
Whether on the road or at home, they’ve fed their horses Nutrena’s SafeChoice Original for the last five years. “You have to take care of your horse, because that’s what makes your money, whether it’s worming, hay, feed, or clean water—all those things make a difference,” says Josh, who has a degree in animal science. He and Jonathan have even conducted several feed experiments with their horses, and found they had the calmest energy on Nutrena. “It keeps our horses energized, and we might feed three or four times a day. I had a horse that wouldn’t eat very well on the road, but he went to eating that Nutrena and we’ve had really good luck with it on the road. Nutrena is sold all over, so it’s pretty easy to find. We like to have a good-looking herd.”
Along with keeping several young horses at home to work on when they’re not traveling, Jonathan and Josh run Young Guns Productions, LLC, a timed event stock contracting business. “We have Corriente cattle and we lease cattle to cutters. When they get big enough to break in, we use them for jackpots and then lease them to people for practice or ropings,” says Jonathan. “When we’re gone, a couple of our buddies like Cory Clark and Dillon Wingeried help out, or we’ve hired contract help. It’s a team effort!”
Of the many rodeos on their 2018 run, a favorite of Jonathan’s is the Salinas Rodeo, while Josh enjoys San Antonio. “I like Salinas because we’re there for a few days, and they have fresh steers that have never been roped—it’s kind of ranchy and fun,” says Jonathan. Josh adds, “The hospitality is great over at San Antonio, and it’s the loudest rodeo that I’ve ever been to. Your adrenaline is going and it’s a pretty fun and exciting rodeo.” Their goal is to experience the energy and excitement of the WNFR next. “It’s the best chance we’ve ever had this year. I definitely want to thank our parents, Jose and Teresa Torres, and my wife, She’Rae Torres, for helping all of us,” Josh finishes. “And I’m thankful for the relationship we’ve had with Nutrena. Rodeo is a hard deal, and it takes a lot of effort from so many people. The Lord has put certain people in our lives and got us through so many situations good and bad. Because the Lord is so good to us we keep our heads up and remind ourselves to take advantage of every situation as best as possible. We believe in His plan. We just try to do our jobs, believe, and work!”