Roper Review with Ted Chancey

by Teri Edwards
Ted Chancey

Ted Chancey, Dover, Florida, has been training horses for over forty years. During that time he has finished two AQHA Supreme Champions. In 2008, Ted earned the last points needed, in heading and heeling, for Mr Joe Im Kool to become the 47th AQHA Supreme Champion, the first in twenty years. Five years later, Ted helped Gotta Good Habit earn the remaining points for his open Supreme Champion title on December 31, 2013, in Tampa, Florida. Gotta Good Habit was the 50th Supreme Champion.
As a kid, Ted grew up watching his elderly neighbor ride a big palomino and begging for a chance to ride. When he was about 12, his parents bought a little Quarter Horse stud. Ted was hooked and that was the start of his training career.
“I got my first check for training a horse when I was 14,” says Ted. “I was doing something I loved and thought it was the greatest thing ever to get paid to ride a horse.
“I didn’t know much but I would watch the people who were winning at the open horse shows and try to emulate what they were doing. I learned a lot from Jack Hennig. He was the first to talk to me about how a horse’s mind works and how they think. I’d ride all day and at night Jack would teach me to rope calves. It just kind of snowballed from there.”
Ted credits several horsemen for teaching and shaping him as a trainer. Henry Kitchen from Plant City, Florida, produced calf ropings where Ted would watch great calf ropers and horsemen. There he learned about position and training calf horses.
“Frank Barnett, Williston, Florida, is probably the best horseman I know. He was instrumental in teaching me how to control different parts of a horse’s body with the least resistance and how to work on position.”
In addition to the two Supreme Champions, Ted will quickly tell you he has been blessed to ride many great horses. “The buckle I wear today I won on a horse named Cody’s Boogie Man. I bought him for just $3,500 and he turned into a phenomenal horse. He was a great head horse that Nelson Linares hauled on the rodeo trail. He was eventually bought by a professional calf roper for $45,000.”
Ted has two grown sons, Trip and Ty, and one daughter Taylor, who is five. Trip and Ty are both farriers and avid team ropers.
“I ride for a living and it’s all I’ve ever done,” explains Ted. “Going to work for me is not really going to work. I enjoy team roping, I just don’t get to go very often. I go to about 30 horse shows a year and that keeps me pretty busy.
“I’ve been lucky to be around some great horses and people in my career, but my kids are still my greatest accomplishment.”


How much do you practice?
We ride everyday. Sometimes we take Sundays off. I pretty much live at the barn.
Do you make your own horses?
Who were your roping or rodeo heroes?
Jack Hennig. Roy Cooper changed the face of calf roping like the Camarillo brothers changed team roping. They might not necessarily be my heroes but I respect the impact they’ve had on the rodeo industry. Now days Trevor Brazile is someone for the younger guys to look up to.
Who do you respect most in the world?
Anthony J. Sacco – he gave me my first really good horse to ride when I was young and had confidence in me. He is still a good friend to this day.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My dad.
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Go fishing.
Favorite movie?
Lonesome Dove
What’s the last thing you read?
Bits by Lewis Taylor
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Driven, Laid Back, Patient
What makes you happy?
Listening to the horses eating early in the morning when it’s quiet, that brings me a lot of peace.
What makes you angry?
Abusive people – whether they’re abusive to animals or other people.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
I’d build a covered arena and then give the rest to a children’s hospital.

What is your worst quality –
your best?
Though I’m patient with horses, I have a definite lack of patience with people. My best quality is my patience with my horses.

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