Wesley Adams, Founder of MillionHeir Classic, Dies at 61
All of Wesley’s six children have strong roots in rodeo and cutting horse competition, including Randon, the 2008 world champion team roping heeler; Jay, a qualifier in the 2006 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo; and youngest son Austin, who is also a top PRCA team roper.
Dustin is among the leading National Cutting Horse Association non-pro money earners with more than $3 million. Eldest son Weston is a real estate developer in Las Vegas who team ropes, and daughter Britney is a professional barrel racer with the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
All of the children got their start on the family’s 380-acre ranch in Logandale, Nevada, where the values of hard work, responsibility, competition and team work were stressed by Wesley and his wife, Liz.
“All the kids worked hard,” Wesley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in a 2006 interview. “We rodeoed for the family, to keep us together. It just mushroomed from there. The top ropers on the circuit joke now that the best ropers come from Texas, Oklahoma and Logandale, Nevada.”
Matt Shiozawa, who has qualified for the Wrangler NFR four times as a tie-down roper, moved to Logandale with his dad, Kent, to train at the Adams’ ranch, and team roper Cody Hintz made weekly treks of nearly 400 miles from his home in Spring Creek, Nevada, when he was in high school to practice roping with the Adams brothers.
The Adams siblings (and those who came to work with them) had to look no further than Wesley to find a role model for their strong work ethic and a primer on the benefits of passion and hard work.
Wesley was once listed among the top 100 land owners in the United States by Worth magazine. He owned construction, heavy-equipment and underground-utility companies and became interested in cutting when his children began competing in youth rodeos and purchased Western State Ranches in Dublin, Texas, to raise top stock.
The horse Hickoryote Sue, aka “Destiny,” whom Stran Smith rode when he won his tie-down roping world championship in 2008, was purchased from Wesley.
In 2005, Wesley and partner Michael Coronado bought the 960-acre Lazy E Arena complex – where Wesley had once competed as a bull rider – from E.K. Gaylord II for an undisclosed price. In the years since, the Lazy E has resumed its place as the host venue for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping and has partnered with PRCA to produce the Dodge National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City.
Wesley created the MillionHeir Classic in 2004 with $1.6 million in added money and diamond-studded, solid-gold belt buckles for winners of the 4-year-old division. It was held annually in conjunction with the South Point Cutting Championships in Las Vegas. Between 2004 and its final edition in 2010, the MillionHeir Classic paid out more than $9 million in prize money. It was the only private stallion incentive program of its magnitude that has ever been paid out as advertised.
Wesley is survived by his wife of 34 years, Liz, and their six children, Weston, 32; Dustin, 30; Randon, 28; Jay, 26; Britney, 25; and Austin, 22.