COLORADO SPRINGS – Frontier Rodeo’s exceptional saddle bronc horse Medicine Woman is building a résumé worthy of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
The 11-year-old was named a 2016 Pendleton Whisky “Let ‘er Buck” Bucking Stock of the Year winner for the third consecutive time, putting her in rarified air.
Medicine Woman has now won the award four times – she also won it in 2011 – which puts her alone in second place all-time among all bucking stock. Hall of Fame horse Descent is the leader, with six wins in the years before there were separate awards for bareback horses and saddle bronc horses.
“I don’t know where she’ll rank someday as far as the greatest of all-time, but I do know that she’ll be one of the top 10 saddle bronc horses to ever buck at a PRCA rodeo,” Frontier Rodeo owner Jerry Nelson said.
Nelson and his company have essentially owned the saddle bronc category when it comes to the Bucking Stock of the Year awards in recent times.
This makes five out of the last six years that a Frontier horse has won or split the title – Maple Leaf was co-champion in 2013.
“It means that 23 years’ worth of breeding is paying off, and it means a lot for our future that we’re raising these type of quality animals,” Nelson said. “It proves our breeding program is on the right track. We’ve been working our butts off for a long time trying to figure out what
Powder River Rodeo’s Craig At Midnight took top bareback horse honors. This is the first time the company has won the award for best bareback horse since Hall of Famer Khadafy Skoal won it in 1995-96.
“When you watch these colts grow up from the time they’re babies to what they are now, it’s an overwhelming feeling,” said Lori Franzen, who owns the company with her husband, Hank. “We all cried when we found out Craig had won.”
The horse – named for Powder River Rodeo foreman Craig Roe – is one of the biggest bareback horses going down the road at about 1,600 pounds.
“He’s super strong, and bucks hard every time,” Franzen said. ‘He’s not an easy horse to ride, but if you do ride him, it’ll be 88-90 points.”
For the first time in 21 years, Andrews Rodeo can claim the top bull in the PRCA.
Midnight Bender – a 5-year-old, 1,700-pound beast – is the first Andrews bull to win Bucking Stock of the Year since Bodacious in 1994-95.
“The thing that makes us the proudest of this bull winning the award is that we raised him here on the ranch,” said James Andrews, co-owner of Andrews Rodeo. “He’s out of Fender Bender, who went to the NFR numerous times, and also out of a daughter of Bo Dippin’, which was a granddaughter of Bodacious.”
The bull has only been ridden once in PRCA competition in the past three years – Wyatt Mecham, 79 points in Belton, Texas, in 2014.
“Having him win this award is about like watching your kid hit a walk-off home run,” Andrews said. “We put so much time, care and effort into raising all these animals, so when you win an award like this, it’s very special.”
Here are the full results:
1. Craig At Midnight, Powder River Rodeo
2. Virgil, C5 Rodeo
3. Top Flight, Pickett Pro Rodeo
Saddle Bronc Riding
1. Medicine Woman, Frontier Rodeo
2. Wound Up, Beutler & Son Rodeo
3. Spring Planting, Flying Five Rodeo
1. Midnight Bender, Andrews Rodeo
2. Sweet Pro’s Bruiser, D&H Cattle
3. My Brother, Andrews Rodeo