Team roping heading horse Precious Speck, owned and ridden by Travis Tryan of Billings, Montana, and team roping heeling horse Baileys Copper Doc, owned and ridden by Randon Adams of Dublin, Texas, earned their fourth American Quarter Horse Association-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Horse of the Year honors.
Steer wrestling horse Rocks Eyes Opener, or “Jessie,” owned by Lee Graves of Calgary, Alberta, and ridden by Graves and Trevor Knowles, picked up a second horse of the year award. Jessie also got the top nod in 2007.
“When you back him in the box, he’s going to give you 110 percent every time,” said Graves, who leads the PRCA world standings, with season earnings of $120,574.
Larneds Ricoche Doc, “Woody,” owned and ridden by Dan Fisher of Andrews, Texas, was voted the steer roping horse of the year for the second consecutive year.
Also picking up a second honor was barrel racing horse Rare Fred, owned by Ronald Martin of Seal Beach, California, and ridden by 2006 PRCA world champion Mary Burger of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. “Fred” also was named AQHA-WPRA Horse of the Year in 2006. In competition at the AQHA World Championship Show, Rare Fred was the world champion in junior barrel racing in 2001; the world champion in senior barrel racing in 2003, ’04 and ’05; and the reserve world champion in senior barrel racing in 2006. He has amassed nearly $20,000 in AQHA earnings and more than $25,000 in earnings in the Barrel Futurities of America, an AQHA alliance partner.
In the tie-down roping, Big Smokin Wonder, owned by Texas Representative Sid Miller of Stephenville, Texas, and ridden by Cody Ohl of Hico, Texas, took her first horse of the year honor. “Pearl” has won AQHA world championships in amateur tie-down roping in 2006 and 2007. In 2008 and in two years previously, she placed third in the event at the World Show, and she has also placed in senior tie-down and amateur breakaway roping at the World Show. In 2006, Pearl was AQHA’s year-end high-point amateur tie-down roping horse, and the open high-point tie-down roping mare.
The owners of this year’s winners will be recognized at a banquet celebrating the AQHA-PRCA horses of the year. The winners will each receive a cash prize and an AQHA bronze. The awards have been given out since 1989, recognizing the top American Quarter Horses in rodeo’s six timed events. Anyone can nominate a horse as long as it’s an American Quarter Horse and the registration certificate is in the current owner’s name. Then, near the end of the regular rodeo season, the nominees are voted on by the top 25 contestants in their respective events. For more information on the PRCA, visit www.prorodeo.com.