Horses of the Year Awards selected for Pro Rodeo’s Badlands Circuit | TSLN.com

Horses of the Year Awards selected for Pro Rodeo’s Badlands Circuit

Ruth Nicolaus

Minot, N.D. (October 14, 2016) – Five horses have won the PRCA's Badlands Circuit's Horse of the Year awards for 2016.

Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year went to Tiger, the horse owned by Chason Floyd, Buffalo, S.D. The Hazing Horse of the Year was won by Kody Woodward's horse Baby. Tie-down Roping Horse of the Year went to Rat, owned by Jerry Means and ridden by Matt Peters, Hot Springs, S.D. In the team roping, Head Horse of the Year was awarded to Bad Brown, owned and ridden by J.B. Lord, Sturgis, S.D., and Heel Horse of the Year went to Derick Fleming's Catniss.

Tiger, a thirteen-year-old brown horse, is owned and ridden by Floyd. Floyd bought the horse from Canadian steer wrestler Clayton Moore, and says the horse is a "good, solid horse. He's pretty easy. He runs hard, always stays honest, and never takes a step out." If Tiger has a fault, it's that he gets a bit close to the steer sometimes. "He runs a little tight, but that's really his only deal," Floyd said.

This summer, Floyd traveled with Kody Woodward and Taz Olson, who all qualified for the Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo, and Billy Boldon. All four men rode Tiger during the summer, and at the Finals, Floyd and Cameron Moorman rode him. Floyd won the year-end Badlands title on the horse at the Circuit Finals. Last year, when Floyd was injured, his older brother Colt rode him, winning the average title at the 2015 Badlands Circuit Finals. This year was Chason's first qualification to the Circuit Finals but Tiger's second trip. "He had to show me the ropes," Floyd joked, "tell me where everything was."

“He hasn’t grown into the bull part of his name yet. He has a Shetland pony attitude. But he’s a winner in the arena. “I’m confident, no matter who I put on him, they’re going to do good.” Kody Woodward on Baby, Badlands Hazing Horse of the Year

The Badlands Circuit Hazing Horse of the Year Award went to a small horse who is boss in the rig.

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Baby, owned and ridden by Kody Woodward, is in the trailer along with three other steer wrestling and hazing horses, and "of the four horses, he's the smallest one and thinks he's the biggest," Woodward said. "He definitely has a personality. He's not mean, but he likes to bully them around."

Baby, a seven year old roan that Woodward purchased from Matt Zancanella three years ago, is the best hazing horse Woodward has ever had. "He sets good in the corner, and he's good on quick starts. Once you go, he has plenty of run to keep up. He's the best one I've ever owned for sure."

Floyd, who traveled with Woodward this year and rode Baby, agreed. "He's the fastest hazing horse I've ever rode."

Baby, whose original name was Baby Bull, is small but has a large personality. "He's ornery, and he's terrible to ride around and warm up," Woodward said. "He rides around like he's ill-broke." But once he's in the arena, he's fine. "If you were to warm him up, you'd think he was terrible at hazing," Floyd said.

The horse weighs about 1,000 lbs., Woodward estimated. "He hasn't grown into the bull part of his name yet," he said. "He has a Shetland pony attitude." But he's a winner in the arena. "I'm confident, no matter who I put on him, they're going to do good."

Baby was ridden at the Badlands Circuit Finals by Woodward and Floyd.

The Tie-down Roping Horse of the Year was won by Rat, an eleven year old roan owned by Jerry Means of Gillette, Wyo., and ridden by Matt Peters of Hot Springs, S.D.

When Peters was a student at Gillette (Wyo.) College, he began roping with Means, and then began riding Rat. "He was a little green when I first started riding him, but he was automatic, with a strong stop, and pretty easy to ride."

The horse was purchased by Means from the Fulton Performance Horse sale, and he's ideal for tie-down roping. "He's got a lot of speed, and a lot of heart, and he can stop good. He never weakens. He gives you the same shot every time."

Rat also has a lot of personality. "He's kind of a pain in the butt sometimes," Peters said. "He has to get into everything. He's very curious, very friendly." He's able to be ridden by younger riders as well. "Jerry's little kids will get on him, and do barrels at the house."

Peters, a 2016 graduate of Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., competed at the 2016 Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo.

In the team roping, the Heading Horse of the Year award went for the second consecutive year to J.B. Lord's horse Bad Brown. Brown, a fourteen year old brown gelding, is "so consistent," Lord said. "He scores really good every time, he runs hard, and he's really good on the end of the rope." Lord estimates that Bad Brown has roped at the Badlands Circuit Finals six times; Lord has won the Badlands Circuit team roping title on him the last three years.

The Heeling Horse of the Year Award was won by Derick Fleming's seven-year-old buckskin Catniss. He purchased the mare a year ago. "She just can really run, real easy. She really slides and stops," the Killdeer, N.D. cowboy said. "It's easy for her to work." She also has a good personality. "She's pretty dang gentle, although she kind of wants to bite you once in a while when you put her horse blanket on."

It was Fleming's first year to compete at the Badlands Circuit Finals, where he finished third in the average. He has qualified for the Wilderness Circuit Finals twice and the Montana Circuit Finals a dozen times.

For the Women's Pro Rodeo Association, the Badlands Barrel Racing Horse of the Year was won by Brandy, owned and ridden by Jana Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D. Brandy, an eight-year-old sorrel, carried Griemsman to double championships in the Badlands Circuit: year-end and average titles, and to a nineteenth place finish in the world standings, just four holes out of qualification for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

The Badlands Circuit consists of the PRCA rodeos in North Dakota and South Dakota. The pro rodeo championship for the circuit was held October 6-9 in Minot, where the Horse of the Year Awards, voted on by the contestants in each event, were awarded.

–Minot Ys Men's Club

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