Nebraska horse named top at High School Finals
A Nebraska ranching family who bought a 3-year-old ranch horse never dreamed he would one day take their daughter to the National High School Rodeo Finals. Not only did he help his rider earn her way to the big rodeo in two events, but he was named girls AQHA horse of the year while he was there.
Madison Mills of Eddyville, Nebraska said her folks bought Dusty, her chestnut gelding Quarter Horse to use for moving and working cattle, but when they realized how fast he was, they started testing his abilities.
“We started working him when he was 6 years old on the barrels, then a family friend introduced us to the poles,” said Madison Miller.
The daughter of Matthew and Melissa McTygue and the late Neil Mills of Broken Bow, Nebraska, said she and Dusty qualified for nationals in poles last year, and this year she won the Nebraska State High School Rodeo Finals pole bending and took 4th place in barrels, which meant she qualified to compete in both events at nationals.
Dusty is “honest,” says Mills, explaining that he hardly ever knocks down a barrel. But she enjoys pole bending on him the most because it is a bit more challenging.
“There are so many opportunities to make a mistake and he’s so smooth through the poles,” she said.
Mills still uses Dusty to move cattle to and fro, across corn fields and pastures, and even to sort cattle.
Dusty is the only horse Mills, an only child hauls. She said her entire family was able to get away from the ranch long enough to take part in the NHSRF in Rock Springs July 14-20, 2019, together.
Dusty, or Mr Poco Jack Sprat, bred by Jeanie Beavers Broken Bow, was named the girls’ AQHA horse of the year for Nebraska, which put him in the running for the national title. Mills and Dusty together earned 500 points in Rock Springs, placing them at the top of the girls AQHA Horse of the Year competition. F