PRCA bulldogging horses lost tragically
January 12, 2012
In a bizarre and tragic coincidence, two of the top steer wrestling horses in the sport died within hours of each other on Jan. 5.
Bailey Tokum “Pump Jack,” who finished second in the AQHA/PRCA Steer Wrestling Horse of the year balloting in 2010 and took Dean Gorsuch to his second world championship that year, suffered a shattered pastern bone during a practice session in Gering, NE, and had to be euthanized. He was 15.
Shawn Greenfield’s Mister, 17, died from the effects of salmonella poisoning in Decatur, TX.
Gorsuch was running his fourth steer of an afternoon practice when he “heard a pop … a real loud ‘pow.’ I knew it was bad right away. Pump Jack couldn’t put any weight on his foot at all. It took three of us to get him in the trailer so we could take him to the vet in Scottsbluff (NE).”
Three surgeons were consulted before the decision was made to euthanize Pump Jack.
“I would have done anything to have him back home with us, just so we could see him every day and give him a big hug,” Gorsuch said, “but he was in too much pain. There was nothing anybody could do. It was tough. I had a hard time with it.
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“He was more than a bulldogging horse. He was part of the family. I loved that horse. My wife and two children loved him. I’ll never find another like him.”
Mister was staying at fellow steer wrestler Todd Suhn’s place in Decatur when he got sick on Jan. 2 and went into steep decline before dying on Jan. 5.
“Dr. Josh Harvey did everything he could to save him,” Greenfield said, “but nothing worked.”
Although he had only purchased Mister from Ron Schenk last March, Greenfield had a long history dating back to 2005 when he qualified for the Wrangler NFR on the horse, and had great admiration for his skills.
“He was just a winner,” Greenfield said. “I’d like to know what my winning percentage was on that horse. It seemed like I won a check just about every time I rode him. He will go down as one of the great ones.” F