Skoal’s Frontier, great bareback horse passes away | TSLN.com

Skoal’s Frontier, great bareback horse passes away

PRCA ProRodeo photo/Dan HubbellSkoal's Frontier was honored by the crowd when he retired at the 2004 National Finals Rodeo. Frontier died on Jan. 14, 2012 at 29 years of age.

Skoal’s Frontier – also known as Gold Coast Skoal – passed away at the Powder River Ranch in Riverton, WY, on Jan. 14. Frontier was 29 years old and died of an apparent heart attack.

Frontier and three-time PRCA Bareback Horse-of-the-Year Khadafy attended their first ProRodeo in Belle Fourche, SD, in 1989. Frontier and Khadafy were lifelong friends and retired at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) together in 2004. Khadafy was standing over his friend in the pasture when he was found.

Frontier was buried in the Bucking Horse Cemetery on the ranch.

Frontier was raised on the Benny Binion Ranch in Montana and was purchased at the NFR Bucking Horse Sale – now known as Benny Binion’s World Famous Bucking Horse and Bull Sale – in 1988 for $675. At the time, he had a very large growth on his foot and everyone was afraid he would be lame and not able to buck.

Hank Franzen felt the horse showed a great deal of promise, even though he did not buck well that day, so he bought him and took him home. Once there, Franzen removed the growth and turned him out to heal. The rest is history.

Frontier received more than $15,000 in Copenhagen Skoal Bonus money during his career and was one of the most dreaded bareback horses in the PRCA. Frontier bucked 16 years in the PRCA, went to the Wrangler NFR 13 times and each time was in the “eliminator pen,” with the toughest horses to ride in the business.

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Frontier was unique in that he bucked with bell boots on his front feet. Early in his career (1991), Frontier acted like he wanted to quit bucking and, in observing this, Franzen realized he was over-reaching when he bucked and was injuring his front leg. From then on, Frontier wore overreach boots every time he bucked.

Before every performance, Franzen would walk up to the kind bucking horse with no halter and place the bell boots on him. After he bucked, Frontier would let Franzen walk up again and remove the protective boots.

Frontier was still at the top of his game when he was retired at 21 years old. He had been marked 24 (out of a possible 25) points three-times that year and was also named the top Mountain States Bareback Horse of the Year.

In 1991, Frontier was sponsored by Michael Gaughan and his name was changed for a few years to Gold Coast Skoal. F

– PRCA