Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Sundance-The Best of the Best

This year’s National Finals concluded a couple of weeks ago, and there were quite a few long time qualifiers there.

Team roper, Kory Kuntz, tops the list with 22 appearances at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Right behind him is Trevor Brazile with 18 qualifications in the tie down roping. Bareback rider, Will Lowe, is next with 15 qualifications.

Wait! That’s not right. I forgot a very special competitor. Next in line is the big sorrel saddle bronc, Sundance, owned by Flying Five Rodeo Company of Washington state. He’s been invited to the NFR 17 times. In 2002, at five years old, he was one of the youngest bucking horses there. This year, he was the oldest at twenty-three.

Just in case you think he’s too old, he bucked off Brody Cress and Clay Elliott in his two outs this year. Not bad for an old timer. That's Brody in the photo below.

The bald-faced sorrel was born on the Hutsell family ranch in 1995. He’s out of a Hutsell ranch mare and by the great stallion Major Holly. He’s consistently bucked off the best of the best. He’s outlasted Billy Etbauer and taken him to an NFR round win.
This year he’s on his second generation of cowboys, including Roddy Hay’s son, Darrell, Cody Wright’s sons, and Zeke Thurston, to name a few.

2018 was Sundance’s last NFR performance, but he’ll get to show off one more time in January at the RAM Columbia River Circuit Finals in Yakima, Washington.

By the way, this is Clay Elliott at this year's finals.

“When we start loading trucks, you’d better get out of the way,” says Chad Hutsell. “He wants to be the first one on.”

“It’s been a tough decision to retire him,” Hutsell says. “I think we’ll probably take him along for the ride when we go to a rodeo close to home. Maybe let him out in the arena for a victory lap and to let him play.”

I had the pleasure of watching Sundance on both trips at the NFR this year. What a champion!
Who's your favorite bucking horse or bull?

After battling with Amazon for ten days, Winning A Cowgirl's Heart is finally available.

At only 99 cents for the next few days, it's a bargain. 
Get your copy before the price goes up. 


Renaissance Women said...

Fascinating. Some horses are just special, and thank you for letting us know about Sundance. Doris

Paty Jager said...

Fun post, Stephanie! I only watched a couple rounds of the NFR this year. What an awesome career for Sundance. Congratulations on the new release, it's a great book!