Courtesy of PRCA
Standing out among a crowd of exceptional roughstock requires a perfect balance of animal athleticism and the cowboys capable of showcasing that talent. The 2019 Pendleton Whisky “Let ’er Buck” Stock of the Year recognized Beutler & Son Rodeo Co.’s Killer Bee for Bareback Horse of the Year, Northcott Macza’s Get Smart for Saddle Bronc of the Year and Harper & Morgan Rodeo’s Hot & Ready for Bull of the Year.
Killer Bee, 14, is no stranger to being honored. She was the top bareback horse of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Killer Bee also was the top saddle bronc horse of the 2013 and 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and was runner-up for Saddle Bronc of the Year in 2015.
Killer Bee is the daughter of Commotion, the Bareback Riding Horse of the Year from 1998-2000. Commotion, who has sired more than 70 horses who have gone on to compete at the Wrangler NFR, was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo., in August.
“This is really good,” said Bennie Beutler, who runs Beutler & Son, with his son, Rhett. “I thought they had already passed her by. She had won the top saddle bronc at the Finals a couple of times, but I didn’t think she would do it in bareback, that’s hard to do. We’re tickled that she received this honor. She just likes to buck, and she knows when the lights are on.”
Killer Bee is 16.2 hands tall and weighs 1,350 pounds.
“When we started bucking her, she was in the bareback riding and we switched her to saddle bronc riding and she was outstanding,” Bennie said. “Then we put her back in the bareback riding a couple of summers ago. It doesn’t matter what event you put her in because she’s as rank of a horse as I’ve ever seen. When bareback riders ride her, they are in the high 80s and 90s. We probably will not ever put her back in the bronc riding.”
Get Smart of Northcott Macza Rodeo based out of High River, Alberta, is a first-time horse-of-the-year winner in the PRCA, but he’s won the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year five times, including receiving the honor in 2019. Get Smart, 17, also was the top saddle bronc horse of the 2018 Wrangler NFR.
“This is a huge award for us to win,” Ward Macza said. “When I bought out (Harvey Northcott), ol’ Harvey raised this horse (Get Smart). He’s the son of (the horse) Wyatt Earp. He (Get Smart) is bred right, but he’s a freak because he’s not very big.”
Wyatt Earp was the Top Saddle Bronc Horse of the NFR in 1997-98. Earp was the father of Grated Coconut, who was a PRCA-record six-time Bareback Horse of the Year for Calgary Stampede.
Get Smart is 14.3 hands and weighs 1100 pounds.
“He has a heart as big as a house,” Macza said. “He bucks the little guys, big guys, good guys and bad guys. He bucks in the mud, inside and outside. There’s no bluffing with him, when you run him in the bucking chutes, you can tell something is going to happen. He leaves the chute so hard and he bucks from the first jump on. The minute he hears that gate crack, stuff happens. I’m very proud of him because he’s so old. He went to the NFR as a 5-year-old and he’s been bucking a long time. He still acts like he’s 5. A lot of horses will start to soften a bit because they get ridden every time, but he still bucks a lot of guys off. He’s a freak of nature.”
Scotty Lovelace, general manager of Harper & Morgan Rodeo, was thrilled to see Hot & Ready be awarded as the top bull.
Hot & Ready is 9 years old and weighs 1,650 pounds.
“Garrett Burruss is Scott Burruss’ son, and Scott is a partner,” Lovelace said. “Garrett flanks him and takes care of (Hot & Ready) all of the time. (Hot & Ready) is very easy to be around. He’s old-school lookin’ with a hump and horns. He has a lot of kick and speed. He has all the traits because he has kick and speed and a little bit of move forward to him, just enough that he can buck guys off. To be 9 years old, this is a big feat. Usually they are starting to slip by the time they are 9. He has been the best bull in this herd for nine years and one of the best bulls in the world the last three years.”
A year ago, Hot & Ready finished third in the bull-of-the-year voting behind Big Stone Rodeo, Inc.’s Spotted Demon and Powder River Rodeo’s SweetPro’s Bruiser.
“I think what cowboys like about (Hot & Ready) is that he’s rock solid,” Lovelace said. “Every time with him, you have a chance to be 90. He’s never not had a good day. He’s always been really good.”
Top Stock of the Year
- Killer Bee – Beutler & Son Rodeo Co. – 34 points
- Virgil – C5 Rodeo – 18 points
- Top Flight – Pickett Pro Rodeo – 10 points
Saddle Bronc Riding
- Get Smart – Northcott Macza – 20 points
- Medicine Woman – Frontier Rodeo – 13 points
- Spring Planting – Flying 5 Rodeo – 11 points
- Hot & Ready – Harper & Morgan Rodeo – 30 points
- SweetPro’s Bruiser – Powder River Rodeo – 18 points
- Spotted Demon – Big Stone Rodeo Inc. – 14 points