Bucking horses, bulls excel at their sport, show personalities | TheFencePost.com

Bucking horses, bulls excel at their sport, show personalities

Ruth Nicolas
For the Oregon Trail Rodeo

The cowboys may get all the glory and attention at the rodeo, but the horses and bulls are stars, too.

The bucking stock — the horses and bulls — at the Oregon Trail Rodeo in Hastings, Neb., was provided by Korkow Rodeos, based in Pierre, S.D., for the last 26 years, and when the Korkow trucks rumble into town, the four-legged stars of the rodeo will be on board.

Horses

One of the horses on those trucks is a veteran of the rodeo trail. Paint Chip, an 11-year-old red and white paint mare, will go to Hastings with the goal of bucking off cowboys.

"She's been everywhere," said Daniel Yellow Hawk, one of the men working for Korkow Rodeos. Paint Chip has been to 14 pro rodeos this year, and was ridden 13 times. "The cowboys like to get on her. She's a good mare."

Like pets, the bucking horses and bulls have their own personalities, and Paint Chip is quiet, and likes her feed.

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"She knows her job when she goes in the chute," Yellow Hawk said. "She likes to eat. She'll take big, big mouthfuls of grain."

Paint Chip was sired by Korzack and is out of Poker Chip.

Another Korkow horse that will be in Hastings is a 4-year-old stud named Harry Dun. The buckskin is one the cowboys like to get on, with the riders' average score 81 points at rodeos throughout the year. He's big and athletic, Yellow Hawk said, and "pretty docile, pretty good to get along with."

At the Dickinson, N.D., rodeo, Blake Smith won bareback riding on Harry Dun with a score of 84 points. Harry Dun has spent time in the pasture this year, breeding mares and "has a few babies on the ground," Yellow Hawk said. The horse was sired by Harry Feathers, a stud owned by Three Hills Rodeo in Bernard, Iowa, and out of Play-Dough, a mare owned by Korkows.

BULLS

The horses may be easy to get along with, but there's a bull coming to Hastings who is never in a good mood.

No. 206, named the Grand Puba, is "monster big," Yellow Hawk said, weighing between 1,500 and 1,600 pounds, with horns that are 2 1/2 to 3 feet long.

"He's really hard to ride," Yellow Hawk said, " … He's just mean."

Yellow Hawk should know; when he tried to load him into the chute at the Garden City, Kan., rodeo Grand Puba tossed him over the fence.

Korkow Rodeos

Korkow Rodeos is a family-owned business, with Jim and Carol Korkow at the helm, and son TJ as the third generation in the business. Jim's dad, Irv, founded the company in the 1940s, and Korkow Rodeos has had stock chosen for every National Finals Rodeo since it began in 1959. Now the fourth generation of Korkows: TJ and his wife Brie's children Cactus and Clover, continue the tradition.

Their livestock is an investment for rodeo stock contractors, and caring for them properly is their top-most objective. Horses and bulls are fed and watered before the help gets a chance to eat, and the animals' health is always of concern to their owners; if an animal doesn't feel good, it can't perform to the best of its ability. ❖

Oregon Trail Rodeo

» 7 p.m. Aug. 25-26

» 5 p.m. Aug. 27

The rodeo is in Hastings, Neb., at the Adams County Fairgrounds.

Tickets can be purchased at the fairgrounds in advance or at the gate. The price is $10-$20 for adults and $5-$20 for children.

For more information go to the Adams County Fairgrounds website or call (402) 462-3247.