Grated Coconut, more commonly referred to as The Stud, won his fourth PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year. As a 10-year-old, this honor puts him in legendary company. Not since Bernis Johnson's Sippin' Velvet, a five-time champion and member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, won four titles in five years (1983-84 and 1986-87), has a bareback horse been so dominant.
Grated Coconut is particularly special because while he is so dominant in the arena, he is just as docile outside of it. The Stud is halter broke-something his Calgary Stampede owners did in order to more easily use him as a herd stallion-calm in the chute, and will buck willingly without the flank strap. True proof that today's bucking stock are bred to buck and not forced to.
"That's what is so scary about him. They'll tie him to the fence and then lead him into the bucking chute. He bucks every time the gate opens and he bucks harder than any horse there's ever been. That horse is the real deal," Justin McDaniel, who was 90 on Grated Coconut at the Ariat Playoffs in Puyallup, Wash., said. "I'd been waiting to get on that horse ever since I started riding. When I got on him it worked out good and I felt like I handled him and he had a good trip."
In the saddle bronc riding, another horse with an agreeable personality won the title. Powder River Rodeo's Miss Congeniality won her second top bronc award in three years.
"She's just a big ol' doll in there," Cody DeMoss said of the mare's chute manners. "Just a really nice horse as far as personality goes. When that gate cracks, she just gets after it. She is definitely the best horse in the world this year. Lots of power but really good. The kind you want to have. I was dang sure glad to have her there at Omaha."
DeMoss rode the mare for an arena-record 91 points at the Ariat Playoff stop in October.
"I guess I'd say she's a little more solid this year, but she's always been outstanding," said Hank Franzen of Powder River Rodeo Company. "She's a big, gentle mare with a good disposition and turns out there and bucks hard every time."
She's so special to Franzen, in fact, that he's got a special halter for her.
"Hank totes around a special halter just for her and it's kind of intimidating when he walks up there and hands it to you," DeMoss said.
In the bull riding, a young bull, Beutler and Son's Voodoo Child, took the title. The black and white spotted bull hasn't been ridden in over 35 trips.
Voodoo Child has had an average mark of 22.61 in 2007 and bucked off Wrangler NFR qualifiers including J.W. Harris, Mike Moore and Terry Don West.
"He's still a young bull, and this was really his first year at PRCA rodeos," Rhett Beutler said. "The guys are still trying to figure him out. Hopefully someone will, and they'll get a bunch of points."
Runners-up in the bareback riding voting were River Boat Annie from Carr Pro Rodeo in second and Flying Five Rodeo's Miss Amerititle in third. A pair of Kesler Championship Rodeo horses, Bonus Alley and Cool Alley, followed Miss Congeniality in the saddle bronc riding final results. In the bull competition, Southwick Robertson's Live Wire was second, while Andrews Rodeo's Fender Bender, last year's runner-up, finished third.
The top 30 contestants in each roughstock event voted for the award winners.