Six American Quarter Horses are recognized for outstanding Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association performances in 2015.
Rey Shines On Top, owned and ridden by Brady Minor, defended his 2014 AQHA-PRCA Team Roping Heeling Horse of the Year title with a win again in 2015. (All photos credited to Dan Hubbell)
Five first-time winners were chosen for the 2015 AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Horse of the Year awards.
Three horses were named in each of the six categories, with the lone repeat champion being team roping heeling horse Rey Shines On Top (aka "Rey"), owned by Brady Minor.
Aboard Rey, Minor was able to move from 19th to 14th in the world standings in the final week of the regular season to qualify for his seventh Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
"This horse has been 90 percent of my success the past three seasons," Minor said. "Great horses are hard to come by these days, and you can't really just go out and buy one. I rodeoed on him at 70 of the 75 rodeos I went to this season, and he makes my job a lot easier.
"There are so many good horses on the list, and they only let you vote three times, but there are several horses worthy of votes. Rey is 11, and he's right in the prime of his career and is going to be at his best in the next couple of years."
While the horse on the heeling side is entering his prime, the horse that won the award for top team roping heading horse has been at it for many years.
Clay Tryan's Dew the Dash ("Dew") is 16 years old and has never been named the top horse in his event – until now.
The horse has helped Tryan and heeling partner Jade Corkill to their last two team roping world championships, with the duo in good position to make it a three-peat at the 2015 WNFR after finishing first in the regular season.
"You can't be dominant in this sport – and be in the lead a lot – without riding one of the best horses around, and I think Dew is one of the best horses there has ever been," Tryan said. "I'm glad he won it now, because he was getting to the age where I didn't think he'd ever win it. He's been good since the first day I cracked him out six years ago."
Ty Erickson's steer wrestling horse KR Montana Shake Em ("Shakem") is tops in the event. Erickson, who heads into the WNFR third in the world, and traveling partner Clayton Hass, the world standings leader, both had great success on Shakem this season. The horse is co-owned by Erickson and the Kyler Ranch in Cascade, Montana.
The tie-down roping winner is the horse that carried Marcos Costa to his first WNFR qualification this season. The horse, Sweet As Time ("Flea") is owned by Brazilian businessman Renato Antunes, and is also ridden at times by 2008 world champion tie-down roper Stran Smith, Costa's mentor.
Troy Tillard's steer roping horse, Weavers Diamond Bar ("Rowdy"), was third in the voting last year, and picked up his first win in 2015. The horse is owned by Troy's father, Tim Tillard, and carried Troy to his second consecutive Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping (November 6-7) qualification, and third overall.
Here are the full results of each event:
KR Montana Shake Em ("Shakem"), a 2002 bay gelding by Royal Shake Em-RR Miss Saigon by El Roco, owned and bred by Mary Kyler of Cascade, Montana
Lenas Little Dasher ("Charlie"), a 1999 brown gelding by Man In The Money-Sweet N Sassy Te by Uni Track, owned by Hunter and Bristi Cure of Holliday, Texas; bred by Vera Lane of Seguin, Texas
Landrys Cadillac ("Cadillac"), a 1998 sorrel gelding Skip Me Dandy-Bayou Peppy Gal by Bayou Sugar Bar, owned by Frank Sterling Wallace of Justin, Texas; bred by Jared Dirickson of Elk City, Oklahoma
Dew The Dash ("Dew"), a 1999 bay gelding by Mia Cash Too-Cea Carolina Dew by Scorpion A Leo, owned by Clay Tryan of Lipan, Texas; bred by Julie Ulberg of Berthold, North Dakota
Freckle Wilson ("Bull"), a 1994 sorrel gelding by Wilsons Lil Freckles-Tuolumne Lynx by Doc's Lynx, owned by Jody LeMond of Andrews, Texas; bred by David Kerr of Pilot Point, Texas
Madison Oak ("Clint"), a 2006 sorrel gelding by Son Of Oak-Freddies Baby Doll by Doc Freckle, owned by Chad Masters of Cedar Hill, Tennessee; bred by Thaggard Farms of Madden, Mississippi
Rey Shines On Top ("Rey"), a 2004 chestnut gelding by Shiners Lena Rey-Kings Sly Sugar by Kings Zantanon, owned by Brady Minor of Ellensburg, Washington; bred by Margie Denton of Prineville, Oregon
CD Starbucks ("Starbucks"), a 1998 sorrel gelding, owned by Ryan Motes of Weatherford, Texas; bred by Danny Connelly Motes of Weatherford, Texas
Freckles Taz ("Taz"), a 1998 bay gelding by Ricochet Tucker-Real Freckles Bar by Colonel Popcorn, owned by Kinney Harrell of Marshall, Texas; bred by Marsha Harrell of San Angelo, Texas
Sweet As Time ("Flea"), a 2007 sorrel mare by Popular Resortfigure-Smartime Bertie by Dryin Time, owned by Renato Garcia Antunes of Burleson, Texas; bred by Mike Denney of Edmond, Oklahoma
MFO Harvey ("Colonel"), a 2004 sorrel gelding by Mr Freckles Olena-Miss Pebble Lady by San Peppys Pebble, owned by Timber Moore of Aubrey, Texas; Gary Green of Kiowa, Kansas
Popular Lil Lena ("Squirrel"), a 2005 sorrel gelding by Popular Resortfigure-Fanta Lena by Ima Son Of Sugar, owned by Monty Lewis of Hereford, Texas; bred by Trammell Ranches of Washington, Oklahoma
Weavers Diamond Bar ("Rowdy"), a 1999 dun gelding by Diamonds Cutter-Roan Bar Maid by Roan Bar Dandy, owned by Tim Tillard of Douglas, Wyoming; bred by Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana
White Hot Ike ("Bullseye"), a 1998 palomino gelding by White Lightning Ike-Senorita Laura by El Rey Burner, owned by Chance Kelton of Mayer, Arizona; Will and Gill Sons of Madera, California
Tonk Champ ("Champ"), a 1999 sorrel gelding by Hunkey Tonk-Miss Cody B Doc by Smokin B Neville, owned by Chris Glover of Keenesburg, Colorado; bred by Debra Hulmn of Timber Lake, South Dakota
French First Watch ("Custer"), a 2004 palomino gelding by Frenchmans Guy-Dashing To Fame by Dash Ta Fame, owned by Jill Welsh of Parker, Arizona; bred by Rachael or Judy Myllymaki of Arlee, Montana
An Oakie With Cash ("Louie"), a 2003 buckskin gelding by Biebers Oakie-Lady Kaweah Cash by Judge Cash, owned by Grady and Lisa Lockhart of Oelrichs, South Dakota; bred by Timothy or Kelly Bagnell of Ronan, Montana
Blazin Ta Fame ("Blaze"), a 2005 chestnut stallion by Blazin Jetolena-Princess Dasher by Dash Ta Fame, owned by Annette and Rachel Hendrix of Fallon, Nevada; Randy and Sue Rist of Tucson, Arizona