The 2006 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horse of the Year winners shined during competition at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 30–Dec. 9. Four AQHA Horses of the Year won world titles this year.
Nicks Rocket Rojo, this year’s Horse of the Year in heading, claimed the world title with Matt Sherwood of Queen Creek, Ariz., aboard. Sherwood secured the win by capping off the week’s competition with a 4.1-second run. Nicks Rocket Rojo, owned by Sherwood, is a 12-year-old sorrel gelding by Shamrocks Nick and out of Rockets Breezy Lady by Suleo’s Rocket. This was Sherwood’s first year to compete in the NFR.
Cody Ohl of Hico, Texas, added to this year’s tie-down Horse of the Year’s accolades by winning the world title. Express On Heir, a 12-year-old sorrel gelding by The Hot Express and out of Lulu Of An Heiress by Son And Heir, is owned by Darren Blanton of Dallas. Ohl and “Luke” have been partners since March 2005. His season will go down in history as the best ever in his event as he earned $298,112, including a Wrangler NFR-best $132,652 among tie-down ropers.
Four-time AQHA World Champion Mary Burger of Pauls Valley, Okla., earned her first PRCA world title aboard Rare Fred. “Fred” is a 10-year-old sorrel gelding by Jet Radar and out of Sleek Glas by Image Of Greatness. Fred is owned by Ronald Martin of Seal Beach, Calif.
Burger and Fred claimed the AQHA World Championship title in senior barrel racing three years in a row from 2003 to 2005 after winning the title in 2001 in junior barrel racing. They also captured the 2006 AQHA Reserve World Championship in Senior Barrel Racing. This was Burger’s first time competing at the NFR.
FF Zans A Baron Jack, ridden by Dean Gorsuch of Gering, Neb., claimed the world in steer wrestling. Ow