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2016 CJRA Top Horses Honored
story by the Laurie Dineen
Many rodeo cowboys and cowgirls attest their success in the arena to their outstanding equine partners. 16 such horses were nominated for the “Top Horse” award for the 2016 CJRA rodeo season. Winners in each division were selected by a vote of the CJRA finals contestants and were awarded trophy halters made by former CJRA contestant, Taylor Meeske, of TM Leather. The awards were sponsored and presented by Gary and Janette Wollert of Eads, Colorado during the 2016 awards banquet.
Senior Boy Division Top Horse
Shorty, age 14
Jase Staudt from Salida, CO nominated his horse Shorty because ‘he has been such a blessing to his family.’ The Staudts bought him over five years ago when Jase was in seventh grade. He rode him at Junior High Nationals in Gallup, New Mexico, in seventh and eighth grade and in eighth grade he won the CJHRA state title in the Ribbon Roping and won 5th in the Goat Tying and finished in the Top 20 in the Ribbon Roping at nationals that year as well. Jase also won the CSHSRA state title in calf roping his sophomore and junior years of high school aboard Shorty. In 2015 Shorty took Jase to the winners circle again as the CJRA Champion Senior Boys Ribbon Roper with partner Alex Odle.
“Over the years I have placed in the top five in the Ribbon Roping and Tie-Down Roping in the CJRA as a Senior Boy also,” Jase said. “Shorty is a very unique horse in and out of the arena. He is very consistent no matter what you throw at him and has been the best first calf horse possible. He has taken care of me from learning what to do and what not to do and then to the pay window once I did.”
It is very rare to find a horse that can take care of a seventh grader, give him the confidence to become better and step up his game in order to give the opportunity to win. Shorty has done this for Jase and he hopes to ride Shorty his first year of college, then pass him on to his brother Klayt to teach him the ropes, the way he had done Jase.
Senior Girl Division Top Horse
Johnny (Freckles Chunkosugar), age 11
Faith Hoffman from Kiowa, CO nominated her horse Freckles Chunkosugar (aka) “Johnny”, to receive the CJRA Sr. Girl Top Horse Award because he is that ‘once in a lifetime’ horse. Faith has learned, failed, grown and succeeded with this horse throughout the six years they have competed together. Johnny has carried her to qualifying for the last two NHSFR’s in goat tying, last year in pole bending and a state championship in goat tying. He has been used in just about every event in the rodeo arena including calf roped/breakaway roped, run barrels, poles, goats, headed and heeled on, and has hazed in the steer wrestling. “He has mounted other competitors in multiple events and is just as honest with them as he is with me,” said Faith. “Everyone knows and loves him and his sweet nature. God blessed me with the best partner in crime and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”
Please see our February issue for stories on the Junior Boy Division Top Horse, Junior Girl Division Top Horse, and Pee Wee Division Top Horse.