AQHYA World Championship Show 2014
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August 1-9, 2014
Oklahoma City

2012 Youth World

Heeling

2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA Heeling World Champions Wyatt Hershberger and Malo Gato

Wyatt Hershberger wins heeling August 11 on Malo Gato. (Journal photo)

Wyatt Hershberger follows the family tradition on a homebred roping horse.

Just call it a family tradition.

In 2011, Jon Hershberger of Glendale, Arizona, won the heeling at the Adequan Select World Championship Show on Shining Playboy with his son, trainer Jason Hershberger, heading for him.

On August 11, Wyatt Hershberger of Litchfield Park, Arizona, won the heeling at the 2012 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show with his dad, trainer Jason Hershberger, heading for him.

It’s easy to get the idea that having Jason head is the way to win.

“(Dad) stays consistent most of the time,” Wyatt said after his win on Malo Gato, a horse bred by his mother, Nikola Hershberger.

“My mom owned his mom,” Wyatt said. “She showed him. When he was born, he was malnourished. He was bottlefed. He was recently off for seven months. I just got him back in June.”

Wyatt arrived in Oklahoma City at the Ford Youth World just hoping to rope well.

“I didn’t expect to win it,” he said. “It’s crazy. I’m not sure what to think, actually.”

“Gato” is a 2003 sorrel gelding by Roys Ram Jet and out of Docs Classy Patty by Classy Doc Bar, and he’s the same horse day-in and day-out, said Wyatt, who has been riding the horse for more than two years..

“He’s always happy,” he said. “I can depend on him for anything. Any roping, he’s good.”

Wyatt was surrounded by family and friends after his world championship, including world champion Jon and trainer Jason, who both offer Wyatt advice on roping.

“When we’re roping, there’s about five people telling me things,” he said. “It gets pretty confusing.”

Wyatt didn't have much time to celebrate. He had to get ready for his next class and the next bits of good advice.