angle-left 30 Years of Rodeo Horses of the Year

30 Years of Rodeo Horses of the Year

AQHA has partnered with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since 1989 to recognize the top American Quarter Horses in speed events.

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Compiled by Becky Newell

In the 30 years that the AQHA Media team has been writing about the AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Horses of the Year, we've referred to them as varsity athletes, the best of the best, cowboy cadillacs, rodeo romeos and necessary equipment. Their riders, owners and fans know them best by their barn names; "Scooter," "Fiesta," "Latte," Pacman," "Jeremiah," "Louie," "Roany," "Bozo," "Scamper," "Chili Dog," "Iceman" or "Babyflo."

Regardless, the riders of these four-legged, speed-event machines wouldn't have won the money and world titles they did without them, and AQHA is proud that a majority of professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls call on American Quarter Horses to get the job done.

Here's a little trivia based on 30 years of top rodeo horses:

  • Charmayne James' Gills Bay Boy, whom she found working in a cattle feedyard, won the barrel racing horse of the year title five times. The famous "Scamper" was by Gill's Sonny Boy and out of Drapers Jay by Headed West 66.
  • Charles Pogue's Oklahoma Top Hat, aka "Scooter," won the heading title six times. The gray gelding, whom Charles bought for $5,000, was by a racehorse named Oklahoma Fuel and out of Winners Doll by Win Or Lose.
  • 2019 Barrel Horse of the Year High Valor is by racehorse sire Valiant Hero. At least three horses of the year are grand-get of racehorse sires: Sort Of Like Fast, 2002 steer wrestling, grandson of Dash For Cash; Megazord, 2004 heading, grandson of Easy Jet; and Rocks Eye Opener, 2009 steer wrestling, grandson of Mr Eye Opener, who is going into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2020.
  • In their first year together (1996), heeler Rich Skelton and Boons Smooth Val, aka "Roany," won $85,000 and finished second in the world. Roany was heel horse of the year four times.
  • Kristie Peterson's French Flash Hawk, "Bozo," whom she acquired for $400, was barrel horse of the year five times. Bozo was by Sun Frost and out of Caseys Charm by Tiny Circus.
  • The champ Guy Allen's steer roping partner, Two D Ole Man, won the steer roping horse of the year four times. Guy nicknamed "Jeremiah" after one of his favorite books in the Bible. The brown gelding was a grandson of Two Eyed Jack on the top side and racehorse sire The Ole Man on the bottom side.

Each year, the cowboys from the six speed events nominate the horses and then the top 25 cowboys and cowgirls in each event cast their votes for the winner. Below is a table listing all of the horses of the year since 1989.

YEAR EVENT HORSE NICKNAME RIDER(S)
1989 Tie-Down Roping Docs Desperado   Joe Parsons
  Steer Wrestling Doc Bee Quick Doc Butch Myers
  Heading Mister Ruby Clerk Cannonball Matt Tyler
  Heeling Flits Friend Pacman J.D. Yates
  Steer Roping Cody Bar Skip Dutch J.D. Yates, Tee Woolman
  Barrel Racing Gills Bay Boy Scamper Charmayne James
1990 Tie-Down Roping Power Key Mr T Johnny Emmons
  Steer Wrestling Doc Bee Quick Doc Butch Myers
  Heading Yellow Bar Smug   Bobby Hurley
  Heeling Jet Interruption BJ Dennis Watkins
  Steer Roping Barely Neals Rivet Rocky Phil Lyne
  Barrel Racing Gills Bay Boy Scamper Charmayne James
1991 Tie-Down Roping Broadway Tar Baby Boogie Man Mike Jones, Charlee Arnold
  Steer Wrestling Doc Bee Quick Doc Butch Myers
  Heading Oklahoma Top Hat Scooter Charles Pogue
  Heeling Bar Five Koys Dun Dunny Steve Northcott
  Steer Roping Cody Bar Skip Dutch J.D. Yates, Tee Woolman
  Barrel Racing Gills Bay Boy Scamper Charmayne James
1992 Tie-Down Roping Tommys Blue Bar Malachi Brent Lewis
  Steer Wrestling Skip D Sack Skippy Harrison Halligan
  Heading Oklahoma Top Hat Scooter Charles Pogue
  Heeling Flits Smokin Dream Iceman Kory Koontz
  Steer Roping Cody Bar Skip Dutch Tee Woolman
  Barrel Racing Gills Bay Boy Scamper Charmayne James
1993 Tie-Down Roping Broadway Tar Baby Boogie Man Mike Jones, Charlee Arnold
  Steer Wrestling Hank Bar Binion Hank Bill Cresta
  Heading Oklahoma Top Hat Scooter Charles Pogue
  Heeling Flits Smokin Dream Iceman Kory Koontz
  Steer Roping Cody Bar Skip Dutch Tee Woolman
  Barrel Racing Gills Bay Boy Scamper Charmayne James
1994 Tie-Down Roping Grand Rapid Return Prime Time Jim Farris
  Steer Wrestling Too Vee Yellow Dog Jimmy Powers
  Heading Tres Spiffy Dude Spiff Bobby Hurley
  Heeling Bar Five Koys Dun Dunny Steve Northcott
  Steer Roping Gray Baldy Santa Claus Arnold Felts
  Barrel Racing Special Agreement Brown Deb Mohon
1995 Tie-Down Roping Cowboy Marine Orejas Jerry Jetton
  Steer Wrestling Mr LIght Star Whitey Bill Duvall
  Heading Ayes Have It Rooster Eddie Wilkerson
  Heeling Wills Budha Blue Cody Cowden
  Steer Roping Flaxy Flash Refuse H. L. Todd
  Barrel Racing French Flash Hawk Bozo Kristie Peterson
1996 Tie-Down Roping LIttle Ring Art Junior Lewis
  Steer Wrestling Super San Wood San Wood Justin, Todd and Randy Suhn
  Heading Mark My Dream Butterbean Steve Purcella
  Heeling Flits Smokin Dream Iceman Kory Koontz
  Steer Roping Vans Lad Chubs Mel Potter
  Barrel Racing French Flash Hawk Bozo Kristie Peterson
1997 Tie-Down Roping Kido Doc Rifleman Stran Smith
  Steer Wrestling Mamas Jr Baby Blue Byron Walker/George Strait
  Heading Oklahoma Top Hat Scooter Charles Pogue
  Heeling Boons Smooth Val Roany Rich Skelton
  Steer Roping Jack Bart Tender Bullet Guy Allen
  Barrel Racing French Flash Hawk Bozo Kristie Peterson
1998 Tie-Down Roping Merry Two Bar Deuce Trent Walls
  Steer Wrestling Bad Motorscooter Scooter Jimmy Powers
  Heading Oklahoma Top Hat Scooter Charles Pogue
  Heeling Boons Smooth Val Roany Rich Skelton
  Steer Roping Doctor Rocky Bob Rocky Bucky Hefner
  Barrel Racing French Flash Hawk Bozo Kristie Peterson
1999 Tie-Down Roping Smokin Dee Smokey Jerome Schneeberger
  Steer Wrestling Padres Perfection Preacher Wayne Jennings
  Heading Oklahoma Top Hat Scooter Charles Pogue
  Heeling Boons Smooth Val Roany Rich Skelton
  Steer Roping Two D Ole Man Jeremiah Guy Allen
  Barrel Racing French Flash Hawk Bozo Kristie Peterson
2000 Tie-Down Roping Kid Taurus Grumpy Brent Lewis
  Steer Wrestling Becky My Loop Becky Multiple Riders
  Heading Keep On Flushing  Viper Speed Williams
  Heeling Nifty Jacks Back Dinero Kyle Lockett
  Steer Roping Two D Ole Man Jeremiah Guy Allen
  Barrel Racing Firewater Fiesta Fiesta Kelly Yates
2001 Tie-Down Roping Leo Sen Bar Easy Herbert Theriot, Jerome Schneeberger
  Steer Wrestling Bad Motorscooter Scooter Jimmy Powers
  Heading Smoothly Anchored Calhoon Richard Eiguren Jr.
  Heeling Boons Smooth Val Roany Rich Skelton
  Steer Roping Two D Ole Man Jeremiah Guy Allen
  Barrel Racing Firewater Fiesta Fiesta Kelly Yates
2002 Tie-Down Roping Tinys Clipso Tweeter Trevor Brazile
  Steer Wrestling Sort Of Like Fast Kojak Clyde Himes
  Heading Smoothly Anchored Calhoon Richard Eiguren Jr.
  Heeling Smoking Holly 045 Wick Allen Bach
  Steer Roping Tee Sue Jr Boudreaux Jason Evans
  Barrel Racing The Key Grip Llave Kay Blandford
2003 Tie-Down Roping Topofthemarket Topper Stran Smith
  Steer Wrestling Ima Star O Lena Jackpot Bryan Fields
  Heading Precious Speck Walt Travis and Clay Tryan
  Heeling Marvins Wonder Potato Chip Dugan Kelly
  Steer Roping Fannin War Leo Leo Vin Fisher
  Barrel Racing Top Tally Tally Darlene Kasper
2004 Tie-Down Roping IR Still Dry Ned Monty Lewis
  Steer Wrestling FF Zans A Baron Jack Zan Ronnie Fields, Chancey Larson, Ote Berry
  Heading Megazord   Tee Woolman
  Heeling Pets Ten Chili Dog Rich Skelton
  Steer Roping Two D Ole Man Jeremiah Guy Allen
  Barrel Racing Krimps Ready To Go Elmer Paula Seay
2005 Tie-Down Roping Topofthemarket Topper Stran Smith
  Steer Wrestling FF Zans A Baron Jack Zan Ronnie Fields, Chancey Larson, Ote Berry
  Heading Docalickin Thumper Clay Tryan
  Heeling Pets Ten Chili Dog Rich Skelton
  Steer Roping Bobs Lena Tarzan Cash Myers
  Barrel Racing Sparky Impression Sparky June Holman
2006 Tie-Down Roping Express On Heir Luke Cody Ohl
  Steer Wrestling FF Zans A Baron Jack Zan Ronnie Fields, Chancey Larson, Ote Berry
  Heading Nicks Rocket Rojo Nickolas Matt Sherwood
  Heeling Baileys Copper Doc Diesel Randon Adams
  Steer Roping Oakays Sunbeam Dunny J. P. Wickett
  Barrel Racing Rare Fred Fred Mary Burger
2007 Tie-Down Roping Smash Par Fancy Flip Justin Maass/Scott Kormos
  Steer Wrestling Rocks Eye Opener Jesse Lee Graves
  Heading Precious Speck Walt Travis and Clay Tryan
  Heeling Sunday Night Bingo Amigo Patrick Smith
tie Heeling Baileys Copper Doc Diesel Randon Adams
  Steer Roping River Lightning Bug Shep C. A. Lauer
  Barrel Racing Sixth Vision Stitch Brittany Pozzi
2008 Tie-Down Roping Dual Sonny Dee Dually Jerrad Hofstetter
tie Tie-Down Roping Acre Te Run Oz Justin Maass
  Steer Wrestling RTR Little Willy Willy Gabe LeDoux
  Heading Precious Speck Walt Travis and Clay Tryan
  Heeling Baileys Copper Doc Diesel Randon Adams
  Steer Roping Larneds Ricoche Doc Woody Dan Fisher
  Barrel Racing Sugar Moon Express Martha Lindsay Sears
2009 Tie-Down Roping Big Smoking Wonder Pearl Cody Ohl
  Steer Wrestling Rocks Eye Opener Jesse Lee Graves, Trevor Knowles
  Heading Precious Speck Walt Travis and Clay Tryan
  Heeling Baileys Copper Doc Diesel Randon Adams
  Steer Roping Larneds Ricoche Doc Woody Dan Fisher
  Barrel Racing Rare Fred Fred Mary Burger
2010 Tie-Down Roping Eightys Sport Sweetness Clint Cooper, Trent Creager, Houston Hutto
  Steer Wrestling Dashs Dapper Star Wick Wade Sumpter, Ken Lewis, Billy Bugenig
  Heading RA Sonoita Silver Vegas Turtle Powell
  Heeling Fine Snip Of Doc  Cave Man Jade Corkill
  Steer Roping Skips Harlan Tyree Pops Rocky Patterson
  Barrel Racing Judge Buy Cash Jethro Brenda Mays
2011 Tie-Down Roping Eightys Sport Sweetness Clint Cooper, Trent Creager, Houston Hutto, Timber Moore, George Rowland, Blair Burk
  Steer Wrestling Dashs Dapper Star Wick Wade Sumpter, Ken Lewis, Billy Bugenig, Seth Brockman
  Heading Sycamore Gold Finger Classic Kevin Daniel
  Heeling CDs Quixote Dugout Brady Minor
  Steer Roping Senior Sonita Pokey Cody Lee
  Barrel Racing Yeah Hes Firen Duke Brittany Pozzi
tie Barrel Racing MP Meter My Hay Sting Ray Sherry Cervi
2012 Tie-Down Roping Eightys Sport Sweetness Clint Cooper, Trent Creager, Cory Solomon, Houston Hutto
  Steer Wrestling Dillons Dash Bugs Les Shepperson, Luke Branquinho
  Heading Lite My Dynamite Sic'em Trevor Brazile
  Heeling Fine Snip Of Doc Cave Man Jade Corkill
  Steer Roping White Hot Ike Bullseye Chance Kelton
  Barrel Racing Perculatin Latte Mary Walker
2013 Tie-Down Roping Big Smoking Wonder Pearl Cody Ohl
  Steer Wrestling Speedy Faila Two Guns Wade Sumpter, Billy Bugenig, Seth Brockman
  Heading Lucys Fast Jewel Jewel Brandon Beers
  Heeling CD Starbucks Starbucks Ryan Motes
  Steer Roping Olee Roberto Major Scott Snedecor
tie Steer Roping Larneds Ricoche Doc Woody Dan Fisher
  Barrel Racing Flos Heiress BabyFlo Fallon Taylor
2014 Tie-Down Roping Dualin Demon Rambo Hunter Herrin
  Steer Wrestling Landrys Cadillac Cadillac Clayton Hass
  Heading El Tevo Cash Tevo Brandon Beers
  Heeling Rey Shines On Top Rey Brady Minor
  Steer Roping Olee Roberto Major Scott Snedecor
  Barrel Racing Wonders Cowboy Dan Cowboy Kaley Bass
2015  Tie-Down Roping Sweet As Time Sweet or Flea Marcos Costa, Stran Smith
  Steer Wrestling KR Montana Shake Em Shakem or Shake  Ty Erickson, Clayton Hass
  Heading Dew The Dash Dew Clay Tryan
  Heeling Rey Shines On Top Rey Brady Minor
  Steer Roping Weavers Diamond Bar Rowdy Troy Tillard
  Barrel Racing French First Watch Custer Jill Welsh
2016 Tie-Down Roping MFO Harvey Colonel Timber Moore
  Steer Wrestling Landrys Cadillac Cadillac Clayton Hass
  Heading Tuffys Badger Chex Badger Kolton Schmidt
  Heeling Zans Colonel Shine Colonel Jake Long
  Steer Roping At War Leo Punchy Cody Lee
  Steer Roping Tonk Champ Champ Chris Glover
  Barrel Racing CFour Tibbie Stinson Tibbie Ivy Conrado
2017 Tie-Down Roping Simon Cow Si Shane Hanchey
  Steer Wrestling Canted Plan Scooter Kyle Irwin, Tyler Pearson
  Heading Madison Oak Clint Chad Masters
  Heeling Zans Colonel Shine Colonel Jake Long
  Steer Roping Carols Sassy Doc Salty John Bland
  Barrel Racing Rafter W Minnie Reba Sister Nellie Williams Miller
2018 Tie-Down Roping LIttle Smart Leo Big Time Tyler MIlligan
  Steer Wrestling Canted Plan Scooter Kyle Irwin, Tyler Pearson
  Heading RK Tuff Trinket Bob Riley Minor
  Heeling Zans Colonel Shine Colonel Jake Long
  Steer Roping Cooperslittletoy Cooper Chris Glover
  Barrel Racing DM Sissy Hayday Sister Hailey Kinsel
2019 Tie-Down Roping LIttle Smart Leo Big Time Tyler Milligan
  Steer Wrestling Do Get Famous Rattle Matt Reeves
  Heading Jewels Smoke Screen Smoke Tate Kirschenschlager
  Heeling DT Sugar Chex Whiz Sugar Billie Jack Saebens
  Steer Roping Mr Blakburn Chex 113 Dunny Cole Patterson
  Barrel Racing High Valor Valor Dona Kay Rule