A Rodeo Legend

You don't have to look hard to find Doc Bar progeny at the National Finals Steer Roping.

There's no doubting the fact that the 1956 chestnut stallion Doc Bar had speed and cow sense wrapped up into one very talented package. His direct offspring earned more than $3 million in the cutting arena and more than 8,800 AQHA points. And today, horses that trace to him are found in win pictures around the world -- and in rodeo arenas, as well.

As the National Finals Steer Roping kicks off this weekend (November 14-15) in Hobbs, New Mexico, you can expect there to be quite of number of participants with "Doc" in their names. Among them will be great-grandson Larneds Ricoche Doc, who tied for this year's AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association horse of the year in steer roping. At 14.2 hands tall, Larneds Ricoche Doc doesn't look like the typical steer roping horse. But that worked in favor of Dan Fisher of Andrews, Texas. The horse's previous owner was about 6-foot-6-inches tall, and "his legs nearly touched the ground," says Dan, who's 9 inches shorter. "That's the main reason he sold him to me." "He's probably the smallest horse in the steer-roping business," Dan says, "but he's awful strong for his size, and he has a lot of heart." "He scores really well," Dan says, referring to the horse's ability to wait patiently in the box until it's time to chase the steer. And once he gets the go-ahead, "he can really run. ... He has a lot of quick speed." Click here for results from the National Finals Steer Roping.

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Another of the sport's stars is Happy San Doc, a great-great-grandson of Doc Bar who was the other AQHA-PRCA steer roping horse of the year. When Dr. Paul Patton bought that 1992 gelding a year ago, the previous owner asked him to retain the horse's nickname: "Happy." As it turned out, that was a good fit. "He's easy to haul, easy to be around, seems to like what he does - I think Happy kind of fits him. And I'm happy to have him," says Dr. Patton, an equine veterinarian in Abilene, Texas. "This horse has been very consistent and has gotten more and more consistent all year," he says. "He has a lot of power, a lot of run. He's really easy to rope on. He's one of those horses that if you show him what you want him to do a time or two, he just takes it from there." Look for a report on Doc Bar coming soon on America's Horse Daily - your complete source for all things horse - including great pedigree information!

Why are well conformed horses most often the ones found in the winner's circle of just about any event? Find out with AQHA's "Form to Function - the Importance of Horse Conformation" DVD.