Riding

Wonders Cowboy Dan

Learn more about one of the AQHA-PRCA horses of the year, Wonders Cowboy Dan.

From America's Horse

Wonders Cowboy Dan was the 2014 AQHA-PRCA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year. PRCA photo.

The 2014 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo kicks off December 4 in Las Vegas. We'll be cheering on all of the talented American Quarter Horses competing for top honors. If you're lucky enough to be in attendance, be sure to come visit us at the AQHA booth!

And get in the NFR spirit by meeting the AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association barrel racing horse of the year, Wonders Cowboy Dan, aka "Cowboy," who will be running at the NFR.

When Quinton Bass of Davenport, Florida, went looking for a high-school rodeo speed-event horse for his daughter, Kristen, breeder Se’Belle Dymmek told him, “I’ve got one here that’s perfect.” But they had no idea how true that would turn out to be.

Kristen high school rodeoed on Wonders Cowboy Dan, mostly doing pole bending, before turning “Cowboy” over to her little sister, Kaley, who did junior rodeos and then slowly began focusing on barrel racing. She and Cowboy won the Florida state high school rodeo championship, as well as a National Barrel Horse Association state championship.

“She turned pro when she was 18,” Quinton says of Kaley, who is now 21. “She told me she would rather try it while she had Cowboy, and then go to college.”

Want to see the rest of the 2014 rodeo horses of the year? You'll find them in the December issue of America's Horse. America's Horse offers the latest stories about Quarter Horses and horse owners just like you.

It was a decision that has worked out well. Kaley and Cowboy are ranked No. 1 in the world going into the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, $24,000 ahead of their nearest competitor.

“He’s just so consistent,” Quinton says proudly. “He’s not the fastest thing out there, but he’s the most honest one out there, I guarantee it.”

Leaving the arena at high speed in San Antonio, Cowboy hit another horse in the alleyway and went down, throwing Kaley over his neck. People told Quinton they’d never seen a horse try so hard not to step on someone.

“There’ll never be another one like him, that’s for sure,” Quinton says. “He’s a gentleman, not a horse.”

And Cowboy truly is part of the Bass family.

“Me and Kaley talked about it, and we said, ‘He’s not a horse. He just has an attitude about him where he loves us about as much as we love him.’ She’d never sell him.”

America's Horse is the world's largest equine member publication, and in it you'll find the latest Quarter Horse stories, tips and information. In the December issue of America's Horse, you'll also find the rest of the 2014 rodeo horses of the year.

Although Cowboy is sound and at the top of his professional game right now, at some point, he may come full circle back to those junior rodeos.

“Kristen’s daughter is 4,” Quinton says. “She’ll probably start barrel racing on him.”