College National Finals Rodeo: Horses of the Year

American Quarter Horses are recognized at the 2014 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Jacalyn Walker and RS Hickory Play Boy win women's Horse of the Year at the 2014 College National Finals Rodeo. (Dan Hubbell photo)

College athletes and their equine partners competed June 15-21 at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.

AQHA recognizes two top horses at the event.

The women’s Horse of the Year is RS Hickory Play Boy, owned by Chris J. Walker of Wellsville, Utah, and trained by his daughter, Jacalyn Walker. RS Hickory Play Boy is a 2000 bay gelding by Peppy Belles Player and out of Miss Hickory Prom by Hickorydickorydoc. He was bred by Rulon and Sally Weaver of Layton, Utah.

“I was way excited,” Jacalyn said. “I’ve been riding him for 10 years. We got him when he was 4 years old and I was 11. He started as a cutting horse.”

“Hicky” had been heeled off some, Jacalyn said, and she started breakaway roping on him as well as goat tying.

“He’s the best horse I’ve ever owned,” she said. “Before the finals, we had been having some issues in the box. I’m sure it was me, but once we got to the (CNFR), he worked awesome.”

Jacalyn, a community health major at Utah Valley University in Orem, will begin work on her master’s in health education in the fall at Idaho State University. She plans to use her last year of eligibility to continue college rodeoing on Hicky.

The men’s Horse of the Year is Twisters Play, a 2004 red dun gelding by JH Twister and out of DW Playnwithattitude by JH Playote. He was bred by Chad Boggs of Cyril, Oklahoma, and is owned by his exhibitor, Logan Harkey of Vernon, Texas.

“He’s a pretty special fellow,” Logan said of his tie-down roping horse. “I’ve had him three years now. As soon as I got him, I won a bunch on him. He’s just so good at every phase of the game. He can run and he’s just a winner. He lets me win and makes my job really easy.”

“Fred” had a fractured cannon bone in the spring, and the CNFR was the first time Logan was able to ride the horse after family friend Wheless Miller rehabbed him.

“We got him healed up and lo and behold he won Horse of the Year,” Logan said. “He’s a tough son of a gun.”

In the fall, Logan will be a graduate student at West Texas A&M University studying ag business and economics. 

"We’re going to rodeo on him this summer, and hopefully I’ll be able to pro rodeo on him in a couple of years when I get done with school,” Logan said.

Other national champions
Men’s teamUniversity of Tennessee-Martin
Women’s teamCentral Arizona College
Women’s all-around – Macy M. Fuller, Central Arizona College
Men’s all-around – Taygen K. Schuelke, Sheridan College
Goat tying – Hayden S. Segelke, Eastern New Mexico University
Breakaway roping – Macy M. Fuller, Central Arizona College
Barrel racing – Taylor M. Engesser, Gillette College
Team roping – Billy Bob Brown, Tarleton State University, and Logan J. Medin, Eastern New Mexico University
Steer wrestling – Cade A. Goodman, Wharton County Junior College
Tie-down roping – Taylor Santos-Karney, Cal-Poly-San Luis Obispo