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Canadian Bred Horse Wins AQHA’s Inaugural Pro Rodeo Pickup Horse of the Year Award

Photo credit: Billie-Jean Duff

Every year, the ​AQHA bestows the prestigious ​Nutrena Horse of the Year Awards upon the top horses in ​Pro Rodeo. While these awards have traditionally favored timed event horses, a new category has been introduced this year to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes of rodeo: the ​Pickup Man’s Horse. These horses play a vital role in supporting pickup men during rodeo events, ensuring the safety of both riders and livestock.

The winners of this inaugural category have recently been announced. ​Canadian bred Baby Hes Hot, affectionately known as “Baby,” ridden and owned by ​Calgary Stampede Ranch Manager ​Tyler Kraft, claimed the first-place award.

“Baby” is by ​Hes Hot N Chexy Baby out of ​Vaniz Baby Boots, both owned by ​Doug Wilkinson. Prior to being purchased by the Krafts, “Baby” was born, raised, and trained on the ​Wilkinson Ranch in ​Mossleigh, AB.

Additionally pickup man and owner Tyler Kraft has been selected to be one of the pickup men at the 2023 Wrangler National Rodeo Finals taking place will take place December 7-16 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Oh behalf of the CQHA community we congratulate Tyler, and “Baby’s” breeder Doug Wilkinson.