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.