To win the coveted Steer Wrestling Horse of the Year award is a huge thrill; to see him get injured in a split-second mishap is heart-wrenching.
In Round One of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, all eyes were on steer wrestler Scott Guenthner as he desperately ran the length of the arena to catch an obviously injured Smoke.
The hazer and pick up man had already caught the champion, but he was packing a back leg. Together, the hazer and Guenthner slowly led Smoke out of the arena.
Tanner Milan, who is part of the Milan family consortium that owns the champion, immediately called in Dr. Charles Briggs, equine specialist from Beckwith Vet Clinic in Sherwood Park.
“He’ll be OK,” said an obviously relieved Milan. “But he needs time to heal.”
Milan is hoping the horse will be healed up for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.
“Dr. Briggs examined him and took x-rays. Nothing’s broke, but he banged his left hock backing into the box and injured his tendon.”
A sidelined Smoke brings Tanner’s “new” horse, the big black, to the forefront of the Canadian Championship run for him and Guenthner. Milan won Nampa, ID on the proven horse and Guenthner won a round at Cheyenne on him, so the two men vying for the title are confident in his abilities.
“But Smoke is still my main horse,” says Milan.