RAPID CITY, S.D. – Darcy Hollingsworth has an eye for great animals.
Over the years, the Alberta man has raised bucking horses that have performed at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Hollingsworth just has never taken them to either of the championships.
Now he will have an opportunity to showcase his star-studded athletes in a championship event during the United Bucking Horse Association World Finals, set for 5 p.m. (Mountain Standard Time) Friday, Nov. 14, at the Central States Fairgrounds in Rapid City.
“To have all those great horses in one building and in one competition is going to be great,” said Hollingsworth, who lives near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. “Everybody’s going to have their best colts under one roof. It’s going to be a very exciting contest.”
He should know. In 2010, his horse, Pedro, bucked at the first futurity that took place during the NFR in Las Vegas. Pedro won the competition, then sold for $55,000, which was the highest-selling horse at that time.
“Wayne Vold bout him, and he’s been to the NFR every year since,” Hollingsworth said. “He’s also in the rank pen at the Canadian Finals, and he’s been in the four-round at Calgary three of the last four years.”
This is nothing new for the Canadian. He’s been involved in breeding and raising bucking horses for the better part of two decades. It’s something he enjoys.
“I don’t want to contract,” he said. “I just want to be able to go and take the good ones to where I can get them, and the UBHA gives me that opportunity.”
Kenny Andrews of Vernal, Utah, was a professional rodeo cowboy who also had a background in horse racing. His interest changed to bucking horses within the last year.
“I was considering buying a racehorse,” said Andrews, who runs the operation with his wife, Keri. “That’s a rich man’s game. You never know if a horse is going to get there. Bucking horses is something that wasn’t that expensive to get into.
“In the UBHA, we were able to go out and compete with colts we bought in Guthrie” Okla., this past January, he said. “Most are in the top 25 and going to the finals.”
That’s a quick turn-around, but that’s what the UBHA has provided in its first year. The world finals will feature the top 25 horses in both the 2- and 3-year-old classes. The animals are bucked with a mechanical dummy instead of a rider to the colts the opportunity to develop with age.
“I think the UBHA is going to grow leaps in bounds,” Andrews said. “Here in Utah, there already are some people talking about it. Even racehorse people are talking to me about it. You get to be more involved, which is something I really like.”
There’s a lot to like about it. That’s why the organization is continuing to grow.