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Last rodeo for legendary Stampede bucking horse
Coconut Roll (Courtesy of Calgary Stampede – Mike Copeman Photo)
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Wednesday, July 17, 2013 10:08AM MDT
The Calgary Stampede announced the passing of one of its veteran rodeo mares on Wednesday and has returned her to a place of honour at the ranch where she was born.
Coconut Roll was a legend among cowboys from across North American and bucked her way to the Canadian Finals Rodeo 11 times and to National Finals Rodeo 10 times.
“She was a special, special mare. She had an incredible athletic ability in the arena, and you could just see her competitive spirit and natural pride each time she competed,” says Keith Marrington, Director of Rodeo for the Calgary Stampede and long-time overseer of the Stampede Ranch and Born to Buck program. “Each time the cowboys drew her name, they’d get excited because they knew she was going to give them a tough ride but if they could hold on until the horn, they’d have a great shot at being on top of the board.”
Coconut Roll carried those cowboys who were able to hang on to the pay window 114 times for a total payout of $550,000.
She was the star of the 2006 showdown when Davey Shields Jr. rode her for a score of 91.5 to win the $100,000 jackpot.
Coconut Roll was born and raised at the 22,000 acre, Calgary Stampede Ranch and was retired after the 2010 Canadian Finals Rodeo and returned to the ranch to roam full-time with the herds.
She got part of her name from her mother, Rolly Polly, and her father was famous bucking horse Wild Strawberry.
“Outside of the arena, she was an important part of the natural herd at the Stampede Ranch, explains Marrington. “She was a key mare in our Born to Buck program and is perhaps best known as the natural mother of the Stampede’s top champions bucking horses - Grated Coconut and Kauai Coconut.”
Coconut Roll continued to be part of the breeding program at the Stampede Ranch through recipient mares.
She developed Cushing’s Disease a few years ago and was being treated by Stampede veterinarians.
The mare’s health and quality of life declined rapidly in recent weeks and vets humanely euthanized her on Wednesday.
She was buried in a place of honour at the entry gates to the Stampede Ranch alongside other celebrated bucking legends
Coconut Roll was 20-years-old.
For more information on the Born to Buck program, visit the Calgary Stampede website.