His Name Is Craig at Midnight

photo by Matt Cohen

photo by Matt Cohen

The cowboys who get on him all say the same thing: If you let up for a split second, you’re done.

by John Franzen

Craig at Midnight is a pretty special animal. The first thing you notice about him is that he is a very large animal—1,700 pounds and 19 hands tall. His head is like three feet long. When you’re around him, he towers over you. He’s big and yet so athletic. Think of the muscle needed to jump that high and be that quick! Craig’s power is unprecedented. The cowboys who get on him all say the same thing: If you let up for a split second, you’re done.

Genetics are a huge part of it. He’s ranch-raised and double-bred from Tooke Bloodlines. He’s by our main stud Cut The Cards and out of T33 KC Rocket.

Craig just loves his job. He feeds off it. You can tell because his demeanor is usually calm, but when he gets in the chute, he’s hard, like an athlete at game time. And after he gets done bucking, boy, he prances around and holds his head high. He’s just that kind of animal.

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I think he’s successful because we brought him along slow. He got hurt as a four-year-old. It was wintertime, and he slipped coming off the trailer. Hurt his shoulder. We didn’t know if he’d ever come out of it. We gave him two years off and bucked him again when he was six. The rest is history.

At Powder River Rodeo, we really pride ourselves in taking care of our livestock. These are ranch-raised animals. We didn’t just go out and buy them. It’s how we make our living, but we don’t view them like tools. They’re part of our family.

He’s named after our ranch foreman, Craig Roe. I watched that horse grow up. I’ve known him throughout his whole career as he grew into a world champion. He’s like my son. I take care of him. He knows me, and I know him. We’re privileged to have a horse of that caliber.

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