When the first of four nightly PRCA rodeos kicks off Wednesday July 27 at the 71st Annual Chief Joseph Days, it won’t be just the cowboys and cowgirls that people will be coming to see. It’s also the other side of the competition: the animal athletes.
This year, Growney Brothers will be providing the stock animals, as they have done since 1992. Partner Tim Bridwell will be bringing several stars. Rising saddle bronc bucker Capone is the lone son of 10 time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo bareback horse Raggidy Ann, and has shown a tough spirit since birth. After an injury suffered in the pasture, Capone has a distinct scar between his dark eyes and striking white face.
It is a piece of his personality that mirrors his bucking style – mysterious and exotic. Capone is only six years old but has already made two appearances at the famed Calgary Stampede and went to his first Wrangler’s National Finals Rodeo last fall, competing along side his famous mother in bareback riding. Since then he has competed in saddle bronc riding, a move most mature older horses aren’t able to handle due to different natural abilities required by the animal athlete. “Capone is a big, stout horse similar to a football player who can play both sides of the ball.”
The name Girl Crush was given to this cute little horse, which Tim Bridwell bought as a saddle bronc horse. However, his instincts told him to try her in bareback riding and the switch turned the mysteriously soft-eyed gray mare into a break-out star. Of the three rodeos where she has competed in bareback riding, she earned a stock score average of 41 points and taken Wrangler National Finals qualifiers such as Jessy Davis and Caleb Bennett to the pay window. At the tender age of five, she is just getting started.
As the saying goes, the best man for the job may be a “woman” – and this may be the case for bucking horse Adalida. Raised in remote northern Canada, the seven year old bay mare with her long black mane and stoutly build physique has quickly found her niche and is showing potential to become a star. “She has salvation… she changes up her style and game plan throughout the ride depending on her rider,” said Tim Bridwell, partner in Growney Brothers Stock. “She is hard to ride because of this, but it will keep her bucking at a high level for a long time because guys won’t be able to figure her out.”
See Capone, Girl Crush and Adalida at the Harley Tucker Memorial Arena for four nightly PRCA rodeos during the 71st Chief Joseph Days Rodeo.
In addition, don’t miss Chief Joseph Days three page feature story “25 Years Growney Bros. at CJD Rodeo” in the 2016 CJD Rodeo Program now available at our rodeo office in Joseph and throughout the rodeo until they are gone [again]…
Meet three of Growney Bros.’ Equine Stars…
Age: 7 years old
As the saying goes, the best man for the job may not be a man at all, but rather a “woman”. Thus may be the case for bucking horse Adalida. Purchased in the spring of 2016, Adalida is a new addition to Bridwell Livestock.
Raised in Northern Canada, the 7 year old bay mare with her long black mane and stoutly built physic has quickly found her niche in the herd and is showing potential to become a star in her own right.
With five qualified riders this season, she is averaging a stock score of 40 points. Translation means that if a rider does their part they are set up to be no less than 80 points. Horses and riders are judged equally on a scale of 100. Pro rodeo officials score both the horse and rider 1-50 on strength, control and difficulty. The higher the score, the better the ride!
Adalida is no day off though. “She has salvation….she changes up her style and game plan throughout the ride depending on her rider. She is hard to ride because of this, but it will keep her bucking at a high level for a long time because guys won’t be able to figure her out,” says owner Tim Bridwell of Bridwell Livestock. But until the chute gate opens, the mild mannered mare contently lingers with her herd mates amidst the tall grasses of the pasture patiently waiting for her turn to wow audiences and carrying cowboys to the pay window. And maybe, just maybe someday she will pass on her style and grace to a new generation of Bridwell Buckers!
Brand/Name: 191 Girl Crush
Age: 5 years old
The mere suggestion of her name may lead one to believe that perhaps the sight of this cute little wild haired gray horse lead to an immediate “Girl Crush”. However, it was not love at first sight when Tim Bridwell, owner and partner in Growney Brothers Rodeo, laid eyes on #191 Girl Crush.
Quite the opposite, to say the least, of his purchase of her during the World Saddle Bronc Futurity in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Bridwell had actually fallen head over heels for Girl Crush’s running mate; a lean, gangly black saddle bronc horse aptly coined White Lash for the obvious reason of the loan white eyelash over his right eye.
The two horses had been raised together on a ranch in Northern Canada. Bridwell, who has been in the bucking horse business and a partner in Growney Brother’s since 2005, knew White Lash wouldn’t be content in a new herd unless he was accompanied by a friend. And so he settled on buying the pair. With expectations already high, White Lash delivered.
Girl Crush, though, with her curious personality and mischievous demeanor was not an instant show stopper. Bought as a saddle bronc horse, Bridwell had an internal instinct that led him to switch her events and try Girl Crush in the bareback riding (the event in rodeo in which riders use a hand held riggin much like a suitcase handle instead of an association saddle similar to a western style saddle).
The switch turned the mysteriously soft eyed gray mare into a break-out star instantly. Of the three rodeos she has competed in the bareback riding, she has had a stock score average of 41 points and taken Wrangler National Finals qualifiers such as Jessy Davis and Caleb Bennett to the pay window. And she keeps getting better! “She gets in the air, kicks high and circles to the left.
She has every component a cowboy needs to score big,” explains Bridwell of his newest animal athlete. At the tender age of 5, a bucking horse’s career is just getting revved up. As for Girl Crush’s career, it is as wide open as the sky under which she roams freely on the Bridwell Ranch.
The famed lyrics sang in the noted Willie Nelson song, “Mommas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys,” may be relatable for some, but in the bucking horse world, owner and breeder Tim Bridwell’s goal is exactly the opposite. His case in point, his homegrown rising star saddle bronc bucker branded #902 and slyly named Capone.
Capone was born on the Bridwell ranch 7 seven years ago to 10-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) bareback horse, #017 Raggidy Ann. As the lone son of the standout mare, he has dawned a tough-spirited mentality since birth. And he has the scar to prove it. At 6 months of age he was found with his head slashed open. The conclusion was the injury had occurred as the result of running under a low hanging tree branch or perhaps a guide wire from nearby power lines in the pasture of which the mares and colts were grazing. Regardless of the object, the outcome was a life-long scar that now notably stands out from between his dark eyes and striking white face. It is a piece of his personality that mirrors his bucking style; mysterious and exotic. “Capone’s bucking ability is always changing. He doesn’t really have a set pattern or style, but he is going to try to buck cowboys off for the whole 8 seconds…. every time, “says Bridwell.
Though Bridwell may be quick to note Capone’s bucking style, his true pride lies in the often unnoticed statistics that at only 6 years old Capone has been chosen for the notorious Calgary Stampede on two occasions and was selected to his first WNFR in 2015 right alongside his mother in the bareback riding. Since last December he has marked another milestone moving from the bareback riding to the saddle bronc riding event. It is a feat that most mature older horses aren’t able to handle due to the different natural abilities, both mental and physical, required by an animal athlete. Bridwell states, “It’s difficult for some horses to do this because of their size, but Capone is a big, stout horses that is similar to a football player who can play both sides of the ball.”
While Capone may show a maturity way beyond his years in the arena, his demeanor in the pastures of his home near Red Bluff says otherwise. On any given day as the wind cools the air and causes the tall grasses to sway in Northern California, Capone can be found not with the herd of horses his own age, but rather near his mother. And even though she has given him the genetics he needs to be great, she continues to nurture him. Proving that even with bucking horses, it can be a family affair!