Honeycutt Breeds Animals With Wild Spirits

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The buckin' broncs and bulls are once again coming to the August Doin's courtesy of family-owned Honeycutt Stock Contracting, Inc.

A bucking horse has to want to buck, said Roy Honeycutt, patriarch of the clan.

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The Honeycutt family of Colorado has been bringing its special stock to the Rim Country for both the May and August rodeos for more than 20 years.

Bucking horses are not hand-fed carrots like a family pet. The little handling that is done is to get them familiar with bucking chutes and the arena.

"I tell my boys to get the bucking horse out of the arena fast because I never want them to feel comfortable there," Honeycutt said.

"You just try to carry yourself to their characteristics...," he said. "Of course a bucking horse you don't want to be tamed because he was born with that wild spirit and you want to keep him that way because that will enhance his bucking."

Top Gun, Standing Tall, Miss Kitty and Wyatt Earp are some of the horses to watch at the Payson Rodeo according to Honeycutt.

A bucking bronco can be a mare, a stallion or a gelding. Honeycutt said they usually keep stallions to see if they will make a good bucking horse or a better stud.

"If a horse is young enough and quits bucking, then we might try to break him to be a pick-up horse."

A pick-up horse is the one that goes along beside a bucking horse to take the cowboy off after the event. A cowboy known as a pick-up man is the mounted arena official who helps the bucked-off rider get safely out of the arena.

In recent years, several Honeycutt horses have been sent to saddle bronc and bareback competitions of the National Rodeo Finals.

Broncs will be in the arena only a few times each year during a career that can span 20 years. These mixed-breed horses spend their days between rodeos and after retirement roaming free on the pasture land of the Honeycutt ranch in Alamosa, Colorado.

Honeycutt bulls

The average bull weighs in at 2,000 pounds, the average cowboy less than 10 percent of that.

Part of the fun for some rodeo fans is counting the seconds before the bull inevitably sends the cowboy flying into the arena.

Honeycutt Rodeo, Inc. has a goal to provide the rodeo bull of the year. In 2000, Honeycutt Rodeo started their bull breeding program with "Candy Man."

The winning bull, or for that matter horse of the year, is something Honeycutt said everybody strives for.

"It takes consistency and a horse that a cowboy can draw and sit on in a consistent manner."

Even when his family's company provides stock for a rodeo, Honeycutt said his sons are allowed to compete under the same rules as everybody else.

"My sons have done bull dogging and team roping," he said. "Now my grandsons are starting in the little buckaroo rodeos... My goodness, I've got a grandson that's just barely two and he's already riding [just at home] a horse alone."

"I've been in the rodeo business pretty near all my life," Honeycutt said. "I started off in the rodeo stock contracting business in 1976."

There are now four generations of Honeycutts working together to bring family entertainment to approximately 40 rodeos a year in the Southwest.

They have been Payson's choice for more than 20 years.

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