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ProRodeo Hall of Fame horse Spring Fling passes away

by Tracy Renck | Jul 16, 2020

The rodeo world lost one of its best horses this summer.

Big Bend Rodeo’s Spring Fling, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2014, passed away July 10. She was 27.

Spring Fling started out as a bareback horse and received the PRCA’s top honor in that category in 1997. She came back to twice claim the saddle bronc award, winning it outright in 1999 and sharing the honor in 2000.

Spring Fling was a staple at the National Finals Rodeo and was voted the top saddle bronc at the 2001 and 2002 NFRs.

“She meant a lot to us and really helped put us on the map,” said Chad Hutsell, general manager of Big Bend Rodeo. “She let people know that we did have bucking horses up here in the Northwest. I think what made her so special was her heart. Her heart was so big. Even up to the day she passed away she had a lot of life in her eyes.”

Big Bend Rodeo is based in Ritzville, Wash., and Spring Fling was buried at Hutsell’s ranch about 20 miles outside of Ritzville.

Spring Fling was 15.2 hands and weighed 1,300 pounds.

“She wasn’t super big, but she had really good bone structure,” Hutsell said. “She was really heavy boned for a horse of her size. I loved watching her in the bronc riding, that has always been my favorite, but she was spectacular in bareback riding. She wasn’t the friendliest horse; she was pretty much business. She knew when that anthem started it was time to go to work.”

Hutsell said the last time he bucked Spring Fling was in 2012 in saddle bronc in Cloverdale, British Columbia.   

“She is the best horse we've ever had,” Hutsell said.




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