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Durfey’s horse Nikko to miss Wrangler NFR

by Tracy Renck | Nov 21, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Tyson Durfey, the 2016 PRCA World Champion Tie-down Roper, will not be riding his main horse, Nikko, at the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas next month.

Nikko, whom Durfey rode to win his lone world title, had emergency colic surgery Nov. 16.

“Last Friday morning, he (Nikko) just started laying down and rolling and acting a little bit funny,” said Durfey,who enters the Finals third in the 2018 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $126,518. “We caught it first thing, and I gave him some medicine because we thought he might be tying up. It looked good for four or five hours and then around noon he started laying down and rolling again, so we immediately took him to a vet. They thought it is colic season and put him on an IV to pass whatever was going on. We put him on some fluids not really worrying about it. That was about 1 p.m. By 6:30 p.m., he just stopped passing everything.”

At that point, Durfey knew something had to be done quickly.

“I had to make a decision we were going to have to do surgery,” said Durfey, who lives in Weatherford, Texas. “They did the surgery and everything went great. He had a displaced colon. His colon was kind of in the shape of a pretzel. His guts couldn’t pass anything. Everything was just backing up in the colon. Luckily, we caught it so fast and so early that we were able to untie the pretzel in his colon. Then, we checked inside the colon to see if there was any type of blockage or sand or something that was causing it to do that. He was completely clean, everything was fine. He just had a displaced colon. It's just one of those things that happen. It’s tough to swallow that he’s not going to be at the NFR.”

Nikko will be sidelined for the time being.

“I should have him back in the middle of February,” Durfey said. “They said in probably 60 days I can start exercising him and in two-and-a-half to three months I will be able to rope on him. He’s a member of our family, and he should come back fine. I’m thankful for that. I’m a little upset I will not get to ride him at the NFR, but I’m thankful he’s healthy and he’s a member of the family, so I want to watch him get old and compete on him again.”

With Nikko out, Durfey is formulating plans of what horses he will ride at the Wrangler NFR at the Thomas & Mack Center, Dec. 6-15. 

Options include his back-up horse, Mitch, 14, and Curtis Cassidy’s horse, Stick, a former Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Tie-down Roping Horse of the Year. Durfey rode Stick for half of the 2014 Wrangler NFR.

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