Ryder Wright and Killer Bee matched up in Round 7 at the 2016 NFR. Their performance in the saddle bronc riding was one of the highlights of the event.
Ryder Wright’s seventh round matchup with Killer Bee at the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo was anticipated by many rodeo fans. Wright had already won four go-rounds, an impressive feat for an 18-year-old saddle bronc rider making his NFR debut.
But Killer Bee had earned plenty of accolades herself, having been named Top Wrangler NFR Bucking Stock in 2013 and 2014. She also bucked off Zeke Thurston in Round 2 of the 2016 NFR.
The sorrel mare is considered an “eliminator” by many rodeo cowboys, although that might surprise you if you observed her in the livestock pens or out in a pasture.
“She has a real calm personality,” says stock contractor and owner Rhett Beutler. “At rodeos, you can pen her with other horses. And in the pasture, she’ll walk up to you, get an arm’s length from you and hang out. But you can’t pet her.”
Beutler describes it as nothing out of the ordinary, even though the mare had plenty of contact with humans as a young foal when her dam died of colic. Sired by three-time PRCA Horse of the Year Commotion and out of Molly Bee, a standout bronc in her own right, Killer Bee was bottle fed and given milk-based pellets for a few months until she was of weaning age.
Although she is fairly gentle by roughstock standards, that all changes once a cowboy straps on a saddle and nods for the chute gate to open.
Watch Killer Bee shed her calm personality once the spotlight shines on her and Ryder Wright.
Video courtesy of the Professional Cowboys Rodeo Association.