At age 28, Whiz Watson still came alive in front of a cow. Pete Bonds purchased “Charlie” from a feedlot cowboy when the gelding was 5 years old, and Bonds used him on his ranch in Saginaw, Texas, for years.

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“He’s sorted thousands of cattle and roped hundreds of calves,” Bonds says. “You’d have to go through a hundred horses before you find one like him. I’ve had some AQHA world champions that aren’t in his class.”

In addition to working on the ranch, Charlie proved a versatile competitor in team penning, ranch rodeos and high school rodeos.

“My daughter rode him at a high school rodeo one year,” Bonds recalls. “She entered the cutting and placed third. And the next day she placed second in the breakaway roping.”

In January 2007, Charlie helped Bonds and his team finish second in the Fort Worth Stock Show Ranch Rodeo. In the first go-round, the Bonds Ranch won the stock sorting class with Pete Bonds and Charlie cutting nine cows in less than two minutes.

“You have to ride him with a loose rein when you cut with him,” Bonds said. “A lot of times he uses his head to turn cattle. He’s a natural, and he’s smart. The only bad thing is that he sure trots rough.”

Charlie is by Watsons Mr Whiz (a grandson of Poco Bueno) and out of Misti’s Lady. Bonds maintains that if it were feasible, he wouldn’t hesitate to clone his beloved Charlie, rough trot and all.

This article was published in the April 2007 issue of Western Horseman.

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