Who needs a gold watch when you could have a Paint Horse instead?
The Colorado Rockies made a big splash on September 25 when they presented a one-of-a-kind retirement gift to first baseman Todd Helton: a flashy American Paint Horse.
In honor of Todd’s 17 years as a player for the Colorado Rockies, the organization decided to surprise him with an extra special gift during his final home game. Knowing that Todd had a ranch and had recently purchased a horse for his daughter, the club decided to give Todd a horse of his own. For the honor, they chose APHA World Champion NXS A Tru Bustamove, a 6-year-old black tobiano gelding. The gelding was decked out in a custom saddle as well, complete with Todd’s number, 17, and the Colorado Rockies logo. Todd and his family—wife Christy and daughters Tierney Faith, age 14, and Gentry Grace, age 4—were on hand to take the reins.
Colorado Rockies First Baseman Todd Helton and his family enthusiastically greet NXS A Tru Bustamove, Todd’s retirement gift from the Rockies in honor of his 17 years with the organization. (Photo courtesy MLB.com—watch the ceremony video here).
“It was a lot of fun,” Helton said in an MLB.com article. “It really was, to be able to tip my cap every time I went up to the plate. To be able to have my daughters run out there and grab the base—what a wonderful surprise that was. And I got a horse out of the deal. That’s always cool. It was surprising, there’s no doubt about it.”
NXS A Tru Bustamove is no stranger to the spotlight. The 2007 black tobiano gelding by A Tru Rolex and out of WKM Kendra Colonel (QH) was bred by Beverly Brandes of Cleveland, Texas. A two-time APHA World Champion in Junior Heading and Junior Steer Stopping, the gelding also has a pair of reserve world championships in Junior Heeling.
But NXS A Tru Bustamove wasn’t the only memorable moment of the night. Todd hit a home run at his first at-bat, following that up with a double and a sacrifice fly, driving in a total of three runs for the Rockies. With the roar of the Coors Field crowd in his ears and a Paint Horse to boot, it wasn’t a bad way for Todd to end a stellar career.
About the American Paint Horse Association
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) is the international breed registry for the American Paint Horse headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. In fulfillment of its mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses. The world’s second-largest equine breed association, APHA has registered more than 1 million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded and now serves more than 50,000 active youth and adult members around the world. To learn more, visit apha.com.