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Digging Deep

Navigating the sloppy, wet ground, Nates Skipster drove hard to clinch the fastest average at the Cavalcade Rodeo in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, July 20.

“Nitro,” a 2004 black tobiano gelding by Hallucinator and out of Skip Along Nichole (QH) is owned and ridden by Teresa Watson of Nowata, Oklahoma. Together, the team brought home more than $500 for their winning runs.

Cavalcade is a four-day rodeo event advertised as the world’s largest amateur rodeo. More than 1,600 contestants and 100 round-up clubs attend for prestige, prizes and cash.

“My first run for the long go was in the mud and standing water,” Teresa said. “I had never run him in the mud before so I didn’t know what he’d think about it—he’s very willing, but I wasn’t sure if he’d run hard or not.”

Though the conditions weren’t ideal, Nitro and Teresa clinched the fastest time out of more than 80 goes with a time of :17.350.

The arena was still rain-slicked for the Sunday finals, preventing dragging. However, Nitro pulled through and ran even faster for a short-go time of :17.268 and average of :34.618.

“Nitro’s a very ratey horse—he tends to run harder outside than in indoor pens,” Teresa says. “My husband calls him my ‘big kid horse’ because he thinks he’s a person and is very loveable, but when it’s time to work he gets serious!”

Nitro and Teresa are no strangers to the cloverleaf; they won a reserve world championship in Amateur Barrel Racing at the 2010 APHA World Championship Show and are also participants in the Paint Barrel Racing Incentive Program. Nitro also helped Teresa’s daughter win a 2011 world championship title in Youth Pole Bending, as well as the 2012–2013 Cavalcade Queen crown.

“I think I’m a little prejudice, but I just think Nitro’s amazing,” Teresa said.