When Vern MacDonald of C5 Rodeo bought Big Country Rodeo’s CPRA stock contractor card, he also bought a number of their proven stock — including War Cry and Rock ‘n Roll. Vern promised to bring these two favourites back to the Weatherly’s ranch near Botha, Alta., when it was time for them to retire.
On May 13, the two stars were loaded into a stock trailer for the last time.
Foaled in 1992 at Weatherly’s, War Cry won two trucks for Big Country and the late Stan Weatherly as the Top Saddle Bronc of the 2005 and 2006 Canadian Finals Rodeo, plus numerous other awards.
Ross Kreutzer, 2001 Calgary Stampede $50,000 winner and the 2006 Canadian Saddle Bronc Champion, recalls the powerhouse. “I got on him seven times,” he said. “He might have bucked me off once, but he was the same every time you got on him. He never weakened; he got stronger and a little droppier the longer the ride. He was the one everybody wanted, but a lot didn’t have much luck with him.” In fact, Kreutzer won five rodeos on the big bay, and one second-place finish. “He was one of my all-time favourites.”
Rock ‘n Roll, the mare with the distinctive wide blaze, was also born on Weatherly’s ranch in the early ‘90s. She is a multi-time winner of the St. Tite Bareback Horse Award, plus numerous other trophies from associations across the West, including being in the running for CFR Stock of the Year Award. One of her most spectacular scores was when Cimarron Gerke was 90 pts and won the round on her at the Calgary Stampede.
“What’s so neat about them is that they have always been buddies and they still hang out together,” says Heather Weatherly, as she watched the pair grazing in the pasture. “They don’t associate with our other bucking horses—they know they’re superstars, even though they’re retired.”
“It was just a handshake agreement that those two horses were to come back where they started,” says Warren Weatherly. “And Vern was gracious enough to fulfil that agreement.”