Travis Tryan’s ProRodeo Hall of Fame Head Horse Walt—registered with the AQHA as Precious Speck—was a four-time AQHA/PRCA Head Horse of the Year, in 2003 and then from 2007 to 2009.

The horse was iconic for a whole lot more than his signature fluffy forelock and always-forward ears, and he shaped the careers of both Travis and Clay Tryan. Travis was just a kid trying to make it on the rodeo road when he got Walt, but on him he quickly became the youngest team roper to accrue over $1 million in earnings.

Walt is the first rope horse in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, inducted in 2015—a little over five years after he died warming up for slack in Clovis, California.

Walt’s story underscores how critical great horses are in rodeo, and how fleeting their time on Earth really is.

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