Animal Athlete Profile: Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year Get Smart

It’s a typical underdog story. One of a bucking horse who defies all odds.

The son of the renowned Wyatt Earp, a 2X Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year, this Northcott Macza Rodeo Company horse was originally thought to be too small to become a noteworthy bucker, weighing only about 1,100 pounds. But Get Smart has only gotten better with age, and now after 13 years in the bucking business, he’s at the top of his game.

In 2018, Get Smart was named Saddle Bronc Horse of the NFR, and the following year, he won the PRCA Saddle Bronc Horse of the Year title. Not to mention he’s now a 5X Canadian Prorodeo Association Horse of the Year award-winner.

“He has a heart as big as a house,” Ward Macza told in an interview following Get Smart’s presentation of the PRCA Horse of the Year Award in 2019. “He bucks the little guys, big guys, good guys and bad guys. … There’s no bluffing with him, when you run him in the bucking chutes, you can tell something is going to happen. He leaves the chute so hard and he bucks from the first jump on. The minute he hears that gate crack, stuff happens. I’m very proud of him because he’s so old. He went to the NFR as a 5-year-old, and he’s been bucking a long time. He still acts like he’s 5. A lot of horses will start to soften a bit because they get ridden every time, but he still bucks a lot of guys off. He’s a freak of nature.”

Good care, good genes, and the right personality seem to the recipe for an award-winning bucking horse. Despite age and size, Get Smart is one of the best animal athletes today.

“He’s a little fire breathing dragon,” says Willy Macza, Ward’s son. “He’s 18 years old, and he bucks just as good as horses half his age and three times his size.”

“He’s just one of them horses that’s extra special,” Ward says. “He’ll buck in mud, dry ground, buildings — it don’t matter what kind of arena. And the cowboys do like him. They maybe buck off him half the time, but if they get him rode, they can be a bunch.”

At the 2019 NFR, Get Smart and Zeke Thurston scored 92.5 points in Round 7, not only winning the night but also setting a new go-round record.

“It was unbelievable watching,” Willy says. “People were hoopin’ and hollerin’ and I was hoopin’ and hollerin’. It was amazing to say the least.”

And just recently, Wyatt Casper rode Get Smart for the championship title and $600,000 at RFD-TV’s The American, where the pair earned 91.25 points in the final Shootout Round.

“That horse won the halter last year and I’ve been waiting for my time to get on him,” Casper said when accepting his check, “and it couldn’t happen at a better place.”

“Them kind of horses are very, very special, and we’re all looking for them kind,” says Ward. “I’m very fortunate, or my family is, to have a couple like that. They come first, before anything else.”

Photo: Northcott Macza Rodeo Company’s Get Smart playing with Stevie Knicks at Parker County Sheriff’s Posse Ranch and Arena