Frontier Rodeo Company’s Heath Stewart Talks Staple Frontier Horses and Their Program
Freedom, Oklahoma is called home by Frontier Rodeo Company and it’s string of renowned animal athletes.
What started out as Salt River Rodeo with Jerry Nelson, Dan Mundorf and Skip Beeler turned into Frontier Rodeo in 2004 with Nelson. Although Nelson’s bulls were the stars of the show, Frontier’s horse program began to sprout along with Nelson’s love for broncs.
“We said if we’re going to do this, we’re going to be at the top of the game. That’s what we try to do,” General Manager Heath Stewart said.
With commercial stock and rodeo stock roaming the ranch in Oklahoma, the animals get to stay in shape on their own terms by running through the rolling hills and down through the canyons.
One of Frontier Rodeo’s standout horses is Big Medicine. Stewart says that one horse can put you on the map and without him, they would be way down the list. Adding to the list of standout animal athletes is the Hall of Famer and legend herself, Medicine Woman, a four-time PRCA Saddle Bronc of the Year and two-time Saddle Bronc Horse of the National Finals Rodeo who earned the nickname Queen of Frontier Rodeo. Miss Ellie and Maple Leaf are two you can’t leave off the list along with Full Baggage and Gun Fire, the big buckskin that is setting herself up for a huge career.
“I’m not a bragger on them, at the end of the day they’ll brag on themselves… I let the horses talk for themselves and when you see the great guys be 90 on them then you know you’ve got a great one,” Steward said.
The process to becoming an unforgettable Frontier bucking horse starts when the horses get bucked at three years old and then turned back out until they are four. Their four-year-old year consists of a couple college rodeos in the spring and the fall.
“It takes a long time to get them where you can haul them but it’s neat to watch them grow up,” Stewart said.
Stewart says that Frontier broncs are the kind that cowboys love. Aside from taking a lot of rein, they are gentle with good minds. If you ask him, that’s part of what makes good horses great.