Legendary bucking horse Craig at Midnight passes away at age 15

Craig at Midnight, the 2016 PRCA Bareback Horse of the Year, died suddenly on June 5. He was 15-years-old.

According to Powder River’s Lori Franzen, the death was out of the blue. That morning, they fed Craig and by the afternoon, he was found dead on the ranch. Powder River Rodeo had raised him since he was a colt sired from Cut the Cards and KC Rocket.

“Craig’s an exceptional animal because of how big he is and how powerful he is, but yet how he can move like a small horse,” John Franzen told The Cowboy Channel last year. “He gets a lot of air but has a lot of power. He’s just got a lot of heart. He’s a horse that tries hard every time.”

His last out was at the Red Bluff Round-Up on April 17 and he had already carried two cowboys to rodeo wins in 2021. Craig went to the NFR every year from 2013-2020. Lori Franzen said they were considering retiring him after this year’s NFR.

He was buried on the ranch next to Khadafy Skoal, another legendary Powder River bareback horse that was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2012.

“He had such a cool personality, and he was just so talented and athletic for his obscene size,” Lori Franzen told ProRodeo.com. “He weighed 1,700 pounds. He was huge. Around the ranch he was kind. He had some attitude, but he would never try and hurt you. When he was in the chute, he would buck so hard every time and he gave his full heart every time.”