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Tahonta retired after hip injury

ProRodeo Sports News has learned that Tahonta, the prized bull from the Big Bend Rodeo Company string who won back-to-back PRCA Bull of the Year honors in 2003-04, has been retired from the rodeo arena after a hip injury was discovered in October. Big Bend Rodeo's Don Hutsell believes the bull, a 1,900-pound gray behemoth, was injured in an altercation with a number of Hutsell's other bulls at his Ritzville, Wash., ranch early last year. Tahonta had been unridden during his two-year span atop the PRCA bucking heap, but was conquered by Myron Duarte and B.J. Schumacher in Reno, Nev., last June.

That's when Hutsell noticed the bull was not bucking the way he had in previous years. Hutsell sent Tahonta to a Texas veterinarian, who found an injury in his hip area, damage that now requires frequent injections. Tahonta is living at Milt Bradford's ranch (Weatherford, Texas), where he will be used for breeding. The bull has some stellar pasture mates, as a trio of Big Bend's and Flying 5's other former bulls of the year Unforgiven (2002), Yellow Jacket (1999) and Rapid Fire (1997) also live on Bradford's ranch.

"It really is a shame because he was an awesome bull," Hutsell said of Tahonta, which he considers his best bull ever. "He was just so big, stout and really athletic for his size. Now, we'll just be breeding him and hoping we can make another one like him."