The bucking horse, Go Juan didn’t make a big name for himself at the Rimbey Rough Stock Rodeo last Saturday night, but one day that could change.
He certainly has the bloodlines and the DNA to make it happen.
Go Juan is, in fact, almost, but not quite, the son of the famous bucking horse, Go Wild, who was well known in the professional riding circuit in the ‘80s.
It is a strange but true story about a bond that formed over the years between a cowboy and his horse.
The horse’s name was Go Wild and the cowboy was world champion saddle bronc rider Clint Johnson.
When Johnson retired from the professional rodeo circuit the Calgary Stampede gifted him with the horse Go Wild as they had long traveled the blazing trail of fame and glory together in the rodeo arena.
Johnson valued the horse’s exceptional skill as a bucking bronc and also recognized his valuable bloodlines. He didn’t want those bloodlines to die.
To make this happen, Dr. Gregg Veneklasen, a veterinarian from the United States, who is recognized worldwide as an industry leader in equine reproduction and cloning, needed to become part of the scenario.
Veneklasen agreed to clone Go Wild.
And, then about three years ago, Darcy Hollingsworth, who raised bucking horses in the Leslieville area, became another piece of the puzzle.
Hollingsworth was in Los Vegas in December of 2013 when he found himself chatting with Johnson and Veneklasen. The subject of cloning came up.
After some discussion, it was decided that semen from the horse cloned from Go Wild would be shipped to Hollingsworth and be used to artificially inseminate selected mares from his herd.
The following spring he hired Dr. Juan Garcia from Sylvan Lake to complete the procedure.
“It was very complicated; very hard work,” he said. “It’s a long procedure.”
Dr. Garcia spent a couple of nights at Hollingsworth’s ranch, performing ultrasound every two hours on the mares.
“Timing was crucial,” said Hollingsworth.
The hard work and timing paid off and the artificial insemination proved successful. Each of the two mares that were artificially inseminated produced a colt.
Hollingsworth named the colts, which are now about three years old, Go Juan and Wild Juan after the vet who helped with the artificial insemination process.
Go Juan, ridden by Hayden Cole from Leslieville, was one of the horses used at the Rough Stock Rodeo in Rimbey on Saturday night. It was the first time the horse had competed. Cole took second in the novice horse competition with Go Juan; a placing that didn’t particularly impress Hollingsworth.
“I thought he was weak,” said Hollingsworth. “I hope he gets better.”
He noted his half sister Wilson Sanchez competed in the National Finals. His half-brother Pedro’s name is well known with NFR rodeo champion Jake Vold.
“He’s got big shoes to fill,” he said.