Inducted in 2013
With a white blaze and two white stockings on his back feet, he is a stocky dark bay stallion whose power rocketed cowboys to high scores or into the dirt. Cowboys who have successfully ridden him have set arena records and taken home the cash. Two cowboys set arena records on him with 91 points, and Davey Shields Jr. clocked in a score of 95 to win $50,000 at the Calgary Stampede in 2005.
Grated Coconut was honored as the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association’s (PRCA) top bareback riding horse of the year six times (2003-04, 2006-09); he was also a five-time Canadian bareback horse of the year. One cowboy said “He is probably the most exciting and scariest horse I’ve ever been on…The thing about Grated Coconut was that even if you rode him, it was a battle all the way. He loved his job, always tried hard, and he’s one of the smartest animals I’ve been on. He always seemed to figure people out. He had a game plan before you did. He’s just a great horse.”
Grated Coconut made a number of appearances at the Ellensburg Rodeo. Ken MacRae, a veterinarian and cowboy who was inducted into the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame last year, said, “Grated Coconut was here several times and on one occasion he was injured by rearing up and hooking his pastern on the sharp edge of the sheet metal fence lining the pens under the grandstand. Winston Bruce had me attend his injury and I put a few sutures in by flashlight. He didn’t pat me on the head, but I wasn’t real comfortable down on my knees to suture the wound with local anesthesia.”
Although Grated Coconut was famous for “kicking to the moon,” he was also admired for his placid disposition. One writer described how the horse’s owners worried about the prospects of such a sociable horse being a bronc: “Outside of the arena, he was as friendly as a child’s pony. He could be led around by anyone and enjoyed the attention he got. But his owners – none other than the Calgary Stampede Company itself – needn’t have worried about his buck. Once the chute opens, no horse bucks like Grated Coconut.”
Bareback bronc names can be pretty colorful. Often monikered after liquor (Dry Whiskey, Champagne Bubbles, Gin Neat) or War (Enemy Rockets, Fearless Warrior) or explosive devices (Galactic Rocket), it’s odd to see one named after food. The Calgary Stampede Ranch names its foals by lineage and letters ascribed to a particular year. Grated Coconut’s mother was Coconut Roll, also famous as a bronc with two PRCA horse of the year titles, and “G” was the letter when Grated Coconut was born. Names are picked out of a hat, and the staff chooses which one fits the horse’s character best.
Today, Grated Coconut is sixteen and retired on the Calgary Stampede Ranch, producing offspring in their Bred to Buck program. It was reported that in 2007, “the six top buckers in the finals at the Calgary Stampede included Grated Coconut, three of his foals, and his half-brother,” so the legacy made famous by his mother continues.