A PRIZE RESPONSE aka “Nikko” (2004-2018)
Owned and ridden by World Champion Tie-Down Roper, Tyson Durfey
“I never thought the best year of my athletic career would be the last year of his life. He made me a better man and a better athlete… It’s honestly hard to look around and not see something I have because of him… He gave me a world championship, my ranch, countless wins and 100% effort every time. For that I am eternally grateful.” – Tyson Durfey
“Nikko” is a 2004 bay gelding Smokums Prize and out of Peps Response by Doc’s Remedy. The horse was bred by Walter and Sharon Wright of Santa Maria, California. Tyson bought the gelding from roper Justin Maass.
‘Nikko,’ Tyson said…
“is the reason I’ve won this world title.”
2016 NFR World Championship: ROUND 6 Recap
“Tyson Durfey’s hopes for a tie-down roping Wrangler National Finals Rodeo average title took a hit in Round 5 when he clocked a time of 19.1 seconds. However, he more than redeemed himself in Round 6, winning with a time of 7.4 seconds.
It was his fifth career NFR round win, and it moved him to fourth in the NFR average and sixth in the world.
His Round 6 calf wasn’t that impressive in previous rounds.
“I had a calf whom I didn’t think was go-round win worthy,” Tyson said. “But I just put my slack where I needed it and ‘Nikko’ cleaned it up and took care of the rest.”
Tyson is riding his trusty A Prize Response, aka Nikko, who is a 2004 bay gelding Smokums Prize and out of Peps Response by Doc’s Remedy.
“I rode him out here last year and won a couple rounds on him,” Tyson said. “Justin Maass rode him out here in 2013, so he’s had quite a few trips here. He works really consistent, really slides a lot. He’s definitely an amazing horse.
“Finding a horse like this is like trying to find a Seabiscuit.” – Tyson Durfey
The beautiful brown horse doesn’t immediately look like a rodeo champion. “He’s really short and he travels really, really low,” Durfey said.
“We have a similar personality and he’s extremely consistent in how he works. He has both ears ahead and is ready to go and runs hard and pulls consistently every time. That consistency is what makes a great bond and a champion team.” -Tyson Durfey
TYSON DURFEY’S HORSE NIKKO PASSES AWAY
PRCA Press Release, November 26, 2018
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Tyson Durfey, the 2016 PRCA World Champion Tie-down Roper, had his main horse Nikko pass away Nov. 23, 2018. Nikko was 14.
Nikko passed away because of a ruptured colon.
“He was more than just a horse to me,” Durfey said on his Facebook page. “He was a member of our family, and he brought so much joy to us and so many others. I was leaving a roping, and my daughter, Praise, said, ‘Daddy, I want to ride Nikko.’ I didn’t say anything back because I was choked up and couldn’t speak without crying, but I was thinking what I would give to make one more run on him. I never thought the best year of my athletic career would be the last year of his life. He made me a better man and a better athlete.”
In his Facebook post, Durfey spoke more about his standout horse.
“It’s honestly hard to look around and not see something I have because of him,” Durfey wrote. “He gave me a world championship, my ranch, countless wins and 100 percent effort every time. For that I am eternally grateful. Nikko you will forever live as a member of my family and we will forever love u! We will miss you, but I’ll see you again someday! I made Nikko a promise that I would finish the year off strong, so this is what I am going to do. He was my special boy.”
Nikko’s initial colic came from a displaced colon Nov. 16, causing him to have surgery.
Durfey is exploring horses to ride for the 2018 Wrangler NFR in Las Vegas, Dec. 6-15. Durfey enters the Wrangler NFR third in the 2018 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $126,518.
In a Nov. 21 interview with ProRodeo Sports News, Durfey said his options include his back-up horse Mitch, 14, and Curtis Cassidy’s horse, Stick, a former Canadian Professional Rodeo Association Tie-down Roping Horse of the Year. Durfey rode Stick for half of the 2014 Wrangler NFR.
“Nikko you will forever live as a member of my family and we will forever love you!” – Tyson Durfey
News Articles & Photo Credits
- “Rodeo Las Vegas” – Tyson Durfee: On the loss of Nikko | RFD-TV | The Cowboy Channel | Dec. 8, 2018
- Tyson Durfey | Facebook Page
- “Tyson Durfey’s Horse Nikko Passes Away” | PRCA – ProRodeo.com | November 26, 2018
- “Exclusive: World Champion Tyson Durfey Tells It All” | by Travis Smola | WideOpenSpaces.com | October 7, 2018
- “One on One: Tyson Durfey” | by Madelaine Mills | June 27, 2018
- “Durfey’s First Win at Austin Worth $19K” | PRCA – ProRodeo.com | March 25, 2018
- “A Prize Buckle” – A Prize Response (aka “Nikko”) and Tyson Durfey get their first tie-down world champion title. | By AQHA Media Editor-In-Chief Becky Newell | December 9, 2016
- “Round 6 Tie-Down Roping” – A Prize Response (aka “Nikko”) and Tyson Durfey pick up their first win of the 2016 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo | By AQHA Media Editor-In-Chief Becky Newell | December 3, 2016