During the 1955 rodeo at Toppenish, Washington two Thoroughbreds were offered to Leo Moomaw as prospective bucking horses. They were half-brothers, well broke and had been tried as polo ponies. Neither had taken well to playing polo and both had bucked off their riders.
Both horses were put into the rodeo draw for the bare back riding event. One was called Wild Boy and the other Sky High. In their first performance both displayed a wild style of bucking. Wild Boy bucked as a bare back horse for several years before he finally gave up his rodeo career. He was an average or better bucking horse but just did not have the heart to continue.
Sky High was spectacular from his first performance. He was used both as a bare back and saddle bronk. Since he was well broke he tended to give to the pull on the bronk rein and rear as part of his tricks. When he became a full time bareback horse his trips really became exciting. He would leave the chute making long jumps like a grey hound. His first two or three jumps lacked a strong kick. After gaining some speed he would land on his front feet, gather his body and do a complete 180 degree flip. He would leap high into the air and swap ends several times. If a rider was still in place he would line out in a series of long, high kicking jumps. Sky High was not often rode as a bareback horse but if his rider made a qualified ride there was certainly a check waiting for him at the rodeo office.
One winter the man who was providing the pasture and caring for the bucking horses, said he needed a horse to ride so he saddled Sky High. When asked if he bucked he said, “The stirrups were clicking together over his back but when he settled down I led him around a bit and stepped on him and he was fine.”
Like the man said, “Believe it or don’t!”.