By Delores Kuhlwein
Palomino horses have been cherished throughout history by the likes of emperors, Spanish Conquistadors, in Greek mythology, and even by Hollywood for its western movies. The “Golden Horse” has become a treasured symbol not only for its color, but also due to the countless great horses display the beautiful gold coat color.
Lenas Wimpys Rooster had joined those memorable ranks in history, making a name for himself over his lifetime with $17K of NRHA earnings with limited showing, with Open, Amateur and Youth ROMs and 300-plus points.
The 2010 Palomino gelding by Wimpys Little Step and out of Lena Del Cielo passed suddenly on Sunday, January 1, 2023, in Moriarty, New Mexico, at the home of the Bowker Family, who were among his greatest fans. “Duke” was purchased by the Kurt, Kristine and Kyrah Bowker in 2019, and he began demonstrating his greatness right away with Kyrah Bowker in Youth classes, winning just about everything they tackled together, including titles of 2x Reserve Ranch Riding 13 & Under AQHYA World Champion (2020,2022), 2022 AQHA Congress Champion, NRHA 13 & Under Reining Champion, 2x PHBA and Reserve Champion 13 & Under Golden Horse.
Kyrah and Duke also earned a Youth Ranch Riding Superior, in addition to multiple Sun Circuit, Redbud, and Silver Dollar Circuit Championships and Best of Show awards, plus multiple AQHA and PHBA Year End awards.
However, it was his endless personality that made the family cherish him the most. “He would smile on que,” explains Kyrah. “He loved to show and he never held back, and he was as reliable and gentle as they come. You could do anything on him bareback and bridleless, and he would whinny at you every morning and loved his grain.”
Kyrah says Duke wasn’t much of a cuddler, but she could sit next to him for hours while they enjoyed each other’s company, and he always tried his best. “He wouldn’t spook at anything except for poles and a bridge, but he always tried to be brave,” she reveals.
Like other Palominos throughout history, Lenas Wimpys Rooster was cherished by the Bowkers for countless reasons. Kyrah says every day she spent with him in the three years they were together is a favorite memory.
“This year when we won at Congress, I was so proud of him because he had come so far in the Reining! Also this year at the AQHYA World Show, he was amazing. I would go ride him more for a break than to get him ready to show,” she explains. “I was really just hoping to get a Bronze Globe my last year in 13 & Under, but he knew it was time to show and I couldn’t have asked anything more from him that day. We ended up Reserve, and just like everything else he amazed me! Also this year at the Congress, he had his best ranch Trail run ever; he was so brave!”
For Kyrah, Lenas Wimpys Rooster was family. She reveals, “Duke was my best friend and we really just worked together better than anything. I barely had to move and he knew what I was thinking and I knew him. I will never be as lucky as I was to find another like him.”