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Clay Tryan is one of the top team ropers in the world.

Now his horse has the same acclaim.

Tryan’s horse Dash the Dew, or Dew for short, was selected the AQHA team roping heading horse of the year for 2015.

It is the first time the 16-year-old horse has received the honor.

Tryan has won the last two world team roping heading titles aboard Dew and is in good position to make it three straight. Tryan leads the PRCA team roping heading standings heading into the National Finals Rodeo, Dec. 3-12 in Las Vegas.

“You can’t be dominant in this sport – and be in the lead a lot – without riding one of the best horses around and I think Dew is one of the best horses there has ever been,” Tryan, a three-time world champion, said in a PRCA release. “I’m glad he won it now, because he was getting to the age where I didn’t think he’d ever win it. He’s been good since the first day I cracked him out six years ago.”

Tryan isn’t the only Montana cowboy riding one of the best horses.

Ty Erickson’s KR Montana Shake Em (Shakem) was selected the AQHA steer wrestling horse of the year for 2015. Erickson co-owns the horse with the Kyler Ranch in Cascade.

Erickson, of Helena, goes to his second NFR third in the world standings. Erickson and traveling partner Clayton Hass both rode Shakem during 2015. Hass leads the world standings.

Shakem is believed to be the first Montana horse to earn the AQHA honor in steer wrestling.

Lisa Lockhart’s famous barrel racing horse, An Oakie With Cash (Louie) was second in the voting. Lockhart is second in the world standings.

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Kyle Whitaker, of Chambers, Neb., won his PRCA-record seventh Linderman Award.

The award, which recognizes excellence at both ends of the arena, is named for ProRodeo Hall of Famer Bill Linderman of Red Lodge who won six world championships: all-around (1950, 1953), bareback (1943), saddle bronc (1945, 1950) and steer wrestling (1950).

Linderman died in a plane crash near Salt Lake City in 1965.

To qualify for the award, a cowboy must earn at least $1,000 in each of three events, and those events must include at least one roughstock and one timed event.

Whitaker, 39, earned $39,175 in 2015 -- $31,679 in steer wrestling, $4,980 I tie-down roping and $2,516 in saddle bronc riding.

“When I was in college, I did a lot of research on Bill Linderman,” Whitaker told the PRCA. “He was a tough, true cowboy and I think that’s what this award honors. I want people to think of me as a tough cowboy that’s handy and can do whatever it takes.”

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Medicine Woman and Dirty Jacket repeated as the PRCA’s top bucking stock of the year.

Medicine Woman, owned by Frontier Rodeo was the repeat selection for saddle bronc riding, while Pete Carr Pro Rodeo’s Dirty Jacket was voted best bareback horse.

Crystal Deal, owned by Growney Brothers Rodeo, was the PRCA’s top bull.

Craig at Midnight, owned by Powder River Rodeo of Wyoming, tied for third in the bareback voting, while Burch Rodeo’s Lunatic From Hell was third for saddle bronc. Both were bucked at the recent PRCA NILE Rodeo in Billings.

Powder River Rodeo, of Riverton, is also one of the finalists for PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year. Powder River Rodeo, along with D&H Cattle, was the stock contractor at the NILE.

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High School Sports, Rodeo Reporter

Sports writer for The Billings Gazette.