A lively black colt was born to on JimcNab’s Cottonwood ranch in the porcupine hills of southern Alberta in 1915. He was gelded and then broke to ride by the time he was 3. By the time he was 8, his unpredictable nature made his owner decide to try him out as a bucking horse. Little did Jim McNabb know that the now imposing black gelding would go down in history as one of the greatest bucking horses in the world, his name was Midnight.
Contrary to what you may have heard, Midnight was ridden during his rodeo career. The first documented ride was by Pete Bruisedhead from the Blood reserve at Standoff. Midnight went through the 1924 Calgary Stampede though without being ridden.
This black bronc with the growing reputation was bought by the Alberta Stampede Company in 1925 and for the next 3 years toured the country in an open rodeo competition that featured the best riders and the toughest horses that could be found. Midnight was sold again in 1928, this time to Eddy McArty and Vern Elliot, the contractors to Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Another Trail Blazer, the legendary Pete Knight was paired up with Midnight for an exhibition ride in 1930, and he lasted 7 and a half seconds. That was back when the whistle blew at 10 seconds.
He was retired in 1934, then was brought out of retirement and sent to England to star in a financialy disastrous project known as Tex Ausin’s Cowboy Troupe.
All the stock was sold off to pay the bills, except for Midnight who was brought home to North America where he died 2 years later. A life size bronze statue of the great black horse stands in Fort Worth and his remains are enshrined at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.