Read the New PRCA Article on Carl

130 rodeos a year to about 40 while working at the Polo Ranch in Cheyenne,

“It was hard to leave the arena and go into civilian life,” Nafzger said.
“When you get injured, you start looking for a transition into a life you want
to be in, and horses and animals was part of what I liked.”

In 1970, Nafzger and his wife, Wanda, along with his brothers, made a
trip to the horse racing track Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., where they pooled
their resources. With $8,000 they bought two yearling fillies. Nafzger’s
racehorse-training career had officially begun.

Click here to read the rest of the PRCA article on Carl.

Carl Nafzger’s Rodeo Career Remembered in Article on Helldorado Days

Vegas’ Helldorado Days Rodeo Gets New Lease on Life

By Brett Hoffman (Published in the San Angelo Standard-Times, May 19, 2016)

LAS VEGAS — When most people think about rodeo in this southern Nevada city, it’s usually in regards to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo or the Professional Bull Riders World Finals.

But Las Vegas also hosts the Helldorado Days, a rodeo that’s been approved by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since the late 1940s. In recent years, though, the spring rodeo has fallen on hard times…

In 1963, the rodeo was featured on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Carl Nafzger, a former National Finals qualifier from Olton who also became a famous thoroughbred horse racing trainer, won the 1963 bull riding title at the Las Vegas rodeo. The Helldorado Rodeo win helped Nafzger finish third in the ’63 world bull riding title race.

Legends: Unbridled’s Lasting Impact

Published April 1, 2016 in

By Bob Ehalt

Content courtesy of America’s Best Racing

Photo: Blood-Horse Library
Photo: Blood-Horse Library

Few horses have been able to blend the kind of success that Unbridled enjoyed both on the racetrack and in the breeding shed.


A strapping, 17-hand colt with a long, ground-gobbling stride, he was slow to develop at 2 after a promising 10 1/2-length victory in his career debut. The son of Fappiano was then plagued by a sore hoof at 4, succinctly explaining why he won just eight of 24 career starts.

Few horses have been able to blend the kind of success that Unbridled enjoyed both on the racetrack and in the breeding shed.


By Keith Ryan Cartwright

April 11, 2013

(Originally published by the Professional Bull Riders Association)

PBR Article photo - A Cowboy at HeartFORT WORTH, Texas ― Leading up to the 1990 running of the Kentucky Derby, Carl Nafzger treated “the fastest two minutes in sports” as if it were just another race.

At least that’s the way he treated it in the media.

Unbridled was not the favorite to win and in the two weeks leading up to the race Nafzger made sure to move the challenge of winning from himself to squarely on the shoulders of the trainers for Summer Squall and Mister Frisky.