Who Was The Horse 5 Minutes To Midnight?
The horse with the odd name 5 Minutes To Midnight was a famous rodeo saddle bronc.
Below: Headstone of the famous horse named 5 Minutes To Midnight.
5 Minutes To Midnight (1924–1947) was a famous rodeo saddle bronc. While his name was a bit odd, the black horse began his rodeo career with an even stranger name: Tumbling Mustard.
Did you know? Tumbling Mustard is the common name for the plant Sisymbrium altissimum. We're guessing that Tumbling Mustard, the horse, might have gotten his name from the plant, but we're only guessing.
A young Tumbling Mustard was purchased by a rodeo stock contractor from the Sarcee Indian Reservation in Canada. He proved to be an excellent saddle bronc, and in the late 1920s was sold to stock contractors Peter Welch and Strawberry Red Wall, the same stock contractors that owned another black saddle bronc, the legendary Midnight (1907–1936).
Tumbling Mustard Becomes 5 Minutes To Midnight
Tumbling Mustard and Midnight were both black. While Midnight was larger and better known at the time, Tumbling Mustard bucked so well that people would often get the two horses confused. When referring to Tumbling Mustard, many of them would ask "Is that Midnight?" The answer was often something like "No, but he's close to it!"
After a while the ongoing joke caused Tumbling Mustard to be renamed 5 Minutes To Midnight. Because, of course, while he wasn't Midnight, he was close to it.
5 Minutes To Midnight and Midnight changed ownership several times, together, as they each continued their exceptional rodeo careers. At the end of their careers they were owned by the McCarty-Elliott Ranch in Colorado.
After each horse was retired and then passed away, they were originally buried on the ranch. Both horses, however, later had their remains moved to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.
Both 5 Minutes To Midnight and Midnight were inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1979.
Tombstones and Poems
Below are the headstones for both 5 Minutes To Midnight and Midnight. As mentioned above, they are both buried at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.
Below: The tombstone of the famous bucking horse, 5 Minutes To Midnight. The first name he had was Tumbling Mustard, but he was later renamed 5 Minutes To Midnight.
5 Minutes To Midnight's tombstone reads:
Again the reaper
5 Minutes To Midnight
The cowboys[sic] pal
Below: The tombstone of the famous bucking horse Midnight.
Midnight's tombstone reads:
Underneath this sod lies a
great bucking hoss
There never lived a
cowboy he couldn't toss
His name was Midnight
His coat black as coal
If there is a hoss heaven
Please God rest his soul.
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