A tribute ceremony for the late John Rockey Sr. will be held Wednesday, June 12, during the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Derby. The cutter from Palmdale, California, passed away last week.
PCCHA Executive Director Phil Benadum said the ceremony will be held in the arena at the South Point Equestrian Center between the second and third classes of the day. It will be live-streamed as part of the regular PCCHA Derby broadcast and the video will be posted to the Quarter Horse News Facebook page soon after.
Benadum said the ceremony was an important way for the community to honor Rockey, who had cut in California since at least 1985 and planned to compete at this year’s PCCHA Derby.
“It’s our way of saying goodbye to him,” Benadum said.
Expected to last several minutes, the ceremony will involve a riderless horse. The timing of the program is intentional — Benadum said it will be held just before the Classic/Challenge Amateur go-round, which would have been Rockey’s first time going to the herd at this year’s show.
Rockey was a familiar face at PCCHA weekend events, as well as limited-age shows. Last year, he won four championships at the PCCHA Futurity show with Dureyngo Kid. He capped the year off with a win in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Unlimited Amateur with another horse, Sweet Toothe, and finished 2018 as the Equi-Stat Cutting Amateur Rider of the Year.