North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductee - 2004
Whiz Bang was foaled in the fall of 1948 on the Walt Neuens ranch north of Medora, a ranch which had been sold to Jimmie Stevens in 1947.
Stevens either sold or gave the dam and the foal to Jim Barnhart. Whiz Bang's dam was a big buckskin mare sired by a Kolbjorn Bye stallion. His sire was a paint.
Whiz Bang's career as a bucking horse began in Belfield in 1954. Cowboys were quickly bucked off on both days; thus began Whiz Bang's reputation as a very rank and spectacular horse.
Jim Barnhart's son, Clifford, said, "Whiz Bang's style of bucking with all four feet off the ground at once made him a popular horse and a large attraction for the rodeos in our area. One year the advertising posters for our Labor Day rodeo in Medora simply said, 'Home of Whiz Bang.'"
Another son, Gaylord Barnhart, recalls that Whiz Bang bucked Casey Tibbs off at a match in Nemo, South Dakota. Whiz Bang gained immortal fame at the 1956 Dickinson Match of Champions when Joe Chase drew him, and Casey Tibbs drew the Fettig Brothers' Figure Four.
Chase became the first cowboy to ever make a qualified ride on Whiz Bang and the two riders tied for the championship.
The Barnharts bucked Whiz Bang until 1960, when he and other bucking horses were sold to Casey Tibbs. Under Tibbs' ownership, he was renamed Nutri-Bio and, in 1962, was selected as a saddle bronc for the National Finals Rodeo in Los Angeles.