A world famous horse is helping put Arkansas on the map. When it comes to steer wrestling he’s known as one of the best horses in the business. He lives in Benton, but he spends most of his time on the road helping the cowboys who ride him bring home trophies and make a living.

Rodney Burks and his horse Zan travel the country together going from one rodeo to the next competing in professional steer wrestling.

(Rodney Burks, Steer Wrestler) “The horse has to get us to the steer and we have to jump off the steer, catch him by his horns and lay him on his side.”

It’s all about speed and Burks says Zan has what it takes to get the job done and beat the competition.

(Burks) “He’s got a heart of gold. A heart as big as the state of Arkansas. He loves to do what he’s doing.”

Zan is no ordinary horse. For the past three years he’s been voted world champion horse of the year.

(Burks) “So that’s the biggest honor. It’s not voted on by somebody who doesn’t know anything about it. It’s voted on by people who get to ride him and see him work and know he does his job best.”

Zan has carried three different cowboys to the national finals rodeo in Las Vegas. And the 2006 world champion steer wrestler was atop the Arkansas horse when he won the title.

(Burks) “It’s America’s first sport. It takes a lot of criticism about animal rights and animal abuse but to me that’s unfathomable because we take – my wife tells me I take better care of him than of her.”

Burks and his family got Zan when he was six years old. He started Zan on the professional circuit four years ago.

(Burks) I get tickled at him. He’s fat and sassy and likes to eat and run.”

Now 13, he’s helped put the Natural State on the map when it comes to the rodeo.

(Burks) “He was basically trained in Arkansas so he’s a Razorback. So I guess that’s the main thing that’s special about him is people everywhere in the United States know Zan by name. They can watch him on TV and say I know Zan. That’s that boy from Arkansas, that’s his horse.