Page 1





Standing at Team Talmadge

478-456-7500 / 601-444-4815 Sandy Hook, Mississippi

2014 Stud Fee: $1,500

Special consideration for proven mares. Contact us for breeding information.

Battle on the Bayou Super Show Race 1 Open Champion Battle on the Bayou Super Show Race 2 Open Champion Battle on the Bayou Super Show Senior Open Champion NBHA World Championship Open Go 1 Champion NBHA World Show Open Finals Reserve Champion NBHA Lousiana State Senior 1D Champion Southern Stampede 1D Average Champion


Ta b l e o f C o n t e n t s


The First Fa m i ly of Futurities


T h e B e s t S e at in the House

4 Welcome Letter 8 Schedule


Epic Leader

5 0 T h e B e s t S e at i n t h e House 54 Epic Leader

1 0 E x p l a n at i on of B a r r e l Racing

60 Sharing Their Shine

16 “The Dirt � 2013 Recap

68 Simply Gla morous

20 Vendor Map

74 Programmed for Success

22 Sponsors

78 Why do we do This!?!

26 Dog & Pony Show

82 Basking in the Glow of t he R o se Pa r a de

28 Blazin Jetolena 3 2 F i r e wat e r on t h e r o c k s 36 Protection By Affection 42 Worthy Causes, Worthy Cowboy 4 6 A d va n ta g e , S t o u d t

86 Self-Made Success 90 A Lasting Legacy 9 6 L e a de rs of t he Pa c k 100 The First Fa mily of Futurities 108 When Opportunit y Knocks



W elcom e to Te xa s – hom e to som e of our nation’s richest tr a di tions a nd a bea con

towa rd o ur brigh t future. And, w elcome Commissioner to Te xa s’ l a r gest futuri t y e vent, the 2014

Di a m onds a nd Dirt Ba rrel Horse Cl a ssic TM .

Texans are proud of many things, especially the friendships we have throughout the Lone Star State, across the nation and around Welcome to Texas – home to somethe ofworld. our nation’s richest traditions and a beacon Home to a powerhouse of agricultural production and toward our bright future. And, welcome largest 2014 leading to the Texas’ nation in the numberfuturity of horses,event, cattle andthe several other animal species, animal care and stewardship are central to the Texas Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic. spirit. Your participation in this event enriches that spirit, and we appreciate you. Texans are proud of many things, especially the friendships we have throughout

the Lone Star State, across the nation and around the world. Home to a Kristi Schiller and LaTricia Duke had a vision for an event that powerhouse of agricultural production leading the nation in the of They wouldand attract the best barrel competitors in thenumber United States. horses, cattle and several other animal species, animal have accomplished this goalcare in justand a fewstewardship short years. Evenare better, central to the Texas spirit. Your participation enriches that spirit, and– they’ve enabledin us this all to event utilize this event to benefit a noble cause K9s4COPs. Kristi’s leadership and passion for protecting lives and we appreciate you. fighting crime with this foundation is an example for all to envy.

Kristi Schiller and LaTricia Duke had a vision for an event that would attract the Texas is fortunate to host this event, and we are glad to have you best barrel competitors in the United States. They have accomplished this goal in here. We hope your stay is exciting, your competition is rewarding, just a few short years. Even better, and they’ve enabled your travels are all to utilize this event to benefit a noble cause – K94Cops. Kristi’s leadership and passion for protecting lives and fighting crime with this foundation God Bless Texas,is an example for all to envy. Texas is fortunate to host this event, and we are glad to have you here. We hope your stay is exciting, your competition is rewarding, and your travels are safe. God Bless Texas,

Todd Staples


Todd Staples



Bling Bringing the

back to te xas

Ta k ing a f r e sh m a r k e ting pe rspecti ve a nd a pplying i t to the w orld of barre l r a c ing, S c hil l e r R anc h hope s to contribute to the a lrea dy solid fo undation on whic h the sp ort of ba r r e l r a cing i s built.

Schiller Ranch has strived to bring together new and previously established sponsors in our industry and is pleased to present to you the support of: Better Barrel Races of America, Buc-ee’s, Busby Quarter Horses, Cavender’s, David Gardner’s Jewelers, Double J Saddlery, Gold Rush Syndicate, Messina Hof Winery & Resort, RES Equine Products, Rolex, South Texas Tack and WPRA Pro Elite Sire Incentive. Schiller Ranch believes with the support of these new sponsors there could be a window for fresh exposure to the sport of barrel racing. Kristi Schiller believes if we come together and support the new relationships in progress, we could potentially expand the possibilities for future events to have bigger payouts, bigger prizes and promote bigger sponsorships for owners and breeders alike. The industry’s most respected are already coming on board with Schiller Ranch in an effort to support more lucrative events. Multiple world champion owner and breeder, Jud Little of Ardmore, Okla., sings the praises of the approach Schiller Ranch is taking. “We as breeders and competitors are in appreciation of the new ideas and opportunities being

presented to us at the Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic™. Schiller Ranch has become an asset to the barrel horse and futurity industry, and I look forward to attending what I am sure will be a first class event.” World champion breeder, trainer and owner, Bo Hill echoes Little’s sentiments. “Special thanks to Schiller Ranch for thinking outside the box and recruiting major sponsors to support the sport of barrel racing. Every industry can use new and energetic people like the Schillers.” Even the east coast is getting on board. Longtime Florida resident and futurity horse owner, Rick Large of RSL Enterprises, extends his excitement as well, “I think this is going to be an excellent futurity. The level of prize money and awards will be a tremendous asset to our sport. I look forward to an outstanding race that is sure to be one of the toughest of the year.” The excitement of this week is based on watching the barrel racing industry’s best compete on some amazing equine athletes, highlighted by the common goal everyone in the industry is working toward, building and promoting the exciting and incredible sport of barrel racing.




Thursday, March 6 Friday, March 7 Saturday, March 8

1 pm Pole Bending entry, stalls and RV check in 8 am - 2 pm Exhibitions 2:30 pm Jr. Horse 1st Go Open 3D Poles 10 am Jr. Horse 2nd Go Open 3D Poles



Monday, March 10 Tuesday, March 11

Wednesday, March 12

Thursday, March 13


12 pm Stalls Open 12 pm Volunteers check in 7 am Stalls Open 8 am Offices Open 8 am Vendor move in 9 am - 1 pm Futurity Horse check in 9 am Early Derby check in - Coggins, Health and Original Registration Paperwork MUST be Presented 10 am Exhibitions Begin - All Futurity Horses Guaranteed One Exhibition (in Draw Order) 6 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 8 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 7 am Stalls Open 8 am Offices Open 8:45 am Parade of Flags Presented by Diamond Darlins 9 am Retail Round-Up opens 9 am Open 5D (Limited to 350 Entries) 12 pm Horse Trailer Cook-Off in Coyote Trading Co. with guest judge, Chef Peter Madden of Madden’s Casual Gourmet 2 pm - 5 pm Fan Zone in Coyote Trading Co. 5 pm Diamond Jubilee Slot Race Hat Sale 6 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs zone Amazing Bobby Kerr Mustang Act 7 pm $225,000 Diamond Jubilee Futurity Slot Race 8 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs zone 7 am Stalls Open 8 am Offices Open 8:45 am Parade of Flags Presented by Diamond Darlins 9 am Retail Round-Up opens

All dates and t imes subject to ch ange.

Thursday, March 13

Friday, March 14

Saturday, March 15

Sunday, March 16

Monday, March 17

9 am Futurity 1st Round Derby Qualifying Round Begins 30 Minutes After Futurity 1st Round has Concluded 11 am - 9 pm Arcade at the K9s4KIDs Zone 2 pm Social Media Q&A in Coyote Trading Co. 3 pm - 5 pm Fan Zone in Coyote Trading Co. 6 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 8 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 9 pm Parking Lot Party with live DJ -- everyone welcome! 7 am Stalls Open 8 am Offices Open 8:45 am Parade of Flags Presented by Diamond Darlins 9 am Retail Round-Up opens 9 am Futurity 2nd Round Sweepstakes Begins 30 minutes After Futurity 2nd Round has Concluded 11 am - 9 pm Arcade at the K9s4KIDs Zone 2 pm - 5 pm Fan Zone in Coyote Trading Co. 4 pm - 6 pm Messina Hof Wine Tasting in Coyote Trading Co. 6 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 7 pm The K9s4COPs Dog & Pony Show Hat Sale The Amazing Bobby Kerr Mustang Act & K9s4COPs Police K9 demos 8 pm The K9s4COPs Dog & Pony Show presented by Busby Quarter Horses 8 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 7 am Stalls Open 8 am Offices Open 8:45 am Parade of Flags Presented by Diamond Darlins 9 am Retail Round-Up opens 9 am Open 5D (Limited to 250 Entries) 11 am - 9 pm Arcade at the K9s4KIDs Zone 2 pm - 5 pm Fan Zone in Coyote Trading Co. 4 pm Futurity Finals Hat Sale 5 pm Derby Finals 6 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 6 pm Amateur Finals Amazing Bobby Kerr Mustang Act 6:30 pm Futurity Finals 8 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs Zone 9 pm “A Night of Diamonds” Featuring The Guzzlers (Tickets are $75 and include dinner and three drink tickets) 7 am Stalls Open 8 am Cowboy Church 8:45 am Parade of Flags Presented by Diamond Darlins 9 am Open 5D (Limited to 400) 9 am Retail Round-Up opens 6 pm “Movies on the Lawn” at the K9s4KIDs zone 12 pm All Contestants, Vendors and Participants Exit the Brazos County Expo Complex by 12 Noon - No Exceptions

All dates and t imes subject to ch ange.


The Futurities

A f u t u rit y i s a n e ve n t he l d f or ba rrel horses 3, 4 a nd 5 yea rs old. The f u t u rit y ind u s try pay s o u t h u ndreds of tho usa nds of doll a rs in ca sh a nd pr iz es e v e ry y e a r , m a k ing i t barrel r a cing’s m o st lucr ati ve sport. The fa stpa c ed e xc i te m e n t of i t g i ve s i t a ga m bler’s a ppea l, m uch like horse r a cing.

Futurity horses start their training late in their 2-year-old year. Some people choose to train their own horses, but professional trainers are running a lot of the horses seen competing. The goal of the young futurity horse is to have it ready for the Juvenile Futurity in Oklahoma City, Okla., in December of its 3-year-old year. This event is held with the Barrel Futurities of America World Championships every year, which is where the 4-year-old futurity horses run for the title of World Champion.

race. You can buy a slot anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on which race you are entering, and then contacting trainers to find a horse to run in the slot for you. There is still nothing like owning your own horse and there are many professional trainers in attendance of this event that can help you get started.

There are two age brackets for a futurity horse. Four-year-old futurity horses are eligible to run in every event held in the country, and the 5-year-old futurity horse’s bracket is a growing addition for horses that may have not made the cut as a 4-year-old. The 4-year-old futurity horses cannot have been entered in a barrel racing competition, for prizes or money, before December 1 of their 3-year-old year and the 5-yearolds can not have been entered before December 1 of their 4-year-old year.

The derbies are a place for 5 and 6-year-old horses to shine. They are often times past champions of the futurity world continuing their training before they go on to be open and rodeo horses. Most often held in conjunction with the major futurities, the derbies offer the same excitement as the futurities.

Owning a futurity horse can be an exciting venture. There are extra events called slot races where a fee is paid to hold a spot in a race and you have a set amount of time to run a horse in that spot. The biggest slot races pay as much as $100,000 to winners. You don’t even have to own a horse to enter the


The Derbies

The Open Di vi siona l R a ces

The open “D” races are like a handicapping system for the sport of barrel racing. This popular format for barrel racing started back in the early 90s and has opened the door for many full-time workers or weekend warriors, to compete for major prize money and awards at their, or their horse’s, skill level. Horses and people of any age are allowed to compete.

How it


Today there i s e very thing fr om a 4D to a 6D r a ce. Ea ch ti m e di vi sion i s essenti a lly i ts own ba rrel r a ce w i th a payo ut. The 4D system i s m o st com m only used w i th a gr ow ing inter e st in the 5D .

The divisional system has been instrumental in the sport of open barrel racing. It has created a market for horses that might not be fast enough to win a futurity or a 1D check. The horses that are honest, solid and do their job every time are oftentimes valued as highly as the 1D and futurity winning horses. T H E R ODEOS

With the majority of rodeos being men only sports, this fierce and fastpaced branch of the barrel horse industry is all about heart and stamina. Most barrel horses are owned by their riders, but a growing number are being campaigned for different investors who enjoy watching their horse in the high drama of a rodeo. It takes a special horse to win on the rodeo trail. There is much more traveling with not as long of stays between runs. The ultimate goal for every rodeo barrel racer is the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. Held every year in December in the University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Thomas & Mack Center, this 10-day marathon rodeo is the accumulation of dreams.


Q: What is something funny about yourself? A: Sometimes I like to pretend to be the Rock,

the wrestler, especially when he used to come out and the crowd chanted “Rocky, Rocky, Rocky.”

Q: What riders are you most excited to see? A: I am excited to see the younger competitors who will go up against the professional riders. For instance, in 2013 at DDBHC™, Regan Henning, with nerves of steel, went up against some tough competition and made it to the nals in the top 40. Q: What keeps bringing you back to be a part

Lenell Dean

of Diamonds & Dirt™? A: Not only do I get to announce this event and see an awesome competition, but I get to work with a great staff. Sometimes the people behind the scenes do not receive enough credit, but I think I work with some of the best from the show office to the barrel setters, gate crew, arena judge, timers, tractor drivers and our great show producer, Kristi Schiller. DDBHC™ has become one of the premier barrel racing events across the country.

ANNOUNCING Q: What is something funny about yourself? A: I’ve been told I look like Justin Bieber in Resistol. I have

also announced a rodeo in a bedazzled microphone.

Q: What do you love about barrel racing? A: e tension! It is a race against time and to see the

horse’s determination and passion in their eyes matched up with the rider’s will to win, it creates such an exciting atmosphere that can get anyone’s motor running!

Q: Being your rst year at DDBHC™, what made you

want to be a part of our event? A: I think that goes back to the competition. is event is like the NFR, BBR World Finals and BFA World Championships, all rolled into one week. When you have the world’s best horses, the world’s best riders, the world’s best trainers and the world’s biggest purse, it sells itself! Anyone who wouldn’t want to witness this amazing event just isn’t a true fan! And that’s a fact, Jack! 12

Garrett Yerigan

Austyn Ceily Cheyenne Jordan Kylee Liddie Miley Rio Sinclair Talia Zoey









2014 Vendor Map

39 37 38

36 26




27 23 22



31 29


33 32










6 Main Entrance



8 9




2 3 1



2014 Vendor List M a in E x h i bi t H al l :

(See m a p)


LCI Liv e sto c k I n s u r a nc e


Pay ne Bi ts & S p u rs


Coyote Tr ading B o oth


E qu idi te Cor p.


B u c k F e r g u son


D ou ble J S addl e ry


Bayou W e s t Co S addl e Pa d s / H edde n W e st


S ou t h Te xa s Tac k


R odea u x W e s te r n W e ar

1 0 . Tripl e C r ow n 1 1 . N DJ De sig n s 1 2 . Horsebac k M a g az ine 1 3 . Fa it h N C and y 1 4 . K & L A d ve rti sing S pe c i al i tie s / Notor io u s T ’s 1 5 . S il pa da De sig n s 1 6 . The Per f e ct Bi t 1 7 . Design s By J ac k ie O 1 8 . L& W Bi ts 1 9 . Ric k M c C um be r 2 0 . G irl s Got ta Have I t 2 1 . Wil d Horse S tu dio 2 2 . PH T M ag ne tic s 2 3 . M a r c i Di sm u k e s- M a s sa g e Ther a py 2 4 . 3 -2 -1 A ction V ide o 2 5 . Pea coc k s & P on y s 2 6 . Fr inge

C o v er ed wa l k way con n e ct i ng E x h i bi t Ha ll to Nort h Ar en a : • Lone Sta r Truck s • Sta m pede Conversions

Nort h Ar en a : • • • • •

H eri ta ge Br a nd RES Rene w G old Supplem ents Pi xel W ork s Rein M a n

C o v er ed wa l k way con n e ct i ng Nort h Ar ena to S o u t h Ar en a : • • • • • • • • • •

Tr avi s G ri m sle y Te xa s L ea d R opes Ca ldw ell Sa ddlery Tech M i x Ox y- G en Ca l- Densi t y Core Ba l a nce Dr. G reg F ord North Ea st Te xa s Equine Speci a ltie s Sterling Anvil Fa rrier Services

S o u t h Ar en a :

• Escent- Oil Ba l a nce

S o u t h of W e s t Pav i l ion S ta l l s :

• Equine Sports M edicine & Sur gery

2 7 . Ru s t ic K u ts F u r ni tu r e 2 8 . Renega de s 2 9 . Br a n s tin’s 3 0 . S top s Col ic 3 1 . Blu e B one t F e e d s 3 2 . The H ide Ou t 3 3 . Three Pa lom ino s 3 4 . S ou t he r n Di va s B o u tiq u e 3 5 . Bu sby Q uarte r Horse s

S o u t h of E as t Pav i l ion S ta l l s : • • • •

R&G Tr a ilers R ollin M Tr a ilers A W inning Way Appa rel D o uble J Sa ddlery

E as t Pav i l ion S ta l l s : • De Pa olo Equine Concepts

3 6 . BR H ats 3 7 . Pink C a ctu s 3 8 . Sm a l l Tow n Gy p sy 3 9 . Cir c l e Y 4 0 . Cowgir l J e w e l s


Thank you to

Our Sponsors Crown Jewel Sponsor

Diamond Jubilee Sponsor

Double Diamond Sponsors

G OL D R U S H S Y N DIC AT E • D o uble J Sa ddlery • P+ R Pr oductions

Diamond Sponsors

David Ga r dne r ’s Je w elers • RES Equine Pr oducts

Platinum Sponsors

B u c - e e’s • So uth Te xa s Ta ck

Gold Sponsors

C api tal Fa r m C r e di t • Dea n & Dr a per • G r a na da Fa rm s M e s sina Hof W inery • Ba ker H ay a nd F eed

Silver Sponsors

C ave nde r ’s B o ot Ci t y • DePa olo Equine Concepts Lone S tar Tr u c k & Equipm ent • M at t L i tz Silversm i th Pr o spe r i t y Ba nk • Tr oy F l a h a rt y Bi ts & Spurs E qu ine S p orts M e dic ine a nd Sur gery • P&P Tr a ilers • The W o od G r o up









Standing at:

Contact us for breeding information.

478-456-7500 / 601-444-4815 Sandy Hook, Mississippi

Brisco County Jr. . Goneasagirlcanget 2002 Palomino Stallion

Breed to a champion who is taking the barrel racing world by storm! 2013 Battle on the Bayou Super Show Race 1 Open Champion Battle on the Bayou Super Show Race 2 Open Champion Battle on the Bayou Super Show Senior Open Champion NBHA Lousiana State Senior 1D Champion NBHA World Championship Open Go 1 Champion NBHA World Show Open Finals Reserve Champion Southern Stampede 1D Average Champion 2011 Sugarfest Classic 1D Champion 2009 Mega Barrel Race 1st Go Champion Mega Barrel Race Short Go Champion 2007 PHBA Barrel Racing World Champion

2014 Stud Fee: $1,500

Special consideration for proven mares. Contact us for breeding contracts. LQHBA

Standing at: Team Talmadge 478-456-7500 / 601-444-4815 Sandy Hook, Mississippi


2013 Cavender’s Dog & Pony Show Champions Words from last year’s champions: “is year we will be returning as the defending champs, from the looks of the competition we will be leavin as the current champs, and the back-to-back champs!” - Bo Hill

Can they keep their title...

“Once again our team will remain Nicole Roberts, Bo Hill, exactly as it was last year, all highly Brandy Mehl & Macee James skilled riders and all of which have been national 4H champions and Board Member Team Captains: have won numerous ribbons, and Brendan Gilbert & Chance Carter goat hair pullings. We will be riding home trained, highly pedigreed exceptionally fast ponies! ree of which have been in training almost two months!” - Bo Hill Bo will be riding Famous Chief Oreo, he is 10 years old and has more moves than United Van Lines. Macee will be riding Phamous Playmate, although small in size, she is big in talent, if you count tricks. Nicole will be riding Streakin Twerk, he is dirty fast. He can spin a barrel and be home before LaTricia gets outa bed. Brandy will be riding Mini P, a highly pedigreed pony that is 10 years old and has been in barrel training over 13 years. 26

Friday, March 14

2014 Busby Quarter Horses Dog & Pony Show

LaTricia Duke Jolene Montgomery Molli Montgomery Kassie Mowry


K9s4COPs Board Member Team Captain, Shanna Brown

K9s4COPs Board Member Team Captain, Brendan Gilbert

Andrea Busby Danyelle Campbell Brooke Jeter Ryan Lovendahl K9s4COPs Board Member Team Captain, Dr. Manny Sanchez

Bo Hill Macee James Brandy Mehl Nicole Roberts

Pete Oen Jordon Briggs PJ Burger Kyle Leleux Bo

K9s4COPs Board Member Team Captain, Pam Mahoney

Jana Bean Jennifer Driver Claire Powell Judi Reed K9s4COPs Board Member Team Captain Deputy Ted Dahlin



From performer to sire, proven outcross stallion Blazin Jetolena is making his mark.

By Tan ya R andal l

H y br id vig or i s the te nde nc y for cr o ss breeding to pr oduce a being s u perior to e i the r par e nt. L ea ding sire Bl a zin Jetolena (“Jet �) i s loa de d w i th h y br id vig or a nd i t m a de hi m one of the m o st dyna m ic perf or m e rs of hi s ti m e f or hi s breeders R a ndy Ri st a nd Sue Ri st.


I’d love to run him, but that would be so selfish of me. He has nothing left to prove. The property Jeff and Andrea Busby of Busby Quarter Horses in Millsap, Texas, as of April 2013, Jet is passing on those superior traits by providing a source of outcross genetics for today’s barrel racing industry. “He was everything that we ever wanted in a stallion,” said Andrea Busby. “He represents everything that we believe in—crossing run with cow works for us. We have team roping horses, calf horses and barrel horses. We like horses that have cow sense that can work on the ranch but have enough speed and ability to set records in barrel racing. His colts are versatile. Jeff and I both just love him. It’s just a blessing to have him.” Pedigr ee

Jet was genetically engineered to run and turn as he did. The ultimate cow-run cross, Jet is by Lenas Sugar Daddy and out of the Jet Of Honor mare Blazin Jennie Jet (“Jenny”). Lenas Sugar Daddy was an allaround athlete himself. Born for the cutting pen, an injury cut him from famed horseman Shorty Freeman’s string of NCHA Futurity horses. The son of legendary cutting horse sire Doc O’Lena—who had a little shot of run through his Doc Bar, a son of AAA runner Lightning Bar, Lenas Sugar Daddy was out of Bit Of Sugar, a daughter of 1958 Racing Champion War Chic out of a daughter of legendary performance sire Sugar Bars, also a AAA runner. The Rists had purchased Jet’s dam for $1,500 after seeing an ad for the Appendix daughter of Jet Of Honor, now a legendary leading barrel horse sire, in the local Thrifty Nickel. Jenny, who was out of the Thoroughbred mare Blazing Duchess, by Blaze, was Sue’s first speed event horse. Togeth-

er, they dominated the Washington gymkhana circuit before winning the reserve championship in the tough Washington Barrel Racing Association. Before ending her competitive career, Jenny even carried Sue to several pro rodeo checks, including a round win at Puyallup, Wash. “I don’t know how we survived her or how she survived what we did to her,” said Sue Rist. “She was the best teacher you could ever have. She had a heart of gold and she tried.” Jet, a 1999 sorrel, got the best from both his sire and dam— the heart, trainability, speed and conformation to have a balanced turning style that was wickedly fast. Perform a nce

In the capable hands of Ryan Lovendahl, Jet was named the 2003 Leading Futurity Horse by Equi-Stat. He earned championship honors at American West Finals Futurity, American West Southwest Classic Futurity, High Prairie Round-Up Futurity, Washington Barrel Racing Association Futurity, Beth Cooper Memorial Futurity and Arizona Gold Futurity. Jet earned reserve futurity championships at Super Barrel Weekend and the Barrel Of Gold. He finished third at the Silver Cup Futurity, Bar Nothin Barrel Bash Futurity, Progressive Barrel Classic Futurity and Fizz Bomb Classic Futurity and was a finalist at the Old Fort Days Futurity, BFA World Championship Futurity and Gold Cup Futurity. As a 5-year-old, he won derbies at the American West Finals and American West Central Finals. Jet also entered the professional rodeo ranks, winning Othello and Grandview, Washington, for Katy Bremner. As a 6-year-old, Jet helped carry Melanie Southard-Thompson to the National Finals Rodeo by winning Heber City, Utah, Idaho Falls, Idaho,


Othello, Washington and Liberty, Texas. In 2009, the stallion came out of retirement briefly to run with his first foal crop, with highlights at the Fizz Bomb Classic in Gillette, Wyo., where Jet and Lovendahl won the Sweepstakes and Jet’s daughter Sheza Blazin Move, also ridden by Lovendahl, won the second round of the Futurity. Colic surgery ended his comeback tour prematurely and with his offspring winning at every level, it made no sense to run him again…no matter how tempting. “When I sit here with rodeos to go to and no sound horses, and here’s Jet who is sound and in shape and just loves to run barrels …,” mused Andrea Busby. “I’d loved to run him, but that would be so selfish of me. He has nothing left to prove.” Pr ogen y

From his first five foal crops, Jet ranked as one of Barrel Horse News’ leading junior stallions in the barrel racing industry in 2013 with more than $400,000 in offspring earnings. He is one of the Top 15 barrel horse sires in the country, according to Equi-Stat. Jet has sired money earners from the futurity pen to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. Some of his brightest stars include two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Sheza Blazin Move, ridden by Christy Loflin; aged event star Jet O Red, ridden by Nicole Love; Diamonds & Dirt Derby Champion and pro rodeo money earner Catch The Rain, ridden by Jackie Jatzlau; All American Finals and Southeastern Circuit Finals Champion Three Jets Olena, ridden by Victoria Williams; Amateur futurity champion and pro rodeo money earner Blazin Ruby Rocket, ridden by Cheryl Murray; and aged event and pro rodeo money earner Jetolenas Sliceofpie, ridden by Mallory Wheeler, a 2014 rookie-of-the-year contender in the WPRA. Lovendahl, who now trains fulltime for the Busbys, said its Jet’s conformational balance that allowed him to excel at all levels of competition and the stallion passes that balance on to his foals. “They’re a really balanced kind of turning horse,” he says. “They never get to their front end really bad and they’re not sporadic in their front end. They set down and get to the backside of the turn and pull themselves around with the front end.”


When it comes to trainability, Busby swears that Jet understands English and his colts, too, have that inherent ability to understand what a rider is asking of them. “It doesn’t take a professional trainer to make them winners,” said Busby. “They’re kind horses and they want to go do their jobs.”


Firewaterontherocks By Tan ya R a nda l l

The ric he s t son of the l egenda ry F ir e Wate r F l i t, Fire wat er on t he r o c k s i s pa ssing hi s gr eat nes s to the ne xt g e ne r ation .


Fir e wat er on the r o c k s , af f e ctionately know n a s “H a ppy,” h a s put m a ny a smile on ba r r el r ac e rs ’ fa c e s. W i th j ust hi s third perform a nce a ge cr op com peting in t he a re n a thi s y e a r , F ir e wate r onther o ck s i s a lea ding sire of ba rrel horse s wit h mor e th a n $230, 000 in of fspring ea rnings a s of ea rly 2014.

Bred and owned by Robyn Herring, Huntington, Texas, the 2002 burnished gold Palomino stallion continues to thrill fans in the arena while his offspring are already proving they have the mettle to carry on his winning legacy. Pedigr ee

A proven legitimate “barrel-bred” stallion, Firewaterontherocks is the product of pairing two barrel horses—the great performer and legendary leading sire Fire Water Flit and Herring’s first barrel futurity horse Rock N Roll Rona. Herring had purchased Rock N Roll Rona, a daughter of 1986 AQHA World Champion Racehorse Ronas Ryon, from a local horseman who was switching from Quarters to Thoroughbred racehorses. “I knew nothing about Ronas Ryon when I bought her,” said Herring. “Originally I wasn’t going to buy her because she had a really thick, short neck, but luckily, I talked myself into it.” Herring had always picked up horses off the track and tried them as barrel horses. With Rock N Roll Rona she decided to try her hand at futurities.

“I took her to (the Old Fort Days Futurity in) Fort Smith and that was the year they had record entries and it paid out over $100,000 to win it,” she recalled. “I think it took a 17.2 to come back and I was a 17.4. She did really good in big pens, but whenever you got her into any place confined she got tight.” When she made the decision to breed the mare, Herring opted to breed for a barrel horse as opposed to the race-bred prospects she normally raised. “We had always bred to racehorse studs. We’d sale fit the colts and sell them, mostly at the Louisiana-bred sale, but also some at Sam Houston and Heritage Place. I had always wanted to breed for a barrel horse. At the time, Fire Water Flit was THE barrel horse sire, so I took a shot and bred her to him.” Pe r form a nce

Firewaterontherocks had to earn the right to remain a stallion. “When we were breaking him he never was aggressive,” recalled Herring. “His biggest problem was that he liked to talk. First place I ever took him to exhibition was Nacogdoches and the whole

way through the pattern he was screaming, but he worked good.” Ultimately Herring placed the decision in the hands of leading rider and trainer LaTricia Duke, who started working with the colt in June of his third year. “I told her if he’s worthy of staying a stud, we’ll leave him a stud, but if you think he’d worked better and be easier to manage as a gelding, we would geld him,” said Herring. “I basically let her decide, so I guess he has her to thank.” Firewaterontherocks started his career by winning the 2D average at the BFA Juvenile. “It wasn’t fabulous,” said Herring. “He would go down the alley and make the same trip every time but we really didn’t know how much run he had. Then at the January futurity in Starkville, Miss., she called and said ‘Your horse just won the first round of this futurity. I think we might have something here.’ She would have won it but pulled over the first barrel in the second round. It just kind of got progressively better from there and that’s how he earned his right to stay a stud.” Firewaterontherocks went on to be-


come the richest son of Fire Water Flit with more than $200,000 in earnings. As a 4-year-old, he was placed third at the San Antonio Futurity, Victory Farms Futurity and the WPRA Windy Sue Futurity and was a finalist at the BFA World Championships, Gold and Silver Cup futurities and won the Old Fort Days Futurity Consolation. And, he just got stronger. After several 1D wins and derby championships, Firewaterontherocks transitioned successfully to the WPRA rodeo ranks, winning such prestigious rodeos as the Reno Rodeo in Nevada and the Dixie Nationals in Jackson, Miss., and tough Texas rodeos such as Lufkin, Vernon, Beaumont, Belton and Mercedes. Herring narrowly missed the National Finals Rodeo twice with Firewaterontherocks. In 2011, they were 26th and in 2012, they were a heartbreaking 17th. Both years, she was without the stallion for key months. In 2011, he got pigeon fever and missed the Fourth of July run, and in 2012, a slip in Austin resulted in a bruised hock that forced them to miss Cowboy Christmas again. After sitting out much of 2013, Firewaterontherocks is back running again. “I will try to get to some of the bigger barrel races and rodeos,” said Herring, who put a return trip to the Texas Circuit Finals on her to do list. “I’m not 34

going to go out West like I did before. I can’t make an NFR run because I can’t go and be away from here like I used to. He is booked full. Depending how things are here, I might make a two week Fourth of July run because I’ve never got to do that with him.”

Happy babies are kind of like barrel horse prospects for dummies... Amateurs have won on them, youth have won on them and trainers have won on them, and that’s just from his first two foal crops. Pr o g eny

With just his first two foal crops competition age—his oldest are 6-year-olds in 2014—Firewaterontherocks was named a leading Junior Sire by Barrel Horse News. He also ranked amongst

the Top 20 sires of 2012, according to Equi-Stat, the statistical division of Cowboy Publishing Group, with his first foal crop. His first superstar was Bar Nothin Barrel Bash Futurity Champion and current pro rodeo money earner LK Watch Me Rock, currently ridden by Samantha Lyne; LG Pro Classic Futurity Champion and multiple futurity finalist Happy To Run Em, ridden by LaTricia Duke; Rock On Ta Fame, ridden by Duke; Make No Assumptions, ridden by Ryann Pedone and youth rider Kylar Terlip; multiple futurity finalist Johnny On The Rocks, ridden by Janna Beam, and Chinese-owned and based KN Baileyontherocks. “As far as performance, he passes on his turning style, which came from Fire Water Flit,” said Herring, “but he also passes on his personality. That’s what I hear most from people. They’re so smart. They’re so easy. “Happy babies are kind of like barrel horse prospects for dummies. They’re appealing from futurity trainers all the way to youth and divisional riders. They’re suitable for that whole range. Amateurs have won on them, youth have won on them and trainers have won on them, and that’s just from his first two foal crops.”


Protection By Affection

By Danika Ke n t

Houston K9 Academy, K9s4COPs and K9s4KIDs have consolidated their faith in man’s best friend to change the face of security as we know it.


pending a f e w m onth s in the Netherl a nds pr o curing a nd i m prin ting dogs on sc e n t wa sn’ t e xactly a trip th at form er US Air F or ce K 9 h a ndle r Ya smin “J az ” Gonza l e z r e l i shed m a king in Decem ber 2009.

H er colle ague

f or t he a ssig n m e nt wa s f e l low K 9 h a ndler Ja son “Bird” Sta nze, her form er ins t r u ctor— a nd de fa cto r i val . Si m ply put, the m a n si m ply r a i sed her h a ckle s.

When Jaz left the military in 2004 after deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, she went to work as an instructor on the civilian side of the K9 industry. Stanze, who also served in the Air Force as a K9 trainer and instructor, had been Jaz’s instructor when she got her start in civilian work. Jaz was particularly ambitious and quickly became a high-


ly skilled trainer. So skilled, in fact, she was called “a female version” of Jason – a comparison neither of them appreciated. “I did not want to do it,” Jaz says, recalling her initial thoughts of being sent on this mission. “They said it was only going to be for a little bit, a few months. I

couldn’t wait for it to be done.” Bird and Jaz did not speak for a week when they arrived in Europe, but after a colorful discussion, they were able to put their differences aside. As Jaz says, “We got it out of the way and we were able to start working.” They didn’t just get it out of the way.

Bird and Jaz hit it off. In the summer of 2013, they left their former employer, got married and opened the Houston K9 Academy. United by marriage and a dedicated passion to K9s, Bird and Jaz are now revolutionizing the art, science and understanding of K9 training. A N e w G ene r ation of K 9

The Stanzes’ formative years equipped them to hone in on the innate qualities that make dogs the most loyal soldier known to man. K9s are naturally engineered to be a unique line of defense against the terroristic activity that has become the most modern threat to American life, as well as the encroachment of forces like the Mexican drug cartel, whose presence has become all too real here in Texas. “It changes every day. When they find out what we’re doing, they look for bigger, better and faster ways to stop our missions. It’s the same with the war on drugs; cartels are stepping it up every day, trying to stop the police from taking their money, their source,” Jaz explains. Drawing on years of extensive field experience and a lifelong passion for K9 training, the husband-wife team undeniably understands the inherent design, desire and dialect of dogs. Their combined knowledge goes beyond the decades of documented research; their methods breaking the standardized molds.

“We started Houston K9 Academy with a passion, a drive and a hunger to change K9,” Jaz says with conviction. “There have been so many scientific explanations about what we do, but it’s outdated information that no one has challenged in years. We have changed the way you train dogs and we do it in a more proficient and efficient way. We are able to train dogs on the streets, for the streets.” As such, Bird and Jaz have dubbed “a new generation of K9” not only their business motto, but also their deeply-rooted mission statement. “This is what we eat, breathe, sleep and dream,” Jaz says. “A lot of people say we’re going to burn ourselves out, but the drive and enthusiasm never go away. We will not compromise our standards or our quality. It’s pushing us to go further and further.” K 9s 4 Ca uses

Despite the aptitude of the Houston K9 Academy to produce exceptionally trained dogs, a vast void exists. Budget constraints have resulted in a great number of trained K9 officers dispatched with lifeless leather leashes, lacking the funds necessary to provide the vital canine counterpart. This discrepancy was brought to light in a roundabout way in late December 2009, when a Houston news channel reported the death of deputy constable Ted Dahlin’s K9 Blek.

Though he was tragically killed in action, K9 Blek’s heroism likely saved Dahlin’s life, and his egregious death set ripples in motion. Deeply moved by the story, Kristi Schiller attempted to anonymously donate a K9 to Harris County Precinct 4 to fill the void, only to be thwarted by miles of red tape. Discouragement turned to drive, and then to overdrive as the femme force of nature turned K9 Blek’s ripple effect into a tidal wave. Six short months later, Schiller launched K9s4COPs with the vision of providing K9s to law enforcement units in need. As fate would have it, her path eventually crossed those of Bird and Jaz’s, and when the duo opened the Houston K9 Academy, Schiller had her pick of the proverbial litter virtually in her back yard. “We’ve joined with K9s4COPs because Kristi Schiller had a vision to basically ensure that money is not an issue for police departments to have that vital tool of a K9 team,” Jaz explains. “We’ve been selected their kennel of choice and we provide them with all of their K9s.” The Houston K9 Academy not only produces adeptly trained dogs, it has implemented in-depth selection and handler training protocols. The Stanzes hand pick the dogs in Europe based on the needs of the recipient, have them medically cleared and personally escort them back to the United States. When they arrive in Houston, the dogs tran-

This is what we eat, breathe, sleep and dream. A lot of people say we’re going to burn ourselves out, but the drive and enthusiasm never goes away. We will not compromise our standards or our quality. It’s pushing us to go further and further. – Jaz Stanz e


champions” for their ability to incapacitate an invader. Yet, despite their sheer physical ability to neutralize such a threat, these dogs are not without the intellectual ability to distinguish innocence from animosity. “Dogs have a natural ability to secure human beings,” he advocates. “They know what a child is. They think, ‘I have to protect this with my life,’ and that is compounded and capitalized when you train it into them.” In the veteran trainer’s eyes, the core instinct to protect human life is the safety mechanism that makes a K9 preferable to any firearm.

sition to their new environment and training commences. The recipients are invited to select their top three dogs, and tailored training continues for up to a month. At that time, the recipient picks up his dog for a week of quality bonding time. Finally, the officer and his dog return for three to eight weeks of handler training courses. “We fit the handler with the best dog possible to make that team compatible,” Jaz says of the process as a whole. “We look at personality traits and character traits from the officer and dog and try to get them to complement each other. We are making sure our handlers are safe and the dogs will perform properly, with a purpose.” As K9s continue to rise above and beyond the call of duty in their law enforcement roles, their value is being recognized in innovative ways. With the 2013 inception of K9s4KIDs, Schiller hopes to turn the tide on the rising incidence of perverse violence within America’s schools. Cody Tallent, also a trainer at Hous-


ton K9 Academy, agrees that K9s are the weapon of choice, a superior alternative to armed instructors and an influx of concealed carry permits on campuses nationwide. “Putting K9s in schools creates an incredible psychological deterrent to anyone that has a bad intention,” explains Tallent. “Dogs sense danger and they can feel it from miles away. If that individual tries to make it into the school, he’s only going to make it so far.” Tallent likens K9s to “absolute MMA

“A dog is going to take care of the non-threatening people and discriminate the threat,” Tallent explains. “It can be hard for humans to understand that, but a dog discriminates threat. A sidearm does not. A dog has a heart, flesh and blood connected to its conscious. It’s cognitive. I believe dogs have love and affection in their hearts; a gun does not.” The Sh a dow Sentinels

The Houston K9 Academy and Schiller have teamed up to address another need, as well, one that Jaz describes as “a guardian, a safe keeper of children and family.” “There are a lot of people involved with horses that are making long trips

Dogs have a natural ability to secure human beings…They think, ‘I have to protect this with my life,’ and that is compounded and capitalized when you train it into them. – Cody Tallent

to remote areas and traveling at all hours. A lot of them are younger women. If they’re stopped with their trailer and they’re alone, they’re vulnerable. A majority of the ‘bad guys’ see these women and wonder how they can take advantage of the situation.” As in the school setting, a trained K9 serves as a visible deterrent, and, if they’re not visible, they will be there to protect their human if an unwelcome individual tries to enter the truck or trailer. “These dogs are very, very good at assessing what a threat is,” Jaz explains, easing any reservations in regards to bringing these dogs into a family environment or similar setting. “An unfamiliar friend may fear these dogs because of the stereotype that exists, but in fact, they’re very disciplined and very social. They are not vicious; they’re not a loose cannon. Visitors know that they are obedient and controllable, and we don’t stop our training until the family feels safe and comfortable.” An added value of these particular canine companions is the ability to send them into a home – including your home away from home – to do what is called a building sweep if anything seems out of the ordinary. Furthermore, these K9s accept horses and other animals as part of the status quo. “LaTricia Duke incorporates Kid into all of her horse training,” Jaz explains. “When she is out riding, he will lay on the side of the arena and watch her. He understands that that’s part of her life, as well. They are able to be that added guardian for these horses.” D ogs , by De sig n

K9 training is a contemporary blend of science and common sense within the Houston K9 Academy. Time and again, dogs are proving that they are capable of much more than previously understood. “Dogs can see, smell and feel things that we, as humans, cannot,” Tallent says. “It’s the way dogs are designed. When you and I look at something, we’re gauging contrast, dimension, shape. A dog does it all through scent. There is so much more involved than what you and I see; there’s a whole world of scent information. “For police, dogs are utilized for hunting harmful substances so that we can control them. That’s a very important thing, but it’s only one thing. It goes above and beyond narcotics, explosives, currency and human scent. Dogs can indicate when their owner is about to have a diabetic attack. They can provide therapy to soldiers that have come home from battle and don’t want to be around anyone; these dogs have brought these guys back. It’s unconditional love.” Each day, a new utilization for this very primitive tool is realized and the magnitude only continues to evolve. While technological advancements indeed have their place in the realm of safety and stability, Tallent points out that this one doesn’t run off of electricity. It runs off of affection.

A L ic k of Se nse The number of muscles in a dog’s ear, enhancing its ability to locate the source of a sound. A dog can also hear up to four times farther than a human can.


The number of times larger a dog’s olfactory cortex is than a human’s, which makes their sense of smell up to 100 million times more sensitive.


30k 100k

The number of different smells a dog can sense – with independently-working nostrils!

The number of minutes it takes for a human’s eyes to fully adjust to darkness. A dog has a layer of tissue called the tapetum lucidum in its eyes, which gives it something akin to night vision and causes the reflection you see when you shine a light into its eye.


Source: http://timehuman.blogspot. com/2012/08/sight-hearing-smell-differences-between.html?m=1



K9s4COPs launches new initiative!

Helping make scho o ls safer.


has already gifte d six K9s to six school districts.

t a s u t i s i v o f n i e r o For m s D I K / g r .o s P O C 4 s www.K9 @k9s4KIDs

The K9s4KIDs initiative supports school districts and college campus police with K9s trained and ready for service.


Worthy Causes,

Worthy Cowboy

Meet mustang magician and staunch K9s4COPs supporter Bobby Kerr.

By Ta n ya R a nda l l


a rely


we e k s

a fter

ea rning


third- pl a ce fini sh at the

M illion,

fa m ed

a re

M ustang

B obby

Ke rr

a nd hi s m usta ng Jingle Bob pulling their “G o od & Br oke Limo”



a rena


the Wa ller Co unt y Fa ir in H em p stea d, Te xa s. The stand s a re

pa cked,


m usic ’s

lo ud a nd the atm o sphe re ’s electric.


ca n



for e ven the m o st sea sone d of horses, a nd K err’s riding a horse th at ’s just over 120 days

rem oved

fr om

be ing

considered a w ild a ni m al.


Jingle Bob handled his first rodeo performance with the same a plume as he did the roaring crowd at the Mustang Million in a packed Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth. He played cutting horse to a mechanical calf, rolled that same calf back on the fence like a reined cowhorse and worked rope like a seasoned calf horse. Jingle Bob sat down and rode in a car in the same environment that’s often the bane of barrel racers who are seasoning young horses. Kerr has a natural gift with his mustangs and an affinity for showmanship, which makes him a perfect contest for the popular Mustang Makeover events that have captivated audiences and challenged hundreds of horseman everywhere. The 2012 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover Champion, Kerr has parlayed his success into a specialty act that’s growing in popularity, and in the process he’s raising awareness for K9s4COPs and K9s4KIDs and the Mustang Heritage Foundation. “We’re booked all year going around the country,” Kerr said, calling from Bowling Green, Ky., on his way to Harrisburg, Pa. “My freestyle routines have become rodeo acts and demonstrations at horse expos. We’re having the time of our life and getting paid to do it. It’s just amazing.” J a c k Of A l l Tr a de s

Much to his parents’ chagrin, schooling didn’t appeal to Kerr, who kept ditching school to clean stalls for a local rodeo and Wild West show producer near his home in Ontario, Canada. “I just loved watching Roy Rogers on TV and always wanted to be a cowboy,” said Kerr. At 14, Kerr ran away from home to ride horses. He’d heard that Cletus Hulling in Illinois traded a lot of horses and was always looking for

riders. Through Hullings he met Jerry Green of Tyler, Texas, and headed to the Lone Star to ride more horses. In 1982, he settled in Hico, Texas, south of Stephenville, and eventually started a metal art business. “For 20 years I made ranch gates and signs, chandeliers and tables and Western home furnishings,” he said. “I’d get calls all the time. At one point I was three years behind in orders and there at the end we weren’t making enough stuff to make any money.” It was through his metal art that Kerr gained another set of titles, those of collector and curator. After visiting with several of the top cowboys who had purchased his furnishings, Kerr decided to start the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in a vacant room at his shop in town. “I got to talking to Cody Lambert. I said if I start this will you give me memorabilia—bronc saddles and buckles and things like that. I called Ty Murray and Tuff Hedeman and Don Gay and Roy Cooper. We built all these booths and glass cases, and I put their buckles, saddles and memorabilia in there. We had a TV in every booth with a loop tape of all their great runs. We had 30 something booths. It was awesome. Then, Holt Hickman approached me about moving it to the stockyards in Fort Worth. It’s got to be a really big deal now,” said Kerr, who still serves as an honorary board member. Kerr himself was proving to be quiet the all-around hand. He constantly dabbled in different events. He trained calf horses and cutting horses and even entered a horse in the prestigious National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno. “I never smoked them at nothing, but I can do a bit of everything,” he laughed. It was all those experiences plus those from his youth at the Wild West shows

that came together to make Kerr the ultimate Mustang Makeover competitor. M usta ng M a gic

Kerr had shifted jobs to hauling freight with the old truck he used to haul his metal art, and for the most part had left his horse life behind until a his friend Jeff Payne, a bit and spur maker, convinced him to go watch a Mustang Makeover. “I thought a mustang was just a hairy, little wiry pony,” he laughed. “In 2010, I went and watched. I was really impressed that a mustang could be that trainable and make that quality of a horse. If you made the finals of the competition, you got to do a three-and-ahalf minute freestyle routine. I thought that would be right up my alley.” Though he was broke at the time, the big investment with the Mustang Makeover was time, not money. “It was only a 120 day deal. It paid $50,000 and didn’t have an entry fee. It wasn’t money driven. Everyone was on an even keel. I parked my truck in the fall of 2010 to start riding horses again so I could get back in the groove of training horses again and be ready for the mustang makeover in 2011.” He discovered that the mustangs themselves were his most important teachers. “They made me go to thinking,” he said. “It’s mostly just experience and trial and error. Because of that 120 window, you can’t scare one. I’ve learned from every horse I’ve trained. I try to become their best buddies as fast as I can so I can earn their trust and train them.” At his first Mustang Makeover, Kerr finished fourth on one horse and fifth on another. “I won $15,000 and I was hooked,” he said. “I came back the next year and won it on Maypop with my little car


act. That opened a lot of doors for me as far as getting to go a lot of places.” R iding For A C a u se

K9s4COPs founder Kristi Schiller had asked the newly crowned champion to come perform at her inaugural Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic. The two struck up a friendship and Schiller gained one of her strongest supports in the equine performance world. “Schiller Ranch became my sponsor,” said Kerr, who proudly wears the K9s4COPs and K9s4KIDs logos and displays them on his props, motorhome and trailer. “I told her if I do well, I’d donate 10 percent to K9s4COPs. It’s all worked out great.”


Last year, Kerr finished second and third at the Mustang Million and won $173,000! Even though he could use every dime of that money, he doesn’t think twice about making his pledge to K9s4COPs. “It works both ways,” he said. “Kristi Schiller took a chance on me and I have a chance to give back. I’m proud to do it and its fun.” He’s also gain extra publicity through his travels and his participation in Nat Geo WILD’s show Mustang Millionaires. With his trusty mustang Poncho sitting in the car in Times Square in New York City, the K9s logos were visible to the world. “Everywhere I go, people see the logo and ask me about it,” he said. “A lot of times, I’ll get to visiting with law en-

forcement people. Some have heard of K9s4COPs, others are just learning about it. I think our relationship has worked out well for K9s4COPs. It’s definitely worked well for me.” In addition to his full book of rodeos and horse expos, Kerr is also hosting his own show—A Night with Bobby Kerr & Friends at the Will Rogers Coliseum on March 22. “I feel like I’ve won the lottery,” he said Kerr. “I thank God every day. I don’t know how long it will keep going, but I’ve still got three good routines sitting at the house if I could figure out how to get them down the road—my other truck, my swinging bridge and my saloon. I’ve got several more in my head. I’m feeling pretty good about it as long as my health holds up.”

Bringing Back Rodeo Glamour!

Kam is giving makeovers for the evening affairs at Diamonds & Dirt. Stop by our booth to let her dust off the dirt and let the diamond shine! Headbands, baby bedding & cowgirl accessories


Skulls, hot sauce books by Lee Ann Rust - we have it all! visit us online at: 45

Advantage, Stoudt By Tan ya R andal l

Former collegiate tennis player Cameron Stoudt, DVM, serves up health as a boarded surgeon at Texas Equine Hospital


hou g h bar e ly a day ol d a nd still not qui te sure how to m a na ge its long spindly l i m bs, the spunky da rk br ow n colt wa nted no pa rt of be ing c a u g h t f or an e xa m in ation. H e h a d a sm a ll sw elling on hi s side, and

S c hil l er R a nc h Br e e ding M a n ager D onna H a nover kne w just w ho to ca ll—Dr. Ca m er on S to u d t of Te xa s Eq u ine Ho spi ta l in Brya n, Te xa s.

As the colt tried to dart past, Stoudt, a former collegiate tennis player, reached out as if making a forehand volley and snagged the sneaky youngster. After further inspection it was determined the bump was a cause for no concern and the recalcitrant foal decidedly liked the attention, as Stoudt’s examination turned into a joyful scratch fest.

ranked 9th in the nation and 75th in the United States. “I traveled all over the country ever summer playing tennis.”

“She’s very, very compassionate,” said Hanover, who spent 30 years as a veterinarian technician at Texas A&M University. “She’s thorough. She’s dedicated. She’s got a natural ability in neonatal medicine, and you don’t find that very often. She’s got the touch.”

“The last year, there were three of us that were going to go to Europe and play,” she said. “Unfortunately, we had a very long year…a very hard year…so we elected to take a different path and not do professional tennis, but there definitely was the opportunity for us to do that.”

As a trained equine surgeon, Stoudt’s love for working with foals is a bit of an oddity.

After graduating from OSU, Stoudt moved to Bozeman, Mont., where her family now resided, and taught tennis for several years. She got to barrel race a little more before returning to the Stillwater for veterinary school in 2005.

“It’s kind of funny because a lot of surgeons are just surgery, surgery,” said Stoudt “I have a little bit of a gray area in that I like to take care of the babies. I absolutely love to take care of the foals. It’s definitely a passion for me.” Stoudt , 34, grew up in the East Texas city of Longview, and though she rode horses and barrel raced a little, her main focus was tennis. “I played for 14 years,” said Stoudt, who in high school


After high school, Stoudt went to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., on a four-year tennis scholarship. Her senior year she was team captain for the Cowgirls and even considered traveling to Europe to play professionally.

“Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “I never changed my mind.” During her last year of veterinary school, Cameron scored a major coup, earning an externship with renowned lameness expert and boarded surgeon Dr. Cliff Honnas at his Texas Equine Hospital.

“I was impressed with her knowledge, common sense and work ethic, enough so that I recruited her for a one-year internship and subsequent three-year equine surgery residency,” said Honnas. For Cameron, it was the perfect fit.

wouldn’t do anything else,” said Stoudt. “Sometimes you’re sitting with a colic (a horse with abdominal distress) at 3 o’clock in the morning and you ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?’ But, when you send that horse home in three days’ time, you’re like ‘Yeah, that’s exactly why I do this.’”

“I’ve always been interested in surgery, and more specifically orthopedics,” she said. “I like the ability to go in there and rehabilitate and fix things. I love lameness. Our specialty at Texas Equine is lameness and surgery; it’s everything I love.”

In her perfect world, every horse owner would have the pain medication Banamine on hand for emergency and they would all know that veterinary medicine is about the horse, not the money.

That love shows in her work, added Honnas, “She’s committed to her patients and her clients. She is a tireless worker who is driven to provide the best care possible. She’s enthusiastic, smart, skilled, compassionate and an excellent communicator. She’s an integral part of our hospital and we’re very fortunate to have her on our team.”

“It’s about educating clients of how we can work together,” she said. “It’s absolutely not about the money; it’s always about the horse.” A good relationship with your veterinarian can better your relationship with your horses, especially if you’re dealing with problems.

Plus, at Texas Equine, she gets to work with foals. “Foals are a large part of what I do as well,” said Stoudt. While she’ll also handle the equine version of pediatric medicine, foals with angular limb deformities—vet speak for crooked legs—appeal to her inner surgeon. Different surgical techniques are used to mechanically straighten the spindly limbs of the equine toddlers. “I like helping foals in that way. I’m incredibly interested in seeing what kind of careers they go on to have. It can be incredibly rewarding.”

It’s absolutely not about the money; it’s always about the horse.

It was Hanover’s faith in Stoudt, whom she’s known since her first day at Texas Equine that has the young veterinarian on speed dial during foaling season at Schiller Ranch. “It’s been great working with Schiller Ranch because they have such wonderful babies,” said Stoudt. “I enjoy being able to help them like I do.“ “Donna is truly amazing with how she handles horses and how she handles those foals. She makes my job so much easier and we work really well together. I know what she thinks and she knows what I think.” Hanover just hopes that they both catch a break this foaling season. No matter though, Stoudt knows firsthand how demanding her profession is and she’s not weakening anytime soon. “A lot of young people don’t realize it doesn’t end at 5, but I

“Horses are like us,” she noted. “They don’t have good days all the time. They’re not going to be 100 percent all of the time. They’re going to have off days. But, it’s nice to give them the benefit of the doubt and make sure they’re not hurt. Make sure that they don’t have an injury that’s keeping them from performing well. Make sure they’re healthy so they can perform to the best of their abilities.”

Spending time with Player, her 6-year-old barrel horse, is what keeps Stoudt performing at the best of her abilities, even though she doesn’t have a lot of time to ride much less compete. She enjoys the fact that the gelding is well broke and doesn’t make her pay for not spending much time in the saddle by being ornery. “He’s wonderful,” she said. “I don’t have much time to go, but he’s nice deterrent that allows me to get away and do something that I enjoy. It’s a good distraction from everyday work.” Even with her heavy workload, Stoudt hasn’t regretted her choice in profession. “It’s very much a lifestyle,” she said. “We work very hard. It’s seven days a week, 365 days a year. I don’t think we’d have it any other way. When you enter this profession, I don’t think anyone knows how hard days can be or how rewarding they can be either. It balances out well. It’s nice to see horses go home well and perform well after you’ve worked on them. It’s very rewarding.”




The Best Seat in the House Preview the latest barrel racing designs from Double J Saddlery. By Danika Ke n t

I wanted a saddle that anybody, from a kid to someone going to the NFR, could be successful in.


he eye-catching artistry of Double J saddles has turned heads in the barrel racing arena under endorsees such as former WPRA World Champion and Diamonds and Dirty Futurity Champion Brittany Pozzi, youth phenom Jackie Ganter and amateur futurity standout Lisa Nicholas. The high-quality, handmade designs are backed up by thorough functionality and thoughtfully made by a dedicated, family-owned business. “We build them and use them, too,” says Double J owner John DeBord, who has 40 years of experience in the art and science of saddle making, in addition to time spent in the saddle. “We’re dyed-in-the-wool team ropers, for better or for worse.” Through his personal experience in national-level competition, DeBord has earned an authentic appreciation


for the unique needs of a timed event horseman, and as such, Double J specializes in saddles for team ropers, steer wrestlers and barrel racers. Their collection also offers saddles for mounted shooters, cutters and ranchers, and everything in between. “If you can dream it, we can build it,” DeBord says. “Everything we do is upper end; it’s a function of our commitment to quality. Double J is something that has evolved over the years, and hopefully it’s all part of God’s plan.” A Tree F i t to a T

Crafted with extensive practical knowledge and three generations of saddlemaking experience – DeBord’s father-in-law was a founder of Circle Y, and all four of his children are actively involved in all aspects of the family business – no Double J saddle has seen

a shortcut in production. When the trademark tree was created, they sought the input of another important source – the horse. “When we designed the tree, we designed it from the horse’s back,” DeBord explains. “We didn’t replicate anything that existed at that time. It is designed to fit the stout, well-made racehorse you see today. The tree is what makes the saddle.”

This concept was also a natural fit for multiple futurity champion and Schiller Ranch trainer, LaTricia Duke. “In my mind, I knew what I wanted in a saddle, but I didn’t have anyone who understood enough about it to work with me,” Duke says. But when she brought her own ideas to the Double J drawing board in Yoakum, Texas, “they just got it,” she says. “They have the ability to customize trees and saddle fit to every kind of horse known to man. That was my main concern.” In its 24 years of existence, Double J has developed and implemented a manufacturing process that ensures the symmetry and specificity of each tree. The saddlemakers pride themselves as experts, and one saddle at a time, are effectively changing the way the industry looks at saddle fit. “Saddle fit is not a function of gullet width,” DeBord says, challenging the

over-the-withers measurement that has long been considered the baseline measurement of saddle fit. “The actual measurement that does determine fit is the angle of the bar as it sits on a horse’s back.” He adds that the shape of the bar is important, too, and that for every halfinch change in seat size, the bar also changes for the most comfortable fit, even weight distribution and founda-

tion for the remaining creation. A D uke’s Designs

With saddle fit concerns addressed below with the tree, attention turns to the comfort of those who will ride above it. “My goal training horses is that when I’m done, anyone can ride that horse and win on it,” says Duke. “I wanted a saddle to be the same in that you don’t have to be a professional horse trainer to ride in it, but you could be at the very top of the game and win in it. I wanted a saddle that anybody, from a kid to someone going to the NFR, could be successful in.” When Duke shared her ideas with Double J, they responded with new features that are as unique to the company as they are to the individuality and diversity of today’s high-powered barrel horses.

“On some horses, I feel like I’m up over them and on others, I feel like I’m behind them,” explains Duke, who has trained a long and running list of some of the sport’s most elite equine athletes. Hers was a concern shared by a number of trainers and jockeys who ride a variety of horses on a daily basis. To make it easier for a rider to stay with a horse, regardless of his form to function or the jockey’s riding style, Double J has

patented an adjustable stirrup leather hanger that allows the rider to reposition the way the fender hangs while the saddle is on the horse’s back. “There are four spacers where the stirrup leathers hang from the saddle,” Duke explains. “I can adjust those spacers to push my stirrup leathers forward or back, depending on what I need to stay balanced on a particular horse. Those spacers keep the stirrups hanging under my legs.” Other design elements that enable the rider to stay centered in the saddle are adjustments to the swell and cantle. “The front of the saddle is designed to keep you in place on horses that drop hard and are very turny; it’s a very secure-feeling swell,” Duke says. “The seat and cantle are designed to allow you to sit more square in the middle of the horse. I don’t like my saddles quite as tall in the back, so we flattened and lowered the cantle a little bit. It still has


the pocket in the rise, but it creates a more balanced feel.” The end result was a saddle that bears both the signature Double J logo and the trainer’s iconic last name stamped in a classic, dark oiled creation. “Double J has a saddle for everyone,” says the College Station, Texas-based trainer. “The Duke is different than any other saddle they make – it’s still a qual-

er than for the youngest generation of jockeys. Such was the thought process of Kristi Schiller in designing the Epic youth saddle with Double J.

youth saddle is built akin to the Duke, with the added option of an extra level of security in the form of swept-back swells.

“I had special ideas for the Epic,” say Schiller, who was both exasperated and inspired by a futile search for a saddle to fit her now 7-year-old daughter, Sinclair. “I want a child to be able to sit in it and be as secure as a car seat but as comfortable as a La-Z-Boy chair.”

“Instead of getting jerked forward and whipped backward, the swells hold a child in there until they have the strength to keep themselves in the middle,” Duke explains. On the swells sits a saddle horn that

A great, quality saddle is almost as priceless as a good kid’s horse, and they’re just as hard to find... ity Double J saddle, but it has its own feel. It’s balanced, it feels good, it’s comfortable, it’s secure but it’s never in my way. As soon as I sat in it, I said, ‘This is it.’” A n E pic I nc e p tion

When it comes to kids and colts, the early years are the most formative. As speed and precision are amplified, rider comfort and security are of utmost importance and this could not be tru-


Duke, who began competing at the tender age of 3, agrees. “Most youth don’t have the core strength or leg length to keep them centered. When you put a kid on a hard-running, hard-turning horse, when the horse drops to turn, the momentum carries the kid off balance, out over the horse’s outside shoulder.” With the smallest of jockeys in mind, Schiller designed the Epic with specifications that are based distinctively on safety and security. Double J’s newest

is proportionally built to a jockey of smaller stature. The low-profile (rising a mere half inch above the swells), forward-angled horn is positioned in such a way that it stays out of the way unless needed, in which case the 2-inch horn cap is easily accessible and the perfect size for the palm of a child’s hand. Furthermore, an interchangeable, rubber-like grip is in the works, among other accessories. With seat sizes starting at 10 inches and a youth version

of the aluminum barrel racing stirrup, the Epic’s “kid-ready” features—plus added goodies like a smart phone holder on the back cinch—are designed to provide comfort that is on par with its safety. “Kids don’t know any different because they’ve never ridden in anything else, but these are the formative years,” Schiller emphasizes. “If they don’t learn to ride correctly now, if their saddle doesn’t fit them or is uncomfortable, then their form is bad and they will have to learn all over again. But they will ride longer if they have something that’s super comfortable to ride in.” While children do mature differently and will eventually outgrow the smaller seat and stirrups, Schiller insists that a good youth saddle is a valuable investment that will stand the test of time. “A great, quality saddle is almost as priceless as a good kid’s horse, and they’re just as hard to find because, like that good kid’s horse, they get passed down to a family friend or sibling,” she says. “A good saddle allows a child to get it right the first time. It should last for years and you’ll always be able to sell it or pass it down.” Lik e Tr a ine r , L ik e Da u g ht er

When it comes to design, attention to detail makes a Double J one of the most coveted saddles on the market today. All Double J saddles are made exclusively with premium-quality Herman Oak leather, and DeBord takes great pride in the leatherwork of the family business. “Leather is not perfect, that’s just the way it is, and it’s the job of a good saddlemaker to work with what he’s got. We buy extra heavy leather for the roping saddles, but we buy a lighter-weight version for our barrel saddles. It doesn’t

always come the way we want it, so we have a machine that gives it the weight and feel that we need it to be. A lot of it is how you oil it, the kind of oil you use, and the time you give it.” The Duke and Epic saddles specifically spend an extra three days in production just for sake of oiling and setting the stirrups, resulting in that comfortable, “broke in” feel, right out of the box. “People should be able to get a saddle out, throw it on a horse, and go run,” says Duke, who is partial to a dark oil finish that retains its timeless, classic look. “With these Double J saddles, I’ve done that. I got the saddle, put it in the trailer and made a run in it that night.”

I want kids to feel like they’re Brittany Pozzi or LaTricia Duke, like, ‘I’m one of the big girls and this is just my size...’

Additional cosmetic options including conchos and crystals, inlays and exotic hides, are virtually limitless for a custom design down to the finest detail. “I want kids to feel like they’re Brittany Pozzi or LaTricia Duke, like, ‘I’m one of the big girls and this is just my size,’” Schiller says, and with comfort and confidence on their side, jockeys of all ages will continue to ride with Double J to future championships.


By Tanya R anda l l


ec e m be r 1, 2014 i s a date of destiny for Epic L ea der a s hi s first test c r op of f oal s be com e e l ig ibl e to com pete. Epic wa s just a n unpr oven 2- ye arol d w i th i m pe cc a bl e bloodlines w hen tho se foa ls w ere concei ved , b u t

his br eede r Ka s sie M ow ry k ne w w h at the yo ung sta llion wa s a nd w h at he wa s c a pa bl e of d oing . S he k ne w e ve n a s a 2- yea r- old, he truly wa s Epic.

Pedigr ee

A true barrel racing blueblood, Epic, a 2008 gray stallion, is by champion barrel horse and leading sire Confederate Leader and out of one of the great barrel racing mares of all-time, Firewater Fiesta.


“I thought how cool would it be to breed the perfect mare to the coolest stud, just the best to the best,” said Mowry. “At the time I had Dashing Dillon. He was a 3-year-old and he was just like Epic. Every day was a step forward. He retained everything. He was just a joy to have.”

Bred by the late horseman Joe Kirk Fulton, Confederate Leader (also known as “Dillon”) carried racing royalty in his veins. A son of 1991 World Champion Racehorse Special Leader, Dillon was out of champion producer Southern Streaker, a daughter of Some Kinda Man, a stakes winner and track record

From the time you step on him, you know you’re sitting on something amazing. holder by the legendary Go Man Go. Southern Streaker had produced racing millionaire and 1984 World Champion Dashs Dream and stakes-placed Victory Dash, sire of multiple National Finals Rodeo qualifier and 1999 BFA World Futurity Champion Easy Dash Oak.

spring. Mowry quickly made Dillon a leading barrel horse sire with superstars such as 2006 BFA Juvenile Champion Dashing Dillon and 2009 Run For The Bucks Reserve Champion Racing To The Lead.

When Dillon was 10-months old, Fulton gave him to his longtime farrier Charlie Clark, who in turn handed the colt over to his granddaughters Kim Green and Tracy Riddle. With Riddle, Dillon won the extremely tough $5,000 Novice at the 1996 American Novice Horse Association Finals and later won the 1998 BFA World Championship Derby with Green.

Given the success Mowry had with the Fire Water Flit-line, having qualified for the National Finals Rodeo with two young maternal granddaughters of the legendary sire and having won the 2007 BFA $uper$takes with an own daughter, the crossing of Dillon with a daughter of Fire Water Flit was the perfect pairing. She and longtime client Karma Loftin went with the best Fire Water Flit daughter in the country—Firewater Fiesta.

Mowry, who attended Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, with Green, watched the stallion take her teammate to the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Reserve Barrel Racing Championship at the 1999 College National Finals Rodeo. She never forgot the stallion and years later jumped at the chance to compete on his off-

The 2001 WPRA Reserve World Champion, Fiesta qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in 2000, 2001 and 2003. She was one of the top futurity horses of 1999 and was derby horse of the year with four championships including the Speedhorse Derby, Gold Cup Derby, Old Fort Days Derby and Lazy E Derby.

“We put our order in and told Fiesta that we wanted a beautiful gray stallion,” Mowry laughed. “That’s what we got, and a fast one at that! He’s everything that we asked for and more. We never dreamed that he would be this nice.” Perform a nce

With Mowry at the reins, Epic started off his career with a fourth-place finish at the 2011 BFA Juvenile Futurity as a 3-year-old. He garnered four futurity championships as a 4-year-old in 2012 with wins in the Pac West Slot Futurity, Better Barrel Races Finals Futurity and Slot Futurity and the Ecurie 5-55 Futurity. Epic was the BFA World Championship Futurity Reserve Champion and posted a new futurity record time in the second round of the event in the effort. He was also the Reserve Champion at the LG Pro Classic Invitational Slot Futurity and finished third at the Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic.


Outside aged event competition, Epic was the Open 1D Champion at the Cowboy Capital Races in March and June. He won the Open 1D at the Ecurie 5-55 Futurity and BBR Texas/Oklahoma Regional.

turn every time. He’s quiet. He’s great in the back. You never know you’re on a stallion. He’s everything I thought he was…and more. The hardest thing is to stay out of his way and let him do his job.”

He finished his futurity year as the richest 4-year-old stallion in barrel racing history with $159,920.

Epic retired to fulltime stud duty in the fall of 2013 with more than $171,000 in earnings.

Epic saw limited action in 2013, highlighted by a WPRA World Finals Derby Reserve Championship. “The main reason we ran him at all was that I wanted to be able to tell people what he felt like when they called and asked about breeding to Epic,” said Schiller Ranch trainer LaTricia Duke. “From the time you step on him. You know you’re sitting on something amazing. You can lope circles on him and know he’s special. Around the barrels, he’s honest. He goes to the same spot every time. He makes the same

Pr o g eny

After covering a handful of mares as a 2- and 3-year-old, Epic didn’t breed any mares as a 4-year-old so he could focus on competition. He stood to the public for the first time in 2013 and booked full with practically no advertising. In August 2013, Epic was purchased by Kristi Schiller of Schiller Ranch in Millican, Texas, just south of College Station.

Backed by the promotional power of Schiller Ranch, Epic logged a full book of mares shortly after his books opened on October 1. Jimmy Eller, who manages Granada Farms in Wheelock, Texas, where Epic stands, said he’s never experienced anything like it. “It’s absolutely unbelievable,” said Jimmy Eller, who has stood such greats as Windy Ryon, Ronas Ryon, Streakin La Jolla, Runaway Winner, Calyx, Doc’s Oak, Doc Per and Sonitas Last. “This is our 31st year to have this breeding farm and over the years we’ve managed some really great breeding stallions. A lot of them have booked full, but I’ve never had one book full in two days. He’s been so well accepted and so highly thought of. We’ve got a list started for people who want to breed to him next year. It goes without saying that we’re just tickled to death to have him.” Epic fervor isn’t likely to die down any-

He’s been so well accepted and so highly thought of...It goes without saying that we’re just tickled to death to have him. time soon, especially when Duke and Mowry starting running his colts this December. “I took my filly with me to Arizona this January,” said Duke. “She has so many of the same traits as Epic. She wants to naturally stay soft in the face and bridled up. She has no resistance anywhere. She really drives her hind leg in the turns like him. I’m super, super excited about her. Kassie’s are doing amazing too. With the way mine is riding and the way Kassie’s are riding, he’s going to be a producer…the world just doesn’t know it yet.”


Confederate Leader • Firewater Fiesta, Fire Water Flit 2008 AQHA Gray Stallion • 15.1 HH

LTE $168,000+ 2011 • Second round Juvenile Champion at the BFA World Championship 2012 • Old PacWest Slot Race Champion BBR Finals Slot Futurity Champion Ecurie 5-55 Drummond Futurity Champion BFA World Futurity Reserve Champion LG Pro Classic Slot Race Reserve Champion 2013 • WPRA Reserve Derby Champion Second round Derby Champion at the WPRA World Finals

2014 Stud Fee: $3,500

AI Only, Limited Cooled Semen Available. Future Fortunes, Triple Crown 100, WPRA PESI

Standing at: Granada Farms

979.828.5167 •


Thank you for another great year!

John & Kristi Schiller

With Love, 58

The Schiller Ranch Family


Sharing Their

Shine How a College Station couple has handcrafted a successful jewelry business inspired by young love and cast with a spirit of benevolence. By Danika Ke n t


n in tr ic ate pie c e of h andm a de je w elry i s lik e m a rri a ge – born of share d pa s sion, te s te d in f ir e a nd enduring in i ts idea ls. David a nd Juli a Gardner h ave m ol de d a l if e a r o und yo ung love th at h a s sto od the tes t of

t im e, a nd now the y ’r e sh ar ing the w ea lth of love a nd pa ssion w i th the world t hr ou gh f ine j e w e l ry and fa i th- ba sed phil a nthr opy.

“We got married while we were in high school. I was kind of a wild child and Julia was this absolutely beautiful twirler in the front of the band. I captured her before she realized she had options,” David Gardner jokes, clearly still love struck after 41 years of marriage. “We started out in a questionable sit-


uation and we’ve had an amazing run. It shouldn’t have been – what are the odds? But if you pick the right person, it’s pretty easy.” The couple has never strayed far from College Station, where Gardner quips that they are “some of the freaks in town that would be called ‘local.’” After

high school, he worked his way through Texas A&M University as a jeweler, and one of his first job offers after graduation came from a Salado, Texas-based artist. “He was very artsy. Everything that was in his store, he made. I went to work for him and after a period of time, he let me

start drawing. I never thought I’d stay in jewelry, but he opened my eyes to the potential of designing and that took off,” Gardner appreciatively recalls. He never looked back. In 1983, he, Julia and their young daughter returned to College Station where they opened a jewelry store and design studio of his namesake. A short 31 years later, the Gardners’ most precious gems are their 4-year-old twin grandchildren, and David Gardner’s Jewelers has rapidly become the gold standard of gemology and design in a world in which most fine jewelry stores reach that status only after generations in the refiner’s fire. In recognition of their commitment to excellence, the College Station jewelry firm was voted one of America’s Coolest Stores by INSTORE magazine in 2007. They have been the official jeweler of Texas A&M University for eight years. Gardner currently serves as president of the American Gem Society, while through her role in the store, Julia has become a nationally respected

marketing guru. Their contemporary-chic 7,500-square foot store was developed around the design studio that has made the golden DG logo internationally recognized. On a daily basis, skilled artisans cast intricate pieces in platinum and gold using state-of-the-art technology to bring sketches to life. “We do everything from the pencil drawings all the way through production right there in the building. We’re really partial to the one-of-a-kind design when it gets to the studio,” Gardner says. Never losing sight of love, courtship has become the lifeblood of the business. In a city that swells with each autumn’s incoming class, the surge of young love simply comes with the territory. “We do 45 percent of our business in bridal because we’re in a college town. It’s young, high energy and there’s a lot of hope and love in the air,” Gardner says. But the Gardners are not solely

joined with Texas A&M by the many future matrimonies; they share a rich Aggie heritage, as well. “We are deeply rooted in Texas A&M,” Gardner explains with an undertone of reverence in his voice. Both he and his wife hail from families saturated with ties to Texas A&M. David’s father was a professor there, a research scientist in poultry science. Julia’s father was an agricultural engineer and her mother a biochemist at the university. Four of David’s five siblings have at least one degree from Texas A&M, while both of Julia’s brothers are alumni, as well. As such, the Gardners are fervent supporters of the alma mater and the surrounding community that has graciously supported their ventures. They relish the opportunity to host university-related functions, to socialize with fellow alum and connect with the next generations of their extended Aggie family – often within the walls of their jewelry store. They host weekly bible studies and embrace opportunities to support


local organizations like the Theatre Company and the Junior League of Bryan-College Station. “As we’ve grown, our passions have spread out and philanthropy is a huge part of what we’re excited about,” Gardner says. “We’re very committed Christians. We started out with faith-based initiatives and got into art because I’m a designer. We’ve had great opportunities to help others be successful.” In keeping with Gardner’s principle in life and love that “good people meet good people,” it was largely because of Texas A&M that the Gardners’ path ultimately crossed that of John and Kristi Schiller. In the infancy of the Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic, Kristi approached them with the vision of a strong local presence at the inaugural event. “What an opportunity!” Gardner says three years later, the sparkle of excitement still evident in his voice. “Kristi

thinks outside the box because she never knew there was a box. So when she comes to you and says she’s going to do this, you know it’s going to be done right and have a lot of energy to it. She’s going to make things happen and you want to be a part of it.” For David and Julia, the Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic presented a unique opportunity to share an element of elegance with a new and equally impassioned audience. “A great event needs great sponsors, great people involved, but need great riders at the end of the day. These people are coming from Rodeo Houston, they’re coming from out of state, and they have many options about where to invest their time. We want them to be excited to come to Bryan and College Station to compete. We’re part of what we hope is a motivational package of rewards for winning and participating. We want to make sure the prizes fit the

occasion.” David Gardner’s Jewelers has effectively embellished the annual event at the Brazos County Expo Complex. As a reward for the fastest time of the Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic, the contestant who stops the clock the quickest will leave Bryan with a dazzling Rolex watch to remember the occasion for years to come. The Gardners embrace the opportunity to add their signature sparkle to the champion’s shining moment in the winner’s circle, and it’s safe to say that they’re sold on the atmosphere. “Before Diamonds and Dirt, I think I’d attended one barrel race in my many decades on earth, and now I’ve been to several,” says Gardner. “These are some amazing riders; they’re at the top of their game. They are extremely passionate and we’re extremely proud to be a part of it.”

SAVE THE DATE Charity Golf Classic

April 30, 2014

AT THE GOLF CLUB OF HOUSTON “Play Where The Pros Play” 62

Contact our Tournament Co-Chairs for Sponsorships and Team Packets Co-Chairs Felicia Harris ( and Gary Britt ( • (713) 523-COPS







Glamo Meet the men behind the magic that mixes the salt of the earth with elements of Hollywood glamour and cowgirl couture. By Danika Ke n t


ff of a rural farm to market road in Bryan, Texas, where cell service fades amidst acres of old oak trees, a woman with calloused hands guides 1,200 pounds of horseflesh off a trailer onto red dirt. She tethers him to a tie ring where she’s already hung a bucket of fresh water. She sweeps a hand under his feathered mane, across his gleaming coat and along a powerful loin before running her fingers through his tail. He looks back, water dripping from a velvet muzzle. His soft eye inaudibly echoes the reassurance she has given him a hundred times before guiding him toward many arena gates. This time, she’s the nervous one. She brushes the shavings from her frayed jeans as she steps through the


door of a cedar-scented cabin at Schiller Ranch. The extent of her experience with a professional photographer has been strictly in a supporting role, guiding her horse through a cloverleaf course as the light flashes on them at the second barrel. Her skin has been bronzed by long hours under the Texas sun and her ritual makeup routine is basic, at best. But not today. Greeted with a welcoming embrace and a warm smile, she enters the world of professional photographer Isaiah Mays and makeup artist Jorge Monroy. “Barrel racers are amazing to me because they are completely validated as people,” Mays has observed. “Their self-worth does not come from compli-

ments. It does not come from who likes them. It comes from their relationship with their family and their accomplishments with their horse. They’re sometimes nervous about having their picture taken, but they’re completely confident in who they are. Shooting barrel racers is exciting to me because someone who isn’t worried about having to prove something to the camera is going to blow you away every time.” When Mays picked up a camera for the first time, it was to capture irreplicable memories of his own childhood. Surrounded by seven brothers, two sisters and his parents, his San Francisco home was full of moments that were new, special and not to be forgotten. He began building a career with his camera in college when a friend asked him to photo-

graph her wedding. “I wasn’t trying to become a photographer. It just happened. I didn’t plan on


having this much fun,” Mays says. Now, his professional portfolio contains the faces of icons like Pamela Anderson and Shannon Tweed. His highly coveted work has been featured in Esquire and Maxim magazines and on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, The Doctors on CBS and My Perfect Life on E!, just to name a few. “What I shoot now is about women and glamour and the way a person feels about themselves,” he adds. “Beauty, to me, is something that’s intrinsic. It’s involuntary. Glamour, on the other hand, is intentional. It’s the wonder that leaves someone at a loss for words. It’s at that point that you can define who you are. “That, in itself, has answered another question,” he continues with conviction. “How do you tell a woman that she’s beautiful and have her believe you? She’ll never believe you. I thought it was impossible. When I came to Los Angeles, I met this makeup artist who had this ability to take someone and transform them into something that they thought was beautiful. And that was it. That’s how you tell someone they’re beautiful. You have to show them. At one point, it’s undeniable to them. It became a way of helping someone understand the truth, and that means more to me than anything. For a photo to really have the “it” factor, Mays relies on the magic of a makeup artist, one who possesses the ability to accentuate a woman’s natural beauty. Fate intervened in the flesh when an international model insisted on bringing

Mays and Monroy together for a shoot that would forever influence their professional lives. “Jorge was so kind and pleasant – no ego,” Mays says, recalling his first impression of Monroy. “I’ve never seen him not helping people feel at home and calm and beautiful. He’s just peace.” Born in Mexico and raised in Salinas, Calif., Monroy has always been artistically inclined and first dipped a brush as a makeup artist with MAC Cosmetics a decade and a half ago. After 11 formative years with the prominent beauty brand, he set out to build a name of his own. Success has flourished from Monroy’s intrinsic ability to bring an individual’s inner beauty to the surface. “Being a makeup artist, you talk to a lot of people and you become very sensitive,” Jorge explains. “Everybody you meet is going through different situations. I love what I do because I think I’m helping people.” To date, he has catered to clientele such as Hayden Panettiere and Zoe Saldana, the cast of America’s Next Top Model and Shahs of Sunset, Madonna’s music video for “Girls Gone Wild” and Kanye West’s Coachella festival. But for Monroy, success would be nothing if not for strong roots and clear focus. “For me, the key is in always being myself,” he explains. “I always remember where I came from and I look ahead to where I am going. The moment you start looking around, that’s when you start losing yourself and your goals and your morals. You lose everything. There will always be people that are your inspiration, but you can’t compare yourself to anybody.” This concept is one to which a country girl can relate. To her, beauty is what’s tied to the trailer outside, and the epitome of glamour is the engraved gold that she wears on her waist. Her goals are so defined that her inner drive and dedica-

tion to her horses typically trumps time spent on her own appearance. “Diamonds and Dirt is amazing because we’re working with people who are complete professionals in their field. It’s not an up-and-coming model or singer or someone who is hopeful,” says Mays. “They’re completely capable of doing everything they’re required to do – the horses, the trailers, everything. They’re some of the hardest working people I’ve shot. It’s nice to give them a break and say, ‘Here, let’s do something for you.’ I feel really lucky.” “It doesn’t feel like a job,” Monroy adds with appreciation for his cowgirl cortege. “These are everyday girls. They’re beautiful on the inside. They’re so humble, so nice, so appreciative. They don’t care about the way they look; they just do their thing with their horses.” Bringing the glamour out of the grit is all in a day’s work for Mays and Monroy. It’s a job they’re thrilled to do, which is evident in the entrancing, DDBHCstamped photos that have caused a social media stir since the event’s launch three years ago. The faces in these images would be highly recognizable behind dust and sweat at the weekly jackpot, but when their inherent glamour is brought to the surface, even their closest friends and family do a double take. “They’re fascinated and they love that they can see the transformation,” Monroy explains. “You really take them out of their shell. I love when they see themselves. They get so involved with their everyday lifestyles, they forget how they can bring that to themselves. It’s like a wake-up call that lets them know that anybody can be glamorous, not only what you see on TV. I’m going to make you look like yourself – your own beauty – then Isaiah brings out their personality. It’s nice to know that we can take them there. It’s very rewarding for me.”


ISAIAH & March 6-30, 2014 70

& JORGE October 1-15, 2014 For pricing and availability contact


2nd Annual Texas K9 Officers Conference & Trials Hosted by K9s4COPs

For details visit

October 13-17, 2014 Houston - TX


We invite you to come out to the 2nd Annual Hard Dog Fast Dog Competition on Friday, October 17, 2014 72


Programmed For Success Former IBM computer programmer Lisa Nicholas traded in her keyboard to climb in the saddle to train futurity horses.


or a debut futurity rider and trainer, Lisa Nicholas of Briggs, Texas, made huge impression in 2013. As an amateur competitor she made the finals at the 2nd Annual Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic Futurity, placing 16th in the average with the 2009 buckskin mare Stoli My Guy. They also won the amateur championship at the 5th Annual JB Quarter Horses Futurity and finished


second in the Championship Round of the open futurity. Where they really put the futurity industry on notice was at the 28th Annual Barrel Futurities of America’s World Championship Barrel Racing Futurity. Just 12 runs into the opening go of the Futurity they posted a record time of 15.009 to win the round by more than half a second. They finished third in the

I lived in two worlds—clean, proper software engineer by day and filthy cowgirl by night. average after a near disastrous fall at the first barrel in the finals. “Being around the futurity crowd this past year has brought me out of my shell,” said Lisa. “There are no egos because we are all riding babies and they are unpredictable! No one has treated me like the unwelcome new kid. They are quick to congratulate me and come up and tell me how much they like my mare. It’s such an awesome feeling to hear that from all these fierce riders that I’ve always read about and looked up to.” Lisa grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas, as the typical city kid, who dreamed of owning horses. After graduating from Midwestern State University with a degree in computer science, she took a lucrative job in Austin, Texas, as a computer programmer with IBM. She promptly used her funds to buy a horse. “I lived in two worlds—clean, proper software engineer by day and filthy cowgirl by night,” she laughed. “I wasn’t in love with my profession, but I was good at it, and it funded my horse habits.” Lisa honed her horsemanship skills under the guidance of Jake Bush, an elder gentleman who spent most of his life working in feedlots horseback and training colts. Bush taught her “how to have soft hands and what it means for a horse to be truly broke and supple from head to tail,” and he got her involved in sorting and team penning. “I moved on to barrel racing quickly, after I found out how fun it was to go fast and pick up checks,” said the mother of two—Dalton, 9, and Skylar, 6. “I remember being mortified at first at these prancing, seemingly out of con-

trol horses and that they had a ‘runway’ coming out of the arena so they didn’t even have to know how to stop! Now I AM one of those crazy barrel racers on a prancing horse! That’s when my colt starting went into full gear. I started them with the slow foundation that Jake had taught me and then taught myself through trial and error how to finish out a competitive barrel horse.” Lisa also had help from her husband, Jeremy, whom she nicknamed “Froggy”—hence the inspiration for their Ribbit Ranch and frog brand. A salesman at Hewelt-Packard, Jeremy also enjoyed working with horses as much as she did. When Lisa’s was laid off after her division at IBM was shutdown, she panicked about the loss of income, but she knew that God had a plan. “Jeremy’s career began to really take off,” she recalled. “We decided to have me be a stay-at-home mom and focus my career toward my true passion of horse training. It had to have happened that way. There’s no other way I would have quit my job because the money was too good and I felt secure.” At first she tried training for the public, but after a number of rank horses, decided it would be much better if she trained her own horses and sold them to make money. That particular avenue also allowed her to regain her amateur status. “It’s more fun to train our own to compete on and eventually sell,” said Lisa, who is sponsored by Med-Vet Pharmaceuticals, better known as MVP. “Our long term goal is to have a few nice horses running every year with a string

of babies started right behind them.” Most of her colts, she’s either raised like her current futurity horse Firetrain O Toole or she’s purchased young. She’ll break most of them herself and only send them off if they’re particularly difficult. However, she never wants one with more than 30 days of riding. “That part is what I enjoy most,” she said. “I love to take a stiff, green horse that knows nothing and help him transform into a soft workable athlete. My passion is experimenting with different bits and equipment until I find exactly what a colt likes. I have quite the arsenal of bits, not because I like to collect, but because some horses need each one of those at some point. I think that’s my computer programmer background. It’s black and white. It either works or it doesn’t and you keep experimenting until you get it right.” Her friend Jo Alexander convinced her to try the futurities after years of open jackpots and occasional rodeos. After her first futurity prospect had to be put down, Lisa stumbled across Stoli My Guy as a 2-year-old. “Stoli” tested her patience on a daily basis, but luckily the mare was all business in the arena. Together they won than $50,000 at the futurities in Texas and Oklahoma in 2013. With her next colt, she wants to travel further afield by adding futurities in Louisiana and Arkansas to her itinerary. “We hope to continue to grow,” said Lisa. “I may rodeo Stoli a little but at this point in my life rodeo is just not my thing. I thoroughly enjoy jackpots, the bigger races and futurities.”





Do We Do This!?! No matter how you look at it or try to justify it, we do this because we love it. We barrel race on passion alone.

“When you think about, we have to be crazy passionate about this sport. There are so many other sports and hobbies that are so much less time consuming, more financially favorable and less physically demanding. We could go hiking on predetermined trails, go boating, go fishing or relax on a lake or go shopping at the mall on weekends. I mean really! We climb on a 1,000 pound animal with a mind of its own and go blasting 40 mph into an arena and try not to shatter our shins on three 50 gallon

drums while running faster than everyone else to win some money to pay for your expensive addiction. “Why do I do this? On two continents? I’m adventurer and a dreamer and intense competitor. You have to be able to get up at 4 in the morning in freezing weather to hook up your trailer, wrap legs, load 50 pound hay bales and sacks of feed to drive for hours and hours. The adventurer side of me jumped at the opportunity to compete in Brazil. Once I did, I was

hooked. The crowds cheer for almost every runner, grilling happens at almost every trailer and everyone is so kind and friendly. “The real reason why I do this is my love of horses. I love getting inside a horse’s head and really feeling what they are thinking and sensing. In barrel racing more than other equine sports, you have to be so in tune with your partner in order to win. This connection with horses is what drives me to continue chasing cans.”


“I do this because I love the sport and have a passion for horses. As a little boy my grandfather bought me a pony which sparked my lifelong horse addiction. And, of course, because I still get goose bumps every time one of my horses runs down the alley!”


“I love it, and there aren’t many occupations that you can make $100,000 in 15 seconds!”



“All I’ve really wanted to do all my life is to ride a better horse than the one I was currently riding … that is truly why I keep training horses.”


“The only reason we do is because we love it. Every time I get on a new young horse, I think to myself, ‘What if this horse is the best horse I’ve ever rode?’ I do that with every horse. We’re all hoping to find that perfect horse. I just know that if I don’t keep looking, I’ll never find it. A young horse is like a blank slate that you start molding every single day and you get to see that progression. I’d rather win third or fourth on a colt than win on an open horse—that’s why I keep doing this. I love to see them grow, mature and develop, and then to see someone else win on them…I know I’ve done my job.”

“I’m an adrenalin freak. I like the thrill and excitement. I like raising horses. I like when they’re born and cute, but I hate to wait until they’re old enough to ride. It’s so discouraging to wait so long. I’m impatient that way. I like what I raise because I know the quality, but usually end up selling most of them and buying something old enough to ride and train. I like the progression of colts. I like making horses because it’s something that a lot of people can’t do.”


“I do this because horses are much easier to deal with than other humans! LOL! I do this because I love horses and animals in general. I enjoy trying to teach each one the same thing … to be a champion!”


“It’s for the love of the industry. Maybe we are stupid that we love stress so much that we feel that absolute need to it. You’re not doing it for the money. You’re doing it because you love it.”


“I have a degree in business from Fresno State. I tried working in an office and it felt like going to jail! I love to help people with their horses. I love it when they get back to me and tell me that I made it simpler for them. I love the ‘ah ha’ moments you see in a young horse. When they start to get it and make THAT move leaving a barrel. When the barely 2-year-olds come in from the pasture for training, it’s like Christmas.” LYN DE E STAI RS, BARREL HORSE TR A I N E R , B REEDER AND STALLION OWNER

“Because we are crazy to the core! Seriously, who pays a huge embryo fee, pays a huge stud fee, stresses out for a year for it to be born, takes care of it for four years and prays to God it runs fast? We do! Life would be boring and without risk if not for horses. It’s just money and you can’t take it with you!”


“It’s the only thing I know, and I’ve never worked a day in my life because I love what I do! If I could anything in the world, I would be doing this! … And I also like animals a lot more than people!”



“I think anyone in the horse industry—whether they’re in barrel horses, race horses or Tennessee Walking Horses—is in it because they love it. I just do it because I love it, and I love barrel racing over other events like

cutting, because the best horse wins. I’ll get worn out and back off for a while, and the next thing I know I’m looking at colts! I don’t have to do it for a living. I do it for fun; it’s not like I have to make money at it. I do sell

them and make money, but I can pick their home. I can be choosey that way. I like to place my horses so I can watch them go on and do great things.”


Lov e of t he sp ort i sn’ t l i m i te d to tho se inside the a rena . I t ta k es a speci al k ind of pe rson (i . e . “c r a z y ”) to spend ho urs m a k ing things h a ppen o utside t he a r en a . The y to o h ave a pa ssion for the sport a nd i ts pa rticipa nts.

“We do it in hopes of helping barrel racers better themselves and their horses. We started this for our daughters that barrel race. I did it because I was tired of hearing them say, ‘I do have my heels down’ or ‘I am lifting their shoulders.’ Videos never lie. Every barrel racer is trying to get the upper edge on the next horse, so if watching themselves helps them do that then we’ve done our job.”


“I started photography as a hobby with my two sons. I was soon asked to photograph for people in my hometown, OKC.  I practiced law for 15 years and left law to focus on photography.  Most people leave photography and go to law school, but I fell in love with it.  My first photographs of my boys were with a cheap point and shoot camera, and I was so proud of those images. I love to tell stories with a single image. “The most fascinating part of photographing barrel races is not the actual race(s), but the stories of the people that love horses and the sacrifices they make in order to do what they love.  It’s apparent no one is going to get rich barrel racing, but in some ways it’s the same with photography, you do it because that’s where your heart is, and you are lucky enough to get to do what you love and there is no price tag you can put on that.”



I just think it’s really fun. Sounds silly, but it’s true. I love athletic horses. I love horsemanship, where you work to learn more and try to go after a goal in the performance arena. It’s a rush and that first great horse ruins you for life! I work as editor of Barrel Horse News because I really enjoy the industry. I think it’s an unpresumptuous group of people for the most part. I think most barrel racers genuinely love their horses, and I really like that aspect of many of the stories I hear. For the most part people are happy, not so much about the money they’re winning, but the bond they have with their horse, and that’s pretty cool. I like that it’s a young and growing sport and my goal is always to try through my work to bring more horsemanship knowledge to it and I feel like that’s really happening.”



Basking in the glow

of the



Rose Parade Kristi Schiller’s “Dream Came True” when K9s4COPs gained worldwide exposure through the 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade.



m edications,

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I had the most vivid dream that K9s4COPs was in the Tournament of Roses Parade! But it wasn’t a just a dream…it was dream that came true. K9s4COPs was honored as one of the only 42 floats in the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade, which was appropriately guessed it…Dreams Come True! Most. Amazing. Day. EVER!!!!! The experience was surreal and I didn’t want it to end! My beloved friend Jenna Jackson’s P&R Productions crew captured every moment from the building of the float to our stroll down Colorado Avenue in Pasadena, California. We participated in the Rose Parade to draw attention to the great work that our K9 officers and their handlers do serving our communities and to share our mission to provide agencies and schools with highly trained K9s. We

wanted to share our story, our mission, with the world. I’m pleased to say the response was overwhelming! Our message was heard from coast to coast, from the front page of our hometown Houston Chronicle to international media outlets. It was a headline ticker on Yahoo News and featured across the pond on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in England! On ABC, Hanna Storm and Josh Elliot knocked it out of the park with their coverage of our float. (Plus, they said ours was their favorite animal float of the parade.) They shared our story, from that horrible December when Officer Ted Dahlin lost his partner K9 Blek to the ever growing number of K9s which have been placed with various law enforcement agencies, school districts and college campuses. Through such incredible world-wide visibility, K9s4COPs gained almost 4,000 new social media followers immediately after the Rose Parade and added many new members to our Woof Pack, so all in all, it was a great success! You too can join the Woof Pack at www. Our float may not have won any awards this


year, but we’ll just see about that in 2015! Once bestowed, a coveted spot in the Rose Parade is a lifetime honor— should we choose to accept. I’m not about to let this much visibility for K9s4COPs go to waste and we’re already planning next year’s float. We are beyond thankful for the generous donations that made this year’s float possible and we’re already looking for that special sponsor that’s willing to join us in front of more than a billion viewers on New Year’s Day 2015. This is my dream coming true…every


day. With the generous support of countless businesses and individuals and the tireless work of our dedicated team, K9s4COPs has come a long way in just three years, but our mission is far from over. I tell people I’m too stupid to know what’s impossible. I have ridiculously large dreams, and half the time they come true. By the way, if anyone finds a glass slipper along Colorado Boulevard, please return it to Texas!!!


Self-Made Success Canadian-born barrel horse trainer Stephan Boutin has made great horses, but he’s hoping to make a great name of his own in the futurity game.


etting your name out there and proving your program is a tough thing to do when prospective clients aren’t hearing your name called out on a regular basis. So what is a trainer to do when his clients are the ones successfully competing on the horses he trains? Simple, buy the best prospect you can afford and train it yourself. Stephan Boutin (pronounced BooTin), Montgomery, Texas, gambled on himself at the 2013 Old Fort Days Futurity with VF Lil Red Design. The upstart team nearly pulled off the impossible by winning the time trials and the finals. They left Fort Smith, Ark., with a reserve championship and $28,163.


More important, Boutin left with everyone in the futurity industry knowing his name. A second-generation horseman from Quebec, Canada, Boutin grew up around draft horses before he discovered his passion in barrel racing. “Once I got my driver’s license, I hit the road in my T-top Camaro with homemade hitch that attached my one-horse trailer,” he laughed. Years later, he decided he wanted to skip the Canadian winter and barrel race in the United States. Upon crossing the border, Boutin discovered his $3,500 in Canadian currency equaled $1,800 in U.S. dollars. “I wanted to cry because it was everything I had to pass the winter,” he said.

“I barely knew English. I had a paper map where I had located all the barrel races. All the dots led me around Houston, Texas.” Boutin ended up working for Buddy Roulston in Brenham, Texas. Roulston, a cutter and reiner, greatly influenced his training style. After three years with Roulston, he left for a farm in Oklahoma. Although the farm he was working for had top bloodlines, the house he was living in burnt down along with all his possessions. With nowhere left to turn, Boutin went back to Roulston. “I worked at other ranches with some amazing horses, but none were as instrumental as Buddy,” he said. “He

taught me my No. 1 training device to learn how to feel a horse when you ride them. He also taught me specialty shoeing and all the fundamentals of a true cowboy. I carry everything he taught me close to my heart.” Although Boutin’s training business was growing, he was getting frustrated at losing the chance to compete with the best horses he trained. “Every year we have something great in training, but they were always going to be ridden by someone else,” he lamented. “We even trained several to the point to where we had hauled and seasoned them and the owner jumped on at the futurities. Then we’d take the horse home again and tune.” Horses like 2013 National Finals Rodeo qualifier Slick By Design, 2012 BFA Amateur Champion Bit Of Flame An Fire and multiple AQHA World Show qualifier Flaming Firewater had been under his saddle. He’d even sold horses, like LNS Pistol, to China because they were so well trained and easy to ride. However, Boutin was left to train and compete aboard the lower quality prospects that he could afford. “I never had the opportunity to pick and choose horses,” he said. “I’ve always had a hard time purchasing a horse. I’m very honest with my clients when they have a good one before I make an offer. Then they usually want to keep them for themselves or sell them to someone else for more money. I’ve always been stuck with a reject of some sort and had to make it the best I could.” In April 2011, Boutin, and his wife, Lauren, bit the bullet and purchased VF Lil Red Design, a Designer Red-Dash Ta Fame filly. That purchased turned into an opportunity to sale fit riding 2- and 3-year-olds for the 2012 LG Pro Classic Sale for Danny Ray of Victory Farms. Their graduates included $58,000 high

seller VF Famous Streaker.

ran the fastest time at Fort Smith.”

Meanwhile, their futurity hopeful was coming along. After ground trouble at some earlier events, VF A Lil Red Design jumped up and made the finals at the Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic Futurity before going on to run the fastest futurity time at the Old Fort Days Futurity in Fort Smith, Ark.

Now that business is picking up, the Boutins are missing out on traveling to events together. They have enough horses in training that someone has to stay home while the other competes.

“That was our first trip to Fort Smith as well as our first big win,” he said. VF Lil Red Design also won the $2,844 Future Fortunes Championship from

the qualifying round. “We had just one horse, and she was recovering from an eye injury!” Today, Boutin and his wife operate L&S Performance Horses and train in a facility that the two built together from the ground upward. They both could easily qualify as master craftsmen. They have a galloping track, swimming tank for conditioning and rehabilitating the horses and an open concept barn with a 24’ x 100’ turnout for every horse. “Our training facility is mostly composed of barrel and race horses,” said Boutin, who is sponsored by ArthriSoothe-Gold by NaturVet, Lone Star Feed and Les Harnais Du Quebec. “We do it all from start to finish. I break my own, train, season, jockey and shoe. I even run a lot in my own homemade bits like the one I used on my mare that

“My wife is a great asset to my business,” he said. “She’s been involved with horses her whole life and has spent the last several years helping me. She helps me in all aspects of training from colt starting to seasoning finished horses. Most of the time not a single horse leaves here

without her working with them as well. She’s spent many hours studying my methods as well as those of many other top trainers and she’s always there to point out my mistakes. She has a natural love for it.” Boutin is hopeful their name will stay in the public eye for many years to come and more winning horses come their way. “I train a lot of horses for other top trainers, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to ride these amazing horses,” he said. “I’m always thinking about the horse and want to get the absolute best out of it. No matter who gets to ride the horse, I’m still very fortunate and thankful to work for myself and get up every day and do what I love with my wife.”





A Lasting

One of the richest riders in barrel racing history, Talmadge Green’s legacy goes beyond record books. By Tan ya R andal l


Pay i t f orward . Few people grasp this concept as well as Talmadge Green. With more than $3 million in barrel racing earnings in his career to date, Green doesn’t have much left to prove inside the arena—though you mention RFD-TVs $1 million dollar rodeo The American and his eyes light up like a kid in a candy store. Beyond the many accolades for his horsemanship skills, Green’s charismatic personality has drawn people like a lodestone to him and the sport he loves. He used those gifts to better the sport through the creation of the NBHA and widespread use of the divisional format. More important, he’s passing on his winning legacy to those both young— and old.

after that. He was a really good calf roper.” After a barrel race was held at the boarding facility, Mike set about turning his calf horse into a barrel horse. “We’ve been barrel racing ever since,” said Green, who started running barrels when he was 9. “I told Mike I was really glad he stopped calf roping. I probably would have had to have been a bronc or bull rider because of my size. Maybe we would have been a team roping team. Then everyone would have seen us get mad at each other when the other one missed and cost us the win. We probably would have entertained everyone with that.”

“Mad Dog” because half of his ear was missing and he figured that a dog had chewed it off. It was also the first futurity horse he rode for Ray Brown of Hull, Ga. G oing G reen

As the futurity industry started flourishing in the 1980s, Green knew he had a choice to make—stay with his steady job in construction with his dad that allowed him to compete on the weekends or start training and riding horses fulltime. “I told my dad I needed to make up my mind because I really had an opportunity,” he said. “My dad told me ‘You could always come back to this.’” Green packed his bags and went to

I’ve always done my business a little different than everybody else. I’ve always made a deal where I own part of the horse...

Big Br ot he r ’s Fau lt

Green’s involvement with horses can be laid squarely at the feet of his older brother Mike. They were living in a subdivision, where their father, a contractor, was building houses. Across from the subdivision was a large boarding facility. “Mike went and bought a cheap horse from the local sale,” said Green. “He even had to rent a U-Haul trailer to bring it home. Mike bought a calf horse

Early on, Green honed his skills, his impeccable timing and feel by riding lots and lots of horses. “I think what made me successful was riding all those horses,” said Green. “We’d go to a big barrel race and I was liable to ride 10 or 12 horses. We’d have three or four, and then I’d ride everyone else’s horses.” Green went to his first futurities in the early 1980s. Though he can’t recall the registered name of his first futurity horse, he remembers that he called him

work for Ray Brown, starting one of the most successful rider-owner partnerships in the history of the sport. From 1985 to 1991, Green rode futurity horses to earnings of more than $800,000 for Brown. “I’ve always done my business a little different than everybody else. I’ve always made a deal where I own part of the horse, so I could make bigger money in the end instead of the monthly money. Ray and I made a partnership up. In 1985, when I started out I finished 10th in the standings as trainer


of money won and then in ‘86, I won $180,000, and the next closest trainer was at $80,000. I went on a roll from there,” said Green. Green added that he thought that Brown never got the credit that he deserved as an owner of some of the all-time great futurity horses. Some of their barn burners included Fly Me Nonstop, Shana Marie, Chicado Flame (dam of Jud Little’s stallion Chicado Cash), Red Beads and Mr Kass Man. The biggest difference for Green was the number of horses he had entered. Typically, trainers rode no more than two horses because more got to be too stressful and made all the horses’ performances suffer. He went against the advice of early futurity icons John Read Foster and Bob Hamilton and rode six head, sometimes more depending on the event. “I never will forget it,” chuckled Green. “John Read, Bob and I were in a hotel room in Oklahoma City. I told them that I had six good colts and couldn’t decide what to do with them. They said I needed to sell some of them because ‘you can’t win money riding more than two.’ I knew what they were saying, but at the same time they made up my mind for me. When they said ‘can’t,’ I knew I was keeping them all!”


F o u nding Father

After one his richest years on record— Green pocketed more than $188,000 in futurity, derby and sweepstakes earnings in 1991—he stepped back a little from the futurity game to help create the one association that has single-handedly changed the barrel racing industry for the better—the National Barrel Horse Association. Based in Augusta, Ga., the NBHA took barrel racing to the masses through the use of the revolutionary divisional format. Green had learned of the format from its developer, Claude Cope of Tennessee, a former drag racer who figured out how to modify the bracket system for barrel racing. Green had used that format at the first All-American Youth Championships he produced back in Georgia in the early 1990s. “I’ve always looked at what’s best for all of us,” said Green. “I wanted the sport to grow, and I wanted barrel racers to get some respect. After I won first and second at the BFA in 1991, ESPN interviewed me. I said I wanted people to respect our sport. There are a lot of good people in it. I think it’s one of the best sports out there. It’s not a judged event. I don’t care how much money you’ve got. You are going to get what

you earn when you run through that gate.” The speed in which the NBHA grew earned barrel racers a lot of respect and membership numbers drew sponsorship and marketing power. “There are not enough 1D riders in the world to impact a corporation,” he noted, “but when you put all riders in one group, you have power.” It wasn’t until Finals night at the first NBHA World Championships in 1992 that Green realized the true impact the association had. “I’m out there doing the opening ceremonies and they were blowing my flag up with fireworks—no one knew how the horse would act, so I was the guinea pig that did it—and I’m out there in the center of the arena looking in the stands at all these people who never had a place to go or anything to do because they weren’t 1D riders. They had a place now. They had a goal. That night when it was over, I said if something were to happen to me tomorrow, I’d done everything that I had set out to do. A lot of people can’t say that.” Pri m eti m e

Although he knew the sacrifice was worth it for the future of the barrel

racing industry, it was hard for Green to look back and not wonder what he would have accomplished in the arena had he not gotten involved with NBHA. “I was in my prime when I was focusing on the NBHA. Back then technology wasn’t like it is now,” said the man who just upgraded from a flip phone to a smart phone a short while ago—“so I flew to a lot of states, helped them draw districts and name directors. I feel like I really missed out on a good chance of winning a lot more money.” With the NBHA firmly on his feet, Green returned to his roots in futurity competition and had two of his richest years on record thanks to two very special horses. In 2006, he won more than $230,000, largely to the efforts of the great VF A Sporty Design. Together Green and Sporty won the Southern Rebel Futurity and Good Times Futurity, placed second at the Speedhorse Silver Cup and swept the Speedhorse Gold Cup before winning the Old Fort Days Futurity. Just two years later, Green banked more than $227,000 and Nutin But A Houndog, owned by his brother Mike and sister-in-law Janelle’s Southern Rose Ranch, was his superstar. Houndog, who tragically lost his life to colic, won the Southern Rebel Futurity, slot races at the Central Mississippi Futurity and Fortune 5, the IBRA Futurity in Murfreesboro, the Silver Cup Futurity and Old Fort Days. Both Sporty and Houndog were among Green’s most favorite horses. He said a large part of his success was due to a change in his outlook. “I quit trying to make it happen,” he said. “I think I could have won Fort Smith 10 times if I had the outlook then that I have now. There were a lot of times at Fort Smith where I won the trials or was second and then came back and over-rode in the finals. I tried to

make it happen. I told myself quit trying to make it happen and let it happen, and that’s how I won with Sporty.” Te a m Ta lm a dge

Throughout his career, Green has always coached. He had his first team of youth riders back in the early 2000s, when he had six families from Grenada, Miss., under his guidance. They were a very competitive lot. “Whoever won that weekend, the other parents would call me that next week and say, ‘I think I need to come out there and buy another horse,’” he chuckled. “I said, ‘You ain’t going to win every weekend. It was good for my business though, because every time one won, the others wanted to buy more horses.” Green so enjoyed working with youngsters that he coached Little League when his son T—short for Talmadge— was playing. “At one time, I was going to quit barrel racing all together and build a big sports complex and host nine or so big baseball and softball tournaments a year,” he laughed. Then Green met Megan Stockstill. “Megan just woke a monster, is what she did. “It just got in my blood. I always loved helping kids. Probably two weeks before Sterling was born I went over and won first and second in the two-day average at Hattiesburg with Brisco (Briscocangetit) and Slick (RLJ High Intensity). I told her I was thankful for it, but it doesn’t raise the hair on the back of my neck like it does when she wins or those kids win. That’s a bigger reward.” As more and more families were drawn to Green’s charismatic personality and winning ways, Stockstill christened the group “Team Talmadge.” Today the team consists of Green’s teenage

daughter Desiree Green, Max and Allie Chouest, Chelsea Bartlett of Australia, Dally Parker, Margo Thomas, Duska Glidden, Morgan Weaver, Summer Schaffer, John Price McNeese, Tara Davis, Addie Davis and Victoria Williams, who is currently rodeoing professionally. “Every one of my kids wants to go through the gate and win, but they’re all pulling for each other. It’s like I tell them—I want to outrun Troy (Crumrine), LaTricia (Duke) and all of them, but I want them to have their best runs too. You can help people and still beat them,” he laughed. The main thing he wants to teach his young charges is how to handle the highs and lows of life—just as he did when he lost Megan just a week after their son Sterling was born in September 2013. “These kids may ride for one year or for their whole life, and I just want to help them be able to deal with life,” he said. A perfect example of Green’s coaching philosophy dates back to his time as his son’s baseball coach. They had one of the best Little League teams in the state of Texas and came within a game of the Little League World Series. “I had one great player on my team with a really bad attitude problem,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘Man, I’ve got to fix this before it gets out of hand.’ I went out and bought 11 pacifiers. I put strings on the pacifiers and put all their names on them. They saw me hanging them in the dugout and asked, ‘What are they for Coach Green?’ I said, ‘If you strike out or pop up when you’re at bat, and you throw your helmet or your bat, you go in the dugout and get your pacifier and put it in your mouth. That at bat is over, if you don’t let it go, the rest of the times you come up at bat it’s going to be in your mind. If you pop up or strike out, you’re going to handle it.


You’re going to come up to next batter on deck and say, ‘Get a good hit buddy’ and pull for them! It made them think. “There’s going to be a lot of disappointments in life, it’s just how you handle them. The people who are going to be

successful are the ones that handled disappointments correctly.” More than anything, Green coaches by example. “I’m going to be the same no matter

what – if I’m setting an arena record or look like I can’t ride in the back of a pickup truck,” said Green. “Every day I’m thankful for the day the God Lord gave me and that I’m above the ground, and I’m going to move forward.”

Ti me Well Spen t Nothing exemplifies the value of Talmadge Green’s barrel racing wisdom and positive-reinforcement coaching style than rapid success of Allie and Max Chouest. The brother and sister from Cut Off, La., will celebrate their second anniversary of running barrels after this year’s Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic. In just that short period of time, they’ve become some of the highest-ranked youth riders in the country. “We couldn’t have done it without the support of our parents and Talmadge,” said Allie. “Talmadge will do anything to help you. He always knows what to say if we hit a barrel or are upset. We just love him to death.” Although their parents Dino and Joan had no background with horses, both Allie, 13, and her youngest brother Max, 11, were so inclined. Their older brother Alex, 17, the Marlin fisherman of the group, was not. Allie and Max started team roping, thanks to friends close to their Louisiana home, but it wasn’t until the 2012 Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic that they were introduced to the fast-paced world of barrel racing. “We met Talmadge and started looking for a horse,” related Allie. The first horse she tried, Krimps Jersey, ended up fitting her brother more than her. She found her first match in Smashed CD. A good horse didn’t mean instant success, especially for Allie. “When we first met Talmadge I had a huge fear of going fast,” said Allie. “Max loves to tell everyone that. Max is like my crash test dummy. I put Max on all our new horses and I figured if they didn’t do anything with him they were safe. He ran Smash, and I didn’t like that too much, so I ran her the next day and


outran him.” The two siblings are very competitive, yet supportive of each other. Max is the uber-competitive one that Green has to watch out for. At one point last year, Max was ready to quit because he wasn’t winning, but Green made him stick it out. The result was his first major championship—the All American Youth with VF A Sporty Design. Not one to mince words, Max lets his riding do the talking. “I like to go fast and I like to win,” he said. Not surprisingly, his favorite horse is Sporty because ‘he’s fast and he wins.’” With wins on Sporty, The Riverboat Gambler and Spade Remedy, Max is showing an incredible ability to ride a variety of horses just as his mentor Green did at his age, and he can describe his runs in a similar manner. The youngster has also already attempted the futurity game this past winter with a juvenile colt at last year’s BFA World Championship Futurity, where he won the Open and the Juniors with Sporty. Allie spent much time with Green’s fiancé Megan Stockstill, and her loss was particularly devastating to the young teen. “Megan and I would rodeo together,” said Allie. “She actually rode Slick at the rodeos and I ran Buddy Rose. She set an arena record on him at Hattiesburg the last time she ever rode.” The ultimate goal for Allie is to turn professional when she turns 18, and she plans on taking as many members of Team Talmadge with her as she can, especially Green’s daughter Desiree, one of her best friends. “We’re getting a bunch of horses ready so when we turn 18 we can hit the road and try to make the NFR. That’s our biggest goal. We might even steal a couple of horses from Max too!”


Leaders of the Pack The talented young members of Team Woof Pack are dedicated to the sport of barrel racing and raising money and awareness for K9s4COPs and K9s4KIDs. By Tan ya R andal l


n l at e sum m e r 2013, K r i sti Schiller a nd her 7- yea r- old da ugh ter Sincl air wer e e n joy ing the l a s t barrel r a ces of the yea r before scho ol sta rte d . A f t er r e a ding a bo u t the success of “Tea m Ta lm a dge,” a gr o up of ta len te d

you ng ride rs th at r ide u nde r t he direction of ba rrel r a cing m a ster Ta lm ad ge G reen , S c hil l e r wa s in spir e d to sta rt her ow n gr o up—Tea m W o of Pa ck—to pr omot e K 9s4COP s a nd i ts K 9s4K I D s ini ti ati ve a long w i th enco ur a ging you th ba rr el r a c e rs to d o g r e at things, in a nd o ut of the a rena .

“When Sinclair started barrel racing in the spring she could barely find a ‘D’ in the alphabet,” says Schiller. “This summer we competed at the Ogden 8 & Under World Championships and she spent two weeks with Jackie Ganter, one of the toughest youth barrel racers around. Once Sinclair saw other kids


her age competing at such a high level, her competitive nature took over, and spending time with Jackie taught her how much work it takes. The kid lives with LaTricia Duke, for heaven’s sake-all she had to do was walk to the barn to learn from the best of the best, but seeing how much work another kid put

into it made her want to do it. After hanging out with Jackie, all she’s wanted to do is learn how to run barrels. She went from having someone else booting her horses before and after a run to taking care of that herself.” Watching her daughter’s metamorpho-

sis and witnessing the talent and dedication of other youth riders like Ganter, Karsyn Daniels, Jordan Driver and Jayci Byler—to name a few—Schiller created Team Woof Pack. Ganter, at 17, serves as the group’s leader and mentor. She understands that Team Woof Pack goes beyond success in the arena and the group is raising awareness for K9s4COPs and its mission to place trained K9s with law enforcement agencies. She personally knows the value of a trained K9 as she and her mother travel with their 3-yearold German Shepherd K9 Zeke. “He’s amazing,” says Ganter. “He goes with us everywhere. Most arenas, unfortunately, aren’t in the best part of town. We were in Jackson, Miss., filling up at a gas station and a man knocked on our door. Zeke started barking, and that bark is serious enough to scare anyone away. You always feel safe when you have him with you. He would literally take a bullet for you.” Ganter says Zeke is the perfect example of what makes K9s the logical choice to protect our children through the K9s4KIDs initiative to place trained K9s in schools. A both protector and companion, K9s know their job and do it well, but they’re affectionate, too. “He has one of the best personalities of any dog,” she says. “He has can be fun and likes to play. He’s very relaxed around us, but if you are scared, he flips a switch and he’s there for you. It’s unbelievable how smart these dogs are.” Team Woof Pack is also about building character. As part of Team Woof Pack, the members pledge 10 percent of their earnings to K9s4COPs. Sometimes members take it a bit further, like 8-year-old Hailey Hass, who donated all of her earnings last year. “That’s why we do it,” said Hass, who saved up her winnings from the Lonestar youth rodeos and the Josey Jr

They put all the focus on the kids. It’s all positive reinforcement. They make it a lot of fun. World and Reunion to donate. Her parents Robbie and Laura also pitched in make it an even $2,000 donation. “She just took it really seriously,” says Laura. “She respects Kristi so much and that’s what inspired her. Seeing someone give so much of themselves motivated her to do the same thing … to give as much as she could. I’m so thankful to Kristi for giving her the opportunity to learn that you can have your fun and help somebody too. “We’re really proud of her for thinking

outside of herself and really committing to helping somebody else. She’s a special little girl and I’m blessed to be her mom.” Not only is being a part of Team Woof Pack benefiting a worthy cause, it’s a lot of fun for its members too. “It’s a great a group of kids, riding for a great organization,” says Kristen Daniels, mother to 9-year-old Karsyn. “They put all the focus on the kids. It’s all positive reinforcement. They make it a lot of fun.”



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The First Family of

Futurities By Tan ya R andal l

The Youree-Ward family from Addington, Okla., has shaped the sport of the barrel racing and futurity industries for three generations.


ale his

Yo u r e e


3- y e ar - ol d

colt a r o u nd the

m a k eshif t a u ction r ing f or t he c a lc u t ta of the 1 9 7 1 Te xa s Bar r e l R ac ing A s s oc iat ion F u tu r i t y.


Quick Juan, a 3-year-old gelding, wasn’t the handsomest of horses and had stepped on himself during practice earlier. Dale had used tape to protect the laceration on the colt’s front heel. Between the colt’s looks and the bandage, they looked like long shots to win the futurity. So with no one bidding, Dale

bought himself. They were the best of the 40 entries that frigid November weekend at the Jack Taylor Arena in Blum, Texas, just south of Cleburne, and they took home top prize from the $5,315 purse. “I never will forget that,” says Dale’s

daughter Renee Ward, “I was at my grandparents’ house. He walked in with a grin on his face and laid 17 $100 bills on the counter. It wasn’t what he won in the futurity; it was from the calcutta. He said, ‘Look here Sister. We’re going to start riding these futurity colts.’” That win was the beginning of three generations of futurity championships, passing from Dale to his son-in-law James Ward to granddaughters Janae Massey, Kylie Rodgers and Cassie Ward. Pioneers

Dale and Florence Youree didn’t set out to be pioneers in the barrel racing industry; it just happened that way. Dale grew up riding his father’s racehorses, but always wanted to be a calf roper. World Champion Clyde Burk gave Dale a saddle that he had won at Madison Square Garden and took him under his wing. “He was a good roper,” recalled Florence. “He’d always catch, but then he would have a little trouble. The calves were really big back then.” Although the two had met before the

were married on February 18, 1950. Florence had ridden all her life, working cattle with her father on their ranch. She started barrel racing as a teenager on ranch horses. As she and her sister Sherry ( Johnson) refined their skills and became more competitive, people started to take notice. “I had this palomino Billy Van horse, named Chubby,” she explained. “I trained him and my sister and I both ran him. We made two runs a night. We weren’t smart enough to know you weren’t supposed to do that, but we did. And, we won. He was just a natural, but people went to asking us if we’d train their horse or their kid.” Dale, who was working for Florence’s father on the ranch at the time, thought it would be a great way to make more money, so they started taking in horses to train. Although he occasionally climbed aboard when Florence was having trouble with a barrel horse, Dale hadn’t yet hung up his rope – he never really has as he startled their ranch hand the other day by roping a sick calf – and hired out as a barrel horse trainer. It wasn’t until Florence had a talented, but lethal shoulder-dropping gelding,

using the inside rein to flex one away from a barrel to keep them from shouldering. After that it became a challenge to him.” In the 1960s, the Yourees held some of the first barrel racing clinics or camps. “We charged $100 week, and fed them and their horse and taught them,” Florence remembered. Their house was once the boys’ dormitory and the girls stayed in a remodeled school house. “You could send your kid up here for a month for $400. We did make money, but not a whole lot though it did send us customers for years.” World Champions like Missy Long and Jackie Jo Perrin rode with the Yourees as did such great trainers as Martha Wright, who came back and helped teach at the camps. Ch a nging The G a m e

In the 1970s, the Yourees stared dabbling in a new type of barrel race that was popping up across the country— futurities. These events were limited to horses, ages 4-and-under, making their first competition runs. Winning the 1971 TBRA Futurity was a game

He walked in with a grin on his face and laid 17 $100 bills on the counter. It wasn’t what he won in the futurity; it was from the calcutta. turning point came when a tenacious, young Florence walked up and asked Dale if she could ride his horse at rodeo—even though he had another girl with him at the time. “I had gone to a rodeo and I wanted to ride in the grand entry. So, I asked him if I could ride his horse. It just went forward from there,” she laughed. The two

that Dale made the crossover.

changer for the family.

“If I didn’t hit a barrel, I could win a barrel race,” said Florence. “We were at North Platt at the rodeo and Beverly Nutter gave Dale an English riding book. He said, ‘Florence, if this will work on an English horse, it’ll work on a barrel horse.’ That’s when he started

“We thought we’d never seen another poor day,” laughed Florence. She too competed in futurities until an accident at Trader’s Village in Grand Prairie, Texas, ended her career. “I used to train horses and do everything just like he did,” she said. “I had


gone over early that morning to a plowed up piece of ground to tune my horse. I started back up the hill and my horse started prancing. I snatched him and he slipped on the wet grass and flipped over on me.” No one knew how badly she was injured until she and Dale had gone to New Orleans, La., for him to see a specialist, a few weeks later. “I got to hurting so bad,” she recalled. “They took me to the hospital and I had a broken vertebra and a crushed vertebra. They did surgery on me right there. That doctor told me, ‘You can’t ride anymore. If this happens again, it could kill you.’ It put a fear in me that I had never had before.” With her competitive career over and with her husband, and later on son-inlaw, developing championship techniques in this growing facet of the barrel racing industry, Florence was changing the game outside of it. Florence was one of the founding members of the Barrel Futurities of America.


“We formed it down at Trader’s Village. Sue Sistruck was president, I was vice-president and Pat Hutter was the secretary,” said Florence, chuckling about her and Pat’s continued involvement. Florence eventually became president and Pat was the secretary until Carol Arnold took it over a few years back. “Bless her heart, she hung tough. She’s like me. She’s a goer. She doesn’t want to miss a thing. I was visiting with her the other day and she said, ‘I guess, we’d have to pay them to let us work now!’” On September 22, 1983, the up-start association was created to bring continuity to the futurity industry. With more and more events being held across the country, the BFA’s goal was to standardize the format. “We wanted to have set rules and guidelines so everyone would know how to run a futurity,” said Florence. “Plus, we wanted to contestants to know what to expect when they got there—how to pay their fees, what the payout would be and all of that.”

It was a natural fit for Florence, who served in the Girls Rodeo Association—the precursor to today’s Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. She was instrumental in bringing the professional barrel race to the Fort Worth Stocks Show and having the barrels included with the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Once the NFR moved to Las Vegas, she offered a BFA event to the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce to fill the void. “To me that was the ultimate—to have a futurity that big with that much added money,” said Florence recalling the creation of the World Championship Barrel Racing Futurity. It was first held in December 1986. “It gave everyone a goal to work for in the whole association. When I first went to Oklahoma City (with the idea), they were going to add $100,000. Then they backed down to $50,000 and were going to give a truck. Then they said ‘How about a trailer?’ Of course, I was begging and I agreed to whatever they wanted to do.” Today, 28 years later, the BFA’s World

Championships are still the richest event in barrel racing out paying even the NFR in Vegas. “I marvel at the things I’ve done with absolutely no education,” mused Florence. “I guess the ‘want to’ was just there.” E volu t ion

The Youree’s daughter never knew anything different than training and competing. A talented competitor herself, she won state and national titles in high school before moving on to college, where she met and married her husband James Ward, an all-around hand and collegiate champion. After making the NFR in 1985, Renee sold her rodeo horse and stayed closer to home with her daughter Janae, who was 3 at the time. “I still rodeoed some, but not like I once did,” she said. “I had a little girl and I just felt better at home. I didn’t

love the road like some do. I spent my time raising kids and getting her used to her horses and moving her up. That’s what I’ve done all my life—three girls.” Although she still rode and trained, Renee’s job was training and tuning her daughters for junior rodeo competition. It was James, instead, that ended up following his father-in-law into the futurity game. “I was going to go the NFR several times,” laughed James. “Bareback riding and bull riding is what I had planned on doing. Training barrel horses was the furthest thing from my mind.” When a bronc at the pro rodeo in Red Lodge, Mont., bucked him off on his head, breaking his neck, James was forced to reevaluate his goals and found another calling as a champion barrel horse trainer. “After I got over my broke neck, I started working with Dale,” he said. “He got me just riding colts and then he got me taking them around the barrels. He’d

tell me what to do and when to do it. It just wound up being a job.” In the mid-1980s, partially due to events like the BFA World Championships, the barrel futurity industry had also changed where it was possible to make a living training winning futurity horses. Those horses became even more valuable if they were able to continued their winning ways. Though his personal NFR dreams were over, James made horses that turned that dream into reality for several barrel racers, including his wife and oldest daughter. The first futurity horse James trained, Vaneagles Little Dude carried Renee to the NFR, even though an injury forced her to ride Patti Hoffman’s Killian Pacific. Later on, James sent Janae to the NFR twice with his former futurity champion Cole And Cole, although she ended up riding Jud Little’s Dynas Plain Special in 2003 when Cole was injured. “When I was training one, especially


when we owned it, in my mind, I was training it for one of my kids,” James said. “That’s what I was training for more than the futurities. I knew they were going to futurities, but they were going to have to be good enough for my girls.” Now, James has left the training up to his girls, and they may have an easier time of it than he and Dale did. The game has changed a little bit, James noted, in that his daughters are training horses with better bloodlines. Unlike the ranch-bred horses they started with, Dale and James turned to ex-racehorses as the sport turned to more speed for a competitive edge. Now, the popular lines are often a marriage between the two.

“That’s our family time,” said Janae. “That’s where we set down at the table and talk, and generally we’re talking about horses. You could ask any of us and that’s one part of the day none of us would dare miss.”

horses. “He’s sat us down many a time and asked us, ‘Did you read this?’ or ‘Did you watch this?’ ‘I think we need to try this.’ We try to incorporate other things that we see into our programs and see if they’ll work for us.”

All three girls know what a blessing it is training with a family of champions.

Still, the best advice comes from the hill.

“The biggest benefit is another set of eyes,” said Kylie, who lives in Addington with her husband, Travis, and trains exclusively for Stan Sigman’s Namgis Quarter Horses. “Because of the knowledge we have as a group and as a family, we can sit there and say “I think you’re doing this…’ or ‘I think you should try this…’. You get a different perspective and I think that’s the best thing you could ask for over here.”

“It’s complete family involvement,” said Janae. “We’re not lacking help. My mom is usually horseback. She rides with us every day. My dad, all it takes is us asking, and he’ll go to a jackpot with us and watch.

They’re also not afraid to swap horses. The M a r ch of Ti m e

“As my husband and dad got older, they quit going to the futurities,” said Renee. “We sat still here for a while. The girls were in college. I thought they need to go through that as a part of growing up. It wasn’t a stipulation, but they knew it was important to me. Yet, here we are, sitting on this old clay hill, training horses.” After winning the 2003 WPRA World Championship, Janae, 32, rodeoed for Jud Little for another year before going to work for Halliburton for four years. “I worked behind a desk in a cubical,” said Janae, whose daughter Chazli is continuing in the family tradition at age 4. “It made me realize how much I did love the horses.” Janae, who lives in Comanche, Okla., with her husband, Ty, currently trains for Jud Little, and keeps her training horses at the Youree-Ward home place, eight miles away. Twins Kylie’s and Cassie’s training horses are there too. The entire family meets at the Youree house every morning for breakfast.


“I can put Janae or Kylie or my mom, or even my grandpa, on a horse, if I’m having trouble,” said Cassie, 25. “This is my comfort zone. There’s no other place I’d rather be training.” In spite of all their collective knowledge, Dale has always encouraged the girls to never stop learnings and honing their craft. “He’s taught us to never quit learning,” said Cassie, who worked at a bank for a year before turning to training barrel

“When it warms up, Florence Youree is still in charge of the camera. She’s filmed me my entire life, and even at 80, she’ll come to the jackpots in the summer and film. That’s what we do, we all go to the jackpot, she films, we come home and all sit in the living room and watch film on what we did that worked or didn’t work on colts. “My grandfather can sit on his porch and watch where we ride. Now that we all have cell phones, you’ll be riding and you’ll get a call on your phone. You better stop and answer it. He’ll say, ‘Sister, I believe….’ He’ll tell us what he’d be trying or he’d be doing. That’s the best gift. I wish I could record those calls and save them. I know one day I’m going to wish I got that call.”

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When Opportunity Knocks Ashley Schafer made the most of great programs and great horses to earn the right to hang her shingle as a barrel horse trainer.

By J u l ie M ank in


ne of the br ig h te st r i sing sta rs in the futuri t y industry a lso come s f r om one of the m o s t unlik ely pl a ces. B ut A shle y (Nelson) Sch afe r’s de c i sion to l e ave the M idw est a nd follow her drea m h a s been paying

of f in spade s .

Schafer, 28, grew up in Lenox, Iowa – far from the hotbed of futurities. A farmer’s daughter, she learned to rope as a teenager and thought that was all she would ever do with horses. That is, until her mother became gravely ill and passed along her barrel-racing horse to Ashley. “I really wasn’t even interested in this sport until I rode that one really good horse,” Schafer said. “After that, I just wanted to make one like him and then


another and another. It gets in your blood; there’s just something about it.” Schafer became a licensed massage therapist at 19 and ran her own business for three years. But the barrel racing bug was still gnawing at her. Iowa wasn’t the easiest place to train horses, so at 22, she packed up and headed for Ardmore, Okla. “I stuck a pin on a map, really,” she said, laughing. “The crazy thing was that I had never heard of Jud Little.”

It was January, 2009. Until she could find a massage job, Schafer was slinging cheese fries and crawfish fettuccine at a local joint called the Two Frogs Grill. But she had inadvertently chosen the hometown of one of the leading breeders of barrel horses in America. The Jud Little Ranch stands seven stallions, has up to 30 horses in competition at all times and has raised world champions in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, the American

Quarter Horse Association and the Barrel Futurities of America. “Somebody told me about his ranch, so I took a shot in the dark and drove out there one day,” said Schafer. The ranch manager said they weren’t hiring, but later that day they took a chance and hired Schafer to exercise their competitive horses. Six months later, she got her big break. That’s when the assistant position opened up with the ranch’s lead trainer, Jolene Montgomery. Schafer would spend every day riding and hauling with Montgomery – the winningest futurity rider in the nation in 2010 – and her life changed. She had initially arrived in Oklahoma and competed in barrel racing on her breakaway horse (a grade gelding) and her heading horse (a Two-Eyed Jack gelding). Soon she was riding some of the most wellbred barrel racing prospects in the nation. In April 2011, riding Little’s celebrated stallion JL Dash Ta Heaven, Schafer smashed the arena record in Oklahoma City’s hallowed Jim Norick Coliseum. It didn’t all come easy, however. Schafer was put to the test when Montgomery got married and left to start her own business.

band-to-be, Seth Schafer, who had been a colt-starter at the Jud Little Ranch. The two settled in his hometown of Yoder, Wyo., where they married last June and launched Schafer Performance Horses. “I really like it there,” said Schafer. “And in the winter, for Wyoming, that area is in the banana belt. I worked barrels outdoors all last winter.” Riding the first futurity horse she trained after leaving the Jud Little Ranch – a sorrel stallion named Freckles Ta Fame – Schafer made a big splash by placing second in a round in December at the prestigious BFA World Championship Futurity. The colt is owned by Joe and Carla Spitz of Colorado. Schafer’s other clients include Bill and Deb Myers of St. Onge, S.D., and Garrett and Susan Henry of 88 Ranch Performance Horses in Douglas, Wyo. Having already hit the pay window in 2014, Schafer looks to be on a roll. “I try to learn something from every horse,” she said. “Every day, I try to

make myself a better trainer and rider. I like getting on my horse and learning something from it every day.” Schafer has learned enough that she actually has to turn away clients now, and even enlisted her mother, Cathy Leonard – now recovered and also a trainer – to help drive and care for the horses as the two hit the road back in January. This year will mark Schafer’s first-ever trip to the Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic Futurity, where she’ll campaign a 4-year-old mare named Guy’s Girl Power and a 5-year-old colt named Shake Em Red. “I feel like I’ve been really lucky,” Schafer said. “I’ve gotten to ride a lot of really nice horses and ridden behind some really good trainers, so I feel like in a short period I’ve been able to learn a lot. And God knows I needed to learn a lot! I hope in the next five years, I learn just as much as I have the first five years.” If that happens, Montgomery will have some company at the top of the industry statistics.

“After Jolene left, those were huge footsteps to fill, and I didn’t even know what a futurity was until I moved to Oklahoma!” recalled Schafer. “It was a lot of pressure for no more than I knew, and I just folded. I would get nervous and tense up and the horses could feel it, so they worked good at the ranch and terrible in public. It took me a little while to relax and ‘ride ’em like you trained ’em.’” But she figured it out. Since then, Schafer’s popularity as a trainer and success as a competitor has skyrocketed. She moved from Ardmore to strike out on her own in February 2012 with her hus-



Saturday, March 15, you could have the chance to guess the Futurity Grand Champion and Reserve Champion time! If you guess the time correctly, you will have your choice of a brand new Chevy or Ford truck!

Sponsored by:



*Contest Rules: Must be 18 years or older to enter. One entry per person. Entries must be submitted to Coyote Trading Co. Must be present to win. In the event of a tie, there will be a coin toss. Must guess the time to the exact thousandth of a second, ie: 15.000. See entry form for more details.



2012 $120,000

2013 $450,000

2014 $700,000

see y’all in



MARCH 9-15, 2015

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Diamonds & Dirt™ 2014 Magazine  

Diamonds & Dirt™ 2014 Magazine Bringing the BLING back to Texas

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