2017 Interview with Dona by Jolene Jones, in 2019 Dona Kay Rule Qualified for the National Finals Rodeo
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Dona Kay Rule and her horse High Valor lived up to the dictionary definition Valor = "Honor Plus Dignity" winning all 3 go's and the average at the D & D Barrel Race March 3-5 in Waco Texas. "The Juicy Adventure" also stepped up to the plate earning the Reserve Champion Average Title. The team took home a beautiful trophy buckle and about $3,800.00. Not bad for the weekend on a horses just beginning their career.
"So very cool, I am so grateful I can't put it in to words. God is good!" Dona Kay
High Valor 2009 Sorrel Gelding Horse
Valiant Hero x Rare High
Bred by Lana Merrick
Raised by Lana Merrick
Phil Haugan started Valor. PJ Burger rode him as a 3 yr old and He came to me in his early 5 yr old year.
Lana Merrick who is a former NFR contestant raised Valor and had the intention of keeping him for herself to get back going again as her breeding and horse racing career kept her from competing for many years. but as time went by she realized that she wasn't going to be able to dedicate her time to a young barrel horse so she offered Valor to me with the promise that I would not sell him.
The first month I had him I wondered if I had done the right thing, he was a handful. I wish I had a dollar for every time I was thankful that the saddle horn didn't pull out! But when he decided to come around, he just went to work. He is a very kind gelding and busy minded, you have to think ahead of him but he would do anything for you.
The Juicy Scoop
Juicy Adventure 2008 Sorrel Gelding
Smart Like Juice X
Minis Daisey May
Bred by Catherine A Cline
My husband and I owned and operated a custom saddle shop for 30 years. We have 2 children who went to private school, so all that time I would buy, train and sell horses to pay tuition and help with finances. I rode a lot of customers horses and it seemed I was always under the gun watching someone elses horses so when the kids moved on to their own lives I had time for one of my own with no ties. I looked at 22 head before I said "This is the one"
My friends grandson called and told me he had a cute gelding so we went to look , I didn't even take a trailer because there had been so many dry runs ~ haha.
I was going to rope on him , not run barrels, but he fell in the pasture with me and broke my right arm, couldn't rope without it so I started him on the barrel pattern.
Juice is a mean little stinker. He appears very calm and confident but as the saying goes "still waters run deep". He hates his routine messed up at an event. Tied in the same place, watered at the same time, start with the same leg when you boot him ~ just hates change. When done with a run he is back to calm and confident though.
I always know when he is sore or not happy, if you get the brush out to clean him up he will bite it, chew it like he is eating corn on the cob...seriously ~ I have films of it. Funny guy!
The Story Behind the Glory
I understand you trained both Valor and Juice and you normally sell your prospects prior to getting the opportunity to running them. Is that correct?
Yes, I did train them both. I have always trained my own barrel horses.
I have ridden for myself as well as the public for about 40 years. Training and selling prospects allowed me to provide the funds needed to pay tuition for my two children in private school. There have been some very nice horses come through my barn, both those that were mine as well as some of my wonderful customer's horses.
I am VERY particular about matching horses with individuals and enjoy following horses that I have trained go on to have a successful, happy life with their new owners.
Did you run at Diamonds and Dirt?
No, I am the Arena Director/Judge for Diamonds and Dirt. I have been since its inception. It is a great event with a terrific staff, I do not think I could run at that one even though I am sure the Schiller family and Ross Wright's family would not mind. I feel very responsible for everything that happens in the arena at that event.
For 2017 I think I will go to some of the WPRA rodeos on my 'bucket list' such as Greeley and Cheyenne. I will go to all the Prairie Circuit rodeos that I can make. I love the Rafter D open rodeos, so I will go to many of those and of course the D and D events!
Other horses that you've trained and really enjoyed
I have had lots of neat horses, unfortunately I loved them all but you can't keep them all.
Fancy was probably the one I could always count on. She was a Doc's Hotrodder. I always placed on her. You could send her as hard as you wanted to barrel one , she never missed it! Tara Timms and her sisters went on with her and did very well.
I am a roper at heart, I have trained barrel horses for a living and roped for fun, so I really lean toward the cow bred horses because of their calmer demeanor. I do think though, in the current environment, you must have a race bred foundation. People are so much more educated now and there are so many great horsemen and horsewomen that you better go at it with all you can in order to win.
Well, this year so far it has been Waco Texas! I do love everything at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds, something special about riding under the neon sign there that says Gateway to Champions!
I also love the Loveland Colorado Pro rodeo
I have been married to John David Rule for 36 years. We have a son, Marshall (32), his wife Nicky and grandson Hunter (5 � - not just 5 or he will correct you LOL). Our daughter is K.K. Rule (24), Clay Dumos is her significant other and granddaughter Henslee Rose Dumo (2). They are all the cutest most intelligent ever and I could not do anything without them all!
Sponsors: Falcon Arts and John Rule
When you are not barrel racing you are....
Riding customers horses. My husband and I have a ranch in Minco Okla , so no need to fill in any blanks here, something all the time.
John is a saddle maker and a bronze sculpture artist so we do attend a lot of western art shows.
Do you rope on Valor and/or Juicy Adventure?
As I said , I did plan on roping on Juice but after he fell on me and broke my arm I never have. I do intend to rope on both hopefully this year.
Anything you'd like to add?
Big thank you to my family for being supportive, always!
Big thank you to all the committees and producers who rarely hear an 'atta boy' for putting on the events we all attend.
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