The Story Behind The Glory
While your family was and is very supportive and instrumental to your success you and Stacy are not only 1st generation barrel racers but also really started from the ground up.
Ideally the quickest way to be successful in barrel racing is to purchase a horse that is successful and learn FROM the horse. When finances and opportunities do not allow for that luxury we learn WITH the horse.
NRHA Hall of Famer Mike Flarida gets the credit for being my first mentor as well as for introducing me to the AQHA Congress. Mom was stay at home mom and also did babysitting for Mike Flarida. I clearly remember one afternoon Stacy called out “Mom there is a cowboy at the door”. Stacy had been wanting a horse and the door was open for her to work and learn from NRHA Hall of Famer Mr Mike Flarida.
Mike & Linda Invited us to the farm. (In Ohio we call them farms while in the south we call them ranches.)Mike alerted mom and dad that if we were going to do well at the annual 4-H Show we would need to show more than once a year. My parents jumped in full force and became very involved in the 4-H program for quite a few years. My parents borrowed a truck and 2 horse trailer and hauled us around and were very active in the 4-H youth program.
We learned horsemanship, balance and posture from the pleasure riding which came in handy for the speed events that I preferred to compete in.
Those people were my heros although I didn't even really know them.
I also learned just by watching and being around Troy Crumrine when I worked for him as a helper, cleaning stalls… It was not a riding position, but educational none the less.
We moved up from the borrowed truck and trailer to motor home and 2 horse bumper trailer and continued to compete locally until my parents got burnt out and sold everything except our tack.
In 8th grade I announced I wanted a horse again. We went to the local sale barn and got a palomino weanling gelding, still in the stall with the mother.
For my 16th birthday my dad set me up to hit the road. My dad can do about anything with steel and my grandpa is very handy with wood, so they bought a stock trailer with center gate and converted it into a 2 horse straight load with small living quarters and found me an ancient but loaded up dually. My mom questioned sending me out on my own and dad quickly responded “He’s got to start sometime.”
By now that weanling colt from the sale was riding nice and I was able to sell for a nice profit and move on to my next project 'Bodoc Salono'.
Bodoc Salono and I worked hard in the field behind the house with no turned up dirt. We killed the grass with our many trips through the pattern and just rode on a hard dirt path.
In 1995 Bodoc Salona and I earned the AQHA Congress Jr Poles Championship title and on 4/11/97 he contributed the first ‘deposit’ to my EquiStat earnings placing 4th in the 1D at the Turn N Burn Classic.
I was in High School at the time and I recall my friends discussing which college they would go to and I announced I was not going to college and that I was going to train horses for a living.
I had been working for the city part time while attending high school and secured a full time position right out of high school. I continued working for the city for about 3 years while training at night.
I was able to build an indoor arena to work out of and had a few boarders to help out with expenses.
I quit my full time job at 21 and started living my dream.
In 2011 my training career got the kick start I needed when I purchased Famous Blue Eyes and All Fame No Bull from Bo Hill.
I set a goal to earn $100,000 on those horses and they earned us $110,000.
Guys Dashing Jet contributed the most $ by horse contributing $135,000 towards the million. She is amazing and I save her for the big shows. She does not go to jackpots. “I think you can take the heart of one by running too much”.
Owners, Sponsors, Tyler, Kelsey, My Parents, Clients, Josh Harvey... Everybody on my team is very competent and good at their job!
I could not do this alone. There is no way.
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