2008 BARREL RACING STATISTICS: Top horses and riders of 2008
Despite trying economic times barrel racing awards $13.1 million in 2008.
With just eight fewer events recorded than 2007, the total barrel racing industry payoff as recorded by Equi-Stat dropped by nearly $900,000 from $13,948,387 in 2007 to $13,078,868 in 2008.
by Tanya Randall
The more money intensive aged event sectors saw small increases while the grassroots playgrounds—the divisional and youth sectors—saw decreased entries and payouts.
Even with eight fewer events, futurities paid $2,940,487, an increase of $89,559 over 2007’s $2,850,928. This increase came in spite of the loss of the Gold Cup Futurity, which accounted for more than $220,000 in 2007.
Derbies experienced a scant increase. Purses rose by $20,848 to $413,840 from $393,992 in 2007. However, four more events were recorded.
Divisional purses saw a $943,775 decrease with purses totaling $9,238,001 compared to 2007’s 10,181,776. Eight less shows were also recorded.
With two fewer events, Youth purses dropped by $122,893 to $784,958 compared to $907,851 in 2007.
A portion of the divisional and youth sector’s decrease can be attributed to the loss of the Can Chaser Challenge in Pasco, Wash., which paid $398,040 in 2007.
Shows that had total purses of less than $40,000 saw the biggest drop. While the top 100 shows only lost a little over $200,000, the remaining events, those with $40,000 or less, saw a decrease in purse of nearly $700,000. This may suggest that barrel racers are saving up for the premier events or finals rather than attending the multitude of events that offer $7,500 or less in added money.
About this section
The 14th Annual Barrel Horse News Statistical Review contains information compiled, researched and tabulated by Equi-Stat, the statistical division of Cowboy Publishing Group, from Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2008.
Equi-Stat is managed by Temple Read, who is assisted by Donna Timmons. Statisticians are Tysha Franklin, Glenda Peysen and Kim Glass. Editorial assistant Rae Pipps aids in results acquisition. Editorial copy is by Tanya Randall. All contents and statistics in this issue are copyrighted 2009 by Cowboy Publishing Group and cannot be reproduced in any form without permission.
Monetary amounts reflect earnings from all aged events, divisional races with purses greater than $20,000 and straight-run races with full results and registered names regardless of total purse. No rodeo earnings are included.
Money attributed to horses and riders indicates the amount of money awarded and in no way reflects who actually received the money.
BHN appreciates the efforts of secretaries and other show officials to provide accurate and complete show results. Every attempt has been made to make this statistical report as accurate as possible; however, we cannot be responsible for the accuracy of any data provided by show management.
If anyone has questions regarding the information included in this issue, please feel free to contact BHN at 817-759-7148 or Equi-Stat at 817-737-6397.
New in 2009
Starting in 2009, Equi-Stat will drop the $20,000 minimum total purse requirement for all events submitted in Equi-Stat compatible digital formats (i.e., Charlie Horse Ranch or customized Excel). These results must be complete with full registered names and noted grade horses. Events with barn names will not be accepted.
Weekly series or producers wishing to submit their results digitally may do so at the completion of their series or production year.
Unfortunately, Equi-Stat will no longer enter the results of events or classes with less than 80 percent registered names and noted grade names. Individual classes that fail to meet the 80 percent requirement will be excluded from the event’s Equi-Stat report and will NOT be reflected in the event’s total purse. This includes open, youth and senior divisional barrel races held in conjunction with aged events.
For more information, please contact Equi-Stat at 817-737-6397.
With its richest payout in its 23-year history, the Barrel Futurities of America’s World Championship Barrel Racing Futurity was the most lucrative event in 2008. Held in Oklahoma City, the World Futurity awarded an amazing $662,607. That total bests the event’s previous benchmark of $633,526 set 10 years ago.
The 2008 World Futurity featured a $55,000-added futurity for 4-year-olds, a $220,000 slot race and $20,000-added juvenile futurity for 3-year-olds, a $15,000-added 5- and 6-year-old derby, a $10,000-added open 4D, a $1,500-added youth 3D and $1,500-added junior 3D. Ten years ago, the event held a futurity, derby, sweepstakes, youth and juniors.
The evolution of the event from 1998 illustrates stark changes in the industry over the past 10 years. While the World’s signature event remains the crowning of the World Champion 4-year-old, it’s changed from a year-end finale-type event to a season kick-off for the following year’s futurity colts. Without the $220,000 SuperStakes and $96,840 Elite Trailers Juvenile Futurity, the 2008 event paid $287,759 less than 1998’s.
BFA President Charles Brock says the economy has a lot to do with the decrease in entries, but the general evolution of the sport has affected the individual classes.
“I want to blame the decrease in derby entries on the 4Ds, but a good derby horse is now a WPRA rodeo horse,” he said. “The derby numbers have been back up again the last few years. I hope that continues. The 4Ds did over take the sweepstakes. That sweepstakes was so tough if you didn’t have a great horse it wasn’t worth it to enter.”
So far 2009 entries have surpassed 2008’s at this time last year. Brock believes the amateur program has sparked a lot of growth.
“We’ve really been pushing the amateur program,” he says. “It just keeps growing. This year Jud Little’s donating $10,000 for the Amateur Finals, so all 10 qualifiers will get a check.”
When the BFA started its youth and juniors about the only other star-studded event at the time was Martha Josey’s Jr World Champion Barrel Race. Now, youth and juniors have many other events to showcase their talents, so the World’s classes have dropped of significantly.
“We have to keep the youth and juniors on Saturday because of school, plus it keeps people around for the vendors,” he says. “This year we’re combining the two with the same added money.”
Maybe it should be Top Dog? The fabulous futurity horse Nutin But A Houndog (“Dog”) amassed $151,299 in 2008. Owned by Mike and Janelle Green’s Southern Rose Ranch, Pelzer, S.C., Dog was ridden by Mike, he and Janelle’s daughter, Madeleine Green, and Mike’s brother, Talmadge Green.
It was Talmadge who rode Dog to the majority of his earnings--$133,660. Mike won $12,587 while Madeleine won $5,052.
By Dashin Elvis and out of Moon San Bar, by Peppy Docsan, Dog was bred by Bogie and Amy Webb, Moville, Iowa. The Greens purchased Dog, formerly registered as BA Dashin Moon, for $25,000 at the World Barrel Racing Futurity Select Sale in December 2006.
Janelle was initially skeptical of her husband’s purchase. She told Kenneth Springer after Mike won the NBHA Senior World Championship on Dog that “I thought he had lost his mind, but I should know better, because when it comes to picking a winner, he’s almost always right.”
Dog nearly recouped his purchase price by winning $24,619 for a 2007 Juvenile Futurity Championship. He quickly got on a winning roll from there.
With Talmadge in the saddle, Dog won the Southern Rebel Futurity, $3,913; Frostbite Slot Futurity, $12,900; Fortune 5 Slot Futurity, $14,500; the International Barrel Racing Association Futurity in Murfreesboro, Tenn., $5,840; the Silver Cup Futurity, $30,509; the Old Fort Days Futurity, $55,956; and Fiddler’s Turkey Run Futurity, $3,086, plus $1,940 for Future Fortunes at Fiddler’s. Dog placed third in the Frostbite Futurity earning $5,380, and fourth in the Future Fortunes at the Good Times Futurity for another $1,200. He also earned go-round checks worth $615. In open competition with Talmadge, Dog placed at the NBHA Dixie Nationals for $1,514 and at the IBRA in Murfreesboro for $1,333.
“He’s so athletic,” Talmadge Green said after winning the Old Fort Days Futurity. “He’s such a nice horse. He’s a one-of-a-kind.”
In addition to winning the NBHA Senior Championships, Mike and Dog won the Future Fortunes bonus and placed second at the Indiana Futurity for $3,732. In open competition, they picked up $592 at the NBHA President’s Cup, $318 in the Seniors at the Dixie Nationals, and $1,522 at the Mega.
“Like the great ones, he was a natural,” Mike Green said after winning the Senior title. “You know when you’ve got a special one because they take very little training and seem to catch onto everything you show them very quickly.”
With Madeleine, Dog picked up $4,606 at the NBHA Southern States Triple Crown and $446 at the All American Youth.
“He’s probably the easiest horse we’ve ever had,” Madeleine Green said after taking home the 1D saddle at the Triple Crown. “I was shocked the first time I ran him because all you really have to do is push.”
Dog’s futurity earnings were $139,571 and he was the No. 2 Futurity Horse behind Six Moon Firewater. His lifetime Equi-Stat earnings are $175,918.
All of the horses on the All Ages, All Divisions chart were futurity horses, except Fantasia Fame, Juniors Genuine Doc, A Bit Of Gold Dust, Dash To The Flame, Mulberry Canyon Moon and Nate Shilabar. All were aged event eligible except for Juniors Genuine Doc and Nate Shilabar. The top seven horses all won or placed in a straight-run slot race.
Mowry Reigns Over Riders
Kassie Mowry, Dublin, Texas, rode nine horses to $251,628 in total earnings in 2008. Her richest horse was the SuperStakes Champion Miss JB 055, owned by Joe and Dee Lynn Braman, Refugio, Texas, with $101,850.
Other 3-year-olds earning money for Mowry were K V Quarter Horses’ Grace Master, $32,629; Jeanette Nelson’s LL Blind Faith, $12,370; her own Ms Bay Dillon, $2,237 and Angela Ganter and Jo Smith’s Ima Firen Faster, $1,937.
For Nelson she also earned $46,786 aboard 4-year-old Speed Ta Fame. She also earned $46,198 on Randy and Susi Schuchard’s 4-year-old FM Radio (“Denim”).
Other winning mounts for Mowry were Edward and Jolene Hales’ Perks Alive that earned $4,696, and her own gelding Dashing Dillon (“Dillon”) that earned $2,925.
Mowry’s year wasn’t all glory. In February, she found out that Dashing Dillon had EPM.
“He’s 85 percent better now, but he’s basically retired,” she said. “I still ride him some when I have time, but when I take him around the barrels, he’s still not right. He never had the muscle atrophy, but he does have the nerve damage. Hopefully, with him being so young, they may get better over time.”
Losing the use of Dillon was tough for Mowry, especially since he was winning her monthly house payments. The Schuchard’s stepped in and offered to sell her Denim.
“Never in a million years would I have thought I would have been able to afford a horse like Denim,” she said. “They worked a deal with me and he’s mine now. They are the neatest, kindest people.”
Mowry started out riding English and competing in three-day events. When she decided to switch to barrel racing when she lived in Utah, a local barrel racer Christy Lockwood let her borrow her nice horse.
“You don’t know what you’re training for until you experience it,” she said. “She let me ride her good horse at a few high school rodeos, so I knew what a good horse was supposed to feel like.”
Mowry said it was difficult going from the English world where she had lessons twice a week and attended clinics all the time.
“I think it’s a shame that barrel racers don’t get that type of instruction all the time,” she said. “I was a little lost at first, so I would just go to the people who were winning and ask them. Lucky for me, most of people were nice enough to answer.”
Futurity industry accounts for close to $3 million
Futurity purses surged toward $3 million in 2008. The 120 events, eight less than 2007, accounted for $2,940,487, an increase of $89,559.
With three futurity classes at one event, the Barrel Futurities of America’s World Championship Barrel Racing Futurity paid out $546,016 to be the richest event. The 4-year-old World Futurity paid $229,176, the 3-year-old SuperStakes paid $220,000 and the Elite Trailers Juvenile paid $96,840. The World Futurity has seen a decrease in 4-year-old entries over the past couple of years, but the Juvenile continues to grow.
The Old Fort Days Futurity in Fort Smith, Ark., was the richest single futurity with a payout of $302,522, an increase over 2007’s purse.
The Silver Cup Futurity, held in Ardmore, Okla., was the richest 5-year-old and under futurity with a purse of $191,636. Sadly, this was the 10th and final Silver Cup. It’s sister event, the Gold Cup, was cancelled in 2008.
Canadian producers submitted the results of 19 futurities, which totaled $170,433, or 6 percent of the sector’s total.
By $590, Six Moon Firewater (“Marty”) edged Nutin But A Houndog for top futurity horse honors in 2008. Marty, a 2004 gelding by Fire Water Flit out of Bunnys Six Moons, by Marthas Six Moons, earned $140,161 in futurities.
Owned by Kenna Squires and Dan Shirey, Marty was trained and ridden by Squires, Fredonia, Texas. She purchased Marty as yearling from his breeder Vickie Adams, Collinsville, Texas, after Adams showed her a picture of him.
Shirey partnered on Marty after the World Championship Futurity in 2007. He had sold a horse he’d raised and was without a horse to campaign in 2008.
“He asked me what I had,” related Squires. “I told him about Marty, so he hands me a blank check. Talk about put me in an awkward position!”
Marty scored big winning a $100,000 at Lance Graves Invitational and $7,546 at the Good Times Futurity. He was second at the WPRA World Finals Futurity for $6,658 and at the Wrap N 3 Futurity for $1,395. A third-place finish at the Old Fort Days Futurity was worth $13,989. He also earned average checks at the Silver Cup, $2,360, and World Futurity, $4,349. A Future Fortunes foal, Marty earned $3,558 in bonus money.
Outside the aged event arena, Marty earned $4,030 including a $2,171 2D Championship at World Barrel Racing Production’s Labor Day race in Waco, Texas. His total earnings as a 4-year-old were $144,191, placing him second on the All Ages, All Divisions horse chart. Including the $3,626 he won as a juvenile, Marty has lifetime Equi-Stat earnings of $147,816.
“He’s a big, sound horse,” said Squires. “I feel like he’s got more in the tank yet. I probably should sell some of these horses, but I really like him. I’ll take him to the derbies and run him at some of the bigger jackpots. Just play it by ear with him really.”
Two Dash To Fame (“Gypsy”) was the leading 5-year-old futurity horse in 2008. Owned by Randy and Vauna Walker, Pingree, Idaho, and ridden by Vauna, Gypsy ran out $59,796 in futurity earnings to rank seventh on the Futurity Horse Chart.
Gypsy, a 2003 daughter of Dash Ta Fame out of the Beda Cheng mare, Bedaub Adash, won seven futurities—the Beth Cooper Memorial for $5,307; the Sand Cup for $3,079; the Red Desert Classic for $3,444; Bosen 3 Can Run for $1,128; the Barrel of Gold for $2,926, the Fizz Bomb Classic for $8,842 and the Roper Apparel Futurity for $3,193.
She was second at the Valley Girls Barrel Daze, $9,774 and the Washington Barrel Racing Association’s Futurity, $1,662. Gypsy was third at the Silver Cup for her largest check worth $18,156. She placed fifth at the Seven Down Turn Around for $1,527 and collected $758 in go-round checks from two futurities.
Gypsy also placed at fourth in derby at the World Futurity for an additional $2,628. Her total earnings for 2008 were $64,806, making her the 8th-ranked All Ages, All Divisions Horse.
The Walker purchased Gypsy from Cody Hyde, Blackfoot, Idaho, who bought the mare from her breeder Gary Chumbley, Battle Ground, Wash., when she was 3.
“The greatest thing about Gypsy is her consistency and how hard she tries,” Vauna Walker told Trisha Johnson after her Fizz Bomb Classic win. “If she slips or the ground is deep, she just runs harder.”
Miss JB 055 (“Peaches”) was the leading juvenile horse with earnings of $101,850. Bred and owned by Joe and Dee Lynn Braman, Refugio, Texas, Peaches was ridden by leading futurity rider Kassie Mowry.
Peaches, a 2005 daughter of Fire Water Flit out of Juana Dinero, by Dash For Cash, won SuperStakes for $100,000 and picked up $1,850 for placing 15th in the Elite Trailers Juvenile.
“She was really, really easy train,” said Mowry. “She always does what she’s asked. This mare has no disagreement in her. That’s what I love about her.”
Of the top 50 futurity horses, 33, or 66 percent, were 4-year-olds; 13, or 26 percent, were 3-year-olds making their first runs in December 2008; and 4, or 8 percent, were 5-year-olds.
The get of Dash Ta Fame accounted for 28 percent of the top 50 horses. The other volume sire was Frenchmans Guy with 10 percent of the horses in the top 50. Sires with at least two get among the Top 50 were Dashin Elvis, Fire Water Flit, Tres Seis, Cash Not Credit and Title Contender.
A solid 4-year-old duo and an incredible string of 3-year-olds earned Kassie Mowry, Dublin, Texas, her first leading futurity rider title. The 28-year-old former National Finals Rodeo qualifier rode seven horses to earnings of $223,593.
Her leading earner was the No. 3 Futurity Horse Miss JB 055 with $101,850. She rode Speed Ta Fame, the No. 6 Futurity Horse, to a Silver Cup Reserve Championship and earnings of $40,693. Aboard Grace Master, the No. 18 Horse, Mowry won Champion of Champions Reserve honors and checks totaling $32,629. FM Radio, the No. 19 Horse, was the World Futurity Reserve Champion and had total earnings of $31,877. LL Blind Faith, the No. 49 Horse, placed in the Champion of Champions and had total earnings of $12,370.
Mowry’s remaining 3-year-olds—Ms Bay Dillon and Ima Firen Faster—earned $2,237 and $1,937, respectively.
“My goal was to place in the average on everything that I took,” said Mowry. “That meant placing in the go-rounds too. I wanted all my colts to do well.”
Mowry says the secret to her success is having nice horses to ride.
“I’m so lucky my owners picked really nice horses,” she said. “They were all bred really nice and training them was really easy. All of them are different—big, little, long, short, rate-y, free-running. I’ve learned so much from them all.”
Derby/Maturity award $413,840
The 53 derbies and maturities tabulated in 2008 accounted for $413,840, an increase of $20,848 from the 49 events listed in 2007.
The top five events all saw increases over 2007. The Old Fort Days Super Derby was the richest event with a payout of $103,460. It drew 259 entries, 144 more than in 2007, for an increase in purse of $32,900.
The seven Canadian events reported accounted for $77,537, or 19 percent of the sector’s total.
Leading Horse and Rider
Old Fort Days Super Derby Champions Chris Coffey and A Bit Of Gold Dust (“Sporty”) were the leading derby/maturity duo.
Coffey collected $24,582 in derby/maturity earnings to lead the rider category. He won $24,216 for winning Old Fort Days and $366 for placing 19th at the World Championship Derby aboard Cruzin Rebel.
The Glasgow, Ky., barrel horse trainer started training fulltime in 1999. He has Equi-Stat earnings of $879,098 as from 1988 until Dec. 31, 2007.
In 2008, Coffey earned $57,869 to be the 16th Rider All Ages, All Divisions. His leading horse was A Bit Of Gold Dust with $35,942. Other money earners were Cruzin Rebel, $12,404; A Perky Six Pack, $4,803; Streaking Mighty Six, $3,946; Heavens Special Go, $308; Guys Danceto Victory, $255; and Miss Nickolee Dancer, $211.
His wife, Carol Ann, also competes. She earned $4,682 aboard Des Delight, a former futurity horse ridden by Chris.
The leading derby/maturity horse A Bit Of Gold Dust (“Sporty”) earned one derby check in 2008, a first-place Old Fort Days Super Derby check worth $24,216. The 2003 gelding is by La Jollas Gold out of Extra Bit Of Class, by Extra Easy, and was bred by Jerry R. Laster, Tecumseh, Okla. He was bred by R.M. Alexander, a Glasgow, Ky., lawyer, who used to own Des Delight as well. Coffey’s cousin, Denny Coffey, Summertown, Tenn., bought Sporty as a 2-year-old and started him before sending him to Chris in April of this 3-year-old year.
Sporty has lifetime Equi-Stat earnings of $67,803. He earned $31,133 as a 4-year-old and earned $36,670 in 2008. While Chris Coffey rode Sporty to the vast majority of his 2008 earnings, Denny Coffey also won $728 on the gelding.
Other horse notes: Bid Cash N Diamonds, a 1996 gelding by Jet Line Cash out of I Bid Diamonds, by Mr Bid Bar, is the oldest horse in the Top 25 Derby/Maturity Horses. He earned $4,396 in events open to maturity horses—those horses that had paid in full to the futurity or derby in previous years. The gelding bred and owned by Marlene Jordan McGaughey, Broken Bow, Neb., earned $2,416 at the Cornhusker Maturity and Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Champion Jill Moody earned $1,980 at the Bold Heart Breeders Maturity.
The youngest horse in the Top 25 was Bet Or Check (PT) (“Herbert”). The 4-year-old gelding is by Dashin Is Easy out of Fabulous Angel (PT), by Raise A Jet (PT), and was bred by Herbert Graham, Gardendale, Texas.
Ridden by Leslie Willis, Chester, S.C., for Southern Rose Ranch and Flying W Barrel Horses, Herbert earned $3,507 for placing in the Silver Cup Derby. When he failed to qualify for the Silver Cup Futurity Finals because of a fallen barrel, Willis entered him in the Derby.
Before his untimely death, Herbert earned $44,982 in 2008 and was the 16th ranked All Ages, All Divisions Horse. He was the No. 11 Futurity Horse with $41,475. In a career that lasted just six months, Herbert had lifetime earnings of $146,582.
Divisional purses dropped by $943,775 from $10,181,776 in 2007 to $9,238,001. Equi-Stat recorded 215 open, senior and youth events that used the divisional format. This was just eight fewer than in 2007.
At least $398,040 was lost with the Can Chaser Challenge, which wasn’t held in 2008. The American West Finals dropped by more than $45,000 and the Barrel Racers National 4D Finals dropped by more than $12,000. Both events were held on the West Coast, which had by far the highest fuel prices in the nation ($4.25 to $5.25 for diesel). Many National Barrel Horse Association events, including the Open and Senior Finals, experienced drops in purse.
One major bright spot was the Better Barrel Races Finals with a jump in purse of $60,521 to $305,621. Held in Oklahoma City, the $53,000-added event drew 2,414 entries among the open and various side pots.
Although much maligned on internet message boards for their guaranteed payouts, World Barrel Racing Production events paid more than the same events in 2007.
The biggest hit was with events that paid out less than $40,000 or added less than $7,500. Though these mid-sized events continued to draw entries and pay well enough, they lost out over all to the premier events and Finals as well as the local weekend races. Week-day jackpots in some areas have all but disappeared in this economy.
Mesa Leavitt and her talented mount Juniors Genuine Doc (“Junior”) claimed the top spots among 1D riders and horses. Leavitt, 13, earned $45,385 aboard three horses, while Junior accounted for $43,463 of her total.
The duo from Blue Grass, Iowa, had an amazing run, winning four premier events. Their most profitable win came at the All American Youth, which paid $9,901. Other victories include the NBHA Finals, $7,154; the NBHA Youth World, $4,362; and NBHA Great Lakes Nationals, $3,044. They also placed second at the NBHA Sweepstakes, $2,114, and third at the Better Barrel Races Finals and Mega for $8,121 and for $2,060, respectively.
Junior, a 1994 gelding, is by Joes Genuine Doc out of Petique, by Sirtique. He was bred by Lisanne Kay Currin, Heppner, Ore. Jackie Hales patterned Junior and Debbie Stahl put the finishing touches on the gelding before he was sold to Savoy Rosser, father of National Finals Rodeo qualifier Sherry Lynn Johnson. Leavitt’s parents, Richard and Heidi, purchased him from the Rossers.
Though Leavitt primarily used Junior at the 4Ds in the past, she had to run him at a lot more rodeos this year when her good rodeo horse San Jo Lena went out with a stress fracture suffered at the BBR Finals.
Leavitt, a three-time International Pro Rodeo Association World Champion, also earned $1,276 aboard Talent For Shar for winning the Youth at the Barrel Futurities of America’s World Championship Futurity and $646 aboard Paid To Boogie at the BBR Finals.
With $53,584 in total earnings, Leavitt is the 18th-ranked rider of all ages and divisions, while Junior’s $46,866 made him the 13th-ranked horse overall.
Marne Loosenort, Hazel, Ky., was the leading 2D rider with $15,465 won aboard 11 horses: Rickashay Ta Fame, $4,747; Fames Lil Banner, $3,028; VF Burr N Smoke, $2,218; Law Breakin Lilly, $1,703; Frenchmans Bulla, $772; Zeros Spirit Jet, $714; My Sweet Venture, $597; TM Check My Drift, $532; and Oso Famus, $298. Unidentified mounts accounted for $856.
Loosenort’s most profitable runs came aboard Rickashay Ta Fame, whom she won the 2D at the NBHA Sweepstakes for $2,060 and the 2D at the International Barrel Racing Association East Championship Finals for $2,687.
A former futurity and IPRA Champion, Loosenort earned $44,702 in 2008. In addition to her 2D earnings, Loosenort collected $13,256 at futurities, $11,816 in the 1D, $2,674 in the 3D, $1,128 in straight-run races and $362 in the 4D. She’s earned $527,063 since her first Equi-Stat record in 1998.
The 2D leading horse honors belonged to Nonstop High (“Spud”), a 1998 gelding by Nonstop Bubblin out of A Total High, by On A High. Spud was bred by Larry Addkison, Louisville, Miss., and trained and campaigned by Quay Eaves before being sold to Kevin and Kim Manor and their son Kevin. Spud, with Kevin at the reins, earned $9,691 in 2D money.
Veteran trainer Paul Cooper, Meridian, Miss., helped the Manors find Spud, who has made an excellent horse for 12-year-old Kent.
“He’s made Kent a really nice barrel horse,” Kent Manor told Kenneth Springer after Kevin won the 2D title at the All-American Youth in a dramatic three-way run-off. “I think the best thing about him is you can run him, turn him around and he’ll walk down the alley and walk the pattern if that’s what you want him to do. He’s absolutely the kind of horse you dream of having for your kid.”
Spud and Kevin earned their largest check, $6,430, for the All-American Youth.
“Everyone thought the run-off was cool, except for me,” said Kim Manor. “Both Spud and Kevin are pretty laid back. We say Spud’s like an old man, and Kevin never gets upset even when under pressure. His friends started calling him the Iceman.”
The duo also picked up $2,102 for taking second in the 2D at the Mega. They also won 2D checks at the NBHA Holiday Classic, NBHA March Madness, NBHA Mid South Nationals and NBHA Mississippi June Jam.
All totaled, Spud and Kevin collected $18,789 in 2008 with $9,098 of that total earned in the 1D. Spud has lifetime Equi-Stat earnings of $33,867 since he was a 4-year-old.
Carol Willess, Rosebud, Texas, was the leading 3D rider in 2008 with $5,478 won aboard two horses—Bingo Duke Holly (“Scooter”) and Dukes Money (“Cutter”)—who just happen to be half-brothers out of CC Dukes Holly, by Doc Hollywood. Both horses were bred by Edd Melton, Killeen, Texas.
Willess’ big win came at the World Barrel Racing Productions Barrelnanza where she won the $5,000 first-place check in the 3D of the $20,000 Big Bucks Race aboard Cutter, a 2001 gelding by Please Send Money. She actually won her way into the race by winning the Big Bucks Incentive at the WBRP’s Guthrie, Okla., race in December 2007 aboard Scooter, a 1998 gelding by Bingo Hickory.
The mother of two grown children, Willess spends her days helping her husband, Robert, and son, Cody, with their farrier business. Both Cody and Robert ranch rodeo, but her daughter, Amanda, prefers playing pool over horses.
Aside from the horseshoeing business, the family also works cattle. Both Scooter and Cutter earn their living outside of the arena.
“I work cattle on both my barrel horse,” she said. “I think it’s good for them. They never know what they’re getting in the trailer for. Well, I take that back. I’m pretty sure they know when they get in the stock trailer they’re going to work cattle. I even worked the Camp Cooley Sale (a large Brangus cattle production sale) the week after Barrelnanza.”
Willess also earned $295 in 2D money on Cutter for total Equi-Stat earnings of $5,773.
Cecils Episode (“Dash”) owned and ridden by Annette McKinney, Canton, Texas, was the leading 3D horse with $5,440. Dash, a 1992 gelding, is by Bold Episode out of Cecils Song, by Port Master (TB), and was bred by C.F. Vititow, Emory, Texas.
McKinney, a registered nurse, purchased Dash as a2-year-old off the track.
“Dash was a long work in progress,” said McKinney. “He’s so automatic now, I just sit up there and let him do it. He’s got a lot of arthritis and bone from the track so it takes a lot to keep him going. I only make one to two runs a month on him. I just wish he had a lot more years in him.”
Dash and McKinney’s big payday came at the WBRP race in Glen Rose, Texas, where they placed ninth in the 3D, earning $440.
“I was so upset because the run was horrible,” she laughed. That run made her eligible for the $5,000 prize she added to her earnings total. At Glen Rose, the top 10 finishers in each division drew for a key to a lockbox with $5,000 in it.
It should be noted that Equi-Stat doesn’t include the value of non-cash prizes like trucks and saddles. However, cash prize drawings are included if making a run and getting a time, even a no time for a hit barrel, was a requirement.
Stephanie Kabler and Slippa Star Bar (“CC”) were the top 4D duo. They both earned $5,742, but only $5,647 was credited to Slippa Star Bar because she won some money under her barn name.
Kabler, a 14-year-old from Moody, Texas, has been barrel racing for four years. She’s a high school freshman and plays tennis along with her barrel racing. Kabler partnered with CC two years ago, but she has since sold the mare.
Bred to be a show horse, CC is a 1996 mare by Slippa Star out of Wylackie Bobbie Lee. She was bred by Jim Richards and Ray Parsons, Mesilla Park, N.M.
“She likes to run barrels,” said Kabler. She also said that the mare is blind in one and she sold her because she was ready for a faster horse.
Their shining moment came at the Glen Rose WBRP race. They tied for fourth in the 4D and drew the lucky key to open the $5,000 lockbox.
“That was one of my best runs,” said Kabler. “I was very surprised.”
They also earned 4D money in the youth at the WBRP in Conroe, Texas.
Kabler had total Equi-Stat earnings of $6,116 in 2008. She also won 3D money in Glen Rose aboard a grade horse called Smokey Joe.
By virtue of their WBRP Glen Rose haul, Heather Glass and Royal China Gold (“Peanut”) claimed 5D honors. Glass, Meridian, Texas, won $5,548 while Peanut was credited with $5,329 due to barn name earnings.
Glass, who works from home doing bookwork for a general contractor, has owned Peanut for five years. Bred by Troy Harrington, Lipan, Texas, Peanut is a 1997 mare by Kings Doxy Chex out of Miss China Jo. Glass bought the mare from her hauling partner, Kassie Webb, Granbury, Texas, who trained Peanut.
“I’ve got to give credit to her trainer, Kassie Webb,” said Glass. “She did an excellent job. This mare likes her job.”
Glass described Peanut as “little.”
“She’s really little,” she laughed. “She may be 14 hands if she’s lucky. She’s a stocky, foundation-type horse.”
Glass wasn’t too happy with placing in the 5D at Glen Rose, but acknowledged that the money spends the same as upper division money.
“She’s usually in the 3D,” she said. “If she makes a great run, she’s in the 2D. I’ve only been in the 5D twice and it's usually been when she slips or falls. One of those times was the big Booger Barter (WBRP) race.”
All totaled, Glass and Peanut collected $7,492 in 2008. She picked up $224 in the 2D; $164 in the 3D and $1,556 in the 4D.
On an interesting note, Glass and Webb made a pact two years ago that they would haul together as a team. They would split whatever money they won that way they both would have money to keep entering. So Glass graciously split the $5,000 she won at Glen Rose with Webb.
Another Glen Rose $5,000 winning combination, Tommy Allday and his calf horse-turned barrel horse “Copy” led the 6D category. They had total earnings of $5,258.
Allday, Cleburne, Texas, has spent the last 30 years training cutting, roping and barrel horses. These days it’s just barrel racing and shoeing horses. He got Copy, a 12-year-old gelding of Sugar Bars, Impressive and Doc Quixote breeding about two years ago. The gelding was so broke he immediately took to barrels.
“He’s one of those freaks,” Allday said. “He’s just a natural. You show him anything and he’ll go do it. He’s a really nice horse.”
They also picked up $1,075 for placing in the 3D at the WBRP in Waco for total earnings of $6,333.
“My weight handicaps my horse,” Allday admitted. “That weight factor makes a lot of difference in a barrel horse. And, I got a lot older and I don’t push like should. I guarantee you could put a little girl on him and go the NFR. He’s that outstanding.”
Allday is out of commission at the moment having recently undergone heart surgery, but he hopes to be back in the saddle by this year’s WBRP in Glen Rose.
Youth rewards $784,989
While youth purses were down by more than $120,000 in 2008 and entries were down at many races, they did not decline at the NBHA Youth World in Jackson, Miss. The absence of the $92,000-plus Can Chaser Challenge in Pasco, Wash., accounted for in part for the overall drop. The NBHA Youth World saw their entries jump by more than 300 and the purse jump by nearly $28,000.
Topping the 1,805 entries at the NBHA Youth World was Mesa Leavitt. The Blue Grass, Iowa, teenager made a clean sweep of prestigious youth races with her additional wins at the Josey Junior World Champion Barrel Race in Karnack, Texas, the All-American Youth in Jackson, and the Youth at the World Futurity in Oklahoma City.
Leavitt’s youth total amounted to $22,023 of her $53,584 Equi-Stat total earnings on the year. She won $18,566 on Juniors Genuine Doc, $3,118 on Talent For Schar and $339 on an unidentified horse.
Since 2005, Leavitt has collected $197,684 in Equi-Stat earnings. For 2008, she’s the leading 1D Rider with $45,385 and 18th on the All Ages, All Divisions’ list. She’s also a three-time International Pro Rodeo Association World Champion Barrel Racer.
The 13-year-old daughter of chiropractors Richard and Heidi Leavitt is sponsored by Kent Feeds, Game Ready Equine and Pro Orthopedic. She is home schooled so she can devote more time to her horses.
“People don’t realize how dedicated she is,” Richard Leavitt told Kenneth Springer after Mesa’s All-American Youth Championship. “She rides at least five or six different horses every day, sometimes more, in addition to all the time she has to spend caring for Junior. She does her school work every day via the computer, but the rest of her time is spent with the horses.”
Leavitt’s younger sister Shiloh also competes. She earned $1,663 on Paid To Boogie for placing at the Josey Jr. World.
Tanya Randall is a frequent BHN contributor and avid barrel racer. She resides in California with her husband Matt and young son Colton. E-mail comments on this article to