Saturday, December 3, 2011

NFR Favorites

Every year the NFR gets a little more exciting to me. Having a Pro-Barrel Racer right next door gives me a lot closer look into the world than I have ever had before and I am getting a first hand look at what these girl's lives are like. It has taken a long time to start to get to know my neighbor because she is gone most of the time. But I followed her progress this year and was so excited for her when she made it all the way up to the #16 spot in the standings by mid-summer....

Bessert

Unfortunately by the time the final tally was done, she had fallen back to the #19 spot and that is where she ended up for the year. She's been home for a while now and I have gotten to know her well enough to know that she is a super sweet person and a lot of fun to visit with. It's been a little frustrating for me because she has invited me to go ride with her (she lives next door) and here I was struggling to get my horses back to the point where I think her experience and expertise would really help. I do pay attention when she is riding and have gleaned some valuable info.

She has been traveling partners with and is the one who set up the Sue Smith clinic last winter that I attended. Of course, after meeting Sue and getting a first hand look at what a great horsewoman she is, she became another favorite and I root for her...
My brother knew Sue from years ago and told me she was a heckava hand, which is why I decided to go to her clinic.

Britney Fleck is another traveling partner of my neighbor...
Of course, I just love the story about Fleck's black horse...just a horse she picked up for extra credit for a colt training class she was taking in college. Obviously the girl has an eye for a good horse. And then there is the fact that she is the first North Dakota barrel racer to ever qualify for the NFR. I didn't realize that. There are some pretty good ND barrel racers, so that kind of surprised me.

Both Sue and Britney have had tough luck the first 2 go's this year. Knocked barrels both nights. Sue would have won the 2nd round if that barrel hadn't gone down.

No one gets to the NFR if they aren't the best, so I hope these two get the kinks worked out and win some money.

I have a deep respect for Sherry Cervi...
Stringray doesn't look like any of the other barrel horses, but she can obviously scat...since she holds the arena record at the Thomas and Mack. When Cervi first started making the NFR, a lot of people (me included) thought it had a lot to do with the fact she had the monetary means to purchase horses that could get her there. But she has proven to be a top hand and an exceptional horsewoman. If I could be like any of the barrel racers that are winning...she is the one I would chose to be. Money can't buy the ability this woman has proven to have and I LOVE the fact that she is running and winning on horses that her family has raised.

Of course, I have to root for my home state cowgirl, Lisa Lockhart...
I am just in love with Louie (An Okie With Cash). What a neat horse. Lisa is another cowgirl who is a top hand. I have never gotten to meet Lisa in person, but the rest of my family is good friends with the Lockhart family (and I know some of them). I don't know anything about Lisa's family, but I know she married into a family that raised many good horses over the decades and have always been top rodeo hands. Lisa worked damn hard to get where she is and deserves every bit of recognition she gets. She made every horse she runs and I love how quiet and smoothly she rides.

It's not all barrel racers I'm rooting for this year. Blake Knowles is back at the NFR and steer wrestling off of a horse that is near and dear to my heart...Shesa Fabulous...
Shesa Fabulous is a product of Brian Fulton's breeding program, from way back in the beginning, when he was partnered with Billy Meyers. Sired by Frenchman's Fabulous, the mare is the first foal out of the only daughter of my most beloved dun mare, Diala Dandy Dolly.

Yuppers, Shesa Fabulous is Moon's 'niece'. Every time I watch this mare back in the box...I see her mother (Shesa Dandy Command) and granddam (Diala Dandy Dolly). My beloved old Woofer and her daughter, Shesa Dandy Command have/had a very distinct (and recognizable to me) alertness and carriage about their head and neck...and Shesa Fabulous is a chip off of the old block. Dandy (Shesa Dandy Command) has proved to be one of Brian Fulton's top producing mares and is still listed in Brian's sale catalogs as his 'favorite cowhorse'. I am so very happy that the mare went to someone who was able to prove her value. It's an important lesson to the naysayers of 'backyard breeders'...it's not that we aren't producing horses that have all the ability of the professionally bred horses, it's just getting them into the hands of the right people. Name recognition is the only advantage the pros have over the rest of us. So it's darned exciting to see the fruits of our love and labor prove what we already knew in our heart.

13 comments:

Allenspark Lodge said...

Beautiful pictures! Way to make us miss, even more, not being at the rodeo this year. It's our first miss in a while. We'll rout for your friends, too.
Bionic Cowgirl

BK said...

Sheri Cervi and Lisa Lockhart are my favorites! And Charmayne James, I live about 30 miles from her hometown. Her clone of Scamper was named after it, she comes back every couple years and does a clinic.

Mikey said...

I'm loving it too, as you know :)
At the shooting today, I saw a horse they said was Peppy San Steeldust. Big old grey. I did a doubletake, then drooled. I need better horses!!!

Big storm down here, nice night to cuddle up, knit another scarf (#6) and watch some NFR. Mercy says I need to quit yelling at the TV though...

Mikey said...

I went to Allbreedpedigree, but couldn't find Peppy San Steeldust :( Wonder if they were just sayin his breeding. Good looking horse...
2 hrs to go here...

Crystal said...

I havent watched any of the NFR, I havent found the channel but i hear its on at 3 am so not sure it would matter too much anyways. Kinda cool the history on the horses.

cdncowgirl said...

Pretty cool to have some personal ties :)

I have to say for the barrel races that I also like Smith, Lockhart & Cervi. Rooting for Sears too, after all she's the only Canadian gal there! ;) and I love Martha.
Heck I like most of those horses lol

FlyingHorse2 said...

Not sure if you knew but here in Florida they just started pari-mutual betting on barrel racing. I'm sure there is plenty of pros and cons to it. Should be interesting watching it play out.

Chelsi said...

Cool connection, that would be really awesome to see. Cant wait to see you there one day my friend! I'll get to brag, "I know that lady!"

Shirley said...

I think all the top barrel racers are there because they are good horsewomen; money can buy a top horse but it can't make you a better rider, so those girls deserve all their accolades. I love that some of them are riding home bred horses, and I agree with you that small time breeders like you and I only need to get our good horses into the hands of people who can campaign them, in what ever event.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

This is a funny story...

Twelve years ago, I wanted to breed a mare to Alive And Firen. My mom was dead set against it because the previous year my brother had talked to Vickie Adams about breeding one of his mares to Firewater Flit and she told him that she didn't think that would be a good cross. I conceded to my mother that maybe the FWF bloodline wasn't for us after a local breeder in SD started standing another son of FWF and the horse had atrociously weak stifles.

Now my mom just loves Yeah Hes Firen (Duke), so I never let her forget that I could have had one like him and back when Alive And Firen's stud fee was only $500 because he was a young, unproven stallion.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Good horses stand out, don't they BEC's?

That is way cool that you have ties with the top competitors in your chosen sport. The fact some of them are riding homebreds- even better. If you are going to learn from anyone, go to the sources at the top. Hope you are there soon to celebrate with them.

fernvalley01 said...

That is so exciting! She looks like an awsome horse too! Good breeding shows. and backyard , you ain't lady!
Smaller breeders who pay attention to detail, and the horses themselves ,not just what is on paper will always produce a better horse , we just gotta get them out there like you say!

Western Saddle said...

I'm loving all the pictures! It's kind of adrenaline rush.Hooray for these cowgirls.