horse and rider and cow
Eric Freitas & Cat Snacks • Photo by Primo Morales

Non-Pros Cut, Slide and Circle to Hackamore Classic Championships

Novice Non-Pro Hackamore

horse and rider and cow
Mindy Barkemeyer & Seven S Corona • Photo by Primo Morales

Mindy Barkemeyer, of Scottsdale, Arizona, rode out of the John Justin Arena aboard Seven S Corona on Oct. 16 with the speakers blaring a composite score of 624.5 from the announcer’s stand overhead. That score would make Barkemeyer the Hackamore Classic Novice Non-Pro Champion.

“It’s amazing! I didn’t expect to do this good! This is the first time I’ve shown in a major event on that horse in the hackamore and going down the fence!” said Barkemeyer, who also took fourth place in the Intermediate Non-Pro and ninth in the Non-Pro aboard her 2013 gelding.

Seven S Corona is by Very Smart Remedy and out of the Seven S Zanaday mare Seven S Zans Fancy – bloodlines which made all the difference to Barkemeyer when she decided to purchase him.

“He was bred by a really good friend of ours, Terri Stewart Forst. He comes from a really amazing line of horses, and she’s really particular about how she breeds, so I’ve always wanted one,” explained Barkemeyer, who together with her husband, Brad, owns Barkemeyer Performance Horses. “We actually bought this horse for a customer of ours and it didn’t work out, so I had the opportunity to purchase him, so I did! It’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time!”

Seven S Corona, who had $12,555 in lifetime earnings prior, earned $827 for his title, as well as another $827 in the Intermediate Non-Pro. He also garnered $20 for his 209.5 in the herd work, marked a 210 in the rein work and picked up $10 for his 205 in the cow work. While he’s proven his worth in the show pen, “snuggling” may be where his real strength lies, Barkemeyer said with a laugh.

“He’s so good in the reining. He and I are a little green in that right now, just with me trusting him,” explained Barkemeyer. “But he’s wicked on a cow, which is fantastic when the cow events are two events out of the three!”

The 5-year-old was trained and shown throughout his 3- and 4-year-old years by Lee Deacon, who Barkemeyer credited for a great deal of their success.

“Lee did an amazing job and really made him the horse he is today. And to be able to come down to a non-pro level, I really appreciate Lee Deacon,” she said.

Barkemeyer was quick to thank her turnback help, including Kelby Phillips, Shadd Parkinson and Todd Bergen, and Brad, who got her horse ready for everything.

The plan going forward is for Barkemeyer to show the gelding in the two-rein next year – “if my son doesn’t take him from me!” said the sweet mom of two boys, Bryce and Zane. “They all do, they all take my horses, and that’s OK.”

The Reserve title featured two champions, one of which was Megan Ciana and Blues Wright On, who scored a 619 composite (210 herd/207.5 rein/201.5 cow). The 2013 stallion by Blue Savannah Holli and out of Wright On Sandy (by Lenas Wright On) brought home a check for $620 for their win.

Also sharing the Reserve title was Mobile Deposit, ridden and owned by Wes Housler, who also earned a 619 composite (206 herd/206.5 rein/206.5 cow). A paycheck of $620, as well as a check of $31 for a second place finish in the Novice Non-Pro cow work, went home with the duo.

Amateur Hackamore

horse and rider and cow
Wes Housler & Mobile Deposit • Photo by Primo Morales

Wes Housler made it a twofer at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and Hackamore Classic. He first guided one horse to a title in the Futurity, then came back in the Hackamore Classic Non-Pro to win the Amateur as well.

The horse he won the Hackamore Classic title with, Mobile Deposit, was his first futurity cow horse two years ago. Housler originally purchased “Checkers” to take to the Snaffle Bit Futurity since the gelding met his criteria of having a good pedigree, in addition to talent.

“We’ve always cowboyed and done the ranch horse competitions, all that stuff, and I just wanted to keep going with it and go to the next level – hopefully keep going,” Housler said. “He was good enough, and I chickened out, I didn’t come [to the Snaffle Bit Futurity].”

By Im Countin Checks, the gelding is out of the Smart Little Jerry mare Smart Little Philus, a cutter that earned nearly $15,000. Though Housler didn’t take him to the Futurity, they’ve participated in reined cow horse and versatility ranch horse classes ever since.

“[He’s] the first horse that I bought as a yearling and trained all the way through,” Housler said. “He’s been a pretty good horse; he’s really talented. He’s not a big fan of the reining, but he loves working the cow and he’s been super easy. He’s just a good horse. My kids ride him; I use him on the ranch and he’s a nice horse.”

In addition to their championship, Housler rode Checkers, who was bred by Equine Embryo Transfer Facility, to tie for 14th in the Non-Pro, eighth in the Intermediate Non-Pro and Reserve in the Novice Non-Pro. They garnered $2,024, plus $31 from the cow work. Checkers now boasts $7,150 in lifetime earnings, while Housler’s stand at $12,756.

Though Housler doesn’t often ride Checkers in a hackamore, he said the horse performed well at the show.

“He can be good in one, but when things get fast and with him wanting to work the cow so bad, he’d rather you just leave him alone and let him do it. Sometimes when I do that, he doesn’t put himself in the right spot, but he’s been good,” Housler said. “He’s really laid-back and a big puppy dog, he doesn’t care about much.”

Housler thanked his herd help – Chris Dawson, Matt Koch, Kyle Trahern and Clay Volmer. Several of them have helped him consistently at shows over the last few years, and for the horseman from Cloudcroft, New Mexico, who doesn’t often have help in his daily riding regimen, it meant a lot.

Maddie Fantaskey and CR Tiny Tuff took the Amateur Reserve Championship with their score of 616.5 (208 herd/191.5 rein/217 cow), along with a $1,053 check. The Center Ranch-bred gelding (Woody Be Tuff x CR Dees Boon Meow x Peptoboonsmal) and his owner also collected $26 for their herd work score and $78 from the cow work.

Non-Pro Limited Hackamore

horse and rider and cow
Monica Duflock & She Wants A Prenup • Photo by Primo Morales

About this time a year ago, Monica Duflock made the fortunate decision to purchase her first limited-age horse, a mare named She Wants A Prenup. Drawn to the mare by her “cute little face” and coloring, she tried her out based on the recommendation of her trainer, Todd Crawford. A year later, she and “Candy” rode to the NRCHA Hackamore Classic Non-Pro Limited Championship.

“Todd trained her, and I think Todd did a really nice job of matching the two of us,” Duflock said. “It feels great! We’re getting later in the year and it feels like things are starting to gel and come together more because we’re both green, so it helps when all the stars align on the same day.”

The duo started off their runs with the herd work, where they marked a 210 and won the round, collecting $128.

“My game plan was just to try and go soft at everything, and just try to smooth some things out,” Duflock said. “I think I should have maybe rode a little more aggressive on my cow, but I was pleased with my stops.”

In the reining, Duflock and Candy scored a 208.5, then went into the boxing and marked a 208. Their composite 626.5 took the title and the $2,066 champion’s check by merely a half-point.

Duflock and the mare won the Derby Non-Pro Limited at the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association Pre-Futurity and had a few other shows under their belts prior to the Hackamore Classic. Though they’ve shown most of the year in the snaffle bit, Duflock said she likes riding Candy in the hackamore.

“I think horses look more graceful in the hackamore, so I appreciate that,” she said.

Duflock also has a bridle horse – Oh Cay Meriah – she has shown the last few years, and while she hasn’t gone down the fence yet, it could be a goal for her future.

Kathleen Moore-bred Candy, who is by High Brow Cat, is out of Heres Lookin At You, a Peptoboonsmal mare that won nearly $35,000 in the cutting pen. That mare is out of Smart Lookin Hi Brow, earner of $221,929 and producer of $374,846, including Iridescent Cat ($115,684). Smart Lookin Hi Brow is a daughter of Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Dam The Smart Look, mother of Dual Smart Rey ($330,436), SVR Reyl Smart ($276,623), WR This Cats Smart ($236,474), One Smart Lookin Cat ($226,122) and Sannman ($200,292), among others.

With nearly $5,000 in lifetime earnings, Candy’s career is still in the beginning stages. Duflock plans to stick with the limited-age events and has another derby year left with the currently 4-year-old mare.

“She’s a cute mare, but she definitely gets into your business,” Duflock said. “She has her face in your face all the time. It’s almost easier to be on her back than standing next to her. When you’re on her back, she’s ready to work. She’s pretty good about being focused and ready to work. This is all so new to me, I feel like she’s been very patient with me.”

The mother of three boys – Carter, 14; Colby, 12; and Conrad, 10 –Duflock, who is from Ross, California, was excited to have her sons present to watch her winning run. The boys all ride for fun and were happy to cheer her on from the stands.

“It’s a treat to be able to win something of this magnitude with my boys here,” Duflock commented. “It’s fun. They got to miss school and come, so it’s been fun having them here to see me out in the arena and then be able to win this award. I’m thrilled to have them here.

“I’d definitely like to thank Todd Crawford because of course he trained this great mare and trains me,” she continued. “I’ve learned a ton, and I feel like I’m learning every day. He’s very patient and full of so much knowledge. And of course Pam Crawford and Dustin Mills, who is Todd’s assistant. They do so, so much for us behind the scenes, so I’m grateful for the trio for sure.”

Smart Savanah Holli carried owner Calley Satriana to the Non-Pro Limited Reserve Championship after scoring a 198 in the herd, a 214.5 in the rein work and a 213.5 in the boxing. Their composite 626 brought them a check worth $1,652, plus an additional $128 for winning the rein work. The Watrous Valley Ranch Limited-bred mare (Blue Savanah Holli x Taffeta Ruffles x Smart Mate) is an earner of more than $7,000.