Cue up the Rocky theme song. Reymanator is working toward a comeback.
Trainer Zane Davis recently announced the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion known as much for his quirky behavior as his extreme talent is working toward a possible return to competition.
The goal? The $150,000 Invitational Fence Work Challenge at this summer’s The Run For A Million horse show. Unlike most events for cow horses, the class at The Run For A Million only involves a single cow work, or fence run. There is no herd work, no rein work — and no preliminaries.
Davis, one of 15 riders invited to participate in the inaugural cow horse competition at the show, figured if he was only able to pick one horse, it might as well be the best one he’s ever ridden in that event.
“If he draws the right cow, he is the best fence horse that I’ve ever ridden,” he said. “So I think in a situation like this, you take the best horse you can get, because you’re only going to get one shot.”
Although the announcement of a comeback has generated buzz with the horse’s fans, Davis said it is contingent on an examination by a veterinarian. Reymanator was injured about three years ago at a National High School Rodeo Association event – one of the many activities the horse has participating in since retiring from NRCHA competition – and Davis wants to make sure he’s physically able to handle the intense task at The Run For A Million.
“I had the vet come out and evaluate him, and she went all through him and said that he seemed good,” Davis explained. “She said that we have to spend 30 days getting in shape, and then she’ll come back and check him again.”
If after 30 days Reymanator isn’t ready to compete or doesn’t get the green light from the vet, Davis plans to ride $199,439-winner Rubys Radar.
During his show career, Reymanator won the sport of reined cow horse’s biggest prize – the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity – with Davis abroad in 2009. They had several other wins together over the years, including the 2015 World’s Richest Stock Horse event.
Reymanator’s $206,798 in lifetime earnings ranks him 15th on Equi-Stat’s all-time leading reined cow horse list. First place in the Invitational Fence Work Challenge pays $60,000, a figure that would vault the gelding far up the list.
Though he hasn’t competed with Davis in an NRCHA-sanctioned event for some time, the 15-year-old son of Dual Rey and out of Savannah Hickory (by Doc’s Hickory) has been anything but idle since he retired from full-time reined cow horse duty about six years ago.
The Davis children have kept him busy on multiple fronts.
In National High School Rodeo, he did barrels, poles, cutting, reined cow horse and roping. Most recently, he’s expanded his horse show horizons considerably in 4-H with Davis’s youngest daughter, Presley Jean, who also rode him in speed events at junior rodeos.
“He does everything. He does English, he does bareback equitation, he does the showmanship and he’s not very good at trail,” Davis said. “He doesn’t like trail very much, but he enters the trail classes; it’s more of comic relief than it is, you know, success.”
Still The Reymanator
Those who enjoyed Reymanator’s antics should know that rodeo and 4-H hasn’t eliminated his quirks. He still might dart off if given the opportunity while being bridled, and recently seized an opportunity to escape his pen and required four people to catch him. Davis expects if he gets to Vegas, it’s possible the horse will rear on him in the practice pen like he always did.
“I’ve never known him not to,” he said. “I don’t know if that will change.”
Reymanator is still Reymanator.
“He’s mellowed some, but he’s very much the same that he has always been. I always say that he thinks more like a man than any horse I ever I ever been around and, unfortunately, he thinks like an evil man rather than a good one, so he’s got lots of interesting personalities.”