Proving to yourself that a setback isn’t permanent can feel impossible, but for Kelsey Delaplaine Fulmer, disappointment from one run only fueled a better one at the biggest show in cow horse.
Riding Lookatlittlesister, Fulmer and “Sister” put together a composite of 638.5 (208 herd/215 rein/215.5 cow) composite, good for the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Metallic Cat Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro Limited Championship.
After marking a 208 in the herd with Sister, Fulmer lost a cow in the boxing with her bridle horse Starlight Driver.
“I was so upset with myself, so I really had to get mentally back in the game,” Fulmer said. “It was tough, but I just stayed super positive. I’m just always trying to think positive thoughts.”
Fulmer and Sister rebounded in the reining, marking a 215 and putting the belief back in Fulmer.
“I showed in the reining before I started doing the cow horse, and that’s where I’m strong. After our rein work, I got my confidence back. She’s so smooth in her lope, she has a huge turnaround — that is her thing,” Fulmer said.
The team was locked in for their boxing run, where they marked a 215.5 and secured their championship by one-and-a-half points on Sunday, Oct. 17, winning $6,675.
“She got ahold of that cow and I’m pretty sure I was grinning ear to ear before they even blew the buzzer because it just felt so good,” Fulmer said.
Having only ridden cow horses seriously for two years, Fulmer has relied heavily on trainers Danielle and Christian Lybbert for guidance.
“I put all my trust into [the Lybberts] because I didn’t know what a coming 3-year-old should be doing [when I bought Sister],” Fulmer said.
Despite a two-hour commute to the Lybbert’s facility, Fulmer worked diligently to team up with Sister and earn her favor.
“She is totally a mare. She has such a big personality and the more I’m around her, the more I fall in love with her. As soon as you get done riding her, she looks at you like ‘Excuse me, where are my cookies?’ She knows,” Fulmer said.
Sister is by National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Champion and 2021 freshman sire Stevie Rey Von and out of Smart Playing Chic (by Smart Chic Olena). She has been at the Lybbert’s facility her entire life, having been bred by the facility owner Liz Armeta.
Next year Fulmer plans to start going down the fence with Sister and Starlight Driver.
Reserve Champions of the NRCHA Metallic Cat Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro Limited were Lori Frampton-Crafton and One Smart N Timley (One Time Pepto x Ima Smart Response x Smart Little Lena). The pair scored a 637 composite (208 herd/209.5 rein/219.5 cow) for a $5,340 payday.