Live N On A Prayer and Electrician tied to win the SWRHA Futurity Level 4 Open title. • Photo by Traci Davenport courtesy of SWRHA.

Live N On A Prayer & Electrician Best in SWRHA Futurity

Two promising young futurity horses put in great performances at the Southwest Reining Horse Association (SWRHA) Futurity Open, one of the last big preps before the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity.

When the dust settled, judges couldn’t separate royally-bred Live N On A Prayer and Electrician, who tied for the Level 4 Open Championship Saturday, Oct. 23 in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Live N On A Prayer & Casey Deary

One glance at Live N On A Prayer’s blueblood pedigree, and it’s no surprise to see Casey Deary with the horse in a win photo. Deary’s ridden the colt’s sire, In Like Flinn, and piloted his dam, Americasnextgunmodel, to the 2012 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – and also successfully shown some of the colt’s talented older siblings.

Deary rode Live N On A Prayer to his first big win with a 222 at the SWRHA Futurity, tying for the Level 4 Open Championship with Pierre-Luc Phaneuf. The co-championship came with a check for $15,177 for owner Neiberger Performance Horses.

“This colt is a really good loper. He has a lot of natural rate and draw like his sire, but he’s got the really great qualities that his mother had,” Deary said of Americasnextgunmodel, whose foals have so far produced more than $553,537. “He has that foot speed in the turn and a really cool style running and stopping.”

Surprisingly, Live N On A Prayer got behind in training this year but is catching up to speed.

“He had a small muscle tear on his hip, so we rested him like the vet said and he’s all healed up now. I missed a few months through the summer on him,” Deary said of the colt bred by Curtis Performance Horses. “The time that I missed, I had to put back together on the road. I showed him two-handed at Tulsa, showed him in Vegas and had a bobble there, and took him to Congress and got hung up in a rollback. He prepared really well last week at home and this week here, he showed really well for me.”

Deary says it’s immensely helpful for all involved to have such a talented team of assistant trainers to help give all the horses he has in training a chance to show.

“It puts my customers in a really good spot, too. They know there aren’t just three spots [for the NRHA Futurity]—there are six, nine or 12. There’s a good chance those horses are going to get shown,” Deary said. “The whole group, between Josh, Caleb, Katie, Hannah and Sarah, they work really well together and are supportive of each other. I try to make sure all those guys get a chance to show, too.”

He thanked his wife, Nicole Deary, in addition his farrier and veterinarians that keep the horses healthy. “There are so many people to thank. It truly takes a village,” he said.

Electrician & Pierre-Luc Phaneuf 

Pierre-Luc Phaneuf had the kind of run every trainer works toward in the SWRHA Futurity, tying for the Level 4 Open win and also winning the Level 3 Open. Everything came together for the Canadian native and the Gunny Mathison-owned horse Electrician (Electric Snow x Braz Us x Smart Chic Olena) with a score of 222.

“My horse felt great. He walked in great, he turned big both ways. When I was in the middle, I said, ‘This is mine to mess up,’” Phaneuf said. “I know he’s got big stops, so I went and loped off, felt him out and thought we just need to be clean through there. We got through our circles clean, and then I turned the corner and thought, ‘There’s my money shot.’ And he hit all stops. He’s a freak athlete. I couldn’t have been happier with him.”

The trainer says Electrician has been a joy to train for his friend Mathison. The two are enjoying the ride one show at a time.

“He’s been so much fun, because he’s got so much try,” he said. “He’s one you never have to encourage. He tries so hard all the time, and he’s just been so much fun to train.”