Horse of the Year x 2

For the second straight year, Schiller Ranch has owned the Barrel Futurity Horse of the Year! My beloved Insane For Fame (affectionately known as “J-Lo”) earned the title in 2012 based on her $145,697 in earnings. I R A Grand Victory (“Ira”) claimed the honor in 2013 with $113,180 in earnings. 

This honor is based on their first-year competition earnings as compiled by Equi-Stat (barrel racing’s version of Equibase for my racehorse friends) and printed in the magazine Barrel Horse News. It’s like a barrel horse rookie of the year title.

J-Lo, a daughter of the all-time leading sire of barrel horses, Dash Ta Fame, was my Craig’s List discovery that my trainer LaTricia Duke was convinced would be a waste of time to train and didn’t have a chance at making a futurity horse due to her late start to training. As if my kindred equine spirit would be slow on the uptake. Beauty does come with brains, you know.

Now retired from competition, J-Lo is the proud mother via embryo transfer of a colt by Firewaterontherocks, a young leading sire of barrel horses that was trained by Duke. Firewaterontherocks is still winning professional rodeos with his owner Robyn Herring.

Ira, too, is now retired and is expecting foals next spring via embryo transfer. We had purchased her last spring after she had won the $100,000 LG Pro Classic Slot Race. Ira is by a stallion named CEO out of Pure Victory Dash, who qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in 2013 with Sydni Blanchard. She is actually a two-time $100,000-race winner, having won the BFA Super Stakes in 2013.

This is an amazing accomplishment since J-Lo was our very first excursion into the world of barrel racing futurities. In just three short years, Schiller Ranch has trained and owned some of the brightest stars in the industry. It’s only a matter of time before our next champions are one that we’ve completely created on our own, from planning their conception, to their first wobbly steps on this Earth, from their first rides under saddle to their first shots at championship glory.

Cliché though it may be, you ain’t seen nothing yet.