Living the Dream


The NRHA Futurity is what dreams are made of. As a little girl I dreamed of being apart of such an amazing world-class show. This year was my fourth time attending the futurity and one thing never changes – the feeling I get from being surrounded by incredibly talented horses and horsemen. It\’s indescribable. I feel so fortunate to have a life that is filled with horses.

This year was even more special because my husband Jesse made the Intermediate Open finals on a exceptional individual – Ten Reasons (Hang Ten Surprise x Hotrodden Catalyst).

Jesse had Ten tuned and dialed in – he was ready to run through that gate!


I apologize for the lack of photos of Jesse and Ten, but I could not keep the camera still because of the shakes.

The coliseum was packed and ready for action.


I headed up to the stands to cheer. Jesse ran Ten through the gate hard and fast and Ten committed whole heartedly to the stop with a huge slide.

Jesse then turned Ten to the right on a loose rein. When he said whoa for his shutoff his right rein fell to the ground. Everyone gasped. I quit breathing.

I stood in shock, now what! I\’m not sure what all crossed my mind and what actually came out of my mouth, but I do remember chanting, \”Figure it out.\” Apparently I was weaving back and forth because horse trainer Patrick Flarhity came by and asked why I was swaying back and forth.

This is a very difficult position for a competitor to be in, especially when competing in the finals at the NRHA Futurity. Jesse took his time,  scratched his head and thought about how to approach the challenge set before him.

He could not drop the rein in his hand on the horse\’s neck or it would result in a zero. He could not touch the horse with his hand or the bit for that matter. So with his remaining rein, Jesse squeezed his legs on his horse and picked up his hand – a signal to Ten to hold still. He then leaned forward and reached for the rein. Because he had to lean right over top of his horse, consequently his spurs were now in Ten\’s flanks.

The crowd was silent and I was pale faced. Ten didn\’t move a muscle. Jesse managed to grab the dropped rein, even out his reins and was ready for the next maeuver. The crowd went wild.

From there Jesse and Ten laid down an incredible run, with a cheering crowd backing him up all the way. He had a late lead change (this time the other way) and Ten once again stopped huge.

Ten has to be one of the best minded horses I have ever been around. He never left Jesse for a second and he gave everything he had into that run. That\’s worth more than you know.

I don\’t think I have ever screamed so loud and been so excited. Jesse said that was one of the funnest runs he\’s ever had and good freind and horse trainer, Brad Geisbrecht had the quote of the day, \”Ten Reasons to hang on to your rein.\”

I, however, am not sure I can survive being a horse trainer\’s wife – if he has runs like that I\’m either going to age very quickly or die of a heart-attack.

Jesse and Ten marked a 217.5 for 13th place in the Intermediate Open and a pay-cheque worth over $8,000.

The Beckley crew quickly unsaddled Ten so he could have a well deserved rest.


And a bath to get cleaned up for the Finals Ceremony.


Jesse heading in for the awards ceremony.


\”It\’s not about the amount of breaths you take, but about the moments that take you breath away.\”


Through out the week, several people approached Jesse about buying Ten. In the end trainer Doug Allen and his wife Francesca Sternberg of Sterling Ranch UK, purchased Ten at the end of the show.


Ten\’s journey will continue with the couple. Doug plans to show him at the European Futurity in February and then they plan to school him lightly to get him ready to show at the World Equestrian Games in 2014. We look forward to watching Ten continue his success in Europe.

He\’s been a very special horse to the entire Beckley Reining crew, especially owner George McIvor who bred and raised the young stallion.


The Open Finals were exciting. It was draw number one that took the title of the 2011 NRHA Open Futurity Champion. Andrea Fappani showing Lil Cash Joe (Nue Chex To Cash x RS Lilly Starlight) owned by Russell Giles, set the mark high with a 227.5 – one that couldn\’t be beat.


Andrea also took the reserve spot with Arcese\’s mare Spook Off Sparks (Smart Spook x Setting Off Sparks) with a 225.5, tying associate trainer and valued team member at Fappani Performance Horses, Arno Honstetter and Show Me The Buckles.

Arno Honstetter and Show Me The Buckles.



The Intermediate Champion was determined by a run-off. Jason Vanlandingham riding A Smokin Whiz marked a 223 to lead the Intermediate Open.


Later that evening Eduardo Salgado rode in on Gunner Boy owned by Jefferson Abbud of Brazil. The pair marked a 223 to tie with Vanlandingham.

This was not only Salgado’s first time to make the NRHA Futurity Open finals, it was the young Brazilian’s first time to show at the NRHA Futurity.


Vanlandingham and Salgado dualed it out for the championship. Vanlandingham came out on top by half a point, marking a 226.



The award  ceremonies are always memorable for competitors and fans alike.


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 \”We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.\” – Louisa May Alcott






5 thoughts on “Living the Dream”

  1. Leanne (Mom)

    Thank you for the great blogs. We all appreciate the stories and pictures that you tell.

  2. Marla Burke

    It was a pleasure to read your blog and see the pictures. You did an amazing job! Hopefully you will be able to continue doing something similar you have the talent!

  3. yeah deanna,
    i gasped a little when i saw that piece of leather hit the ground, and was cheering to my computer when it actually found its way back into his hand! well done!

  4. Deanna,
    Thankyou so very much for sharing your experiences. It has been so lifgint to read your blogs in preparation for the show and upon returning home from OKC. Even though we hauled and experienced some similar stories, I loved reading and reliving “The Dream”.
    Congratulations to Jesse, I was a gasper when the rein dropped as well but Ten & Jesse definately showed us professionalism and talent that we all admire.

  5. Fantastic blog! I was mucking out stables at Sterling today, when an equine delivery man appeared… your lovely Ten had arrived! What a wonderful little horse he is, very VERY handsome and friendly. I was intrigued to find out a little about him when i got home from work today (I am a groom there), and found this blog. I’ll have to see if there is a video of that run anywhere online…. I’ll be bck to read more blogs later, I’m sure 🙂

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