Moving Day


It’s been a busy couple days here at the Futurity. Move in was a couple days ago so we packed everything up at Todd Arvidson’s and made the move early Tuesday morning.

This year the show organizers had trailers line-up and competitors were required to show their horse’s coggins papers and drop the windows on the trailer to match the horses to the papers.

There was quite a line-up when we arrived, but it moved fairly quickly. Our move-in this year was rather painless. We are stalled in barn 6 and we were able to drive right up to the door and unload.

We got the stalls bedded and moved the horses in first. They were very grateful to be in a stall full of fluffy bedding and made themselves at home.

Then it was onto the tack and feed rooms. We purchased some craft paper for our “roof”. If you don’t put a roof on here, you can expect your tack and equipment to be covered in a film of dust and some unwelcoming pigeon poop.

Organized chaos – our tack room is plump full with four people’s horse show treasures and necessities.

My workstation.
 Right next to the cross-ties. That’s Ten getting unsaddled.

Everyone at the show was busy building their stall fronts. When I say building it’s no joke. Barns literally build a home away from home, complete with living rooms and big screen tv’s and some even stuccoed!

Ours were rather simple.

And most of barn 6 was decorated rather modestly.

The Super Barn however…

They went all out!

 Last year we were stalled right across from Sterling Ranch – it took three entire days (late into the night) to complete this stall front.

Sterling Ranch

At last year’s NRHA Futurity a few fellow reiners (may have been some Canadians involved) played a prank on NRHA’s youngest 2 Million Dollar Rider, Andrea Fappani. Goes to show even the big guns and futurity champions get pranked.

There was talk about putting the “chalking” all the way down the alley way, but thankfully they opted for just one as instead of using chalk, (and in horse competitor fashion) the pranksters decided to use horse spray paint in black, palomino and I think a little sorrel.

The pranksters of course got Andrea’s wife, Tish Fappani’s permission to do the prank (after unsuccessfully trying to do it without being seen). She went along with the plan in good nature. They felt Andrea needed just one more life-sized cutout of himself and in case anyone may miss his stalls, there were arrows added to direct the way.

After many sweepings and a little water, the image was still there by the end of the show. I’m happy to say that the “chaulking” is no longer visible – or at least you can no longer make out what it is ;)

I’m not sure how they managed it, but the Fappani barn’s stall fronts this year are even bigger! They went above and beyond. Although I did notice there were no life sized cutouts of Mr.Fappani.

Instead it was a giant billboard.

When it comes to horse showing – the competition isn’t just in the arena.

Something For Everyone


NRHA has an array of activities for spectators and competitors enjoyment over the two week event.

For starters, there’s One Stop Shopping!

If you are in search of the perfect holiday gift or some new gear for your reining horse the gift market in the Coliseum, Super Barn and outdoor locations is where you want to be. Nearly 100 vendors offer an array of goods like western décor, tack, clothing, jewelry and more.

Sire & Dam Auction

Wimpy's Little Step

Opens on Nov. 15 – Closes on Dec. 31 at Midnight CST
Visit the online auction and bid on breeding’s to reining’s top stallions. Sire & Dam breedings receive exceptional benefits including reduced NRHA North American Futurity and Derby entry fees, plus automatic eligibility to the NRHA North American Futurity and Derby. Start your bidding at the NRHA Futurity and follow until the end of the auction at year-end.

NRHyA Raffle Horse

 This year Steve Simon Reining Horses is donating the NRHyA Raffle Horse – a 2010 filly – Legendary Mama (Custom Legend x Doc Quixote). Tickets are just $10! Drawing takes place during the NRHA Futurity Finals on Dec 3rd. You don’t need to be present to claim your prized filly.

NRHA World Championship Shootout

Yellow Jersey & Andrea Fappani, last year's Shootout Champions.

 Top reining professionals, both human and horse, will compete for the estimated paycheck of $30,000 and a shot at the title of NRHA Open World Champion. Some competitors and horses you can expect to see at this year’s Shootout are;

Shawn Flarida (NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider) expects to enter Whizkey N Diamonds ($187,000 NRHA LTE)

Whizkey n Diamonds & Shawn Flarida

Andrea Fappani (NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider) anticipates showing Taris Designer Genes ($244,000 NRHA LTE) and Whiz Jewels ($92,000 NRHA LTE)

Craig Schmersal (NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider) plans to bring Boom Shernic ($280,000 NRHA LTE) and Missy Lil Addy Tude ($83,000 NRHA LTE)

Boom Shernic

 Jordan Larson ($930,000 NRHA LTE) intends to bring Custom Harley ($125,000 NRHA LTE and this year’s AQHA Senior Reining World Champion) and Stop Like A Dream (National Reining Breeders’ Classic Level 4 Open Reserve Champion).

Custom Harley & Jordan Larson

 4R Performance Horses Hometown Heroes Slide & Freestyle Reining
Dec 2nd at 5:30 p.m.

Hometown heroes from local police and fire stations will hop on top of some of NRHA’s fastest spinning and smoothest sliding reining horses – all to benefit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum! Also during that night’s show, you can see an invitational Freestyle Reining, a crowd favorite where riders are free to express their “style” by performing their own reining pattern to music while both horse and rider are dressed to play the part.

NRHyA Carnival
Wed. Nov. 30 at 3:00 p.m. – Sale Arena
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, you will not want to miss NRHyA under the big top on Wednesday, November 30th! This will be a wonderful opportunity for youth of all ages to play games and win prizes. Get ready for great refreshments and plenty of fun!

NRHA / Markel Insurance Sales
Thurs., Dec. 1 – Sat., Dec. 3 9:30 a.m. Sale Arena

Attend three premier performance horse sales while at the show. Interested buyers can view the sale catalogue online now! The sales feature yearlings, sires and dams of performers, show horses, prospects and three-year-old reining horses. Total sales of horses last year exceeded $3 million! For those of you not attending the Futurity, you can watch the auctions LIVE via webcast.

And you can’t forget about the finals!

NRHA Futurity – Cinch Non Pro Finals
Fri., Dec. 2 10 a.m. – Section 1 starts 2:30 p.m. – Section 2 starts
Come watch the world’s best non-pro riders compete for nearly $280,000 in cash, plus tons of awards. Section 1 of the finals includes Level 1-3 Non Pro and Prime Time Non Pro qualifiers while Section 2 includes Level 4 Non Pro finalists.

NRHA Futurity – Open Finals
Sat., Dec. 3 1 p.m. – Section 1 starts 5:45 p.m. – Section 2 Opening Ceremonies start

The coliseum will be packed Saturday night with fans and spectators excited to watch the best of the best compete for the coveted title and more than $800,000 in cash and prizes. Who will be this year’s NRHA Open Futurity Champion?

 Remember, you don’t have to be at the Futurity to enjoy many of these activities. From what I’ve heard from back home, it is cold and snowing back in Canada – so grab a blanket, curl up on the couch with your computer and watch the action unfold!

Day One


Now that we have arrived in Oklahoma, it’s day one of preparation for showing at the “BIG” Futurity.

The four boys had a long ride on the trailer, but they were feeling pretty fresh. Jesse opted to work his three in the round pen while Jeff rode Buddy out on the big track.

First up – CJ

The Crown JewelsYawning and he hasn’t even been put to work yet.

Jesse knew he didn’t want to ride his horses the first day, but wanted to get the fresh off and still give them a “job”. Working them in the round pen would do just that.

Jeff decided he would ride his…but maybe lounge him first.

Looking pretty perky!

Buddy was especially fresh!

Still a little fresh…

Now time to get on.



Nic Olena Chic

Fellow Canadians, Jimmy and Andrea Andersen were also riding out on the track. Andrea showed at the Amatuer World Show, placing in the top 10 in the reining. Jimmy has two entered in the Open Futurity.

Next was Ten’s turn for the round pen.

Ten Reasons


Jesse hard at work.

And then onto Cooper.

Pepinics Master

The boys got their fresh off and we headed to the Worlds where I got to do a little shopping. Believe it or not Jesse managed to buy more than I did. This year’s Senior Reining Champion went to Jordan Larson and Custom Harley. Congratulations!

Couple more days and we’ll be moving into the fairgrounds and preparing to show on Thursday.

32 Hours


It was a long 32 hours of driving, but we made it to Oklahoma in one piece – horses and all.

The trip started out slow, the ranch got a huge dump of snow the night before we left and it snowed hard through most of Montana with a wind warning in Wyoming. The roads were bad, but we knew there was a big storm coming so we had to press on.

And it was a good thing we did because the next day they started closing roads in Montana and Wyoming.

Headed into Montana – looks not too bad.


Still Montana – a whole lot worse.

I got a history lesson from my father-in-law during the long drive. In Montana I got the low down on Colonel Custer and Sitting Bull. I also learned about Lewis & Clark.

Colonel Custer

Sitting Bull

Sitting Bull

In Nebraska we discussed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Gotta fill those 32 hours with something :)

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Passing through Nebraska’s Great Platte River Road Archway.

Nebraska’s Great Platte River Road Archway.
The boys did most of the driving, but I took over the wheel for a few hours so they could catch up on some sleep. But for the majority of the trip my job was to had over snacks and make sandwiches for the boys.
What a good wife and daughter-in-law I am ;)

We stopped several times along the way for fuel and to water the horses.

Gasing up

The horses weren’t too interested in drinking until we hit Nebraska, so we were hesitant to feed them too much until they started drinking.

In Nebraska however they were mighty thirsty!

We arrived in Oklahoma City at approximately 5:15, right in the middle of rush hour. It took us over an hour to get through the city and then on to Purcell to our destination – Todd Arvidson Reining Horses.

Todd Arvidson

Todd, an NRHA judge and professional reining horse trainer, and his wife Heidi are so accommodating.

Todd Arvidson Reining Horses
We got the boys all settled in their stalls, fed and watered them and tucked them in for the night. We then headed to Bravos Mexican Grill for some lime beers, margaritas and a delicious Mexican meal!

From there we got a hotel room for the night, showered and hit the hay. 32 hours of driving takes it out of you. The next day we would plan to exercise the horses and then head to the AQHA World Show to watch the Senior Reining Finals.

It’s All In The Planning


It seems when it comes to horses, things never go according to plan. In this case, our plan was to head to Oklahoma on Saturday, November 19th. However, Mother Nature decided she did not want to co-operate and had a plan of her own. According to the forecast, a storm was scheduled to move through Montana and parts of Wyoming – Friday and into Saturday. Thus our plan was nixed and a new one drawn up. We’re leaving in the morning!

It also snowed at the ranch.

My “To Do List” would now have to be crammed into an evening and hopefully I would have part of a morning to complete it.

For starters, I decided it would be a great idea to offer all of Jesse’s client’s vests and jackets with the Beckley Reining logo embroidered on them. That ended up being 21 pieces of clothing…12 of which needed to be done before leaving for Oklahoma which meant I would spend countless hours the night before leaving to finish – a project that should have been planned out and finished weeks ago.

My list included laundry which I was so happy to have all done a week prior to leaving…but it still needed to be packed – and I had to pack not only mine, but my lovely husband’s too.

The trailer needed cleaned and packed. Fortunately Jesse’s lovely assistant, Annette Jessiman, swamped out the back of the trailer and re-packed everything. That just left me to clean the living quarters and pack the remaining items.

Once again planning on our part could have saved me some work. Had we (and when I say we, I mean me) cleaned the living quarters after the last show it may have been a much more pleasant experience. Trying to swamp out a dirty trailer in the middle of November is a bit cold to say the least – I wouldn’t recommend it! As I was spraying down the counters and sinks with disinfecting cleaning spray, with gloves I might add, it was freezing to the countertop.

On my list was picking up groceries with Jesse and Jeff’s wish list items for goodies to help aid in the painfully long 32 hour drive.

Bake some of the goodies that were put on the Beckley wish list.

Pack the cooler with the goodies.

Wash and gas up the truck.

Clean my house.

Clip the horses.

Should I go on…

Of course I had to pack shoes…

Cowboy Boots

A girl needs her shoes!

And you can’t forget the accessories ;)

Champion Belt Buckle

On the good side, we should hopefully miss the storm. We have our route mapped out, which of course could change at any time, and we should arrive just in time to unload and catch the Senior Reining Finals at the World Show. I’ve always wanted to go to the Worlds and now the opportunity has presented itself. See ya’all down there!

Three Bars Ranch


Road to the Futurity – The Final Haul


Jenn’s Note: We’re welcoming Deanna Beckley as guest blogger to My Stable Life as she heads down the road with husband and trainer, Jesse Beckley to the National Reining Horse Association Futurity. She’ll be posting regularly on this blog from the show. Good luck to them!

If you’ve been following along Western Horse Review’s – The Road to the Futurity – this year in the magazine you’ll be familiar with these four horses’ journeys. Throughout the year, the four 3-year-olds have experienced obstacles, victories, and for one an abnormal injury, all of which we documented for you in this series which ran from Feb/March print issue and wrapped up in the Winter digital issue.


Pepinics Master


The Crown Jewels


Ten Reasons


Nic Olena Chic

With the year coming to a close, the four horses head to their final stop – the National Reining Horse Association Futurity held in Oklahoma City, Nov. 24 – Dec. 3. Here expectations, physical and mental capability, excitement and even stress will be intensified. First they will be hauled across the United States for 32 hours to reach their destination – Oklahoma State Fair Grounds, Oklahoma City. They will be exposed to changes in weather, an unfamiliar environment and little time get acquainted with their surroundings before having to perform to the best of their ability.

They will perform twice over a two week period, and hopefully a third if they earn themselves the right to compete in the finals.

But these four horses were chosen to compete at this prestigious event based on their heart, try, trainability and success in the show pen. All four of them deserve to be competing against the best in the world for the coveted title and prize money.

In preparation for the prestigious show, trainers Jesse Beckley (my hubby) and Jeff Beckley (my father-in-law) have started developing a plan.

They have put all four horses under lights so their coats are shiny and slick.

The vet has already made her visit to check over the boys to make sure they are in tip top shape and are feeling good. She has pulled blood and has done up all the paperwork that is required to cross the border such as health and Coggins papers.

Health & Coggins Papers Jesse has checked his draws. Cooper will be the first to compete, drawing up 85th and showing on the first day of competition (Thursday Nov 24th). Next will be CJ draw #249 on the Friday and then Ten draw #372 showing on Saturday. Jeff will be showing Buddy in the Non-Pro on the Sunday and drew up 31st.

First go of the Open, Jesse and his boys will be running NRHA pattern #1.
NRHA Pattern 1Jesse has been working the up and down center rundowns with his horses. This pattern gets a lot of competitors in the go-rounds and there is no room for error!

Second go of the Open will be pattern #6

NRHA Pattern #6

There is only one go for the Non-Pro so Jeff and Buddy will be running pattern #8.

NRHA Pattern 8


We’re a week away from heading south and there is still plenty to do! Stay tuned as we head down the Futurity Road.