Dublin, Texas-based trainer Kassie Mowry is having the best year of her career thanks to one of the most talented groups of futurity horses she’s ever had. This fall, she accomplished a major milestone, reaching the elite $3 million mark in career earnings. According to Equi-Stat reports as of October 31, Mowry is also 2019’s leading barrel racer across both rodeos and futurities with more than $459,800 won so far this year thanks to an outstanding set of thoughtfully chosen colts.
“[My horses this year] are bred impeccably for me. That is the most important thing. I’ve ridden and trained a lot of horses now, and we’ve figured out what suits me the best, and those are what we seek out to get and train,” Mowry said of her and significant other Michael Boone’s program. “For me and for us, style-wise, it’s very important and makes the process a lot easier for both horse and rider.”
Her highest earner of 2019, Famous Ladies Man (2015 gelding, Dash Ta Fame x Lady Perks x Dash For Perks), was hand-selected from breeders Busby Quarter Horses by Boone. Despite “Emmitt’s” position at the top of the stats box, Mowry says the quirkly little gelding is often overlooked.
“Emmitt is kind of a dark horse in my group—I absolutely love that colt. He’s got the biggest personality of anything I’ve ever been around. He’s not an Epic Leader, and everybody’s been so thrilled with my Epics and kind of overlook him. He’s dark, he’s not grey, he’s not flashy, he’s not big, so I feel like he kind of gets missed, but he’s my highest money earner,” Mowry said. “Nobody ever acknowledges him, and I feel bad for him and I feel like that’s why he has that pesky little personality is because he’s like ‘Hey! I’m right here guys, I’m still here, I’m not gray or beautiful but I am here!’ That’s his attitude, and he’s really funny. He’s a nippy thing. Nobody ever wants to hold him, because he nips—he’s a little biter, a little terror. He’s so cute. I just truly love that colt.”
Emmitt’s consistency has also accomplished an unprecedented, unofficial statistic—the 20-year veteran trainer has guided the young talent to a placing at every futurity they’ve entered.
“That colt, to this day, has placed at every single futurity he has ran at,” Mowry said. “I don’t know if that’s ever happened in the history of barrel futurities. I don’t think anybody knows that.”
Boone started Emmitt as a 2-year-old and trained him before Mowry took over the reins to continue his patterning. The gelding’s willingness, ability to handle pressure and physical talent have been his strongest traits as he developed into the nation’s top futurity horse.
“He’ll say Emmitt is not the brightest crayon in the box, but he’s so willing and so trainable. He thrives on repetition,” Mowry said. “That was his program, just do it over and over and over and over, and that’s how he learns. You can’t get after him, he’s kind of lazy with his feet, lazy in general, and just by showing him he’ll mirror it. Whatever you show him, that’s what he does. He’s been fun that way and he’s been really honest. I think he is that type that would thrive in rodeo conditions and rodeo ground; he handles pressure great.”
Consistency is one pillar of Boone and Mowry’s training program, with an emphasis on enforcing and rewarding correctness. Once the horses are trained and competing, Mowry enters selectively and ensures her horses have adequate rest time during the year.
“I don’t run mine as much as a lot of people do. I pick my places that I want to go and set them up for that. Sometimes I’ll take them to some open barrel races, not to go try to win them but to be like, ‘Hey, just go through there, no big deal.’ We don’t always have to give it our everything,” Mowry said. “I don’t want them to be afraid of it; I want them to enjoy it. I take the pressure off of them as well. A lot of times after Fort Smith [in May], most of them will get some time off to grow and mature, and they do usually get bigger and stronger.”
Selecting tailormade pedigrees, training consistently and precisely, and above all, putting her horses’ health and happiness first have been key to Mowry’s monumental success.
“My horses live outside; they’re able to be horses. Mostly keeping them happy and making sure they’re not sore—they’re well taken care of,” Mowry said. “I do let them be a horse. I don’t pick at them, I don’t overwork them, and I don’t make a lot of fast runs on them unless it means something.”
Statistics courtesy Equi-Stat as of October 31, 2019. Please note that Equi-Stat statistics may not reflect the true amounts of money won, as it is race producers’ responsibilities to submit results. WPRA rodeo earnings did not begin being reported until 2010, so some riders may have significant differences from Equi-Stat reports, such as $4 million earner Sherry Cervi.
Equi-Stat All-Time Leading Barrel Racers
- Troy Crumrine/Waynesfield, Ohio/ $3,921,640
- Kassie Mowry/Dublin, Texas/$3,009,032
- Talmadge Green/Sandy Hook, Mississippi/$2,641,709
- Lisa Lockhart/Oelrichs, South Dakota/$2,400,155
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi/Victoria, Texas/$2,146,826
- Cody Bauserman/Sallisaw, Oklahoma/$2,077,324
- Brett Monroe/Gay, Georgia/$1,974,049
- Jolene Montgomery/Purdon, Texas/$1,968,796
- Marne Loosenort/Hazel, Kentucky/$1,597,970
- Hailey Kinsel/Cotulla, Texas/$1,588,227
- **Sherry Cervi/Marana, Arizona/$1,571,828 **Note that Cervi’s true earnings top $4 million
2019 Leading Barrel Racers
- Kassie Mowry/Dublin, Texas/$459,817
- Famous Ladies Man, owned by Michael Boone, $142,106
- Epic Guy, owned by Kristen Williams, $136,198
- CP He Will Be Epic, owned by Kassie Mowry, $79,496
- Dashing Canelo, owned by Kassie Mowry, $65,626
- Back The Blue, owned by Dave and Lori Zabel, $22,462
- Girls Dig Fame, owned by Michael Boone, $10,284
- Triple G, owned by Kassie Mowry, $2,723
- Sunny C Matrix, owned by Kassie Mowry, $923
- Hailey Kinsel/Cotulla, Texas/$271,213
- Lisa Lockhart/Oelrichs, South Dakota/$207,249
- Ryann Lee Pedone/Decatur, Texas/$183,011
- Nellie Williams Miller/Cottonwood, California/$171,362
- Hallie Hanssen/Hermosa, South Dakota/$152,693
- Brittany Pozzi Tonozzi/Victoria, Texas/$149,755
- Jordon Briggs/Chilton, Texas/$147,503
- Kelsey Lutjen/Collinsville, Texas/$139,677
- Will Lear/Ruby, South Carolina/$136,192
2019 Leading Futurity Riders
- Kassie Mowry, $418,761
- Jordon Briggs, $137,516
- Will Lear, $125,491
- Kelsey Lutjen, $125,012
- Hallie Hanssen, $113,114
- Ryann Lee Pedone, $108,596
- Cody Bauserman/Sallisaw, Oklahoma/$94,509
- Alona James/Ada, Oklahoma/$93,640
- Kalie Rutledge/Kathleen, Georgia/$91,775
- Cayla Melby Small/Burneyville, Oklahoma/$87,680