This Guys Flying started as a flighty 3-year-old that Mike and Kellie Sokol, owners of his up and coming sire Guys Canyon Moon, sent to professional futurity barrel horse trainer Craig Brooks. Now, the 2019 gelding out of Regal Flying by Dash Ta Fame has won about $89,000 through September of his 2023 futurity year, with close to $70,000 of that won in the month of September with the Indiana Barrel Racing Futurity championship for close to $20,000 and the Ardmore Barrel Futurity and Blue Collar Breeders Futurity reserve championship for a total $49,585. The gelding has also won a pile of Open 1D money, such as the Aloha Acres Finals fastest time this summer.

Brooks discusses the progression of “Tucker” in his training program.

By Morgan Anderson

Morgan Anderson for BHN: Tell me about Tucker as a 2-year-old.

Craig Brooks: “Kelly Mohler, a cutting horse trainer from Florida, put the first 60 days on him. When I first got him, he was really scared of other horses riding around him, even if it was from across the arena. I put [my helper] Mccrae Campbell, the crash dummy, on him, and I loped a lot of circles around him and Mccrae. That was our biggest battle in the beginning was keeping him between the reins without darting one way or another around another horse.”

BHN: What was Tucker like in the training process and when you started exhibiting him as a 3-year-old?

Brooks: “Tucker always reminded me of Grandiose Guy, who I won so much on. He had the same move and style, so that’s what kept me hooked when training him. He was a little behind and green his 3-year-old year, so I took it slow and let him come into his speed on his own. At the beginning of September, I decided to ask him for more speed to see how well he could clock and handle the pressure. After that weekend, he learned how to go fast on his own, and we never looked back.”

Craig Brooks turns the first barrel
EquiStat $1.4 million rider Craig Brooks of Eastonolle, Georgia, and 2019 gelding This Guys Flying (Guys Canyon Moon x Regal Flying x Dash Ta Fame) won the 48th Annual Indiana Barrel Futurity for just under $20,000. Brooks and “Tucker” then finished as reserve champions a few weeks later in both the 2023 Ardmore Barrel Futurity and Blue Collar Breeders Futurity for a total $49,585, making owners Mike and Kellie Sokol proud, who are also owners of the hot up-and-coming sire Guys Canyon Moon. Photo by Traci Davenport Photography

BHN: After learning to run, what was your main focus for finishing and making him a winner?

Brooks: “He has always been a free runner. He wants to turn, but he was so incredibly fast and could be spooky, so it took him longer to get confident to clock hard. He always showed talent and freak athleticism, but he lacked the consistency early in his futurity year to show up and win every single time. We brought him along at his own pace, and now, he has started to step up and clock more times than not.”

BHN: Describe Tucker’s personality.

Brooks: “He is a really cool horse and a family favorite. My wife, Elan, has about made him a pet, because he loves to share snacks with her back at the trailer; he loves Oreos. After he won a round at [the Indiana Futurity], I pulled my son, Finn, off the fence and put him on Tucker’s back to walk out of the arena. He is a very personable horse, and the 3-year-old I have in the barn by Guys Canyon Moon is the exact same way. I would love to get some more Guys Canyon Moon offspring in my barn.”