When Ryann Pedone bought HP Feel The Fame as a weanling in 2018, the Sunset, Texas, futurity trainer extraordinaire and 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier had a feeling about the young filly’s future. By standout stallion Feel The Sting, and out of one of Pedone’s all-time favorite mares, Rods Last Ladybug, “Bradee” proved Pedone right when she clinched the Barrel Futurities of America Juvenile Championship in November 2021. Despite the mare’s talent, Pedone admits the road to success hasn’t been smoothly paved — Bradee has struggled to overcome breathing issues as a result of asthma.
“At times, it was bad enough she would bleed, but it was all due to her asthma,” Pedone explained. “I put her in the hyperbaric chamber and did everything I could think of to help her, but she had limited runs throughout the spring [of her futurity year] just due to those breathing issues. I wanted to make sure we didn’t push too hard.”
Determined to find a solution, Pedone took Bradee to Dr. Peggy Fleming, DVM, in Pasco County, Florida.
“I’ve known Dr. Fleming since I was little girl,” Pedone shared. “She does a lot of homeopathic work, and I’ve seen her do some unreal things when Western medicine fails. I took her to Dr. Fleming in June 2022, and her first run back at the Royal Crown, she worked great.”
As the season progressed, Pedone says Bradee’s breathing continued to improve. She turned in solid performances at the Cornhusker and Fizz Bomb Classic Futurities before finishing third among a tough field at the Breeders Challenge Finale Futurity in September 2022. Even with the improvements in Bradee’s physical health, there was still ground to make up — while her futurity counterparts were being seasoned and getting runs under their belts, Bradee was busy battling breathing issues.
“There were times I would school on her, and she would run really green,” Pedone said. “She just didn’t have the amount of runs the other horses did. It probably took me 10 runs just to nail the first barrel on her. We had those kinds of things to make up for. But I can tell she’s getting healthier as time goes on. She’s gritty and tough and has an unbelievable style.”
After a season of unrelenting commitment and patience, Pedone and Bradee pulled all the stops to take home top honors at the Good Times Barrel Racing Association Jingle Bell Classic in Perry, Georgia, in December 2022 — the pair won the TC100 Crown Round Slot Race to bank $60,000. For Pedone, it was a moment many months in the making.
“It’s like everything I envisioned,” Pedone said of the win. “It was such a cool thing because if you looked at us the weekend before, we were too slow to even make it back in the top 40. I do think she shines on a certain type of ground — she likes harder dirt, and I think eventually she’s going to make a really nice rodeo mare.
“When I’m riding a horse, I can feel when I’m sitting on a good sucker,” Pedone continued. “And once I’ve felt that, in my head, the win has already happened. I believe in the horses I’m riding. I try to get each horse to be the best it can be whenever it’s supposed to be there. Some are great futurity horses, some are great derby horses, some are great open horses, and some are superstars through all of it and take you all the way to the NFR. Whatever their timeline is, I enjoy the process and love what I do.”
Pedone thanks her husband Dr. Don Lee, DVM, her dad, mom and stepdad, Dr. Peggy Fleming, DVM, Cutter Holloway, Charlotte Hilton, Lexi Peaden, Lisa Downs, Ed and Diana, Jeye Johnson, Darryll Elliot, Kimmi Byler and sponsors Equibrand, Martin Saddlery, Classic Equine, Horse Swim, Double X Equine, Driven PCR, Succeed, NRS, Purina, Platinum Performance, Shefit, Oxygen and Pursue Victory Shirts.
“Without my sponsors and all the people on my team, I would be lost,” Pedone shared. “I am so grateful for the people who support me, for my equine athletes, and for all the opportunities they’ve given me.”
Jingle Bell Classic TC100 Crown Round Slot Race Results:
- 1st — Ryann Pedone, HP Feel The Fame, 14.646, $60,000
- 2nd — Sarah Winkleman, Fairway Ta Fame, 14.648, $30,000
- 3rd— Brett Monroe, Blingolena, 14.674, $15,000
- 4th — Megan Swint, ZingZang Its Talent, 14.702, $14,000
- 5th — DaCota Monk, Slick Talking Lady, 14.745, $10,000
- 6th — Kristin Hanchey, Smooth Way Ta Heaven, 14.760, $8,000
- 7th — Jean Paris, HoldinAllTheSeises, 14.784, $7,000
- 8th — DaCota Monk, BS Born Ta Cash, 14.785, $6,000
For complete results, please visit https://gtbra.com.