By Kailey Sullins; Photos by Boaz Elkes
Barrel Horse News: Tell me about JS Milo And Stitch, who won the Texas Extreme Futurity Average and Ultimate Texas Futurity Average championships in Edna, Texas.
Janet Staton: He is a 4-year-old Firewater Ta Fame out of a Tres Seis mare, and I picked him out when he was 8 months old and have had him every since. I had two futurity colts (JS Milo And Stitch and Chargin Ta Fame). I was really fretting over trying to enter them both, and they were both nice horses, so a couple of months ago I was approached about selling him and [Jennifer Fite and I] came to an agreement. It’s kind of the best of both worlds for us, because she has a really nice young horse and I get to keep him and ride him and it’s not so much pressure on me trying to pay two futurity entries.
BHN: What was the training process like with him?
Staton: He’s always been real easy. He’s a big personality, just into everything and a look-at-me kind of horse. He was really easy. To me the really good ones train themselves – you just show them. I wouldn’t say we ever had any big obstacles. He’s a really long-strided colt, so I went through a period of time with him where he had a bit of trouble collecting himself, but I changed some headgear and it was just like the light bulb came on overnight and it all worked out.
BHN: Walk me through your runs in Edna.
Staton: At the Extreme it was just a shock to me, because I knew [both the horses I took] were really nice, but I didn’t go to the Barrel Futurities of America Juvenile. I decided to stay home, because it’s overwhelming sometimes for 3-year-olds, so I went to a couple little jackpots instead. I was going in with high hopes for both of them and they both did good, but JS Milo And Stitch knew why he was there and just took over. He worked really good, just smooth and solid and really acted seasoned. He’s an old soul, I think. He acts a lot older than he is.
My husband always tells me to just go in and make my run and that’s all you can do, so that’s all what I try to do, just go make my best run and not think about what anybody else is doing. So, that’s what I did at the Ultimate.
BHN: How do you feel about the win?
Staton: It was a great couple weeks. Very exciting. I’m thrilled to death that he did so good and his owner is all excited of course, so we are going to [The Kinder Cup] and then Lance Graves’ futurity and to Diamonds and Dirt. We’re excited about that, because I go some and I’ve been to all of those, but sparingly throughout the years if I had a horse I thought was good enough I would go. So now I’m getting to go again, and now that he has another owner I get to take mine too and it’s all good.
BHN: How did you get your start running barrels and training horses?
Staton: I’ve been running barrels all my life, mostly just rodeoed. My sister and I grew up running barrels and I mostly rodeoed. After graduating from Texas A&M, I taught ag for six years and then had two boys and the stock show was too much, so I started teaching first and second grade and did that for 25 years. I took a leap of faith and started taking a lot of outside horses to ride, and it got to the point where I couldn’t do both. I’ve always been the person who did what they were supposed to do and not really what I wanted to do. [So, with my kids grown I decided to pursue my horse dreams.]