Taylor Hanson and Fame N Sass claimed the futurity championship at the thirteenth annual Dash N Dance Futurity at Seven Down Arena in Spearfish, South Dakota, from July 20-23. Fresh off a win at the 5-State Breeders Futurity, Hanson and “Famous” clocked a 13.473 to win Round 1 and $1,633. The pair turned in a solid 13.547 to place second in Round 2, adding $1,224 to their go-round earnings and clinching the average win for an additional $2,177.
Hanson says she was initially concerned about transitioning from the standard pattern the weekend before at the 5-State Breeders Futurity to the smaller pen at Seven Down Arena, but Famous quickly dampened her doubts.
“I knew I was going to have to be aggressive going into this pen. He’s a ratey horse, and he had been ratey the weekend before on the standard pattern. The first run I almost fell—he set up too soon on the second barrel, so I kicked him an extra stride. I almost got launched over the top of him, and I had a mark on my stomach from the saddle horn,” Hanson said with a laugh. “He took care of me, finished the turn and went on to win the round. He was rock solid both runs. He was honest and tried really hard.”
Hanson says it has been fun watching the talented son of Mr Sassy Frenchman find his competition legs despite getting a late start.
“He didn’t get started on barrels until late July, so at the beginning of his futurity year he was clocking about half of a second off,” Hanson explained. “It took him a little bit to find his groove and learn how to really run. He really started to come into himself in March, and that’s when he won his first futurity.”
Since that first win in March, Famous has continued to impress Hanson with the tremendous amount of try he puts into every run.
“His heart is in it,” Hanson shared. “I think that’s a lot of what allows him to be successful—he just loves his job, and that’s at least half the battle. You need a horse that wants to work for you. Famous loves what he’s doing, and he has the drive to do it. That’s a big part of his success.”
Hanson, who grew up barrel racing alongside her mom, has been training barrel horses full time since graduating college in December. While she loves the competitiveness the sport brings, she says her favorite part of the job is watching the young horses she trains find success.
“I think everyone likes to win,” Hanson laughed. “But for me, the thing I love most is watching everything click into place for a young horse. It seems like sometimes even overnight they’re like, ‘Oh, I really love this job!’ That feeling of accomplishment is amazing. Every futurity horse is different, and I love watching the young horses grow and evolve throughout the training process.”
Hanson says she plans to continue training horses full time for as long as she is able.
“I love it,” Hanson shared. “They say if you do what you love, you will never have to work a day in your life. I think about that a lot—I get to do what I love, and I’m grateful for that.”
Hanson thanks Adam Joens, Top Hand Brand, Top Shelf Western, Circle C Bar Feed, and Circle C Bar Performance Horses.
For complete results, visit facebook.com/DashNDanceFuturity.
Dash N Dance Futurity Average Winners:
1D—Taylor Hanson on Fame N Sass, 27.020 (13.473, 13.547), $2,177
2D—Paul Knorr on MJP ImaFabulousBully, 29.054 (14.642, 14.412), $762