Mindy Holloway and Heavens Got Credit showed up to win at the second annual Money and Beaches Barrel Race in Hamilton, Texas, from May 27–29. The pair took top honors with a 15.519 Saturday that carried over into Sunday to secure two No. 1 spots for $5,719 and $4,494, respectively, in the Main Open. All totaled, Holloway left Circle T Arena with more than $16,000 in weekend earnings from one run.
While she is thrilled with the win, the success she’s having aboard the 2014 gelding she affectionately dubbed “Cornbread” comes as no surprise to Holloway. Originally purchased by two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifier Tiany Schuster from the legendary Jud Little Ranch in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and started by Holloway’s husband, Cutter Holloway, Cornbread has shown promise from the beginning.
“Tiany was hauling for the National Finals Rodeo [during] his 3-year-old year,” Holloway shared. “She called and asked if I would ride him for her. She had him patterned. I got him ready for the futurities, hauled him everywhere and exhibitioned him. When she was close to being done for the NFR that year, she asked me where we were at and I was like, ‘Man, this horse is really nice.’ He would clock right up there with what was winning as a 3-year-old. I told her, ‘If you can get him in a slot race, put him in one.’”
Cornbread went on to prove Holloway’s hunch right—the son of JL Dash Ta Heaven finished his futurity year with Schuster with more than $90,000 in earnings and boasted such feats as winning the time trials of the prestigious Old Fort Days Futurity and Super Derby. Despite the gelding’s natural talent for running barrels, he has hit his share of bumps in the road. During the last run of his futurity year at the Better Barrel Races Oklahoma City Futurity, Cornbread fractured his right hind leg while running to the first barrel. As a result, he lost nearly all of his 5-year-old competition year. When he started his 6-year-old year, something still wasn’t quite right.
“He was bucking a lot,” Holloway explained. “They had him checked and he had kissing spines, so he had to have surgery and was off for that. Finally, at the end of his 6-year-old year, Edwin Cameron started riding him and placed on him at the National Barrel Horse Association World Championships.”
At the beginning of Cornbread’s 7-year-old year, Schuster called Holloway and told her that the lovable red gelding was going to be for sale.
“She offered him to me and my husband first since we had such a connection with him. My husband is not one to say, ‘Buy the horse,’” Holloway said with a laugh. “But it was Cornbread, so we were like, ‘We have to buy him. He has to come home.’”
Home he came, and success quickly followed.
“Tiany gives me a lot of credit, but I have said this horse is a winner from Day One,” Holloway said. “He knows his job, he’s super athletic and he was going to get the job done whether it was me who took him to exhibition or somebody else. This horse has always been a winner, and he’s always going to try to be a winner.”
Holloway says Cornbread’s winning run taught her a valuable lesson, and it’s one that she won’t soon forget—no matter what happens, just keep rolling.
“In my run, he got by the first barrel more than he ever has with me, and it concerned me—you know how you have all those thoughts going on in your head in a run,” Holloway said. “I thought, ‘There goes our 1D time.’ But when he got to the second, he was so quick around it, and then he turned his third really nice and ran hard home. I’ll be honest, I was shocked to hear the time. I try to be tighter around my barrels, but he taught me to keep rolling, because you just never know.”
Holloway thanks her husband, Cutter Holloway, Tiany Schuster and Edwin Cameron, and Dr. Don Lee, DVM.
Money and Beaches Barrel Race Main Open Divisional Winners
- 1D—Mindy Holloway on Heavens Got Credit, 15.519, $5,719
- 2D—Teneille Angland on Black Power, 16.025, $4,952
- 3D—Nikki Burns on Ima Famous Gambler, 16.523, $3,418
- 4D—Hannah Gibson on Cheetah Sangria, 17.021, $2,651
For complete results, visit ebarrelracing.com.