A professional rodeo winner and American Rodeo Semifinals qualifier, 27-year-old aspiring futurity horse trainer Haley Wolfe from Farmington, New Mexico, trained and rode 2018 gelding AE Fabulous Fame (Frenchmans Fabulous x Famous Fast Lane x JB Proud N Famous) to the winner’s circle at the Idaho Barrel Futurity, the state’s biggest and oldest futurity.
Haley comes from a long line of winners in the barrel racing industry in her family. Her grandmother, Cookie Pickens, and her mother, LeAnne Wolfe, are both successful horse trainers. Haley is following suit, proving that she too can train and jockey young horses to a high level of competition. Her father, Dr. David Wolfe, DVM, also plays a vital role in her program, keeping all her horses healthy and sound.
“It was actually my mom’s idea to enter the Idaho Barrel Futurity. My mom won this futurity back in the 90s, and I felt like I had four capable horses to take, so we decided to go ahead and enter,” Haley explained.
Haley has consistently had a futurity horse or two each year since she was in high school, but 2023 is her first year to train and jockey futurity horses for the public. Wolfe explained it has taken years of trials and tribulations to get to this point.
“I originally thought I wanted to rodeo professionally, so an early part of my barrel racing career was focused on going to the rodeos,” Haley said.
Haley attributes her success to the support and help of her family, as well as the horses she has the opportunity to ride and train. Most of them have one common denominator: Frenchmans Fabulous.
The 1998 stallion by Frenchmans Guy and out of the blue hen mare Caseys Charm by Tiny Circus has proven to be a staple to Haley’s program.
“I have been winning on Frenchmans Fabulous offspring for years. Almost every horse on our place either has ‘Fab’ on the maternal or paternal side,” Haley said.
Haley applauds the “Fab” offspring for their trainability and willingness, and her winning futurity mount “Dewey” is no exception.
“I started Dewey on the barrels September 29th, 2022, and he just wanted to be a barrel horse. Although he is quirky, he is all business whenever it comes to the barrel pattern, and that is what makes him a winner,” Haley said.
Aside from riding talented young horses, Haley has learned as she went during her first year training futurity horses for the public.
“Dewey was previously owned by Autumn Bruton, and she never had intentions for him to be a futurity horse. I saw the talent and ability he had, and I persuaded her to let me continue to run him. A couple weeks before the Idaho Barrel Futurity, she had plans to pick him up, but she called me and gave me the opportunity to buy him. The rest was history,” Haley said.
However, Haley’s journey with Dewey has not always been smooth sailing. At the Utah Barrel Racing Association Futurity in Heber City, Utah, the week prior to the Idaho Barrel Futurity, Haley and Dewey turned on the same side of the second and third barrel, resulting in a no-time.
With the Idaho Barrel Futurity in less than just a week, Haley went back to the drawing board and spent the week going back to the basics with the talented futurity horse.
“I just wanted to make sure he knew exactly where to go,” Haley said.
Haley’s mental toughness and trust in her training program paid off in Nampa, Idaho, from April 27-30. She ended the weekend with over $9,000 in earnings between four horses in the futurity and open as well as the Future Fortunes, PESI, and Tomorrow’s Legends incentives. Dewey was the breadwinner of the weekend.
Winning the first round with a 17.366 on a standard pattern, the palomino gelding proved to be a force to be reckoned with.
“Dewey is strong, powerful, and fast. He can make mistakes and still clock,” Haley said.
The dynamic duo held strong in Round Two with a 17.987 and turned in a 35.353 average on two runs to claim the futurity average championship for $1,670.
The futurity average win was extra special for Haley, as it was the first of her career.
“I’ve always been a strong competitor to win a round, but in the past, I have struggled to put two consistent runs together to win an average,” Haley explained.
Aside from Haley’s success on Dewey, the futurity win was sentimental to her as Haley got to meet the breeders of Dewey, who are also the owners of two other 2023 futurity horses on her trailer, Angie and Dwayne Jones, owner of 2003 stallion JB Proud N Famous (Dash Ta Fame x JC Proud Buns x Proudest Effort).
“One thing I have learned this year training futurity horses for the public is how important good owners are. Not only does Angie trust me to train her horses, but she also trusts me to do what is best for them as an individual and place the horse’s needs first,” Haley said.
Haley expresses her gratitude to Angie Jones for the opportunity to have her horses in training, as it vital to have good owners to an aspiring futurity horse trainer’s success. Haley also thanks Autumn Bruton for the opportunity to purchase Dewey. Haley shows great appreciation to her family for their support and unwavering belief in her ability to make a career out of training horses professionally and also credits a great deal of her success to Chance Means, who starts all the horses in her program.
Idaho Barrel Futurity 1D Average Results:
1st: Haley Wolfe AE Fabulous Fame 35.353 $1,670
2nd: Edria Day Squirt of Fame 35.406 $1,431
3rd: Natalie Deking Streaking Goldigger 35.508 $1,272
4th: Natalie Deking Deking of Flings 35.526 $1,074
5th: Timi Lickley JH Single Lady 35.545 $875
6th: Maklee Larsen Macshine Mega Chic 35.705 $636
7th: Brandi Kap A StreakTaHipppy Fame 35.720 $398
8th: Kelli Thouvenell KT Just Fly 35.815 $318
9th: Erin Beukleman VF Turnin Trix 35.962 $278
Idaho Barrel Futurity 2D Average Results:
1st: Gretchen Schultz Guys American Honor 37.381 $716
2nd: Amber Bryan ICantWaitToBeKing 37.535 $613
3rd: Jeri Hampton Skippin Heyday 37.863 $545
4th: Jamie Gee Weavers Daisy Fling 37.910 $460
5th: Mykal Kirkpatrick Setumup Mayweather 37.931 $375
6th: Racehl Healey Famous Ms Lane 37.943 $273
7th: Georgina Marshall Perks Flying Biankus 37.969 $170
8th: Faith Lencioni EZ Bet Sheza Star 38.112 $136
9th: Brandon Labbee Rollin In Da Cash 38.179 $119
For more, visit idahobarrelfuturity.com.