Showdown Productions paid out over $433,400 at the 2023 Texarkana Showdown Barrel Race Futurity, Derby, High Stakes and Open at the 4 State Fairgrounds from September 28–30.
Where There’s a Will, There’s A Way
It was no surprise to see Kassie Mowry as the highest-money earner of the Texarkana Showdown. The elite barrel futurity horse trainer’s decision to stay home from the CINCH Playoffs Governor’s Cup Women’s Professional Rodeo Association rodeo in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, paid off when the Dublin, Texas, talent garnered more than $90,000 on her trailer of incomparable derby horses in both the Derby and High Stakes.
—> Read more: All About Kassie Mowry’s Training Program
Mowry went first, second and third in the Derby, as well as rolling her times over to the High Stakes to go second, third and fourth. Although her derby horses seemed to fight for the first-place position on the trailer throughout the year, KL Touch Of Heaven (JL Dash Ta Heaven x Junior Country Girl x Deep Note Jr) rose to the top at Texarkana. The 2018 gelding, who won over $367,000 in EquiStat reported earnings his futurity year in 2022, is owned by Mowry and stopped the clock at a 14.147, good enough to win $30,903 in Derby and High Stakes winnings.
Famous Ladies Man (Dash Ta Fame x Lady Perks x Dash For Perks) proved his consistency and adaptability, from winning the Calgary Stampede in 2022 to running a 14.167 at Texarkana to secure $26,635 in collective winnings among the derby, open and high stakes. The 8-year-old gelding owned by Mowry’s fiance, Michael Boone, has over $674,000 in EquiStat earnings and has contributed greatly to Mowry making the National Finals Rodeo in both 2022 and again in 2023.
Not to be left out, Mowry’s gentle giant CP He Will Be Epic (Epic Leader x CP Perscilla x Dash Ta Fame) captured the hearts of those at the 2022 NFR, where he carried Mowry to over $1 million in earnings in 2022 alone at the completion of the year. The 17-hand gelding turned in a time of 14.182, earning $21,233 in collective winnings among the derby and high stakes.
Mowry’s sights are set on Las Vegas in December after attending just 26 rodeos en route to her fourth NFR qualification, and her team of winning derby horses is looking to be sharpened up and right on track.
Quite Literally — Runnin With Wings
Youth jockey London Gorham of Cotulla, Texas, and Runnin With Wings clinched Gorham’s second major open slot race win of the year after winning the J&J Productions Big League Barrel Race in Glen Rose, Texas, in March.
Gorham did it again, this time in Texarkana. Gorham and “Homeboy” first ran a 14.213 to place fifth in the Derby and win $5,677. However, instead of rolling over from the Derby like many contestants opted to do, Gorham said “hold my beer” and ran again in the High Stakes, which proved to be a very profitable decision.
The winning team saved the best for last, running a 14.114 in the High Stakes for the fastest time of the weekend, making Gorham $22,367 richer. All together, Gorham was the second-highest money earner of the weekend, winning a collective $29,393 in the Open, High Stakes and Derby behind Mowry’s unparalleled $90,000 in weekend earnings.
Gorham’s faithful 7-year-old gelding Runnin With Wings (JL Dash Ta Heaven x Nicki Nick Bar x Colonel Azucar) was trained by professional barrel futurity horse trainer James Barnes of Hamburg, Arkansas. The gelding had a very successful futurity year with Barnes before he handed the reins over to Gorham, who has taken him over by storm and never looked back.
The Power Of The Underdog
An unfamiliar face to the futurity horse industry rose to the top of the leaderboard in the Texarkana Showdown Futurity. Skyla Peters of Sublette, Kansas, and VF Rock Em Stinson, a 5-year-old gray gelding with only $5,300 in prior Equi Stat earnings, defeated some of the best professional barrel futurity horse trainers and futurity horses going down the road today.
The dynamic duo stopped the clock at 14.303, running the fastest time of the Futurity to earn $12,087 in one run, making the 10-hour drive to Texarkana worth it for 26-year-old Peters.
Although this team seemed to come out of nowhere for their first big win together, both Peters and “Sterling” had been preparing for their winning moment for the last couple years, without knowing it at the time.
Sterling is by $6.5 million sire Eddie Stinson, who has produced over $761,000 in money earners in 2023 alone. Peters and Sterling have quickly added to those earnings, as the dynamic duo has won nearly $75,000 in an impressive eight runs together.
The gelding was carefully crafted and bred by the No.1 money-earning breeder of the Ruby Buckle from 2020-2022 — Victory Farms of Ada, Oklahoma. Sterling is out of Beduinos Chick Jet by Rock Em Smooth. He is a full sister to VF Rosie Stinson, on whom professional horse trainer Kelsey Lutjen Treharne of Collinsville, Texas, piloted to multiple 1D futurity earnings during the gray mare’s futurity year in 2021.
Sterling garnered the first checks of his career under the guidance of professional barrel futurity horse trainer Danyelle Campbell of Millsap, Texas, as well as being ridden by owner Storme Camarillo. Sterling is owned by both Camarillo and Art Guttersen.
Initially consigned to the 2023 Pink Buckle Sale, Sterling was pulled out of the sale by his owners to continue his career with Peters going to the rodeos.
Peters has been barrel racing since she was 12 and is the product of hard work and determination.
“I haven’t always had the money to buy nice horses, so I’ve spent a lot of my barrel racing career purchasing horses I could afford and tuning them to make them work for me,” Peters explained. “I feel like I’ve rode it all — horses that duck, run up the fence, crash barrels — but I truly believe those horses have made me the jockey I am today.”
Peters owes a majority of her barrel racing career to a horse named Cash For Bid (PC Frosty Bid x Cashini x Bet The Cash). Peters purchased “Cash” at the Barrel Futurities of America Horse Sale in 2014 for a mere $5,000. Originally trained by professional barrel racer Lanita Peirce, Peters had no idea how much Cash would alter the trajectory of her life.
“He went on to win Barn Six in 2017 at the Better Barrel Races World Finals, and he got my feet wet winning at the professional rodeos. He’s the reason I want to make the NFR someday. I want to show others that just because you don’t come from deep pockets doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in this industry,” Peters said.
After Cash passed from a life-ending injury in 2020, Peters sold out and struggled to find the desire to run barrels again. Then, Peters found Pistol Whistle (PC Frosty Bid x Whistle N Skip x No Whistle).
The 8-year-old buckskin gelding raised and trained by Etbauer Performance Horses in Edmond, Oklahoma, was purchased by Peters in June of this year. The 2015 gelding and Peters have had an electric summer going down the road, winning over $20,000 in just a few short months as a team together.
“That’s when Storme and Art called me about taking Sterling when I was going down the road a lot with ‘Pistol.’ Sterling fit me so well right off the bat — we won second at our first race together,” Peters said. “Jockeying a lot of different styles of horses over the years has really taught me to adapt to their style to win.”
Peters explained Cash and Sterling are both very talented geldings with two completely different styles. They’ve sparked the fire and desire for Peters to take a break from the concrete and truck wash business she owns with her husband, Billy, and go back out on the road running barrels.
Peters has had a good start, banking another impressive $47,000 on Sterling at the 2023 Pink Buckle Futurity, which pushed their earnings to nearly $75,000 together in over a month of competition as a team.
“If Sterling doesn’t sell before then, I plan to hit the rodeos pretty hard next year. Aside from that, I plan to at least try and make the Prairie Circuit Finals on Pistol,” Peters said.
Peters thanked her husband, Billy, for his support, as well as showed her utmost appreciation for Camarillo and Guttersen for allowing Peters to jockey Sterling.
2023 Texarkana Showdown Barrel Race Highest-Money Earners
- Kassie Mowry – $90,426
- London Gorham – $29,393
- Marne Loosenort – $25,143
- Pete Oen – $17,670
- Catherine Asmussen – $14,226
- Neely Lewis – $13,420
- Skyla Peters – $12,087
- Abby Phillips – $10,595
- Krystal Dillman – $11,747
- James Barnes – $9,418