By Shelby McCamey. Photos by Deb Mann  

Baize Banks Slot Race Win    
Leah Baize, aboard her 6-year-old sorrel gelding, Nicks Star Player, snagged the slot race win with a smoking fast time of 17.258, collecting a total of $2,625. Nicks Star Player, also known as “Roman,” is by Nicks Huachuca who is by the legendary Dr. Nick Bar and out of an own daughter of Oklahoma Fuel. Although the powerful rainfall made the weekend feel like a “monkey mess” for Baize, she didn’t let the unfavorable weather hinder her mental game.

“I knew what I needed to do; I just needed to do the same thing we always do,” Baize said of staying confident with her game plan, and that’s exactly what she did.

Not only did Baize win the slot race, but she also carried her time over to win the first go of Saturday’s open race. Baize continued her money-making streak in the second go of the open by running another fast time of a 17.023. The duo’s success this year has been special proving they are contending team in the barrel racing industry. The pair have truly shared a “Cinderella” story from the beginning and their connection was instant. In November of 2012, Baize came across Roman’s picture and immediately knew she “had to have him and he was going to be a good one.”

Although she had never broke, nor trained a barrel horse, she purchased the green-broke 2-year-old gelding. Being fresh to the barrel racing industry herself, she didn’t let her inexperience stop her from making a splash.

“Roman’s 4-year-old futurity year was kind of a mess,” Baize said. “I laid low with him until 2015 or 2016 where time allowed him to mature and now he is really coming on. He has won about $25,000 since and he also landed me in the top 20 in the California circuit my (Women’s Professional Rodeo Association) rookie year.”

Baize thanked Cheyenne Harris for allowing her to haul and run Roman’s half-sister, Toodalou or “Toodles.”

“Having Toodles allows Roman a well-deserved break when he needs it while we’re hauling to the California rodeos,” Baize said, also thanking her sponsors, family and friends, but specifically her parents and in-laws. “I couldn’t do it without them, because they help watch my 6 and 12-year-old boys.”

Baize also thanked her husband, Brett, for all of the support and help with post run routines.

LeahBaizeLeah Baize and Nicks Star Player. Photo by Deb Mann.

Crivier Tops Futurity
Before the first go, Lauren Crivier told her mom she had no expectations on IMA Six Zee Fame, except wanting to run at least an 18.5, but “Mouse” had a different plan.

“During my run I remember thinking, ‘I hope this is fast,’ because it felt fast,” Crivier said. “Whenever I looked at the clock, it completely blew me out of the water and I was tickled!”

Crivier says she went into her run for the second go with the same expectations as the day before, but again Mouse had a surprise.

“Even though she ran by the first barrel, she still clocked a 17.8 or .9,” Crivier said of what was, to be exact, a 17.866. The time topped the go-round and placed them at the top of the average, worth $3,975 for the weekend in the futurity.

When asked what this win meant, Crivier said, “This just solidified that I really can train a barrel horse and it also gave me a boost of confidence I needed.”

IMA Six Zee is an own daughter of Dash Ta Fame out of a Streakin Six, Doc O’Lena mare.

“Mouse really isn’t like the typical Dash Ta Fames,” Crivier said. “She is actually a pretty good mare; outside of the barrel pen she’s not bad at all. She’s so laid back that I can sit a 3-year-old on her and not be worried. She’s really a pretty cool mare.”

Crivier thanked her mom for always supporting her, and also Pete Oen for giving her the chance to own such an amazing mare.

LaurenCrivierLauren Crivier and Ima Six Zee Fame. Photo by Deb Mann.

Morehart Takes Derby and Open Titles    
The little palomino mare She Got The Guy and Maile Morehart got more than just the derby champion title. Morehart says the win was much more meaningful since she has both sponsored and volunteered at the event, it marked “Lou Lou Bell’s” last year to be able to win it, and it was her first saddle to ever win.

“She is my once-in-a-lifetime horse and she deserves to win,” Morehart said.

Morehart bought the cookie-loving mare from longtime friend Katie McCaslan as a 3-year-old. McCaslan also owns Lou Lou Bell’s sire, First Down French, and McCalsan trained and ran Lou Lou Bell for the first three months of her futurity year, after which Morehart decided to try her and the pair connected.

“I’ve never clicked with a horse like that before. From then on it has been history. Lou Lou Bell is a very consistent and confident mare that only messes up when I do, which is nice,” said Morehart, who describes the 6-year-old mare as whimsical. “She’s all business in the barrel pen, but yet stays pretty level headed until you ask her to trot. She just skips along and slings her head. I tell her all of the time, ‘If I have to jog and stay in shape you have to too!’”

Mental preparation is an important part of the game and Morehart says it was pivotal to being able to thrive in the derby at Chowchilla.

“We ran at a warm-up barrel race the weekend before and won it by two-tenths, so I knew all I had to do was go in there and ride my horse she will do her part,” Morehart said, and the duo was flawless in their approach to the race.

The first go they clock a 17.388 to be second in the round and came back in the second go with a 17.430 to place third in the round, and have an aggregate time of 34.818 for the win.

Morehart gave the biggest thanks to McCaslan.

“She has taught me everything I know,” Morehart said. “If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am or own Lou Lou Bell. Another thank you is to everyone who helped produce this event, especially Charleen, and my friends and fellow barrel racers that have been there through it all supporting Lou and I. I greatly appreciate it.”

MaileMorehartMaile Morehart and She Got The Guy. Photo by Deb Mann.


Shelby McCamey is a senior at Tarleton State University and avid barrel racer. Email comments on this article to [email protected].



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