Guided by faith – both in her higher power and her stellar fence horse – Monica DeBie, Tulare, Calif., piloted Full Throttle Pepinic (Smart Little Pepinic x Peppys Rockin Angel) to the Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Championship, earning $6,260 for owner Robert Klems, Jr.
DeBie rode “Luke,” an eye-catching, blaze-faced sorrel stallion, to a 208 in the herd work, and then won the rein work round with a 216.5. A fast and furious cow work earned a 218 from the judges and sealed the Championship.
“He’s a super little horse. He’s got a big stop like all the Smart Little Pepinics do. He’s a super fence horse. He just tries, tries, tries,” she said, “I had the eye of the tiger coming out of that corner. I wasn’t gonna let that sucker get off the fence. The Smart Little Pepinics, you can trust them down the fence. They’re all phenomenal. They all have rate, they’re fast and they’re not going to miss!”
DeBie has worked for John Ward at the historic Ward Ranch for the past five years, and her horsemanship has developed by leaps and bounds during that time, she said.
“I work with Chris Krieg and Mallory Holland and it is such a team. You just learn and learn and learn, and you get to try on so many horses and you just get to grow. John is the best coach. He’s a super coach,” she said.
It was the first major NRCHA victory for DeBie, who recently became engaged to Dan Caetano, a farrier who works on the Ward Ranch horses. She was emotional as she discussed the win and the strong spiritual belief she carries in every aspect of her life.
“In every victory, let it be said of me that my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone,” she said.
Besides the paycheck, DeBie’s Champoinship came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by Carol Rose Quarter Horses, a CR Morrison Trophy from Rocking J Ranch in memory of Barbara Hastings, a Gist Custom Buckle sponsored by Doug Granade, a fleece cooler from Classic Equine, a monogrammed Cinch jacket from Bob’s Custom Saddles and New West Country Store, Platinum Performance from Doug Herthel and a CR Morrison Medallion from NRCHA.
The Reserve Champion in the Futurity Limited Open was Adan Banuelos, riding the horse he won the Level 1 Limited Open Futurity with earlier this week, Cat Diesel (One Time Pepto x Cats Glamour Girl), a gelding owned by his mother, Tiffani Banuelos. Banuelos earned $5,008 when he scored a total 638 on three events.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association, now in its 62nd year, is the governing body of cow horse competition. It is responsible for promoting the sport, ensuring high standards of competition and educating members and the public about the history and tradition of reined cow horses. With the support of a Corporate Partner family that includes Bob’s Custom Saddles, Boehringer Ingelheim, Cinch, Classic Equine, Gist Silversmiths, John Deere, Markel Insurance Company, Platinum Performance, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes, Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, Silver Legacy Hotel and Casino, Bloomer Trailers and Schwalbe Trucks presented by Great West Trailers, and Merial products UlcerGard and Equioxx, the association works to keep the vaquero tradition alive in today’s equine industry. For information on the National Reined Cow Horse Association, call 580-759-4949 or visit the official NRCHA web site at www.NRCHA.com.