5 of 2023’s NFR Horses Came Through Kassie Mowry’s Hands.

Kassie Mowry isn't just an NFR qualifier—she's stamped a portion of the entire field of barrel racing horses.
Kassie Mowry and CP He Will be Epic NFR barrel racing
Kassie Mowry and CP He Will be Epic in the first round of the 2022 NFR. Ric Andersen/CBARC Photography.

Rodeo fans may not know that making the National Finals Rodeo is just Kassie Mowry’s moonlighting barrel racing gig.

The four-time NFR qualifier is one of the best barrel horse trainers in the business with mounts winning more than $4 million in aged event competition—futurities and derbies. 

At this year’s NFR, Mowry can take credit for training four of the horses that will run down the alley, and she got the first major victory on another that went through her program. 

See the full list of horses heading to the 2023 NFR here.

Kassie Mowry Professional Barrel Racing World Standings
Kassie Mowry and Famous Ladies Man got the win at The Calgary Stampede in 2022. Image courtesy Calgary Stampede.

Mowry trained her own mounts Famous Ladies Man (“Emmitt”) and CP He Will Be Epic (“Will”). Both horses were aged event superstars with six-figure earnings long before they started their rodeo careers. Their current lifetime earnings, rodeo money included, are more than $700,000 and $500,000, respectively.

Emmitt, an 8-year-old gelding by Dash Ta Fame out of Lady Perks, by Dash For Perks, was Mowry’s No. 1 rodeo horse until he was injured prior to the 2022 NFR. Now, he shares that duty with Will, an 8-year-old gelding by Epic Leader out of the Dash Ta Fame mare Percilla. 

Kassie Mowry turns the second barrel at San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo.
Kassie Mowry and CP He Will Be Epic won the 2023 San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo. Andersen/CBarC Photography.

Wenda Johnson’s Steal Money (“Mo”), owned by Highpoint Barrel Horses, also earned aged event money under Mowry’s saddle. The 7-year-old gelding, by First Moonflash out of Im Chica Stoli, by Stoli, was trained by Luis Hernandez and hauled by Johnson before going to Mowry just prior to the start of his futurity year. 

Wenda Johnson winning Round 7 of NFR barrel racing on Mo.
Wenda Johnson and Steal Money “Mo,” win Round 7 of the 2022 NFR. Image by Ric Andersen/CBarC Photogrpahy

As a 5-year-old, Mo won the HHA Elite Futurity and more than $35,000 during the first half of the season with Mowry before switching to rodeos with Johnson to help her qualify for the 2021 NFR.

NFR first-timer Ilyssa Riley won half of her qualifying earnings on Mistys Money Blurr (“Money”), a 7-year-old gelding by The Money Depot out of Mistys Dash Of Fame, by Dash Ta Fame. Money, one of Mowry’s personal horses, was the 2020 Ardmore Futurity Champion. Although he missed several futurities due to an early season injury, Money won $33,000 in the four months of the year. 

Ilyssa Riley barrel racing
Ilyssa Riley and Money swept the 2022 Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo. James Phifer/RodeoBum Photography.

While Mowry was running Mo and Money in 2020, she was training Sand In My Socks (“Sandi”). They won their debut, the 2020 BFA Super Stakes for $100,000. Sandi, a 6-year-old daughter of BHR Frenchies Socks out of JC Pick Six, by Tres Seis, was one of the leading futurity horses in 2021. In the fall of 2022, Sandi joined Stevi Hillman’s string and was a money winner for her at the NFR. 

Stevi Hillman barrel racing at the NFR
Stevi Hillman and Sand In My Socks at the 2022 NFR. Image by Jamie Arviso.

“You love to see that as a trainer,” said Mowry after winning the 2021 Calgary Stampede. “You love to see how they’ve matured and developed. I had a trainer tell me when I was younger that every time you put a halter on a horse, you’re training or untraining it. Every time you ride, you’re training or untraining. I really believe that. They learn so much after someone else takes the reins from when I’ve had them or Mike’s had them. It’s such a cool process. It’s fun for me to see how they evolve and change and grow.”