Riding four royally bred, expertly prepared Royal Crown Futurity and Derby horses to $268,471, it was Dublin, Texas, futurity trainer extraordinaire Kassie Mowry who emerged as the undeniable queen of the Royal Crown Race held August 11-14 in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Mowry and her fiancé Michael Boone own three of the equine athletes that emerged as the event’s heaviest hitters.
According to a Royal Crown social media statement, “…in 2022 alone, Mowry has earned a total of $428,500.75 between rider, stallion and breeder money and she’s not done yet!” In the immediate aftermath, Mowry admitted that the impact of her remarkable collection of victories in Rock Springs hadn’t settled in quite yet.
“It definitely has not—I’m exhausted right now—but it definitely has not sunk in,” said Mowry. “It’s incredible. What an opportunity that we have now to be able to run for this, it’s just changed the industry!”
Riding her 2018 sorrel gelding KL Touch Of Heaven, Mowry set a high bar in round one of the Royal Crown 2D Breeders Futurity with a 15.278-second run, which she followed up with a 15.009 in round two. KL Touch Of Heaven’s 30.287-second cumulative time banked $92,142, plus another $12,567 in Royal Crown breeder’s cash for Karma Loftin, and $12,567 paid out to sire JL Dash Ta Heaven’s owners Ray and Lainie Whitmire of Whitmire Ranch.
KL Touch Of Heaven is out of the blue hen mare—and Loftin’s unicorn—Junior Country Girl, by Deep Note Jr. Junior Country Girl is the dam of FirewaterMakeMeHappy (“Junior”), Martha Smith’s buckskin gelding that Mowry rode to the 2017 RodeoHouston championship and her second NFR qualification the same year.
“The one that won it, his name is KL Touch Of Heaven and he’s a Dash Ta Heaven colt,” Mowry said. “He’s just a beautiful—just a nice, nice horse and he’s been really consistent.”
Mowry’s reserve champion ride, Force The Goodbye, is owned by Boone and shares the same aptitude for speed and high performance as his champion hauling partner.
“The other colt is kind of the same,” she said. “They’re both really similar—real easy going and honest, just good solid horses. I think they’ve got really bright futures ahead of them.”
Force The Goodbye placed in round one with a 15.453, then improved by half a second to win round two with a 14.936 for a total on two of 30.389 seconds and second in the aggregate. Force The Goodbye tallied $76,126 in earnings, plus $10,863 for Janelle Yutzie Blubaugh as breeder and $10,863 to the Jarvis family on behalf of their leading sire The Goodbye Lane.
Mowry won the first go of the Royal Crown Barrel Breeders 2D Derby riding Boone’s Famous Ladies Man (Emmitt), the same horse she rode to a new arena record of 16.86 on a standard en route to the 2022 Calgary Stampede championship just weeks ago. By Dash Ta Fame and out of Lady Perks by Dash For Perks, the 2015 gelding stopped the clock in 14.836 seconds in round one and 15.002 in round two for a total on two of 29.858 seconds, which was worth $44,007 with Open, Derby, sidepot and Slot Race monies combined. Busby Quarter Horses, LLC, was awarded $3,040 in Royal Crown breeder earnings and Darian Burt’s Dash Ta Fame received a $3,040 stallion paycheck.
“The Derby horse that I ran, he won the Derby here last year and has the arena record,” Mowry told Equine Network’s editorial director Chelsea Shaffer. “He just kind of came off a hot streak at the rodeos. He kind of overdid it and put us [in position] for qualifying for the NFR this year. So, it’s just been a lot on my plate, trying to juggle those rodeos now, getting my rodeo count in and doing these futurities and keeping the colts ready.”
Colorado-based trainer Taylor Hildreth rode Kayla Jones’s KG Just As Fabulous to reserve in the Derby behind Mowry. Sired by Frenchmans Fabulous and out of KG Justiceweexpected by the late Judge Cash, the 2016 palomino mare is a product of Kathy Grimes’ breeding program. Hildreth and KG Just As Fabulous stopped the clock in 15.139 seconds in round one and 15.36 in round two for a combined 30.499 worth $11,628 in Derby dollars, plus $1,360 to Grimes as breeder and $1,360 to Frenchmans Quarter Horses on behalf of sire Frenchmans Fabulous.
Tracking Mowry’s Rig
When asked if her schedule would be rodeo heavy in the month of September, Mowry says her No. 1 focus remains commitment to the 2023 futurity hopefuls in her barn.
“I have owners that pay me to ride their colts, so that comes first, and I’ll have those colts ready,” she said. “I’m always looking a year ahead because that’s how long it takes us to train them. I always have that on my mind. These 3-year-olds I have at home will be ready to run in November for next year. These guys that I’m running here [in Rock Springs] will be finishing their year out in November.”
In December Mowry will likely be celebrating her rodeo success in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. She’s No. 6 in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association World Standings with $91,657 as of August 15 with just 19 rodeos. The consummate overachiever has a busy schedule for the remainder of rodeo’s regular season because she must attend the required 25 rodeos to make her “count.”
“I got a brand-new truck about a week and a half ago and I’ve already got like 5,000 miles on it just trying to get to the rodeos I can to get that count in before the year’s over,” she said. “I have to get to 25. It’s a lot. I feel like I’m behind in trying to keep up with my life right now, but everything’s good! The horses feel great, they’re running, they’re winning, they’re wanting to do their job so it’s just a thrill and I’m just enjoying it.”
Mowry says she’ll be at the ProRodeos within close proximity to her Texas home in order to stay on her client horses.
“There are some close ones, I think there’s three next weekend I can get to that are not too far from the house,” she said. “I don’t have a futurity next weekend so that’ll knock some of them out—Mesquite, Wichita Falls, Denton. I’m absolutely not doing the Northwest for sure. The futurity world is my wheelhouse. This is my passion; I love training the colts and running the colts.”
Mowry, who says she habitually rodeos over the Fourth of July in hopes of winning enough money to gain entry into the limited winter rodeos in Texas like RodeoHouston, is the epitome of a goal-getter.
“I always want to get into Houston because I just love Houston,” she said. “So that was my goal this year and my horse just kind of hit a home run at Calgary and put me in a different situation I didn’t see coming. Famous Ladies Man, he’s won 100 percent of my rodeo money this year.”
Mowry says Emmitt’s performance on the small indoor pattern in Rock Springs is a positive indicator for how he’ll handle the compact confines of the Thomas & Mack Center arena.
“He seems to love this arena,” she said. “He won Odessa (Texas) one year and that’s tiny also, so I have high hopes. I’ve been there two years and it wasn’t the best, but maybe the third time’s a charm. I just want to have fun. I love this horse, and everybody involved with him, my family’s out there, I just really want to go have a good time. I just really want to have a nice time with everybody.”
So Much Winning!
The 2D winner of the Royal Crown Barrel Breeders Futurity was Sierra Schlenker riding Sierra Zowada’s A Wonderful Fling. The 2018 mare sired by A Streak Of Fling and out of Pacific Wonder Jet by Zing Zane Wonder was bred by Tracy L. Lamber and earned the win with times of 15.934 and 15.858 for a cumulative 31.792 worth $10,500. A Wonderful Fling earned another $2,024 for her breeder and $2,024 which was paid to stallion owner Fulton Ranch.
Megan Swint rode Sissy Novack’s 2015 gelding DTF Wicked by Dash Ta Fame and out of Eye Coaly by Mr Eye Opener to the top of the Derby 2D with times of 15.877 and 15.54 for a cumulative 31.417. The 2D win was worth $3,933, plus $460 to breeder Darian Burt and another $460 on behalf of sire Dash Ta Fame.
The Royal Crown Race offers one of the nation’s premier breeders’ futurities, which is open to 4- and 5-year-old Royal Crown horses and guarantees $600,000 in owner/rider payouts. The $75,000-added Barrel Breeders 2D Derby is open to horses 8 years old and under. Both the Futurity and Derby pay on a .75-second split and boast a 100-percent payout across two go-rounds and the average. With many ways to win in 2022, the Royal Crown also offered a $125,000-added Open 5D, $10,000-added Senior 4D, $25,000-added Youth 4D and $5,000-added Slot Race, plus $50,000-added Future Fortunes, $15,000 Cowboy State Incentive and $10,000-added Top Shelf Breeders Incentive.
And don’t forget the PeeWees! Event producer Lindsey O’Keeffe has established what is quite likely the highest paying PeeWee Race in the country. A remarkable field of 36 Royal Crown PeeWee Racers were each awarded $269, plus first-class awards.
For full results visit www.RoyalCrownRace.com.