On Monday, August 29, Famous Lemon Drop, affectionately known as “Lemon Drop,” passed away at the age of just 6.
Stevi Hillman, of Weatherford, Texas, first teamed up with the dynamic young palomino mare Famous Lemon Drop, owned by Matt and Bendi Dunn, in March of 2021. “Lemon Drop,” sired by freshman NFR sire First Down French and out of the Dash Ta Dame daughter, A Famous Lady, was bred by Shannon Akerstrom’s Western 37 Barrel Horses.
By December 2021, the phenomenal 2016 mare was producing jaw-dropping NFR performances for Hillman within the confines of Thomas and Mack Center arena. The team placed sixth and fourth, respectively, in the first two rounds, winning round three and splitting the top spot in round nine with Jordon Briggs and Rollo. Steadily gaining ground in the world standings, Lemon Drop helped Hillman surpass $1 million in earnings the same week.
I’m super proud of Lemon Drop,” Hillman told Barrel Racing Magazine following her first round win of the 2021 NFR. “She’s just a 5-year-old and you never know what to expect from any horse here, let alone a 5-year-old. Every night she’s just gotten stronger and seems to like it.”
Bendi Dunn shared in a Facebook post on Thursday, September 1,
DaCota Monk of Texas-based Diamond DM Performance Horses trained Lemon Drop and the Dunn’s purchased her as a 4-year-old.
“She is a strong little mare, and she is so gritty and uses her whole body,” Hillman said, following another incredible performance this past summer that produced the fastest run—a 17.111—of the WCRA Utah Days of ‘47 Rodeo in July. “I just feel incredibly blessed to have her and jockey her.”
There is no doubt that the Hillman’s, Dunn’s and all connected to Lemon Drop will sorely miss the tenacity, strength and speed we all came to admire as we watched Lemon Drop give her whole heart in each and every performance.