Sometimes, all a futurity barrel horse needs is someone to believe in them, but Mias Famous N Heaven has had an entire army waiting for her to show her talent to the world—something that finally happened for the mare on October 25 at the Ruby Buckle East futurity in Memphis, Tennessee, with Dustin Angelle.
The first day of action in the Futurity was profitable for Angelle and Mias Famous N Heaven, a 2019 mare by JL Dash Ta Heaven and out of French Mirage x Frenchmans Guy with a 15.069-second run. The pair earned $8,000 for owners Debra and Randy Boyd, $1,000 for the Boyds as the breeders and $1,000 for stallion JL Dash Ta Heaven.
“(Mias Famous N Heaven’s) style has been different for me since the beginning,” Angelle explained. “But I knew she was a winner from the time I started her. I wanted to give her the chance with me, even if it took me changing my ways. I believe that’s been a big part with her.
Angelle noted that some hit barrels cost him throughout the season, but those errors didn’t stop Mias Famous N Heaven from gathering $24,831 in QData’s recorded lifetime earnings since her breakout as a juvenile at the Barrel Futurities of America event in November 2023. Angelle was laser-focused on his game plan inside the Agricenter Showplace Arena.
“She knows her job, so prior to Ruby Buckle, I jogged her out on the track quite a bit and just exercised her,” Angelle said. “For my run, my goal was to just stay clean and out of her way. She normally can shut the clock off well, so I try to keep that in mind. I didn’t try to go too fast, and if she makes an error I just remind myself not to panic.”
ProRodeo barrel racer, Katie Jo Halbert, and her parents, owners Randy and Debra Boyd raised “Mia,” and knew they wanted her in Angelle’s hands from the start. They approached Angelle when Mia was just a yearling to reserve her spot in the Louisiana man’s training program, then Angelle took Mia when she was a 2-year-old with 60 days of riding on her.
“I always knew she’d be gritty just by watching her play in the pasture with our other foals when she was a weanling and yearling,” Halbert said. “Mia has a naughty streak in her, and I knew from the day she hit the ground it was going to take a special person to channel her attitude and personality in the right direction to bring out the best in her. Dustin definitely has done that and more for her!”
Angelle confirmed that Mia has a spicy personality, but rather than discourage it, Angelle has worked hard not to break that spirit.
“As long as it’s reasonable, I’ve tried to always be respectful of her personality and tried not to take that away from her as long as she keeps it reasonable,” Angelle said. “I have loved her from the beginning.”
Little did Angelle know, while he was singing his praises to his owners, they were praising him right back.
“I just want to say how much I appreciate Dustin and (Dustin’s husband, Clay Espey) for everything they’ve done for Mia,” Halbert said. “They never gave up on her and have always believed in her talent—even when things weren’t going our way. Mia is what she is today because of them. They’ve worked so hard to keep her happy and healthy. It shows by how much Mia tries for Dustin.”
Angelle was also sure to thank his supporters.
“I’d like to thank my sponsors, Nutrena, Steirwalt Super Flex, 3S Custom Equine, XLR8, Driven PCR, HorseKonfidence and most importantly her veterinarian and my husband,” Angelle said.