If you hadn't heard yet Lucas McCullough was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancer, two weeks ago today. Lucas has two lymph node groups affected around his heart and lungs. If you look back at our blog and web site you will see Luke is a huge part of our lives and a big part of the Team Pagh family. To say the least Luke's mom and dad, Jean and Lee were devastated with the news. They got over the shock and rallied around their son with the determination that together they would see Lucas through this. The doctors all say this is a very treatable form of cancer and we are all believing in Luke's full recovery! Luke has begun chemo treatments that should last the next several months followed by radiation. Luke was in Shand's Hospital in Gainesville for a week and a half but is home now this week. He is moving around a little slow but has been out around the ranch everyday. Luke is looking forward to getting through this whole thing and getting back to what he loves... riding and showing his horses. If any of you want to get in touch with Luke you can call me and I will get you his number. Please be praying for his speedy recovery! Brad
One of my favorite things about horse show weekends is not so much the wins, trophies,and championships. It is the relationships and camaraderie that occur around these events. It is the building up of a friend when they are feeling low because they did not accomplish what they wanted to. It is a father who loves his child so much he waits around all day for those two minutes to watch her go in and try her best in the show pen. It is the grandparents devoting so much time and effort into their precious girls. It is the coach who dedicates himself to his students so they can reach their goals and dreams...and to be there on the other side rooting them on whether they do or don't. It is the relationships that form and bond from a group that cheers each other on through the good and the bad. And it is also the family that extends beyond even the borders of competition. Okay, sometimes the borders become a little higher when the heat gets hotter. But in the end, we all appreciate each other because we know the sweat and sacrifice that takes place in order to do this thing we do...reining.
Having said all that... the thrill of competition is a blast! The stakes were higher because this weekend was the last show of the year for FRHA. Some of the horse/rider teams had a lot of lea-way and easily sealed the deal for the year end awards. Others just barely squeezed in there by a few points. And some fell just short of their needed points. Lucas and Bobby were the ones who came through at the last minute! They were leading the 14-18 Youth Division by 2 points for the year end buckle going into the show. On Saturday however they had to be at the cow horse show down in Sarasota. While down there they won the Non Pro, the Novice Non Pro, the Youth Bridle, and were second on Luke's new mare in the Non Pro Hackamore! Pretty slick work for one Day!! Here at the reining someone had jumped ahead of him by one point for the year end buckle. So Sunday came and Bob and Luke marked a "70" to win the class but he still needed one rider to score in between him and the other rider who was currently leading the division. We had Lana at the show for Ashlyn to show in the Green so we took advantage of that and stuck her in there to see if Luke could pull it off. Well before Luke showed Lana another boy placed between Luke and the year end leader! Luke and Lana followed doing the same so in the end Luke and Bobby won the year end buckle by two points!! That's close after a whole year of showing! Congratulations Lucas for sealing the deal! Another great triumph this weekend was Kyndall and "Chicken" clenching the 13 & Under Youth Division Year End Championship! Yeah! We also want to give a shout out to our two Green riders who are graduating out of the Green and on to the Rookie. Congratulations Burl White and Karen Anderson for winning your buckles. They will receive them early next year at the awards banquet.
A new up and comer that deserves a praise is Ashlyn Harper (Kyndall's little sister). She won her first class this weekend.....only her 4th time showing and only her second try on this particular horse. She won the Green 1 on Sunday and got her first ever trophy plaque!!!! Thanks to Jean McCullough for allowing her to borrow "Lana". They made a great team! Yeah Ashlyn, we are so proud of you!!!
Brad and Dually (Smart Doc Dualittle) also finished the year out strong, winning the Novice Horse Open Division by about 20 points on Cathy Voit's talented stud!
Dually is also the sire of the three year old that Kyndall showed in the Non Pro Futurity on Saturday night! Kyndall and Funny Face (Dualittle Sweet Gun) put forth a great effort in their ride. Funny Face was just not quite into all the crazy people screaming in the stands. These young ones take a little time to get their feet wet. Colleen Smith and Dallas (This Playboy Dunnit) also competed in the Non Pro Futurity. They really gave it their all and were looking like strong contenders for the lead when a little glitch in the end put them out of the running. Again, three year olds....anything can happen! But they looked great out there. Good job also to Jeremy and Stormys Fancy Twist who qualified to compete in the Rookie division at the affiliate finals! Jeremy has really brought Stormy a long way this year and has done really well at a bunch of Quarter Horse Shows! Okay, so things were going amazing for Ginger and Juiced Up in the Rookie 1 & 2 Divisions. She was about 10 points behind for the year end buckle going into the show but you know, who's really counting?...haha. On Saturday the pair one both divisions bringing them with in 4-5 points of the leaders!! On Sunday they gave it their all and had a very nice ride but basically tied with the ladies she needed to beat so no points were changed. She fell just short of gaining what she needed for the Rookie buckles, but came in Reserve Year End Champions! Also its very exciting that Ginger and Juice up are qualified for the affiliate finals and is still able to win NRHA Rookie of the Year! Reserve Champion in both Rookie 1 & 2 is really an excellent achievement!! Congratulations Ginger!!! Next stop for Kyndall, Ginger, & Brad.....South Eastern Affiliate Finals in Williamston, North Carolina!!!
One of the highlights of the weekend, other than all that stuff....was the Doggie Costume Contest! Grace and Ruby, Ashlyn and Lemon, Cain and Charley, and Karen's dog Zack all were contenders. We had so much fun watching them strut their stuff and the whole crowd was wild about them. Here are some pictures of the cuteness! Okay and Cain was very handsome!
It has certainly been a couple of busy months in the horse show arena. I see the last thing I blogged about was Kyndall at the USEF and Lucas up in Tennessee.
Well I would say these two are still at it! Congratulations to Kyndall and her steady mount "Chicken" for being Reserve Champions again this year at the Congress in Columbus Ohio in the 13 and Under. It was a cold three days up there for us Florida folks and Chicken had plenty of energy because of that. Kyndall also placed 9th in the NRHA approved Ladies division out of about 90 horses and got a nice paycheck for that.
Kyndall now has her sights set on the Florida Futurity this Saturday night in Ocala. Then two weeks from now in Williamston, North Carolina she is riding in the futurity they have there during the affiliate finals weekend. She will be riding her three year old mare, Funny Face. Good Luck!!!!
We have been at several cow horse shows with Lucas since I last blogged. Lucas and his steady cow horse "Bobby" have been paying their way every time. They are like a Horse Show ATM machine.... go to the show and withdraw money!! Seems pretty easy doesn't it!! They have made it look easy but I will tell you they work hard at home and just keep getting better! They sure make me proud!!
Lucas just bought a new 4 year old mare with his own money and we are real excited about her. She is by Boonlight Dancer and has a lot of potential. He is going to test drive her at a couple of shows and then hopefully have her ready for cow horse derbies next year.
Congratulations to Meagan Whitehurst of Williston, Florida for her purchase of Burl White's horse Hickorys in Hollywood, "Bugsy"! Meagan is a very good rider and in her first cow horse show last month she did amazingly well for her first time out. The pair marked 69's and 70's in the reining and in the cow work they marked... 70, 71, and two 73's!!!! It was really fun!!! We hope to see them at a lot of the cow horse shows in 2010!
Congratulations to Rodney Osborne on his purchase of a very nice four year old stallion by Soula Jewel Star! We will be excited to see the horse get out there and work some cows in the show pen! Here he is pictured below with Brad giving him a try.
Last month in Ocala, Ashlyn Harper made her reining debut!! She has been practicing so hard and really did a great job on her Aunt Lisa's mare. This month Ashlyn is going to give it another try but this time she is going to ride McCullough's good mare Lana so it should be exciting!! Good Luck to them!!!
This weekend in Ocala, we have one more show of the year here for FRHA. One exciting part of the show will be the three year old futurity. Colleen Smith will be showing her three year old stallion "Dallas" for the first time! Good Luck to Colleen and Kyndall on their futurity horses!!
In two weeks we will be in Williamston at the NRHA Affiliate Finals. We have four horses going there. Kyndall and Chicken are in the Youth 13 and Under and also Kyndall will show Funny Face in the futurity there. Ginger and Juiced Up will be competing in the exciting Rookie Division. It will be a huge deal to see if she makes it to Oklahoma for the Rookie Finals!! Finally, I will have Dually to show in the Novice Horse. He is the only Florida horse qualified in this class!
Last weekend we were in Harriman Tennessee at the East Coast Reined Cow Horse Classic Derby and Bridle Spectacular. They put on a beautiful show! This is the third year we have been there and its better each year..way to go Paul Bailey who runs the whole thing!
Lucas and his horse, "Nice Bobby Sox", were entered in the Non Pro and Novice Non Pro Bridle Spectacular. If your not familiar with that it is like a derby or futurity except for older horses and there are three sections to the competition. Herd work, rein work, and down the fence on a single cow.
Lucas and Bobby marked a 133 the first day in the herd work and really looked good. Bobby had some huge moves..actually so many big moves that the photographer got about 7 or 8 great pictures of the pair in perfect form making it hard to pick just one of them to buy! Anyone who does this knows its hard to get even one good shot so that was pretty cool! They had no major penalties and the cattle were real tough because Lucas cut late in his group meaning the cows were getting pretty used up. I was thrilled with that first go!
The next day Lucas showed the reining and cow work portions of that class in conjunction with the regular classes. Lucas and Bobby had a very nice reining pattern and kept it a little conservative marking a 137. Then came the fun part... the part we all love to watch!!! They turned out a nice cow and Lucas and Bobby went to work! The boxing was tough and the cow challenged them hard several times back and forth across the arena. Bobby dropped down and shook in front of that cow like a cutter! Lucas set up his fence run and took the cow in perfect form all the way down the long fence and had a "HUGE" first turn!! Back down the fence they came and hit another very nice turn. Lucas drove the cow out to the middle of the pen and circled both ways in great position getting the whistle from the judge. It was a classic great cow horse ride with no waste of energy and total control of the cow!!! They marked a 144 in the cow work which ended up being the high cow score of the class!!
Lucas ended up 3rd in the Non Pro and 2nd in the Novice Non Pro and when the checks were paid out he won over $1700 dollars!!! His biggest pay check to date!
Lucas rode one more time the next morning winning the Youth Bridle Class and a nice head stall for doing that!
Lucas is becoming a tiger in this sport and is playing at the highest level in the country! At age 16 that's pretty cool! Way to go Luke and Bobby!!!
What an exciting day in Oklahoma City for Kyndall and Chicken who's real name is Please Me Whiz!!
This was the United States Equestrian Federation Finals for the 13 and Under Division. Kyndall had qualified to get to this point by winning several qualifying shows during the past year. Kids from every part of the country were there and the crowd was into it!!
Kyndall really had her game face on and in her first ride marked a very nice 214!!! Well that held for a while until she was eventually tied by Emily Wineger from Texas. Emily is actually a 14-18 rider according NRHA rules but for USEF the dates are different so at this event she is back in the 13 and Under for this last show. So, the two of them tied and set up for a run off which means they both ride one more time. Kyndall went first and held nothing back! It was really one of the best rides that her and Chicken have ever had! Beautiful spins and great circles!! Then came three gigantic stops!! The crowd was going crazy and when it was over Kyndall and Chicken had marked a 216!!!
Then came Emily's ride and she did have a very nice ride as well! She finished with a 217 to win the event.
I couldn't be more proud of how Kyndall and Chicken did under a great deal of pressure!! Kyndall was flawless in that final run!! It was so much fun to have all the support of the crowd especially from all the other Florida folks in attendance there.
So for the second year in a row Kyndall and Chicken are the USEF 13 and Under Finals Reserve Champions!!! Congratulations!!!
A lot of people ask us about what we feed..in fact that topic is discussed every time a horse comes in training. People like to know what it is we do to keep our horses looking so good...fat and slick. Well, it can be summed up very easily. We feed the horses the absolute best feed we can buy meaning both hay and grain and all these horses are on a work out routine. Does that sound familiar to what you hear on T.V. or from your doctor? Diet and exercise are the keys to good health!
When you think about what these horses do for a living there is no other good comparison than that of being a professional athlete. When an NFL football player shows up at training camp he is fed the best food the nutritionists can find and each player is given a diet plan suited to their needs. Then they use that energy to exercise and build muscle in the places they need to perform their job.
Our horses need a high calorie diet to provide the energy necessary to keep up with a rigorous training program. One critical factor here is that this high calorie diet needs to come from a source that is low in starch and sugars. Horses are herbivores meaning they eat grasses as their main diet. We feed straight alfalfa with a protein level of about 23%. If you don't feed quality hay you will be fighting a losing battle because the majority of a horses nutrition and energy comes from their hay.
Secondly, the grain we use is specifically low in starch and sugars and is very high in fat. It has been determined that fat is the best source for usable energy without negative effects on your horse. What we want is a lot of energy without driving a horse crazy! We need calm..good.. usable energy.
"Tribute" is a relatively new company that has the best product on the market. We specifically use the grain called "Kalm Ultra". This is an extruded grain which means it is fully cooked and comes in pellet form. Horses are able to digest every bit of this with no waste. There are no short cuts with this company either. Many companies these days use a "least cost formula" which means they change the formula according to the price of various ingredients so each time you buy you are getting a different product. With Tribute feeds you get the exact same thing every time and they are committed to using the absolute best ingredients they can find.
I have found that I am able to fatten horses up quickly and then drop the amount of feed each horse gets to half of what I am used to feeding. My horses are slick and fat and have a great stamina. Rest assured when your horse is in training here they are getting the best food we can buy!!!
Finally, keep in mind that when you are feeding horses this type of diet they need to be getting regular exercise. The key is daily work...not once or twice per week. So in figuring out your horses program consider your horses body weight and how much they are getting worked and adjust accordingly. We feed Tribute Kalm Ultra to every horse on the ranch including brood mares and growing youngsters but we do not feed the same amounts and for the outside horses we adjust the amount of alfalfa according to the grass supply in the pastures. We feed no additional supplements. I love that!!!
We had two shows to attend this past weekend! Friday Lucas and I headed to Sarasota for a cow horse show while Esther stayed in Ocala and worked with the reiners at the FRHA show at OEC. Lucas and I both had fun Friday night schooling Boony and Bobby in the AQHA cutting classes. We are getting both horses ready for a big cow horse show in Tennessee next month. Saturday Lucas had an outstanding ride on Bobby marking 72 1/2 in the reining and a huge 75 on his fence work!!! It was a flawless cow work getting in and out quickly and making a very fast run look easy. They won the Non Pro and the Novice Non Pro garnishing about $580 dollars. Lucas showed Bob three times over the weekend and marked consistant 72 1/2's in the rein work all three times. Sunday he ended up second with another good ride but not as good of a cow to work. What a great weekend!! Lucas is becoming more and more composed as a showman and thinking clearly making good decisions on his cows...its really fun to see him doing so well!!! Way to go Luke!!! Boony had a very nice outing for his debut cow horse show. I showed him one time in the Open Hackamore class and he was very good. He marked a 74 1/2 in the rein work and a 70 on his cow. He was so relaxed and happy to go down the fence real hard...he is a fun horse to show!! I am really looking forward to getting him in some derbies for the first time this summer!
Back in Ocala the reiners were working hard as well! Both days this weekend Karen Anderson really rode well. She was so relaxed and in control on Piggy and won herself enough points to get her Green buckle!!! Congratulations Karen!! Burl wrestled with Bugsy a little bit but the ride I saw on Sunday morning was really good! The best spins I have ever seen Bugsy and Burl get done and until the last stop... one of the best rides I've seen them have! Way to go Burl! Kyndall had nice rides winning the 13 an Under on Saturday and placing 2nd on Sunday with a nice 71. She was getting ready for the USEF competition in Oklahoma so she was working hard on Chicken's form and did a great job! Good Luck next Saturday Kyndall!!!! Ginger had a bit of a tough go on Saturday with Juiced Up, (I think due to the heat) but came back with a wonderful ride on Sunday placing 2nd and 3rd in the two Rookie divisions!! Your hanging right in there Ginger... keep it up!!! I have to say a huge special thanks to my good friend Steven Duchac for helping this past week with Dually!! Since I was going to be gone and Esther hasn't been feeling well the last several weeks...(yes for the obvious reason..Grace is going to have another playmate in her future)..Steven rode and showed Dually. He did a beautiful job and gained 6 year end points for us in the FRHA standings!! Thanks So Much Steven!!! Everyone did a great job this weekend...we are proud of the whole team!!
I want to say a special thankyou to Cassidy Long who has spent three days with us in the last two weeks just working her heart out!! For a fourteen year old she has such a great work ethic and is such a joy to have around. I hope to have her around a lot more this summer as a working student!! Thanks Cassidy!
Steven Duchac's horse "Bodie" died on Wednesday morning. Steven and Anne are of course devastated and we are all just in shock about it. Steven bought Bodie exactly one year ago and has really had a great season going on him. Steven was currently sitting in 2nd place in the Rookie Professional class in Florida. Just this past weekend he showed Bodie and had a nice 71 ride Saturday night winning that class. Steven said on Tuesday Bodie became sick late in the afternoon and the vet treated him for being dehydrated. Steven was with him until late in the night but said that Bodie had recovered and both he and the vet thought everything was fine. Wednesday morning they found him in his stall and he had died sometime early that morning. This is the kind of thing that you never picture happening to you, but it just reminds us how fragile life is. We all lift Steven and Anne up in our thoughts and prayers. Steven and Anne: we are all very sorry for your loss.
Lucas showed Bobby this weekend at the Dixie Reined Cow Horse Association show at OEC and really did a great job! He won all three divisions of the Non-Pro both days! Total earnings of $650 dollars! On Saturday they scored a 142 and on Sunday the duo marked a 71 in the rein work and a 74 in the cow work with a total score of 145 and really earned that nice score. Lucas also collected his hardware, two buckles, from last year winning the 2008 awards for Novice Non Pro and the Non Pro! This was Lucas' first cow horse show this year so it was a great start!! Way to go Luc ... keep it up!!!
It started around 5 am this morning and she finally had the first puppy around 8:30am. She was trying to hide wherever she could when the contractions started...
She had a hard days work ahead of her.
First came three back to back. Little girl one, little boy two, and then another little girl.
Ruby was very tired at this point. I was thinking surely there must be more. And there was. She was just taking a little much-needed break! I did not mind one myself. I did get a couple winks of sleep earlier that night! I love this picture of little boy two resting on his Mama's arm.
Now we have five! Two boys and three girls. Grace is going to be ecstatic when she gets back from Minnesota!
She is a crazy good mother, as I knew she would be!
She is very worn out, but is not allowing herself to rest much because she is busy tending to the beautiful new creations!