Best of the Best in Ohio Qualifier: Troy Crumrine

Troy and Costly Crystal

We’re lucky enough to have THE winningest rider of the last decade, and perhaps of ALL TIME, in The Best of the Best in Ohio Slot Race. He’s had the top horses in the country year in and year out, and I’ve got to watch them run everywhere from Henderson’s Arena to the Thomas & Mack. We’re thrilled that Troy Crumrine puts The Best of the Best on his BUSY schedule, and now we want him to tell you all about the horse he’s bringing for the slot race. And this mare really has clocked at the WB Ranch, so keep this duo in mind during that calcutta!

Tell us about the horse you’re riding.

Costly Crystal is a 4-year-old by Dash Ta Fame out of JM Crystal by Chicks Beduino. Owners Matt & Bendi Dunn. They bought her as a 3-year-old from Cody Bauserman.

What’s been your horse’s biggest win?

Her first Futurity entered: IBRA Murfreesboro, Tenn., and her most money won in the futurities was at Drummondville, Canada in July.

What’s your ultimate goal in barrel racing?

To be the best that I can be and provide for my family.

What bit is in your horse’s mouth?


What supplements do you feed?

I don’t give any at this time.

What won’t you leave home for a barrel race without?

My saddle

To whom do you owe most of your success?

My wife and kids, they are behind me good or bad, no matter what. Also my owners for trusting in me and sending me the nice bred horses they do.

Tell us a fun fact about you or your horse.

I always remember that no matter how many races you win, or how much money you win, you can always be humbled. This is a very humbling business, especially with young horses, so never let the wins get to your head!

What charity is closest to your heart?

American Cancer Society, I have had many family and friends affected by cancer.


Congrats to Megan Yurko and all PA/OH/WV IPRA Barrel Racers!

Boy oh boy have I missed a lot. Major congratulations to IPRA Rookie Megan Yurko, who in her first run at the International Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City last week took home a third place check worth $730! Also, big congrats to Laura Lee Thomas for two second place checks, and to Shanna Simmons for winning round three and running second in round two.

Here’s the rest of our interview we did with Megan Yurko before the IFR.

What’s your game plan for handling the pen and the ground in OKC?
My game plan is to just have fun, I ran Beea in that pen at the 2009 BFA so
it’s not new to us even though it will be set up different. I know she’s going
to love all the noise so I’m going to trust her and let her do what she does
best, RUN!!

What does making the IFR mean to you?
I can not describe what making the IFR means to me especially my rookie
year and being the youngest the whole thing is really quite overwhelming. There
are so many people to thank that has helped me and Beea get to the IFR: Amber
Mostoller and Heath Wyre, Teresa and Donnie Tyner, Stassi and Rob Pyne, Sherry
Sunden, Teresa Quay, Karla Arthur, Linda Jett, Laura Lee Thomas, Chris Bryant,
Melvin Byler, Virgil Templeton, I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone, I really just
want to thank you all!! Also my family and my sponsors LubriSyn, Buckeye
Nutrition and K.E.Y. Animal Hospital!!

Why would you rather rodeo than go to barrel races?
I LOVE the whole atmosphere, the noise, the crowds, the excitement, being
on the rode seeing so many new places and of course meeting new people that I am
happy to call my rodeo family!!

What is your goal for 2012?
I really haven’t thought a lot about 2012. Of course I would love to make
it back to the IFR, so I guess to continue to ride strong, keep Beea happy and
healthy and learn all I can from anyone and everyone that is willing to teach me

Will Beea continue to be your mount, or would you sell her to move on to another
Beea will continue to be my mount, I can’t imagine selling her but you
never know I guess…

What is your pre-run routine?
My pre-run routine is pretty laid back I normally ride in the grand entry
then watch the rodeo till its time to get Beea ready. I stretch Beea a lot, lope
a few circles each way, I always say a prayer then let her go!!!!!

What are you most looking forward to at the IFR?
I just can’t wait to get there!!! I am looking forward to the entire

Who will be going with you?
Beea and I are hauling out to OKC with friends and my mom and dad are
flying out on Thursday.

Who will you haul with in 2012?
My dad has been hauling me since school started back up but I would love to
haul with Amber Mostoller again this summer. Summer is a crazy time at K.E.Y.
Animal Hospital and my dad needs to be there so I guess anyone that is willing
to haul us I’m in, I can’t thank everyone enough, again, that helped and hauled
us this past summer I wouldn’t be going to the IFR if it wasn’t for all of

Megan Yurko: International Finals Rodeo Rookie

Megan and Beea at St. Tite (Photo provided by the family)

This time last year, Megan Yurko stopped by The Barrel Racing Blog to check in before she headed off the World Barrel Racing Challenge in Perry, Ga. At the time, Yurko had won two classes at the Congress on her mare, Beea Stash of Money, and was looking forward to a year of barrel racing. Much has changed since her last interview, and this 14-year-old from Wheeling, West Va., has added even more to her barrel racing resume. In just a few short days, Yurko will be making her debut at her first ever International Finals Rodeo. We’ve got her here, though, over the next few days, to tell us all about her and Beea’s dream season on the rodeo road.

Tell us what the highlight of your 2011 year was, other than qualifying for the
A huge highlight for me was going to St. Tite in Canada and ending up 13th
in the average out of 110+ girls. Even though they only took the top 10 back to
the short go I was psyched, Beea had a great run in the poring rain, she worked
her tail off (literally, lol) in the mud, I was so proud of her!! We will go
back next year for sure.

What was your worst run this year, and where was it?
I would have to say Sandusky, OH. This was the only rodeo all season out of
40+ rodeos that we hit a barrel and it was completely my fault 😦 Beea is a much
better horse than I am a rider, lol!!

What was your best run?
We have had so many good runs but Beea had a SMOKIN’ run in Dahlonega, GA
winning it by .3 tenths!!

What makes Beea such a talented rodeo horse?
Beea is super consistent and can run on any ground and she thrives on the
noise and excitement, the louder the better. Beea is also super easy to haul,
nothing really bothers her.

Pete Oen Talks About His Stand-Out Congress

Pete and All Fame No Bull

The classic headline, “Local Boy Makes Good,” would be fitting for this story. Pete Oen is originally from Wapakoneta, Ohio, but has gone on to become one of the most revered trainers and competitors in the barrel racing and futurity world. This year, he came home to Ohio and put on a show at the All American Quarter Hors Congress, taking home the Sweepstakes Finals win and being crowned the Reserve Sweepstakes Champion, aboard the stand-out gelding All Bull No Fame. So, what better place for Pete to talk about this Congress than the only place that covers barrel racing in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia: The Barrel Racing Blog.

We’re thrilled to have Pete here for the first (but not the last) time!

Tell us about the horses you ran at the Congress (names, bloodlines, age, owners, running styles).

Both of the horses I competed on at the All American Quarter Horse Congress are by the great, late Dash Ta Fame. Famous Blue Eyes is out of a daughter of Disco Jerry (TB) and All Fame No Bull is out of a daughter of Bully Bullion. He is a full sibling to Famous Silk Panties, all-time money leading barrel racing horse in the history of the event. They are both 4-year-old futurity horses this year. Famous Blue Eyes is now owned by clients of mine from Quebec, Canada Charles and Catherine Jobin. They purchased her this past spring from me. I own All Fame No Bull myself. Famous Blue Eyes is more of a push style horse and All Fame No Bull is very much a free runner.

What classes did you place in at the Congress this year?

I ran Famous Blue Eyes and All Fame No Bull in the Junior Barrels and the Barrel Racing Sweepstakes. All Fame No Bull was Reserve Champion and Famous Blue Eyes placed 7th in the Junior Barrels. All Fame No Bull fell completely down in the first round of the Barrel Racing Sweepstakes, which was our first run of the week. I was concerned about the rest of our barrel racing competition, but it sure got better. He ended up placing 6th in the second round of the Barrel Sweepstakes, bringing him back to the finals in the 6th fastest position as well after both qualifying rounds. He won the final round posting a 14.890, the fastest run of the week of all classes! Unfortunately we had an exact tie for the average and the Champion of the Sweeps, first time in the history of the event. We didn’t want to run our horses again, considering they are only 4 year olds and that was their 4th run so far that week. We had no say in what was to be done. The AQHA rule is that there is to be a run off in the event of a tie for a championship. There really wasn’t any time to regroup or prepare for the run off. I was to run first. My horse gets a bit on the silly side after a run and it takes him a bit to calm down.

We saw you run in one of the most dramatic finishes in Congress Sweepstakes history. What was going through your head going down the alleyway to make your run in the run off?

As I mentioned there was not much time for this to take place. As I got back on him and headed to the alley I told myself to “make a strong, clean run” and “See what happens?” Unfortunately I got a little bit past the first barrel and tried to make up some time, cutting it a lil close at the second barrel, knocking it down. So, unfortunately the outcome was that we were crowned the Reserve Champs. Still completely something to be proud of, because we ran two clocks that proved to be the Champions.

What is it about your horses’ styles that made them so good for the Congress’ tough arena?

I thought All Fame No Bull had a bit of an advantage over Famous Blue Eyes going into the competition before it even started. He can handle firmer ground than her, and he doesn’t mind running up into a wall, as she tends to like it a bit deeper and the barrels off the walls.

What was your strategy going into the Congress this year?

They only strategy I had going into the congress was to try and prepare my horses to be at their peak performance, and to make sure they were healthy and strong. The Congress is not always the easiest thing to prepare for… The ground can change from day to day or from 50 riders to the next 50 riders.

What was your goal for the 2011 Congress, and did you reach it?

I didn’t really have a goal for the Congress. We always want to win so I guess that was my goal. I really wanted to place in the top proving my horses and not letting them down. And this is a big family- and back-home, old-friends kind of crowd I no longer get to see very much. So I wanted them to see the talent that both of my horses have and see how much I have grown as a trainer and competitor.

What is your goal for All Fame No Bull’s career?

I don’t have any real “goals” for All Fame No Bull. I would love for him to win something big before the year ends. He as been reserve champion on 3 occasions at big competitions. He is a great horse and I think he needs a Championship to his name! Most important of all is for him to continue to be a great barrel horse for many years to come… Bo Hill, good friend of mine has set a goal for me… to win $100,000 this season. Famous Blue Eyes has won $37,000 and All Fame No Bull has won $30,000 so far. I will have to let you know if my horses and I reach it as a team.

Tell us what it’s like going off on your own training venture. What have been the biggest challenges, and what’s been the biggest reward?

I have been a bit on edge and unsure going out on my own this past year. It sure has been an experience. My biggest challenge I thought was getting people to send me horses to train. Fortunately that has not been a problem. Guess someone is looking out for me… Best thing is that I have the two very best horses of my barrel racing career and have won the most money in a single season of my career this year!!! A special thanks goes out to my parents, sister Carey, Kyle Leleux and Bo Hill. I am proud to tell everyone that my horses came from Bo Hill and Jeff Switzer as they raised and started both of them.

What colts do you have coming for 2012 that you’re truly excited about?

I have a couple nice colts for the 2012 season. I have the full sibling to Famous Nadine, his name is Power Fame. He is entered in the $100,000 slot race at the BFA World Championships in December of this year.

What has been the biggest win of your career?

The biggest win of my career is difficult for me to determine. I would have to say it’s placing two horses in the top 10 in the same year at Old Fort Days Futurity. Famous Blue Eyes placed 5th and All Fame No Bull placed 9th. I was the only one who placed two horses in the top 10 this year. But a close second is between this Congress Sweepstakes win or Reserve Champion at the Jud Little BFA futurity. All which I consider where we ran with the “cream of the crop!”

Tell us about the greatest horse you’ve ever run.

The greatest horse I have ever ran is All Fame No Bull. He is truly a gifted athlete and has talent that with all the training in the world, you can’t teach other horses!!! And to top that off he is unbelievably fast!

How did you get into barrel racing, and how did you learn to train?

I started barrel racing when I was 6 years old and it has been an addiction I can not go without. My parents’ best friend was a horse trainer and we used to go ride at their house. Next thing you know we had horses and we were doing what we thought was the right thing. We learned things the hard and easy way over the years of barrel racing. I learned to train a lot by trial and error as a youngster. Then I worked with a couple of the professionals that were older and more advanced than me for several years. Ultimately ending up where I am today, on my own doing what I love most, training barrel horses!!!

What are your ultimate goals in barrel racing?

I have set some really high goals for myself. I may never reach them, but if you are going to set goals, set them high. They are to win an AQHA World Championship, BFA World Championship Futurity, NBHA World Championship, and other high profile events throughout the World. Possibly extending into foreign countries such as Italy, Brazil, and China.

Meet the Best of the Best in Ohio: Rhonda Dowell

Rhonda Dowell and Levi have been on a hot streak, with big wins at tough races like Henderson’s Arena. With some smoking bloodlines on this awesome horse and top training, too, Rhonda and Levi will be firing away come Friday! This duo will run #6 in the draw at The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race, and will surely bring in some big bids in our Calcutta (which will pay out 70/30, with 30 percent going to United Cerebral Palsy). 

Tell us about the horse you’ll be running in The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race. (Name, bloodlines, style, age, owner, any other fun details.)

Purified By Fire is an 8-year-old gelding. He is by Pure D Dash, and his dam is Smooth Firewater. I bought him through Fackler Performance Horses as a 2 year old. He is a free runner with so much heart and loves his job.

What is the biggest race this horse has won?

It was at Jackson this year in june won the warm up and the open with a 15.6.

What is your biggest win as a barrel racer?

The Martha Josey clinic in Wilmington, Ohio because it was my first year of barrel racing.

Have you ever run at the WB Ranch before? (If so, what did you think of the facility and the ground, and how did your horses work there?)

I have only been there once, and it seemed to be a nice place.

Tell us one little-known fact about you or your horse.

He loves to play ball. He has a big ball in the arena, and he loves to chase it, and sometimes he will jump on it.

This race is all about charity – What’s the biggest cause you believe in and why?

I believe that all charities are important. Each one of us has had someone in our lives to have a cause for whatever reason. We all are doing something to help one another. I have no one cause because all causes need help and are very important so I will support this charity and levi will too. We are so proud to be a part of this and good luck to everyone!

Meet the Best of the Best in Ohio: Troy Crumrine

Troy and Hoosier making a winning run at Circle G. | Photo by Puhl's Photography.

This is the first time the number one rider of the decade has been interviewed on The Barrel Racing Blog. Troy Crumrine, Ohio’s own top dog, is making a trip to The Best of the Best in Ohio in between major national races, and we are honored! And we’re excited to see Troy and Hoosier go head to head with the state’s best. So, learn a little more about Troy and Hoosier Fame right here!

Tell us about the horse you’ll be running in The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race. (Name, bloodlines, style, age, owner, any other fun details.)

Hoosier Fame: He is a Dash Ta Fame, out of Time To Perk by Dash For Perks. Jan and Mike Dahlen purchased him in the OKC sale as a 3-year-old. He was on the track but didn’t run real fast. They bred a couple mares with him and then cut him. Paul Martin then got him in September (3-year-old year) to break for barrels. I had seen him a couple times when Paul had him in training. Sherri put him in the sale and I rode him for her and Paul in the demonstration there. Dahlens were looking for a prospect, so they bought him. He was kind of a fluke to the barrels, he loved learning and wanted to please you! He loves what he does and tries really hard for you!

What is the biggest race this horse has won?

The biggest race Hoosier has won would probably be Old Ft. Days his futurity year! And then again this is his last derby year there this year as a 6-year-old. (The “jockey” had some problems his 5-year-old year). Hoosier is like an overgrown dog!

What is your biggest win as a barrel racer?

The biggest race I have ever won would be the slot race with Mulberry Canyon Moon for $100,000. Probably the race that meant the most to win would probably be the first time I won Old Fort Days in 2000, on Sissys Little Coin.

Tell us one little-known fact about you or your horse.

A little known fact about Hoosier would be he has made it back to every finals since he was a futurity horse except in 2010 at the BFA Derby. Also, he is like a big dog. If there is something for him to grab and play with, he will! He also pouts if he doesn’t get attention, like getting rode, he goes to the corner of his pasture that butts up to the arena and watches every horse rode! He gets mad if he doesn’t get loaded in the trailer too! He has been a super horse to have around! Me and my family have gotten very attatched to him, he is like a part of our family!

This race is all about charity – What’s the biggest cause you believe in and why?

Probably the biggest cause I believe in is Cancer Research! I have had so many people I know and love affected by cancer.

This is a great thing that Dawn & Clea are doing! It is an Honor to be invited and be a part of this!

Junior Horse to Watch for 2011: Ima Classy Payday and Laura Hedrick

The year is just getting started, and we’ve got another Junior Horse to Watch to add to our list of great young horses we’ll be

Ima Classy Pay Day and Laura

monitoring throughout the year. This week, we’re featuring a young horse started by Pennsylvania breeder and trainer Roger Grow, who have a history of making tough, versatile horses. The mare is now owned by Laura Hedrick, who will be making her mark in the Junior Horse standings this year aboard the mare. Find out about this “classy” duo, only on The Barrel Racing Blog.

What are your horse’s name, age, and bloodlines?

Ima Classy Payday, also known as Classy. Classy is a 4 year old. She is out of a stud named Hesa Sonny Bar who goes back to Sugar Bars, and out of a Thoroughbred mare named Im Great who was to run on the track but never made it due to an injury. Roger Grow and Kelsey Rice from Pennsylvania own the stud and have done an amazing job with the colts from this line.

How did you come to own this horse?

My friend, Shugie Stoneman, saw her run and knew she was a special mare. She called me ringside to let me know about this mare. If you know Shugie, she has an amazing eye for talented horses so I knew I had to have her, sight unseen! She said, “This mare just has a classy way of going.” …Then later we found out her name is Ima Classy Payday!

Who did all of her training?

Roger Grow started Classy from the ground up. My plan is to take over the reins and get her confident and consistent and finish her training.

At what age was she started and how soon after starting her did she start working on the pattern?

Classy was started from the day she hit the ground. She was started under saddle in the fall of her 2-year-old-year. Classy started working the pattern last summer.

What big problems did she face in her training?

The biggest problem Roger encountered in her training was finding the time to truly work/ride her, and spend the quality time

Hesa Sonny Bar, owned by Roger Grow

with her that young ones need and deserve. I’m now working with her on a daily basis, and she loves it! The problem I’m facing is freeing her up in the turns. She wants to please you so much I think she over-thinks it.

What is her best attribute?

Classy’s best attribute is her mind. She is a very smart and willing mare. She wants to please whomever is riding/working her. She is hands down the most affectionate horse I’ve owned and wants to please you. Owning mostly mares over 25 years, this is not something I’m used to, HaHa!

Which barrel is her best?

All of her barrels are pretty to watch, but to ride, her third barrel is her best.

What bit do you run her in?

Classy runs in an o-ring snaffle. I’ve also been working her in a Loomis and she likes it too. Less is more with her.

What headgear (martingale, tiedown, etc.), if any, do you run her in?

Classy runs free headed-no headgear.

What exercise has helped her most in her training?

The exercise that helped Classy the most were reining patterns- big fast circles, slow collected circles, stops, turn arounds, etc. This transfers over into the barrel race.

How many days a week do you ride her?

Classy was really tuned on to go to OKC in December, and she handled everything like a pro. She ran 1/2 out of the toughest colts in the country, so I was really proud of her. When she came home, I have gave her January and February completely off and “let her be a horse.” We are riding two or three days a week now, and this will increase every few weeks.

How many days a week do you work the pattern or school barrels of any sort?

Only when needed.

Do you do anything else, other than barrel racing, with her?

Classy is trail ridden, and I started her on pole bending this month. I’d like do cattle sorting soon with her too.

What are your goals for this year?

This mare has all the tools to become a great one and I want it to be fun for both of us. Classy found a new gear in OKC, so I’m excited for her junior horse years. Winning will come, but I’m focused on her becoming a great open horse.

Of the pens you run in Penn-Ohio, which is your best pen with this horse?

Classy only had limited hauling as a 3 year old. I would have to say Simmons Equestrian Center was her best, most solid pen. I know by the end of the summer we will have a few more to add!!!