By Josie Fladager
Most 26-year-old horses would be happy to enjoy retirement in a lush green pasture, free of any work. But not “Okie.”
Colonellrcossey, a 1996 bay overo gelding, finds joy in running barrels for Paislee Jordan Singleton — a cowgirl less than a third of his age.
Okie was in semi-retirement at the Singleton’s home in Hope, Arkansas, when 8-year-old Paislee began falling behind in the Southwest Arkansas High School Rodeo Association. So, the two-time APHA reserve world champion got the call—and he answered, just as ready to run as ever.
“I was hesitant about it, but they just clicked,” said Lacey Jo Singleton, Paislee’s aunt “E.O.” and Oakie’s main jockey throughout his career.
The newly formed team finished the season in the top five for year-end standings—a great feat for any horse, much less one more than a quarter of a century old. As a former mount for Lacey Jo through high school, college and at APHA World Championship Shows, Okie knew his job and what he needed to do inside Will Rogers Coliseum. With a time of 17.882 seconds, he and Paislee Jordan left her first ever World Show as the 2022 reserve world champions in Barrel Racing 13 & Under.
“I think it is amazing that Okie still has what it takes to compete at the level he is, being as old as he is,” Paislee said. “He has a huge heart and a winning attitude. I love him very much!”
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.