The road to the winner’s circle might have been a bit rough for Famous Kickin Jo, but the effort paid off December 8–13 when the Paint gelding took reserve futurity champion honors at the $70,000 Barrel Futurities of America World Championship in Oklahoma City.
A 2010 bay solid gelding by Famous Jr (QH) and out of Kickin Jo, Famous Kickin Jo earned more than $28,700 at the BFA Futurity, finishing second in the average with :30.802 over two rounds. He also won the futurity’s Future Fortunes payout, nabbing another $7,776 for his breeders and owners, Terrie Van Volkenburgh and Joe Trentman of Aurora, Indiana.
“Deadly,” however, almost lost his race before it began—a tragic pasture accident as a yearling left the colt tangled in a gate and close to death. The faith of his owner, Terrie, and a dedicated team of caretakers helped the colt battle the odds.
“The man who fed our horses called me and said, ‘Your horse is hanging upside down in the gate.’ We just think he was running and playing and twirled around and kicked out and got his leg hung up in the gate. It was one of those freezing cold nights in January, and he laid there all night. We had to cut him out, and he was frozen to the ground. For the next three days, we just wondered, ‘Is he going to live?’ ” Terrie recalled. “He ended up having two surgeries on his legs, but everything is fine with him now. Joe, my other half, said [at the time] ‘put him to sleep; he’s not worth spending the money.’ But we spent the money on him, and we’re glad we did.”
Terrie estimates Deadly—now finishing up his 4-year-old futurity season—has earned about $120,000. Though this year’s been far from perfect, it has included some big wins: fourth at the Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Horse Classic slot race, slot winner at the Pac West Futurity and go-round winner at the Greg Olson Memorial Futurity and fourth in the Indian Barrel Racing Futurity average.
Looking to close her gelding’s year with a bang, Terrie paid him into the BFA Futurity. Her son, Clint, originally planned to ride Deadly, though finals obligations—he’s a senior at Northern Kentucky University—kept him out of the gelding’s saddle. Troy Crumrine, a pro who has piloted Deadly at several other races this year, agreed to ride him instead.
Deadly and Troy turned in good times in the futurity’s first two rounds: a 15:530 for seventh and $1,316 in the first go, and a 14:470 for fifth and $1,556 in the second. Fifty qualifiers came back to the finals, where Deadly posted the fastest time, a 15.332. When the dust settled, Deadly finished second in the average, just behind Troy’s other mount, WB Toole Ta Fame (QH).
“Troy was winning on his other horse, and my son came over and said, ‘I hope we stay in the top five.’ I was like ‘no, we’re going for it! We want to win!’ We ended up winning the go and finishing second in the average, so we were very excited. We’re still on pretty much of a high.
Also enrolled in the Future Fortunes bonus program, Deadly placed second in that pool during the first two go-rounds; consistency paid off, and he won the Future Fortunes average for an additional paycheck. His efforts also helped his dam, Kickin Jo, earn Future Fortune’s 2014 Broodmare of the Year title, too.
“I feel like he saved it all for the end of the year and went out and kicked butt in his last show,” Terrie said. “He’s going to get about a month off of rest, but we’ll do the derbies next year—the first derby he’ll do will probably be Fort Smith, and he’ll definitely be back to the BFA.”
Photo by Kenneth Springer
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