This excerpt article of the Barrel Racing Report / Tanya Randall....
'Kallie Wonnacott left the arena in tears.
The unexplainable had happened. Wildest dreams were met. Fantasy became reality.
Wonnacott and her family-raised gelding BCK Makin You Famous threw down on some of the toughest futurity horses in the country and came out on top, winning the Parker-Wood Memorial Slot Futurity for $18,750.
“He took me on a ride I’ll never forget,” said a tearful Wonnacott. “I looked at the clock and I wasn’t even down the alleyway before I started bawling.
“In that slot, if you look down the list, we were the nobodies, we were the underdogs that nobody knew. We didn’t have the money to enter the slot race, but we just had a feeling we should do it.”
The family banded together with her parents, Brent and Connie, each chipping in $500 to come up with the $1,500 entry fee.
“To win that kind of money is just huge for my family,” she said. We’re horse poor and just love the sport. We love raising them and
I love training them. I’ve watched all the people around here and tried to pick up as much as I can. It was amazing to compete against some of the top futurity trainers like Ashley, Kassie, Jolene and all of them. I was definitely amongst several of my idols. It’s just cool.”
Wonnacott and Lambo—short for Lamborghini—got off to an inauspicious start, placing 37th in the first go of the futurity with a 16.902. Eventually futurity champions Chris Martin and Jason Gunter’s Frenchmans Perks topped the round with a 16.248.
“Heber is only 45 minutes from my house, so we’ve ran there a bunch,” said the Bluff Dale, Utah, barrel racer. “The first go, we drew No. 15. I knew that the ground typically gets a little faster as
it goes on. We were longer than I would have liked to have been on the first go. I told my mom, we have to win the whole thing tomor- row to have a chance to win the average. Our whole reason for going was to have a chance to win the breeding to Dash Ta Fame, for obvious reasons.
“I thought after the first go, maybe it just isn’t meant to be. Maybe this just isn’t the pen for him. I knew at some point he would come around and make that money back for us. I had hoped that he would place, maybe, and help us get our fees back.”
Lambo wasn’t helping her confidence either.
“He’s really tricky on the first barrel,” said the 27-year-old, who makes her living working in customer service for 1-800-Contacts.
“Sometimes he gets really strong and almost pulls off and heads back toward the timing line. It’s not too bad, but it’s enough to cost you. He got strong on me the first day and I actually had to two-hand him to get him around the first barrel. I slow worked that night in the outdoor pen and I even slow worked him before my run. He was just dragging on the bit. I was like ‘I don’t even know what’s going to happen.’”
Yet, when it came time to make his run, Lambo did everything right.
“After he worked that first barrel like I know he can, it was game on,” Wonnacott said. “After that it’s like you’re on a seasoned rodeo horse. He just wraps the other two. After the first, I thought, ‘Okay, this could be it.’”
Their 16.070 won the Slot—which was determined by the fastest of the two go-round runs—and the second go, which bumped them to fifth in the average for total futurity earnings of $7,405. Coupled with their slot check, $2,2249 for carrying over to win the Open 1D and $946 earned as the breeders and owners of Lambo in the Stallion Incentive, Wonnacott pocketed $29,350. They also received a breeding to The Goodbye Lane as part of the prize package.
Although the Wonnacott family is very into the horses now, it wasn’t always the case. Brent got his start in horses by helping an uncle with Thoroughbred racehorses. Connie grew up on a ranch, but never had a horse of her own until she married.
“When they got married, the decided to have horses,” Wonnacott explained. “My dad ran Thoroughbred racehorses and my mom read every book that was written and every video that was ever made about barrel racing and just taught herself. She started training horses and handing them down to me.”
On the first horses that Wonnacott had success on was the Dash Ta Fame mare Ta Kid Irish, affectionately known as Lexus. Her mother had choice between a horse or a car, so she ended up with a horse she named after the car she had wanted.
“She’s the one got the ball rolling for us,” said Wonnacott.
Lexus was out of a double-bred Easy Jet mare, Byou Easy. When they lost Lexus, they bought more horse related to her, specially carrying the blood of Byou Easy. Lambo, too, carries the lineage.
“We bred and raised him out of a mare that’s really special to us,” said Wonnacott of the Dash Ta Fame gelding. “She was from the same mare line as the first Dash Ta Fame. They all go back to an Easy Jet mare named Byou Easy. So we had several horses from that line, mostly mares. My dad was getting ready to retire, so it was like our last hurrah on spending money on something that we couldn’t afford. We were going to breed to Dash Ta Fame and he asked me which one of them I wanted to breed. I picked (Makin It Byou) because she was so sweet and I didn’t have her ready for the futurities. There was no reason not to let her have a baby.”
Lambo’s dam Makin It Byou is by the First Down Dash son Maknmoves and out of Byou Lane, a Lanes Leinster daughter of Byou Easy.
The family had considered keeping Lambo a stallion, but he proved to be a little too much trouble. Luckily, the Wonnacott’s banked quite a bit of frozen semen before they gelding him.
Wonnacott wanted to give Kiley Shepherd, the man who broke Lambo, special credit for the victory.
“I think Kiley put an incredible handle on him that give us the tools to be successful. I appreciate my vet and shoer as well,” she said.
She also wanted to thank the Jarvis family for producing the event.
“The Jarvises are a great family and they did a great job on that race,” she said. “Glen Wood and Ross Parker, who it’s in honor of, I was lucky enough to get to grow up around them and their families. They’re amazing people.”