“I can’t watch that video from Saturday night without crying,” said Schelli Creacy, champion of the RFD-Tv’s The American Semifinals Qualifier in Glen Rose, Texas, thinking of her horse Nico Suave. “I know that was all him, all his effort. All that he was waiting on was for me to sit where I needed to sit. That’s the kind of horse he is, if I be the good human and do what he needs me to do.”
Creacy, Stephenville, Texas, and the 4-year-old gray gelding were the best of 93-entry field with the fastest time of the BBR Texas Regional Race, a spectacular 14.600. The win in Qualifier paid $2,093, while the carryover win the open was worth $1,161.
“I was pretty proud of my riding Saturday night,” said Creacy, the daughter of rodeo contractors Terry and Delia Walls. “That was the first time I sat in the middle of him like he’s needed me to on all three barrels and not get in his way. I’m not taking credit for any of it. He’s been waiting on me to do it right.”
Nico was bred by Creacy’s husband, Adrian Mortimer, an Australian cutting horse trainer. The gelding is by noted Western performance horse sire Playgun out of the Australian cutting-bred mare Dennys Little Dawson.
Playgun is the son of Freckles Playboy, who carries the blood of Sugar Bars and Leo through his sire Jewels Leo Bars. He is out of Miss Silver Pistol, who boasts a maternal half-brother to Flit Bar in her pedigree.
Dennys Little Dawson is by Docs Lawson, a son of Doc Spinifix, a son of Doc’s Oak that was imported to Australia, and out of a Freckles Playboy, Doc’s Oak mare. Her dam Dennys Treasure traces back to Doc Bar and Peppy San Badger on top and was out of foundation Australian Quarter Horse Mare named Sargoods Treasure. Unfortunately, the pedigree tree beyond her is unknown.
Creacy said that Dennys Treasure was one of Mortimer’s best cutting horses.
“She was quick and fast,” she said. “In fact, he says that’s where Nico quickness and quick feet comes from. His grandmother was freakishly fast.”
Nico’s dam Dennys Little Dawson was trained for cutting and shown a little, but like her son, she got too big to cut on.
“We never dreamed he would be what he is,” said Creacy. “Adrian had him on cattle his whole 2-year-old year. He got too big and he never really ‘took a hold’ like my husband likes them to. He handed him to me.”
Creacy didn’t know what she was going to do with him. Selling him to a roper was high on the list because he had the size.
“He was just really nice to ride,” she said. “He’s got a really laid back personality. All I did was keep turning-back on him in the practice pen while my husband was cutting. Of course, everything I have, I trot them around the barrels just to show them the pattern. We had a couple of people come look at him when I first got on him, back in January of 15. We priced him to a couple of people, but they were only half-interested.
“I just kept going with him. I had always wanted a futurity colt and he was the right age. He kind of took to the pattern. He’s just so smart. You have to show him the right way you want him to do something the first time because he just picks up on it so quickly. After a couple of months of riding him, I told Adrian that if I ever wanted to futurity this might be my opportunity to do it.”
Creacy, who has spent most of her time the past few years with her son Flint’s sporting activities, played with the idea of entering Nico in the BFA Juvenile, but with their involvement in the NCHA Futurity, which is held at the same time, she “chickened” out. Diamonds & Dirt in March ended up being the first big test for the gelding.
“About two weeks before, I took him to Glen Rose and entered him for the first time. He cruised through a nice pattern and was in the 3D. He just wasn’t running yet. I took him down the barrel race they had before Diamonds & Dirt and he was in the 1D.
“He ran the fourth fastest time of the whole weekend and placed fourth in the first round at Diamonds & Dirt. I came back in the final round and hit the second barrel, just barely. We got a little pre- view into how much he could run, but I think more than anything, it’s that move he makes around a barrel. He flattens out and runs hard, but he just has that move around a barrel that you can’t teach them. He’s just a natural at it.
“I haven’t had him get fractious or nervous or off his game. He hasn’t been out of the 1D since Diamonds & Dirt. He’s super honest and wants to give you his whole effort every time he runs. Any mistakes usually made are usually pilot error, and I’ve made plenty.”
After winning the opening round of the WPRA World Finals Futurity, Creacy hit barrels with Nico. So, for Glen Rose, she had her mind made up that she was going to ride Nico like he needed her to.
“He doesn’t anticipate his turns,” she said. “He just wants to get tight and in a hurry. Sometimes he’ll get them on the backside leaving them. That was all I was thinking about Saturday night. Just stay in the middle of him and let him make his turn and ride him around the barrel. I was determined not to get in his way.”
Creacy wanted to thank her husband for all the work he put into Nico. Not only did he start the gelding, but he handles his shoeing as well. He also coaches Creacy through the little details that make such a big difference.
“I’ve just learned so much horsemanship since I’ve been married to him. I have to give a lot of credit to my husband for the way this horse was started and all the detail stuff—the shoeing, the saddle (Roohide Saddlery) that I wouldn’t be able to do on my own. He’s the behind the scenes guy.”
Creacy’s also grateful that no one bought Nico when he was for sale.
“I’m very grateful to be his person,” she said. “This horse gives me a lot of peace. I’m pretty dang grateful that we didn’t price him and pawn him off on a team roper! I’m glad that God intervened in that!”