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Painted ladies

'Five gals' and a filly make a Snaffle Bit Futurity run

From Horsetrader staff reports - October 3rd, 2013 - Show & Event News
Smoky Pritchett and Dualin Peptolena line up after taking the NWRCHA Intermedia Open title in Powell Butte, Ore., in July, much to the pleasure of the Painted Ladies Partnership that jointly owns the filly.

Smoky Pritchett and Dualin Peptolena line up after taking the NWRCHA Intermedia Open title in Powell Butte, Ore., in July, much to the pleasure of the Painted Ladies Partnership that jointly owns the filly.

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RENO, Nev. — What do you get when you mix a cowy filly with five enthusiastic women and a legendary trainer from Red Bluff?

Maybe a National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity World Championship.

At least that’s the hope of Christine Phillips and four good friends who took her bait when she proposed that they have some fun with a joint venture in a Jaysons Peptolena filly endorsed by NRCHA Hall of Famer Smoky Pritchett.

“I was riding horses with Smoky, and he told me that Ken Wold’s wife used to put together partnerships,” said Christine, a regional product rep for Grand Meadows supplements, Boulet Boots and World Equestrian Brands. “Smoky said, ‘those gals had so much fun — they were good friends who’d travel to shows, and then they’d take their horse to the Snaffle Bit and go and hang out for the week. They really enjoyed it.’ “I got to thinking that it would be fun,” she added.

When Pritchett approached her again two months later with a special filly in mind, Phillips was ready to find a group of friends.

“I basically just got on the phone and called several of my friends who I like spending time with and who are also involved in the horse industry,” she said. “It made sense for gals that are in the horse industry to use it as part of their marketing plan or whatever, and two of the girls just love horses. Dixie said this has been a lifelong dream for her to have a horse with Smoky and to go to Snaffle Bit, so she jumped on board, and that’s kind of been how it’s been.”

Smoky Pritchett and Dualin Peptolena

Smoky Pritchett and Dualin Peptolena

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Today, they’re known as “The Painted Ladies”: Christine, Angela Slater, Dixie Eppink, Lougene Cuddeback, and Suzie Baclawski. Only Suzie and Lougene have had cow horse experience, although all women either have had or are in business with the horse world. Angela is founder of Grand Meadows, Dixie formerly owned Stable Blend, and Lougene and her husband Bill had Cuddeback Trailers.

“Frankly, since then, we’ve had about five or six women saying, ‘darn, I should have bought in,’ said Christine, who rode race horses through college and then competed in the hunter-jumper circuit — but never rode a cow horse until 18 months ago. “The horse is really, really talented. She’s like an old soul in this young, hard body. She’s got a great mind and she’s super, super cowy. You know, if everything goes our way and we draw a good cow, things should be all right.”

How tough was the sale to friends for a piece of Dualin Peptolena (Jasons Peptolena x Dualin Bonnie Lena)?

“It was a little harder than selling a pair of boots,” Christine laughs. “But about equal to selling supplements. It’s all about a healthy lifestyle.”

The healthiest part is the fun they are having.

“Smoky has been so hospitable,” says Christine, who makes a weekly 120-mile to Pritchett’s ranch. “Anyone who wants to go up and stay and hang out are welcome to. Most of us have gotten together at the shows. I go up and ride there for two days and come home. Angela has another horse in training with him and she’s come up on several occasions to spend 4-5 days. Dixie goes to all the horse shows and is the most die-hard. Gene hasn’t made it up yet, and Suzie goes to all the shows.”

Among those shows was July’s Northwest Reined Cow Horse Association event in Powell Butte, Ore., where Pritchett showed Bonnie to the Open Reserve title and the Intermediate Open Championship, too, earning $5,800.

“It was so exciting — we won $5,800!,” said Christine. “I’ve ridden hunters for 30 years, and I haven’t made $5,800!”

Through the Open Futurity herd work and rein work, “Bonnie” was trailing the leader, Aaron Ranch’s Blind Sided (Peptoboonsmal x Lil Miss Shiney Chex), ridden by Jay McLaughlin, by 23.5 points. She stood 11.5 points behind the Top 25, which advance to the Finals and compete for the $100,000 top prize.

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