Casey Deary Explains Why His Horse Laid Down During The NRHA Futurity Finals

With all of the spark and debate over what caused Casey Deary’s horse Arc Gunna Mark Ya to lay down during the NRHA Futurity Finals this past weekend.  Casey Deary was kind enough to give us an interview and the inside scoop!

I didn’t want to overshadow Casey’s NRHA Futurity Win with Shesouttayourleague, but I know our readers are in a huge debate over what happened with ARC Gunna Mark Ya during the finals so we cut right to the chase and asked what the heck happened? Casey said,
“She was scared from the crowd. She ran in and wasn’t herself, she didn’t stop how she normally stops and she was so scared from the crowd that she just surrendered there.” A lot of people say they think she stepped on herself, but Casey assured us she didn’t step on herself. When I asked him if he thinks she was tired he said, “We were both tired from 2 weeks of showing at the futurity, the only difference is I had a nice bed to sleep in at night.” Do you think there’s anything you could have done differently? “I felt her buckle and could have kept her up and finished the pattern, but instead I let her lay down. I just didn’t feel like it would be fair to keep her up and go on with the pattern.”

We went on to chat and ask Casey about the two mares he rode in the finals. Casey told us that they both have already had their shoes pulled and Arc Gunna Mark Ya is out on a 2 acre grass pasture now for the next 3 months. The futurity winner Shesouttayourleague is turned out in an arena. I asked why Shesouttayourleague isn’t turned out to pasture as well and he said she has a tendency to get herself hurt so he felt it was best for her to spend her 3 month vacation turned out in the arena.

As you know there has been a lot of talk on the internet about the welfare of the horses in the futurity. People who don’t show reining and even some that do think that it is wrong to be showing 3 year old’s. Some think it’s wrong to even be riding a 3 year old. We asked Casey what steps he takes to keep his horses safe and sound. He said “All the futurity horses are seen every week by the vet to make sure they’re sound and healthy. They’re also seen 3 times a year to get their teeth done. We ride them 5 times a week and they are turned out on weekends and throughout the week. I don’t sedate my horses to show them. This is something I’ve chosen not to do for years even before the NRHA drug rules. Sedation is just not the right thing for my program. All the 3 year old’s are also free fed hay all day and are grained with custom supplements 3 times per day. Even before you could rent stall mats at shows, we have been bringing our own to put in their stalls and in the barn isles.”

We are so impressed that Casey has had so much success showing at the NRHA futurity on mares! We asked him about this and he said he said that the reason he’s had so much success with these mares is because of the attention to details in his program. He tailors his training program to the individual horse and makes sure not to push them to do more than they can handle. He truly loves his horses and it shows in the impeccable care he takes of them.

Out of all of the possibilities and explanations people have assumed, I don’t think many would have realized that the crowd is what had Arc Gunna Mark Ya scared. Casey told us, she’s got a lot of cow breeding so she looks at everything. The mare he won on Shesouttayourleague is a lot different. Things don’t affect her as much. He said that Arc Gunna Mark Ya is one of the most talented horses he’s ever ridden and that he’s actually taken it slow on her. If she’s this talented now, I can’t wait to see her showing in the Derby’s!

We hope this has helped clear up some of the debate and really appreciate Casey Deary taking the time to speak with us and help set the record strait! Personally, I can’t blame Arc Gunna Mark Ya for being scared of that crowd. It was huge, excited and electric! These are great things to see at the Futurity, but can be scary for a 3 year old or any horse for that matter!

Share this on Facebook if you can’t wait to see the great things to come from Casey and both of these mares!

49 Responses

  1. Pam

    I think he made the best decision for his horse. Shows can be pretty freaky for them. I am getting together a Fun Foal Day just to get my young horse familiar with some of what a show is like. It will be in hand obstacles only. Wish me luck!

    Reply
  2. Gail

    What a load of manure. That Filly collapsed from exhaustion. These babies are pushed too far while too young. Abuse is abuse is abuse.

    Reply
    • Sandy Wallis

      I have to disagree with you. When a horse collapses, all 4 legs go at the same time. They do not lower themselves to the ground in front first. I worked for an equine vet for awhile and I saw numerous horses anesthetized for surgery as well as (unfortunately) several horses euthanized. None of them lay down in front first. If the horse was exhausted, it is almost certain that she would have laid flat out, not on her belly as she did. The filly was blowing, but anxiety can cause that as well as exertion. I think his explanation is plausible. While I also have some reservations about competitive reining, I think Casey Deary shows a good understanding of and a good relationship with his horses. The filly definitely was telling him she was having a problem. How he deals with that in the future will determine whether he has the horse’s best interest at heart. My money says he does.

      Reply
      • Kristi

        This filly clearly collapsed … she only collapsed in front first because she was so down in front… she was blowing very hard, and wow, what a pretty slick shiny coat that was… we all know what that means and if you don’t see it or don’t know what it means, well, ….. the mate was over trained, tired and pushed too far. Be it not being shipped in early enough to settle in, be it she was pushed too far in warm up and the prettier up before she entered for her run…. you can clearly see her shoulder muscles tying up and the over bridled technique just invited her going down in front. Be a man and own up to the fact that he made a mistake. If I owned that horse she would have been yanked from his barn as they left arena. I actually did so once. A colt sent to a highly recc trainer. Basically did same thing…. looked exactly the same he shut down in front first. Honest sweet horse. He was on the trailer first thing next morning home!

      • Anonymous

        I see you trying to help figure it out but I think there’s a big difference between a horse collapsing because he got drugged (he doesn’t want to go down it just happens) and a horse that just DECIDES TO go down. this horse just said hey enough Im gonna lay down here I’m done. what he says is bs, a horse instinctincly doesn’t lay down from fear if he still have some juice, he runs away. He simply completly messed up her mind to he point she gave up.

        I didn’t know it was the same guy who won it, I saw the winning run first and the way he was just giving signs to god and stuff to make SURE the audience knows he’s doing it makes me think he’s that type of guy that just all about acting and faking…… if you really give it to god, then you keep it between you and god, not make it a show.
        He won good for him, obviously Something worked in his proram for that horse, but what is saying there is to cover his ass and giving a show doing signs to god is just a way of bringing people on his side….

      • Sandy Wallis

        Kristi, I cannot “be a man” because I am not a man. I do not consider a horse that voluntarily lays down as “collapsing”. Collapsing to me is a physical thing- either the body’s muscle’s give out, or something goes wrong, and consciousness is lost. I do not believe either of these things happened to this mare. However, the fact that she laid down during a performance does indicate she is having problems mentally or emotionally. The fact that the horse was blowing could also mean the horse was not fit (under-trained), or simply anxious (horses can hyper-ventilate from nerves just like people). It does not automatically mean she was over-exercised right before her event. I do agree that she was severely over- flexed and in an unnatural, difficult position. If I owned the horse, I would have been checking up before the show. If she has shown any indication that she was having problems, I would have moved her long before the show. If she had not shown problems before this, then neither I nor the trainer could have known before this incident. As I said before, how he goes from here will tell what kind of trainer he really is.

    • Carrie

      I’m training to be a TTEAM / TTouch practioner. I recently learned that horses have five basic ways they react to fear and/or stress: Flight, fight, freeze, fidget, and faint (or “fold.”) The way this filly lay down front first and licked and chewed while she was down does not look like an exhaustion reaction. It corroborates with the trainer’s explanation that she was overwhelmed by the crowd, and “folded.” It’s like what happens when, say, a human being hears bad news and feels “weak in the knees,” sometimes to the point of getting light-headed, dropping to their knees, or even fainting
      .

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Thank you! Licking and chewing is the #1 equine reaction when they make the mental switch from right (fight/flight/freeze) to left brain (logic/thinking). As soon as she got down on the ground (a very deliberate folding/tucking of the legs, not a pell mell collapse), her immediate switch was visible. You could tell as she was going down that her eyes were wide and worried, not focused and soft. Also, I have owned three mares who were all registered Quarter Horses of the Poco Dusty line…two of them were cutters, and both would freeze like stone if they got scared. One was a worrier and would sweat like the dickens…so, honestly, I think this his explanation is perfectly plausible.

      • Anonymous

        You are ignorant… Show me your impressive resume of ” know it all” and then I’ll take a nano second to give a shit about what it is you have to say. Until then remain ignorant and quiet.

    • sherry

      My mare would board out until her belly touched the ground when something blew her mind. At that point we would pick her up and move her on to another task until she calmed. In another year the mare will handle crowds better. If you have never seen one go down when afraid, it’s because they don’t know where to run so they go down trusting you to take care of them.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      Gail, keep your nastiness to yourself. that guy would have been a lot more terse with her when she did that if what you say is true.

      Reply
    • Melissa

      She clearly did not collapse. There is a mich bigger difference between a collapse and a surrender… This mare just said, that it… I am done. Whether it be from being scared, or the tough show schedule… It’s happens, we are human, and horses will do what horses will do

      Reply
    • Kim

      I think you’re exactly right, Gail. People are so fast to shoot down the ones who say exhausted or abused horse, but that’s usually the ones who use their horees the same way.

      Reply
    • Jim Brown

      Exactly. That horse is sweat covered, exhausted and THREE YEARS OLD! Shame on them. Credentials? I am a humane Officer.

      Reply
  3. Katie

    For those of you giving negative reviews and opinions have you ever ridden a reining horse? Have you trained with reining horse trainers?

    Stop talking about what you do not know. Your ignorance is appalling.

    Reply
  4. Lopin817

    Thanks so much for going straight to the source and inviting Casey explain what happened rather than letting people bash him.

    Reply
  5. Tami

    I second what Lopin817 said above. It shows a lot of integrety to go to the source.

    Reply
  6. Concerned

    This is a load of crap- first of all horses don’t lay down when they are scared they bolt- secondly Casey ran off his second mare so he could be the winner instead of a co-champion, if he truly loved horses he would not have done that- he is an arrogant self serving young trainer

    Reply
    • Sarah

      How dare you, Concerned! First of all, you don’t know him personally so to bash his integrity is absolutely uncalled for! Nor, am I guessing, we’re you there in the moment. Did you also see how he pet her, laughed and walked out shaking his head? He wasn’t angry or put out, the way someone would be that had pushed their horse to the brink only to have it fail. It was honestly a fluke.
      Casey is a lovely and very successful young trainer. You don’t get that level of the industry by abusing your stock, clients won’t have it. And yes I know, I’m married to a professional trainer, deal daily with clients that treat their horses like children and compete myself. Things happen, this is an animal, they have minds, personalities and quirks just like we do.
      And as for running the winning mare twice, yes, that was taxing to her, but these horses are ridden daily and have incredible stamina and condition. It’s like asking a football player to play in overtime, no it’s not desirable, but they are trained to last for more than just five minutes and are capable of handling it. Besides all of that, do you know for a fact that HE made the call to run it off? If the other trainer had chosen to run it, Casey doesn’t have the choice other than to forfeit.
      These young horses are incredible physical specimens. Like College athletes. Some athletes aren’t physically or mentally ready to play at this level, some are. Those that aren’t many times get put on the derby plan, and aren’t pushed because they can’t take it or simply aren’t ready. Our stallion, he’s 13 this year, was a Futurity finalist, Derby horse, now a non-pro horse. He has been shown for TEN years! He is physically and mentally great. We took him in for a check up this fall and the vet says he’s never seen joints on an aged performance horse that are in such immaculate condition. He was bred to be physically sound, given good care & nutrition and is in beautiful health.
      These horses are our livelihood, if we don’t care for them, we don’t have a business. So don’t go bashing Casey because he didn’t do what you bleeding hearts would do. He is revered in the industry, not for his wins or success, but for his integrity & the quality products he turns out.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        I am of the hunter/jumper world and do not know the nuances of reining horses. Still, I think the trainer handled it with poise. He was not acting furious or with a huge ego. She let him know something big was wrong etc. and he chose to smile and move on. Seems like a nice guy. Some will always say young horses are pushed to hard be it t-bred racing horses at 2 or reining horses. Still, this trainer behaved like a man, not a jerk.

    • Anonymous

      He did not want the runoff, the other horse owners that owned the horse that Franco rode wanted the runoff. Casey and his horses owners wanted to co- champion. Don’t speak about what you don’t know.

      Reply
    • Carrie

      Yes, most horses shy or bolt when frightened. But they can go down when overwhelmed or scared. It’s very rare, but it happens. I know because I have a mare that did the same thing when we first got her — she did it twice. She’s not abused, has never been abused, and at 9 she’s not too young to work hard. Now that we’ve learned her limits, we chunk her training down into small lessons, and don’t put her in situations that cause her to “fold.” She hasn’t done it in almost a year.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      In reining, if there is a tie, only one rider needs to say he wants to run off in order for their to be a run off. If Franco said run off and Casey said no, he would automatically be 2nd, not co champion.

      Reply
  7. Chance

    Did you people fail to read the whole article? Did you skip part where he said that the vet regularly looks at horses to make sure they are able to compete?! There teeth are checked 3x per year and they are fed free choice hay! And off on the weekends! You tree hugging nuts need to get a life and go get a hobby that doesn’t include bashing the horse business. If you don’t like it, don’t participate!

    To Casey: Thank you for being a stand up guy and a great example to the rest of us!

    Reply
  8. Cathy

    Did she look scared? No, but I wasn’t sitting on her. Maybe she felt scared. Did she decide she was done? Yes. Did he accept that with good grace and not lose his temper? Yes.

    I’m the first one to call about abuse when I see it…I don’t see it here.

    I think it’s great both fillies are getting a rest. Nothing wrong with arena turnout for the accident prone one. I have a horse like that here, too.

    Reply
  9. Lisa

    The true horseman showed himself when he pet his mare’s neck and smiled even after she “made a huge mistake”. He gently led her out didn’t yell at her, didn’t even really look disgusted in fact I think there may have been a knowing smirk. Thank you for being that man, thank you for showing us the level of respect you have for your animals. You will come out on top every time with a heart like that.

    Reply
  10. Hele

    It’s a three year old, whatever his training methods it’s a big ask for a three year old who’s joints won’t have finished growing to be going flat out to nothing then reined backwards at speed. It gave up. At least he had the sense to get off. Time waits for no man and no man waits for time, all got to get them performing before they mature enough to endure such ‘sport’.

    Reply
  11. sherry

    Something else that many of you may not know with thoroughbreds , our little western horses develop quicker than their leggier cousins. When you are just starting your colts under saddle, many of ours are champions many times over.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Actually, that thought process has been debunked. All horses (meaning not minis) mature at the same rate.

      Reply
  12. Jeanne

    He can say whatever he’d like about her being scared of the crowd, and I’ll compromise enough to consider that may be a factor, but to me it looks like this horse had reached the end of her ‘try’. From what he said in the article, I’m assuming this is the start of the pattern (runin and backup). The mare is already showing a big sweat and is huffing and puffing like she’s just finished the Kentucky Derby.

    Too much pressure on babies? Too much left in the warmup pen?
    Physically and/or mentally overtaxed to the point she resorts to a ‘timeout’. Note the difference in her demeanor (tense eye, resistant head tilt) on the backup vs after she lies down (she immediately starts licking her lips and relaxes).

    Reply
    • Jim Brown

      Exactly. All the justifications in the world won’t change the facts. So he “pet her and smiled?” How does that change anything?

      Reply
  13. clydeman

    I would like to know how many live foals his mares raise after going thru all this training at a young age?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Clydeman, are you for real? We have 15 mares, all have been show horses and pushed as 3 year olds. All are excellent mothers that we breed easily every year. Get your head out of your ass

      Reply
      • clydeman

        I don’t really know why you would say am I for real. I have seen herds that are outstanding in the show ring, but raise very few foals. I think this is a very honest question to ask by you pushing young horses hard.

  14. Anonymous

    Looks scared to me, look at her eyes. Exhausted horses don’t normally get up so quickly. There is no way 3 yo’s should be doing this much work though and I’m sure she’ll have knackered hocks before too long – she’s still a baby and her bones and joints won’t be ready for,this sort of work!

    Reply
  15. Heather Clemenceau

    Still wrong to be riding and showing a 3 year-old. They are not physically or mentally mature and still need time to be horses. The tendency with the AQHA is of course, if your horse is worn out by 8, send them to slaughter and get a new one.

    Reply
  16. Jennifer

    I agree he did the right thing, didn’t loose his temper, gave her a pat,smiled and led her out.I beleive also she just dropped gave up, maybe from the mental pressure or even a combo of things. Maybe he’s right and appreciate the comments from folks who know this paticular line of breeding.
    I’ve shown performance for years,and different breeds and agree we shouldn’t be showing horses at this age, 2-3 yr. Olds at this advanced level, but it’s the industry that’s made it that way and that’s who can change it.Don’t pick on the trainers.To be somebody in the equine industry, you have to go with the flow or you’ll go hungry. It’s a VERY touph way to make a living, and stay on top.
    I’ve seen some real abuse…this ain’t it!
    The care these horses get, is probably better than some children get! Sad to say.

    Reply
  17. Nathalie

    The owner of this horse is my coach so for all of you bashing Casey I’m pretty sure my trust worthy coach who knows her horses very well and loves them with all her heart wouldn’t send her horse out to be trained or shown by a “terrible trainer” who “pushes horses to hard”. Casey is an amazing trainer who has proved himself very well at in by all his wins and earnings. He does not believe in abuse or any type of harmful methods to hurt his horses he’s the most natural horsemanship I’ve ever seen for young reining horses. He loves and takes care of his horses so well! There’s proof by him smiling and petting the horse at the end of his run that he loves the horse still even though she got scared. So for those thinking they know everything about the horse who’s name is Dallas she is perfectly healthy and happy three year old who is on a break right now. So please stop with the rude “know it all comments” and for those supporting Casey and helping out thank you very much 🙂

    Reply
  18. Jim Rea

    Training horses at that age is child abuse, pure and simple. Horse are not skeletally mature until the are seven years old. http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_2008/ranger_piece_2008_pdf1.pdf

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ride them until they are seven, it does mean they shouldn’t be in the kind of training that performance horses in almost every discipline are subjected to at a young age. Many old time ranchers didn’t even start horses until they were four or older. The result is, horses started in this way are often not useful in their early teens. It’s all about the money and it isn’t any less cruel than training “Big Lick” horses.

    If there is a God, which I doubt, those who mistreat his creatures will get theirs at the time of reckoning.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      All the above without the viciousness; getting caught up in the event with an spectacular mount can cloud your judgment in not quitting when you should with that particular animal. Asking that little bit more just because you know they are great. The horse would have kept going till she died if she was afraid of him; his reaction was spontaneously kind not rehearsed for public; showing a kind demeanor. The horse was a little concerned “oh sh– to what might happen at that point; however trusted him enough to not die first. He did learn something from this; God was gracious to him in saving his horse and that my friend is proof in the pudding he is most likely a good man, just clouded judgment/caught up in the glory of being in the presence of such greatness from God and being blessed with such an outstanding creature that can think and reason with its rider. Two as one… Let there be no mistake, if God had thought he would not learn and he was an abusive man, that horse would be dead, all her muscles were exhausted for a moment; mental and physical exhaustion, no proper rest/sleep, it will effect an athlete horse the same way it does a human only it is not as visible with such greatness. You really have to be on top of your game and not be caught up in the personal ego glory to catch it (same as birds hide this), He admits he was tired also and he just did not catch it. His response shows he is a kind man and cares about his horses. And yes, God will repay for abusing his animals,however is a merciful God and probably knows it was by clouded judgment and chose to show him this way that he was pushing his luck. It happens to everyone at a point or another in any walk of life. Learning curve. God has a since of humor too, do not forget…

      Reply

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