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5,000 Hours and Counting for Dee Ann Staley with the AQHA Horseback Riding Program

Saddle a good horse and head out to the Wayne National Forest in Ohio, and you might find Dee Ann Staley logging more hours and getting closer to her second 5,000-hour buckle with the AQHA Horseback Riding Program, in which you get rewarded for the time you spend horseback.

You might find her riding one of her barrel racing horses. The Judgement is a 1996 sorrel stallion and Dee Ann’s barrel horse. She hopes to show “Wondie” in amateur performance halter next year.

She has two horses competing in halter. Tattle On Touchdown is an aged stallion, and Coolest Touch is a 3-year-old gelding.

Dee Ann keeps her barrel horses at home in Kitts Hill, Ohio, while halter horses “Tattle” and “Dallas” are fit and shown by Bill Coffman of Sharon Center, Ohio, in open competition.

“I like the competitiveness – the excitement,” Dee Ann says. “I show such totally different aspects from halter to barrels.”

Dee Ann said she takes Wondie on trail rides but accumulated about 90 percent of her HBR hours aboard another horse, 20-year-old bay gelding The Bud Light.

Dee Ann and her husband, Lonnie, trail ride for relaxation.

“We live in Southern Ohio where Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia meet. So our house is in the middle of the Wayne National Forest, and you go out the back door to trail ride,” she says.

“My husband likes to trail ride, but he really likes to camp. My idea of roughing it is the Holiday Inn!” Dee Ann said, laughing.

She says her favorite ride aboard “Bud Light” was at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with her father. As a Civil War history buff, Dee Ann’s father, James Staley, decided he wanted to go on the Gettysburg ride.

“So we packed everybody up and rode while my mother went shopping,” Dee Ann says. “It was great, tons of fun and it’s the one (ride) that stands out because that was the last ride my dad was able to do with us.”

When James died July 7, Dee Ann was at a horse show that day, earning her last point needed to qualify for the 2007 AQHA World Championship Show with Tattle.

Dee Ann and her family are delighted to share their love of horses with others. Eight years ago, the family began offering therapeutic riding lessons. That has since grown into a permanent facility called Mighty Oaks and Little Peanuts, which offers care to mentally, physically and emotionally challenged children.

A very special Quarter Horse, Tippys Sugar Bar, takes good care of the children. In fact, two appreciative families nominated the 28-year-old mare for the AQHA-MD Barns Silver Spur Award.

“You don’t give ‘Tippy’ to the little boy, you give the little boy to Tippy,” Dee Ann says.

Dee Ann’s love of trail riding is extended to the children in her program.

“We take the kids on trail rides a lot,” she says.

With all her involvement, Dee Ann has come a long way since her first Quarter Horse, Custus Sandy Man, more than 30 years ago.

“I don’t think I have a life outside Quarter Horses,” she says.

PHOTO: Dee Ann Staley

Article provided by AQHA, http://www.aqha.com


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