Written by Premier Sires – August 24, 2021
Although he has had quite a bit of success in the show arena, Tyler Haney’s BCF Championship with Bigg Red Truck in the 3-Year-Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle at the NSBA World Championship show last week is one he considers extra special.
Bigg Red Truck, who is sired by VS Code Red out of So Graceful and better known around the barn as Gus, was just a yearling when Tyler went to work for Chester and Anne Prince at their farm in Palmetto, Florida. Although Chester had seen potential in the colt when he purchased him from Cathy Corrigan Frank at only a few months old, to Tyler and everyone else at the farm, when looking at the colt in the pasture he was considered a longshot at best.
“He was homely and gangly, had no tail and had rubbed his mane off,” said Tyler. “I can’t tell you how many times I walked right past him in the field of other yearlings without so much as a second look. On top of that he was always getting into things and bullying the other horses. He was a total nuisance.”
It wasn’t until the first day Tyler rode Gus that he and everyone else realized what Chester had seen in the big red colt all along.
“The first day I saddled him and loped around the pen we all just looked at each other in amazement,” said Tyler. “Right from the start Gus had tons of self-carriage and wanted to go slow. He never lifted his neck above his withers. We have that very first ride on video and I am smiling the entire time.”
After putting a solid foundation on the colt, Tyler elected to give Gus more time to mature before continuing his training. Gus was turned back out into the pasture where he remained until this April.
“I brought him back into the barn three weeks before the A Sudden Impulse Futurity,” said Tyler. “It was like he had never missed a day of training. He was so good that we decided to enter him in the 3-Year-Old Maiden class in Ocala.”
Despite limited riding, Gus stepped up to the plate placing third with Tyler in the Limited division of the 3-Year-Old Maiden Hunter Under Saddle.
The next major event for Gus following the A Sudden Impulse Futurity was the NSBA World Championship Show. In addition to winning the BCF 3-Year-Old Limited Open Hunter Under Saddle with Tyler, Gus placed in the top five in the 3-Year-Old Non-Pro and Select Hunter Under Saddle classes with Anne Prince.
“Anne had only ridden him twice before showing him at the NSBA World Show,” said Tyler. “When she came out of the arena, she told me it was the most fun she has ever had showing in the Hunter Under Saddle. Even though he hasn’t been shown very much, Gus goes in the pen and shows like an old soldier every time.”
Although this is not Tyler’s first championship at the NSBA World Show, this win was a very special moment for him.
“This was my first major win in a Hunter Under Saddle class,” said Tyler. “Most of my other notable wins have been in the Trail and Hunters so this was really special.”
The next stop for Gus will be All-American Quarter Horse Congress followed by the AQHA World Championship Show. Tyler will show Gus in Open 3-Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle events and Anne will continue to show him in non-pro classes.
Tyler is quick to credit his employers with giving him the opportunity to train and show a horse like Gus.
“I’ve been working for Chester and Anne for close to three years now,” said Tyler. “I’m so grateful for the opportunities they have given me to develop some really nice horses along with the help and guidance of other professionals like Sandra Vaughn. Having owners who give the horses the time they need and supply you with quality help makes all the difference. With the support of the Princes, I have learned a lot and am a better horseman for it.”