Meet March's Hors of the Month


A Journey of Resilience and Love: How Nernie Changed My Life

Nernie is truly my blessing from above. He entered the world on a chilly February 28th, 1992, in the beautiful province of Ontario, Canada. Meanwhile, far away in Wisconsin, life threw me a curveball I never saw coming. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a moment that marked a drastic change in my life. I was advised to give up my job and say goodbye to my beloved horses, along with my passion for barrel racing. It felt like I was plunged into darkness, with my prayers focused on lifting this heavy weight off my shoulders. Horses weren't just a part of my life; they were my everything.

Despite the odds, with the help of physical therapy and a groundbreaking study drug, I found my way back to barrel racing. It was in July 1997, at the inaugural NBHA Great Lakes Super Show in Wilmington, OH, that fate had Nernie and I cross paths. Our parking spots were right next to a team from Canada, and it was there, in the arena, that I first saw Debby and her young, spirited palomino, Nernie, make their run. Back in the trailer, I couldn't help but praise how effortlessly her horse moved. Debby introduced us, and it was love at first sight.

Once back home, I was determined to meet Debby and Nernie in Michigan and bring him home. It meant selling my truck, but for Nernie, it was worth every sacrifice. That same year, we claimed 7th place in the 2D NBHA world finals in Augusta, GA. From the get-go, I knew Nernie was a star. He not only became a two-time Wisconsin NBHA 1D state champion but also brought home numerous awards and traveled with me to barrel races across the US and Canada.

Concern crept in when Nernie had a few unexpected nosebleeds, but our participation in the Better Barrel Race finals in Oklahoma City introduced us to FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips, which were a total game-changer. Thanks to them, Nernie and I continued to compete together until he reached 26. He then passed the baton to my niece, giving her a fantastic start in barrel racing. Now, in his well-deserved retirement, Nernie spends his days teaching my other nieces to ride.

Sharing my heavenly gift with them has been a joy beyond words, filling our lives with countless cherished moments and lessons.