The best most cowboys hope for is one great horse in a lifetime.
Doug Muller was privileged to have a top pony as a youngster. He’s had several good horses since then. The sorrel stallion in his barn now could exceed them all.
Muller, Manhattan High School agriculture instructor and K-State rodeo team coach, owns LK Racy Rogue, the five-year-old that placed fifth in junior barrel racing at the 2012 World Championship Quarter Horse Show in Oklahoma City.
“Racy is a wonderful horse,” said Muller, who bought him as a yearling from Leo Butell at Baldwin City to make a heading horse for team roping.
Muller said the horse will still probably do that some day. “But as I was breaking him, Racy was so handy I decided to put him into barrel racing training,” he explained. “He really took to it.”
Intending to geld the stallion, Muller placed Racy with barrel horse trainer Mark Bugni at Wanette, Okla.
Muller described the horse as calm and trainable. “He doesn’t act like a stallion,” he said. Believing that many of the leading barrel racing sires were aging, they decided against gelding him “until we know how good he really is.” Muller said he has “an impeccable race and barrel horse pedigree.”
Horses competing in major barrel racing futurities are four years old, so other than exhibition runs, Racy could not be tried in major competition until a juvenile futurity in December, 2011.
Proving himself worthy in that first out, Racy continued running strong in six major barrel races throughout the past year, collecting more than $8,500.
“Placing fifth at the world show had to be the climax of our season, but we are confident Racy will continue to improve,” Muller said.
Bugni described the horse as “one of the most enjoyable horses that I have had the privilege to train and compete on in the 2012 futurity season,” adding that “from day one, he was extremely willing and never resistant in any manner.”
Bugni marvels at the combination of powerful physique and kind attitude, terming Racy “extremely laid back in everyday riding.
“Even though Racy is a big, strong horse, he can really bend around a turn and never needed an exhibition prior to making a top competitive run. His running style is very strong, fast and steady” Bugni said.
Competing against more than 400 horses, the 16-1 hand, 1,400-pound stallion has proven his ability against the best in the country, with a first go-round win at the Lance Graves Pro-Classic Open Futurity last February in Kinder, La.
He has been in the top of the 1D division at multiple open events, as well as claiming the prestigious World Championship Quarter Horse Show award.
“Racy is also one of the most beautifully built and most beautiful moving horses that you will ever see,” Bugni added.
The stallion’s full brother, Hada Certain Charm, is a stakes winner of $51,980, with a 91-speed-index. Sire is Hadtobenuts, winner of $259,799, and 114-speed-index. Dam is LK Classy Perk, winning $42,946, with a 98-speed-index.
Raised in New Ulm, Minnesota, Muller’s first barrel racing champion was the 46-inch roan pony called Star.
“I broke him as a long yearling, and he really was fast on the barrels and even better on poles,” remembered Muller.
Three times the Minnesota High School Rodeo calf roping champion, and reserve the other year, Muller competed in the National High School Rodeo to earn a rodeo scholarship at South Dakota State, where he roped and steer wrestled to Great Plains Region awards. A Great Lakes Circuit calf roping finalist in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, Muller had his horse called Alert Fox one year honored as reserve champion calf roping horse of the circuit.
“Really, Fox was an outstanding horse. I roped on him ten years,” remarked Muller, now a teacher for 25 years, with 13 of them at Manhattan.
Muller the United Rodeo Association over-40 calf roping championship in 2003, but has since had hip and knee replacement, putting an end to that activity. “I still team rope when I have time,” he said.
Muller Performance Horses is northwest of Alta Vista, where Doug Muller has 15-acres with his home and horse facilities.
“Racy is resting now, but I hope to get him back on the circuit with a cowgirl this spring,” Muller said.
Stallion services are also being offered artificially through Kansas State University, and Muller has purchased three racetrack-proven mares for mating.
“It’s an exciting time,” he said.