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Get to Know a Champion—Credit Ta Fame

Interview by Blanche Schaefer

The Horse at Home

“When you’re riding him at home, he’s very calm, chill and laid back most of the time. He’s lazy when you’re exercising him—you better put your spurs on or you’re going to get a leg workout. He’s really a kind, kind horse. That’s 99 percent of the time. Every now and then he’ll have his spooky days, but mostly he is just chill. My 2-year-old daughter Georgia rides with me on him.”

At the Barrel Race

“When you get to the rodeo, you never really know. Some days he’s super chill when you’re warming up, and some days he’s pretty on the muscle. He gets pretty worked up and you kind of have to hold him going in there, but then he’ll let you walk up the alley, so that’s really nice for me that he lets me control when we’re going to take off and what speed we’re going to go. He really feathers down for me and lets me decide if we’re going to slow lope or go fast or what we’re going to do.”

In the Arena

“He’s more of a free horse. He is very long strided and smooth. The barrels come up on you pretty quick, because he’s so long strided so you feel like you’re there before you actually realize you’re there. His turn style is round, and he’s just very honest. He doesn’t want to hit barrels, he wants to listen, he really listens to your body cues, and he’s just incredibly smooth. He’s powerful though, like on the backside of the barrels a lot of times I get thrown back a bit just because he is so big and strong, but it’s not rough.”

Credit Ta Fame winning the NBHA Open 1D World Championship in 2016 with Caryn Henry aboard. Photo by James Phifer/

Routine at Home

“I rarely work him. Before we go somewhere I’ll slow work him, which usually means just trotting him through the pattern once or twice and making sure my pockets are big. That’s really all I do, unless we’re having an issue then I’ll correct it. Usually our issues are more of a rider issue than a horse issue.”

Alternative Therapies

“I don’t use a lot of alternative therapies. If I think he’s sore or needs something, I’ll have some bodywork done on him. More so, the main things I focus on is their feet—I want them to be shod well, because I think the way they’re shod plays a huge part in their soundness. Charlie Thompson has taken care of him lately, and Dusty Leatherwood shod him for a long time.”

Champion to Champion

“I have a great relationship with Caryn. Ever since I bought him, Caryn and I have become really good friends. We talk about every run I make on him. I send her all my videos, and I have tried not to change one single thing because I love the way she had him working. I still use the same headgear, and she tells me how to change anything if I need to work him. She’s a very important part of his team. I keep him on Oxy-Gen, because she ran him on Oxy. H e runs on the Oxy-Zen and sometimes the Relax, and I always keep him on the Oxy-Ulcer. Whatever Caryn was doing, I figured hey that was working, so let’s not change it. She and I became really good friends, so when I got pregnant with my daughter, I really wanted Caryn to keep running Saturday, so I sent him to her and that’s when she ran him for a little bit and won the NBHA Open World.”