By SALLY SEXTON
From his school years as a 4H participant into adulthood, Weatherford’s Casey Deary grew up around horses.
“I started riding when I was about 15,” he said. “I never really had a consistent set of horses that I could go show until 2004.
“I’ve done reigning horses for most of my life, except for a brief period one summer where I started cutters.”
After breaking into the industry, Deary saw success, most recently winning the NRHA Open Futurity title earlier this month in Oklahoma City, Okla., riding his horse, Americasnextgunmodel.
Deary and his wife, Nicole, picked up the mare at a 2-year-old prospect sale last year.
“A customer and I partnered on her, and it turned out to be a pretty good idea,” he said.
The mare is now owned by Dana Conrad and Arcese Quarter Horses USA.
Competing against more than 60 fellow riders, Deary finished at the top of the Futurity competition, securing a purse prize of $165,000 for the level four open championship.
Heading into the finals, Deary and Americasnextgunmodel trailed one opponent before the duo scored a run of 228 points for the new high score.
It was Deary’s first level four open championship.
Ironically, it was a horse that almost brought Deary’s career to a halt.
At the age of 16, he suffered a life-threatening injury when a foot became hung in the stirrup of a spooked colt he was riding. The animal began running and bucking, slamming Deary’s face against a pipe fence in an arena in Terrell.
The incident, which caused Deary to lose six of his front teeth and suffer face, neck, back and spine damage, required eight reconstructive surgeries over the course of three years.
“Casey’s equine endeavors did not end there, they were just beginning,” wife Nicole wrote on Deary’s website, www.dearyperformance.com. “Instead of hiding, being humiliated, or embarrassed, Casey literally came out of his shell, he once told me, and made the most of his situation.