Written by: Lily Weinacht< Back to Articles
“My brain is just wired to be passionate about what I do,” says 33-year-old horse trainer and breeder Ryann Pedone. “I’m very fortunate – I don’t think everybody gets the opportunity to do what they love so much that they eat, sleep, and drink it. Even though I’ve been knocked down, I’m the type to pin my ears back and say, ‘I’ve got this.’”
Ryann, who is currently training six horses by A Streak Of Fling – including one straight from Fulton Family Performance Horses – started out not on a horse farm, but a dairy in Florida owned and operated by her dad. She was the first of her family to enter the horse world, but her dad, Lee Pedone, jumped in to support her. “My dad took me to my first barrel race when I was almost four, and I just loved it!” says Ryann. She rodeoed in high school, but her passion has always been futurities and derbies, recently winning the long-go at the 2017 Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic on Streakin Queenie. “My dad was really great. Anything we had a passion for, he would bust his butt to help us with, or take us to someone who knew more about it. When I was little, we got help from Alan and Wendy Parker. They gave me my very first barrel horse, Idget, and really helped with my horsemanship. They were a huge stepping stone to breeding and training horses.”
Another stepping stone was the broodmare Ryann’s dad gave to her when she was 18. Originally a barrel horse, Kiss Kiss This hadn’t passed vet checks because of her knees, but proved an excellent broodmare, and eventually, the cornerstone of Ryann’s R Barrel Horses breeding program. “She’s been in the top twenty-five of barrel racing broodmares of the decade, and she’s a phenomenal mare. I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s where it all started.”
Ryann finished her finance degree from University of Southern Florida while working on her family’s dairy and running a firewood business, then moved to Texas in 2006 for the horse opportunities. She returned to school, this time in human acupuncture. “I was driving back and forth between Weatherford and Austin. I’d leave Weatherford at five in the morning and go to school until five or six in the evening. I’d go back to Weatherford and ride colts until one in the morning, then do it all over again. I don’t sleep much – I have so much I need and want to do. Some of that might be because I was raised on a dairy where we had no concept of time. We milked cows around the clock.”
While Ryann was living in Weatherford, she met a longtime horse breeder, Eddie Henderson. “I would spend hours talking bloodlines with him, and he did so much for me in that area. I bought some great mares from Eddie, and one of the mares, Barbi Bugs, produced Nastee Leader, the horse that Charly Crawford rides in the heading. I’d also talk to horse trainers like Kassie Mowry, Kelly Conrado, and Pete Oen. I’m always reading and researching, and living here, I’m around very smart and successful people. I keep paying attention to the breeding and bloodlines of successful horses.”
Ryann’s relationship with the Fultons started in 2013 when she went up to look at several of their colts for clients. “I liked their bloodlines, and I met Brian and Lisa and rode some colts. I bought Streakin Lena Whiskey for Shoppa Ranch, and the next year I bought Streakin Queenie for Shoppa Ranch, and my dad and I bought Streakin Ms Wink. In January of 2015, Brian called me and asked if I would take A Dash Ta Streak. I was so excited they would ask me, and I started running him that September. A Dash Ta Streak is how I got to know the family, and I love how honest they are in their sales and how tough Lisa is and Brian was.
“My career as a trainer is coming around. It took a while, and I still have so much more to accomplish. About six years ago, I started getting those better colts I raised and everything started coming together.” Ryann calls 2011 a pivotal year in her career and confidence. The year before, she went to the BFA World Championship on her mare, Cause For A Kiss, having qualified with the second fastest time. They tipped the first-go and were second in the second-go, but when Ryann got to the short-go, her nerves got the best of her. “My weakest thing was my brain, but I was gritty and I kept going. A good friend bought me the book Mind Gym, and I really came on in the fall of 2011, winning rodeos on TCS Runaway Susie. I won the Consolation at Fort Smith on Cause For A Kiss, and futurities on Kiss This Guy, who was voted Futurity Gelding of the Year via Barrel Horse Report.”
Ryann runs her ranch and 80 head of horses, which includes broodmares, babies, yearlings, two-year-olds to five-year-olds, and outside horses. She does it with the help of her dad, and her intern from South Dakota, Shae Volk. “Jax Johnson comes out for one or two months and then goes home for school, and I think he’ll make a great trainer. Lisa Downs is my main girl and she does everything. Sierra Emmett helps me feed on weekends, and my boyfriend, Don Lee, is a vet and a lot of help, and so is Sid Meyers, my farrier.
“I want to end up being a top trainer, competitor, and breeder, raising colts from my program,” she finishes. “I want to be remembered, and I want to help the people that come into my life just like all the people who helped me.”
Ryann also extends her thanks to her sponsors and friends/family: Jeye Johnson and Classic Equine, Equibrand, Martin Saddlery, Platinum Performance, Oxy-Gen, Shefit, the Fulton family, the Ashley family, Janie and Jimmy Shoppa, Kimmi Byler, Lisa McCool, Martha Reeves, Kim Landry, Alan Staley, Shawna Turner, Ronny and Sandi Dickinson, and all of her clients.