by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
Digging deep and turning like he was peeling a potato, Fiesta Del Rey carried owner and breeder Kelly Ann Yates to a world championship in junior barrel racing November 7 at the AQHA World Championship Show.
Fiesta Del Rey is a 2006 chestnut gelding by Dual Rey and out of Firewater Fiesta by Fire Water Flit.
“I’m so excited,” says the Pueblo, Colorado, resident in her exclusive interview with the Journal. “He’s out of my great mare, Firewater Fiesta, and by Dual Rey, and he is so much like her, it’s scary. When I was doing good on her, I was 40. I’m 53 now – he needs to take care of me a little better!
“He’s just extremely special. I call him my knight in shining armor. He just loves it, like she did. It’s not work.”
Kelly’s mare Firewater Fiesta was the 2000 and 2001 AQHA-PRCA Horse of the Year in barrel racing, with $11,084 in Barrel Futurities of America earnings on her, not to mention the amount she earned at rodeos and jackpots.
Lannie Mecom came up with the idea to cross the cutting sire Dual Rey on the barrel mare, Kelly says.
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“I sell the eggs out of Firewater Fiesta, and little Lannie Mecom had bought the egg, and there was twins,” Kelly explains. “She separated them and put them in separate recip mares, and in June two years ago, she decided to sell them, and (my brother) J.D. and I bought them back.”
Kelly saw something special in “Whizard” and put him in training.
“He’s just been an awesome horse,” she says. “I haven’t taken him a lot to the futurities as a 4-year-old, but I did take him to Fort Smith and placed good on him. He’s just pretty special. I’ve won pretty good on him, (for) no more than I’ve taken him. I’m very proud of him.”
Kelly Yates turns the second barrel on Fiesta Del Rey. (Journal photo)