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The Vickery Effect: Clients Give Insight into Their Barn’s Incredible Success

Greatness isn’t accidental. In the sport of equestrian all around, many factors contribute to success. It is an art that few have personally mastered, and the ability to pass that art onto their clients is even harder to come by. Bruce Vickery and Anthony Montes have created a winning team, not by luck, but through hard work, a commitment to the horse, dedication to their clients, and a masterful grasp of their craft.

These talents reached new heights at the 2020 AQHA World Championship Show where the duo produced the All-Around and Reserve All-Around Select Amateur, the All-Around Amateur, four World Champions, three Reserve World Champions, two Bronze Champions, and one Level One Champion as well as numerous Top Five and Top Ten Placings in both Amateur and Open events.

To add to an already incredible feat, these awards were earned in Trail, Horsemanship, Western Riding, Showmanship, Pleasure Driving, Western Pleasure, Hunt Seat Equitation, Hunter Under Saddle, and even Halter.

“Each time we walk under the ‘Gateway of Champions,’ I feel that we have done all of our homework and have tremendous support and love regardless of the outcome,” Laina Banks told us, who has trained with Bruce and Anthony for several years. “I always know that they are riding each stride with Strawberri and me and that they are putting equally as much energy, emotion, and heart into our performance as we are.”

The mentality of success starts the second you walk into Bruce and Anthony’s barn. You can feel the camaraderie. AQHA Youth World Champion Tatum Richey shared that what sets them apart is their relationship with their clients.

“In a business that can be very fickle and uncertain, I am proud of the relationship I have built with Bruce and Anthony…I know how much they genuinely care about me, not only as a rider, but as a person. I think that is one of the qualities that makes them so successful; they are invested in their clients and deeply care for our horses and us.”

Lyndsey Norris recently, crowned Level One Champion in Select Amateur Trail, added, “I truly believe that an atmosphere with any business starts at the top and since Bruce and Anthony have a great desire to do well and be successful, they instill that desire in their clients. They also create an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment. They are happy for clients to come and ride as much as they like. It makes the clients better riders and puts them in better positions to be successful.”

The amount of time that Bruce and Anthony put into their business is second to none. Scott Reinartz, the All-Around Select Amateur winner, expressed, “What I believe makes these two such strong trainers is they put the time in. They are not afraid to work long hours to get a horse right where they want them. They both have such a feel for the horses.”

This mentality held at this year’s World Show, where they put in long hours staying up until 2:00 am for the Hunt Seat Equitation prelims to be back out with smiling faces for the Trail Finals at 6:00 am. Their dedication to their horses and clients, regardless of the time of day, is unparalleled.

Laina adds, “One of the keys to Bruce and Anthony’s success is their strong ability to understand us and create an individual approach for each client/horse team. We are all very different personalities, and they work hard to prepare us in a way that works for each horse and rider teams’ mental needs. They always seem to know just how hard to push you to make you reach your peak at the perfect time to be successful.”

Bruce and Anthony can also see greatness in both the horse and rider that others may overlook. As Bruce repeatedly cheered me on in the Horsemanship, I can speak to this personally, saying that he knew we could be the winners. He believed in us in that event before I ever did.

Tatum and Scott echo these thoughts. Tatum said, “They take what they know, put those skills to action, and you get what I call the ‘Vickery Effect’; a special touch that helps usher impossible dreams into a reality.”

Scott believes this is due to the knowledge and feel that they have developed over time. “Bruce has been riding for so many years. I believe he knows what he can get out of a horse and will not waste his time or the horse’s trying to make something that won’t happen.”

Elizabeth Brown has trusted the team to find her next great show partner. Elizabeth explained, “Bruce and Anthony’s success comes from dedication to betterment of the horse and rider. Matching the talent of a rider with the ability of the horse creates a winning team.”

Their gift of creating a team spans into their ability to find great assistants as well. When they see an individual with talents that can complement their own, they aren’t afraid to ask them to join in.

Bruce and Anthony have an excellent team consisting of Kayla Kohler, Liberty Santagata, Jamie Kittle, Emma Widener, Amanda Jackson, and Kara Quarles. Each individual possesses key talents that make this operation run like a well-oiled machine.

Lyndsey elaborated, “I believe Bruce and Anthony have a vision for the future and know they can’t manage all of this alone. They have filled every need in their program with assistants who work as tirelessly as they do. Bruce and Anthony don’t depend just on themselves. They are smart enough to know they need extremely talented assistants.”

When clients come to Vickery Performance Horses, they know that they have placed their trust in a team working for them every step of the way.

“I’m a big believer that ‘the speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.’  Bruce and Anthony definitely set the standard and pace,” Laina shares. “There are few people that put as many hours into preparing as they do.  The example and expectation are set at the top, and everyone on the team follows suit to help achieve the goals. Their work ethic is reflected in their results.”

Vickery Performance Horses is paving its legacy, not only through their success in the arena, but also through their clients’ relationships. We are so proud to be a part of the team and can not wait to see what the future holds. It is bound to be bright.

About the Author – Lauren Stanley is an avid AQHA competitor who is constantly inspired by her partner Extremely Good Stuff, also known as Rooster the Red Roany Pony. When Lauren isn’t riding or writing, she enjoys cooking and taking boxing classes.