The Barbour Family Finds Their Unicorn in Scooter Brown
Everyone hopes for that once in a lifetime horse – the horse that has the talent, the try, and the mind to make dreams come true.The Barbour family may have found just that for their daughter Sienna in champion Scooter Brown.
The Beginning of a Horse Addiction
Sienna first became interested in horses as a toddler. Her mother, Alyssa, says Sienna was all smiles and refused to get off of the pony after her first ride. Afterwards, Sienna kept asking to ride horses and she began taking more formal lessons when she turned four.
Now, Sienna has shown successfully in the 13 and Under division with her horse RR Zippin A Moon (aka “Amigo”) under the guidance of Clint Ainsworth.
“My biggest accomplishment riding was at Youth World when I won Reserve Champion in Level 3 Trail with Amigo,” Sienna gushes. “It was my first time competing at Youth World, so I was extremely nervous. Having the support of Clint and my whole barn family helped me overcome my nervousness.”
“Sienna had such great success with Amigo and, when the opportunity came up to add Scooter Brown to the family show lineup, it was one I couldn’t let the Barbours miss out on,” Ainsworth explains. “Amigo is a fantastic horse in his own right and he will continue to be shown by Sienna, but Scooter will give her an opportunity to find her success throughout her whole youth career.”
The Raad Family Finds Scooter the Perfect Home
As with many great show horses, the beginning of a career with a new rider is marked by the end of that chapter with another. The Barbours purchased Scooter from Pamela and Lauren Raad and it was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly by the Raad family.
Lauren explains, “It was a very thoroughly thought-out decision over a long period of time, and we made it out of pure love for Scooter.”
Lauren admits, “I never had intentions of ever selling Scooter, but when the reality set in about the demands of pursuing a career in the medical field post–graduation this spring, I knew that I would not be capable of giving him the time he deserved.”
“Over the course of the past six years, I leaned on Scooter and he leaned on me; both figuratively and literally,” Lauren laughs. “I swear half my camera roll is photos of Scooter leaning on my shoulder. The love we shared for each other was a two–way street that I don’t think I could ever accurately describe with words.”
Although the decision to let Scooter move on to a new family wasn’t easy, Lauren believes it was right because, “Clint described Sienna as someone who doesn’t see the horse as a means to an end in the sense of competing – he told me she treats her horses like pets. That’s how I knew that the Barbours would be the best family for Scooter to have a home with. I wanted Scooter to go to someone that would love him for all that he is and not just for his talent.”
The Barbours purchased Scooter shortly after Sun Circuit. Ainsworth is grateful to Gretchen Mathes and Gene Spagnola for their advice and assistance in transitioning Scooter to his barn.
“I am so thankful to the Raads, Gretchen, and Gene. I know it was hard for them to sell Scooter and I’d like to thank them profusely for the opportunity as well as for their ongoing help and insight. We will do our best to do right by Scooter and make them proud,” Ainsworth assures them.
A Match Made in Heaven
Ainsworth is also grateful to the Barbours for trusting him with planning Sienna’s youth career and selecting horses that are the best fit for her talent.
“The reason I matched Sienna and Scooter Brown together is because he is a quick, light, and fancy show horse and they will complement each other well. Sienna is a very soft, quiet, and talented rider and she will be able to showcase his talent,” Ainsworth explains. “I think this pair will be a real powerhouse.”
He adds, “I have many goals for this team. Scooter is such a special animal. Not only is he extremely talented. He is very kind. He shows up to work with a ‘smile’ on his face and his ears perked – he truly loves his job. Sienna loves her horses and treats them like part of the family. Scooter’s demeanor and talent really make him a perfect fit for Sienna and I can’t wait to see all they will accomplish together.”
Sienna agrees, “Scooter’s mind is so sharp and his movement is so smooth. He loves to give kisses and to cuddle. But mostly, I love that he is a goofball.”
Looking to the Future
The Barbours hope that Scooter will be Sienna’s “step-up” horse for the remainder of her youth career.
Ainsworth says the plan is for Sienna to show Scooter at the majors, including the Congress and World Show. He also hopes to show him at the Open World Show in the Senior Trail.
Sienna smiles, “My dream with Scooter Brown is to win a Gold Globe in the Level 3, 14-18 Horsemanship at Youth World and to win All-Around at Congress or NSBA World. But even more than that I hope both of us develop a close relationship where we can bring out the best in each other.”
While Lauren will miss Scooter, she has nothing but love for this new team and has some valuable advice for Sienna, “I have no doubt that Sienna and Scooter will accomplish a multitude of goals, but I hope the little moments together are enjoyed just as much, if not more. Share your iced coffees with him and buy him lots of cereal,” she chuckles. “If you give him your heart, he will give you his and there won’t be anything you can’t accomplish.”
Look for Sienna, Scooter, Amigo, and crew at the majors in the 14-18 division… Scooter will likely have a smile on his face and a treat in his mouth while leaning on Sienna’s shoulder for a selfie.