AHT's August Leader Of The Times
Leaders Of The Times: Im The Real Deal+//—Building A Bright Reining Future
by CATHERINE COLE FERANDELLI
Im The Real Deal+// owner Audrey Zinke knows a thing or two about great Arabian reining horses, having owned both the legendary MHR Muscateal+ and his living legend son, Im The Real Deal+//, aka Barry. She remembers, “Barry’s sire Muscateal was the first purebred reining horse I ever saw to truly slide to a deep stop with his head down, and to spin with both ends down. He was incredibly balanced, and could spin like a top. He maneuvered his reining patterns in a Quarter Horse style, yet maintained all the ‘pretty’ we want to see in an Arabian horse. In my eyes he was perfect. And he was a gentle and kind horse, too.” Audrey continues, “When we bred Muscateal to the wonderful mare Kheyarraberribeyv, we produced Barry in 2001—the perfect living legacy to carry out all the greatness of Muscateal. Arabian reining was changing for the better, and he and trainer Crystal McNutt would be a big part of that!”
Audrey explains, “We all agreed that Barry’s show career would come first. He is so happy showing his stuff in the show pen and we absolutely love watching him, enjoying this amazing journey.” Indeed, with an astounding nine national titles, seven Scottsdale and 17 regional titles, Barry was clearly enjoying an unmatched career in the reining pen. Three times he was honored as Arabian Horse Times Readers’ Choice Purebred Working Western Horse Of the Year in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
With absolute dedication to the Arabian horse reining discipline, the Zinkes are now focusing on its future and Barry’s legacy. Audrey projects, “With our primary focus of Barry’s show career met, we began selective breeding, with his first foals arriving in 2015. We were primarily breeding to reining mares with successful show careers of their own, and to bloodlines that will complement his bloodlines. In this way, we hope to produce foals of exceptional beauty, quality, talent and disposition. In the foals we have seen so far, these traits have been obvious from the start. They have excellent conformation for reining, great dispositions and a lot of athletic ability. Barry himself received these gifts from his own sire, MHR Muscateal+, and we are happy to see these traits being passed down to another generation. As for his babies, I expect they will all be awesome reiners. While our primary concern has been to help the purebred classes grow in size and ability, we are also super excited about Barry's Half-Arab babies.”
Trainer Crystal McNutt agrees, “I continue to be in awe of Barry. He is now in his 12th year of showing, still loving it, and still healthy, strong and sound. With Barry’s show career in the books, we are starting to see the still very young Barry offspring. They’re only two years old, so we are just now doing the starting work we do with our youngsters. So far Barry’s babies are displaying his outstanding traits: excellent conformation for reining, great dispositions, and a whole lot of athletic ability. I can’t wait to witness their progress as they grow up!”
Audrey sees a bright future: “As long as Barry is happy, we will let him show. He brings a smile to our faces and many others when he displays his unparalleled talent. With such a lengthy show career, it continues to amaze us how Barry stays strong, happy and healthy. He truly looks half his age whether standing in the cross ties, or going through his reining pattern paces. Anyone can walk up to Barry, love on him, talk to him, and feed him his favorite peanut butter cookies. Later this year, he will compete in his twelfth consecutive U.S. National Reining Championship!”
More Barry babies arrived in 2016 and 2017, and they all seem to display the unique Barry traits that have wowed us all. The Arabian Reining world eagerly awaits the show pen debut of the 2015 foal crop sired by the inimitable Im The Real Deal+//.