AHT's August Leader Of The Times

AHT's August Leader Of The Times

Im The Real Deal+//— Celebrating The Icon Of Arabian Reining And Working Western


Some horses cause us to stand up and cheer as they enter to perform in the show pen. In the Arabian reining horse arena, it’s the 2001 magnificent mahogany bay stallion Im The Real Deal, known by all his friends and fans as simply ‘Barry.’

Well into his thirteenth year of top level showing, 17-year-old Barry is still ‘all that’: bold, purposeful, balanced, correct and in perfect sequence with his partner and human best friend, trainer Crystal McNutt. One would think that Barry would be taking it down a notch with a working western show career including nine national and nine Scottsdale championship titles in reining, reined cow horse and ranch riding. But so far, 2018 has proven otherwise. Crystal explains, “Barry loves his reining performances as much as ever. Still, I wanted to change things up a bit, so we decided to enter Scottsdale this year in the amateur reining division. One of my long-time clients, Amanda Burns, started riding Barry over the winter and they really clicked, winning the Scottsdale Arabian Reining ATR championship with a very respectable 70.5 score.” Crystal continues, “We also decided to enter Barry in ranch riding. His exceptional focus and need to achieve makes him a great candidate for this new discipline. Barry made high scores at Scottsdale and went on to be Region 7 Arabian Ranch Riding Champion! And … we added yet another reining championship, winning the Region 7 Arabian Open.”

Owner Audrey Zinke, grins, “Barry has always enjoyed (and deserved) the best life any show horse could have. We were first blessed with owning his sire, the ground-breaking purebred MHR Muscateal. He was the first Arabian reiner I ever saw perform in a ‘Quarter Horse style,’ all the while displaying Arabian horse ‘pretty.’ Breeding Muscateal to Barry’s dam Khemosabi/Varian-bred mare Kheyarraberribeyv, further accentuated athletic ability, balance, a bold attitude and a charisma that you can’t peel your eyes away from. Yes, Barry continues to be confident, in control and happy in the show pen.”

A three-time Arabian Horse Times Readers’ Choice Purebred Arabian Working Western Horse of the Year, Barry continues his legacy with his heirs, the first of which will be show age ready in 2019. Crystal enthuses, “We have purebred and Half-Arabian Barry ‘get’ who are taking well to their training. We’re seeing calm dispositions, willing attitudes, balance and plenty of athletic talent. 2019 will be the year of the Barry baby debut!”

With a show career attitude of “please stop telling me what to do. I know what to do!”, one could imagine Barry to be arrogant and unapproachable, however, his intelligence and keen intuition are truly otherwise. Audrey elaborates with affection, “When we visit him at Crystal's, his head is always sticking out of his stall, and he starts nickering as soon as he sees us. He knows we will surely be bringing him carrots and his favorite peanut butter cookies. Barry watches as we leave, nickering until we are out of sight. It makes it very hard to say good-bye! He is the dearest horse ever, and we are so in love with him.”

Charismatic, courageous and kind … there is only one Im The Real Deal+//.