AHT's August Leader Of The Times
Leader Of The Times: Im The Real Deal … Saluting Arabian Horse Reining’s Living Legend
by CATHERINE COLE FERANDELLI
When visiting McNutt Performance Horses, it’s highly likely you will have the pleasure of viewing the ever youthful Im The Real Deal (“Barry”) going through his paces. Now 18 years of age, Barry is in his 14th year of thrilling all with his performance in the show pen. Barry’s athletic magnetism, his glistening mahogany coat and Arabian charisma have resulted in a roomful of roses and a big fan following.
Legendary breeder, trainer, judge and Barry fan, Judy Kibler, says it well, “Im The Real Deal is the consummate Arabian reining horse. Over the last 14+ years, I’ve had the opportunity to judge Barry in the show ring. Trained and shown by Crystal McNutt, he never disappoints. Now with our Arabian Ranch Riding classes, Barry has a new path to carry on his presence in the show ring! He is a stallion with a great work ethic, athletic ability and a disposition to always get the job done.” Judy adds, “The Zinke Family is always cheering and supporting their great horse–one of my very favorites!”
Owner Audrey Zinke smiles, “Barry is the living image of the first Arabian reiner I ever saw run the reining patterns like a Quarter Horse, and that was his sire, MHR Muscateal, our first champion Arabian reining horse. Both sire and son could run down and slide with both ends down, spin with speed and balance, and present a show pen performance by the book with that extra glitz and glam.” Audrey continues, “Breeding is always a gamble, but we knew we had to carry on Muscateal’s legacy by breeding him to the best mare possible. When we bred him to the wonderful mare Kheyarraberribeyv, we produced Barry, the perfect living legacy to carry out all the greatness of Muscateal and make his own mark. Arabian reining was and is changing for the better, and he and trainer Crystal McNutt are be a big part of that!”
A great reining horse is made up of both charisma and calm, seemingly contradictory traits. Barry exemplifies all that—kind, gentle, and friendly in the cross ties at home (often next to mares!), but always looking forward to “putting on the dog” when he enters the show pen to perform. His exemplary work ethic captures the ability to be at both ends of the spectrum.
Today, this three-time winner of the Arabian Horse Times’ Readers Choice Purebred Working Western Horse Of the Year continues his talents in yet another working western discipline—ranch riding. With multiple titles in reining and reined cow horse, Barry adds a glamorous touch to this new, fast growing discipline.
And Barry’s first foal year crop are coming onto the show scene very soon with more to follow. His trainer and best friend, Crystal McNutt, laughs, “This spring we were busy hauling Barry down the street to breed. Still, Barry continued to possess his exceptional show performance ethic, all the while being pretty busy in the breeding chute!”
Long time reining Amateur and breeder Mary Jo Henry enthuses about Barry, “He's just an exceptional horse and his show record speaks volumes about his talent. He’s beautiful and athletic, my idea of what a purebred Arabian reiner should be. Crystal and Barry, can I say, have crystallized. He's that finely crafted picture of magnetism and strength that catches your eye and with a spectacular amount of physical talent that won't let you look away. Three years ago, I decided to breed my U.S. National Champion Half-Arabian mare, MV Its About Time, to Barry, and now have a very pretty young mare who's ready to start under saddle later this year. If she's only half as talented as her parents, I'll be thrilled!”
Hat’s off to Barry, and his superb role in raising the bar of the Arabian reining horse.