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SPOTTING A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
Interview with Suzanne Moseley
Creating Champions! One horse and one rider at a time with Suzanne Moseley
After visiting with Suzanne one quickly realizes there are a few words that describe her the best…
A STRAIGHT SHOOTER – PASSIONATE – SUCCESSFUL – RESPECTED
About Suzanne Moseley...
I was born in Shawnee, OK, and raised in Richardson, TX. I moved to Stephenville in 1976 – off and on for 30-some years, and live in Cresson, TX now. I’ve been married to Randy Moseley since 1986 and have two sons – Jason (38) and Jonathan (36). I’ve been known to do crazy, fun things, but I never got in much trouble growing up, because my dad thought everything I did was funny, and I have a husband that feels the same way.
How did you get started?
My first horse was purchased by my mom and dad when I was 10—a Poco Bueno bred mare—we went to playdays off and on until I moved to Stephenville. The first real trainers I encountered were Dale and Florence Youree. When I didn’t know anything, they were very helpful to me. I met them at the Quarter Horse shows in the early ‘80s. They were very friendly and very helpful any time I had any questions. After the Yourees, Bill and Bobbie Bradley from Dublin, TX sold me one of my best horses. His name was Palgon--a super nice horse and he was a winner. He’d run 16.9s and 17.0s all day long on a standard pattern. They helped me buy him--they took me to the bank and said, ‘This girl wants this horse, give her the money.’ And they did, and I paid it out. Later on, I met Martha Wright, who I rode with for a period of time. She was very helpful. After that, I met Wanda Jetton. She has probably trained some of the best futurity and rodeo horses over the last 40 years in our business. She doesn’t go very much anymore, but she just got through retraining LK Pistol Annie for me. She is a most genuine and helpful person. I’ve ever had help me. Some of my very best horses, including Oh Gypsy Hat, came from Bonnie and William Burris. Nothing can replace age and experience in this business. I’m not afraid to call Sherry Cervi, Kay Blandford, Bo Hill, any top trainer in the business, past or present, and ask for help. Two of my most favorite people on the planet are Molly Powell and Jacque Woolman, who I also consider to be personal friends. You don’t get any better than them.
“I am very blessed, very lucky – I don’t have to do this for a living. I don’t have to sell them just to get the money.”
Name some of your previously owned horses...
The first horse, Bocephus Dollar, I bought as a yearl-ing, and then traded him for another horse. He went to Jonell Epperson, who sold him to Sherrylynn Johnson. He was the first horse she went to the NFR on.
My second horse that went to the NFR was Firewaters Hope with Kelly Yates.
My third horse was I’m An Indian Outlaw (who was trained by Wanda Jaetton). Kay Blandford rode him at the NFR.
The fourth horse is The Royal Mile. I purchased him at the Speedhorse Derby. Eventually, Kay Blandford won a lot of money on him at the derbies and purchased him from me and went to the NFR. He was filling a hole for “Llave,” The Key Grip.
But with all these horses, this is why it’s so important to me to get the right people to own my horses. I’m not a good enough rider to go to the NFR, but I want my horses to go. I recently sold my young Dinero mare, LK Pistol Annie, to Brittany Diaz, who will be going to the NFR this year and hopefully, God willing, maybe run her one or two goes.
I am very blessed, very lucky – I don’t have to do this for a living, so I do get to hand-pick where my horses go. And for that, I am thankful. I don’t have to sell them just to get the money.
“I’m a good person at picking horses and trainers and trying to put the right person with the right horse”.
I don’t consider my accomplishments to be that great. But I think I’m a good person at picking horses and trainers and trying to put the right person with the right horse. I get criticized a lot for switching riders, but I do what I have to do to make it work. Every person that’s ever thrown a leg over one of my horses I consider to be a top winner. But sometimes, the chemistry isn’t there with the horse and rider.
What do you look for when it comes to bloodlines, style, conformation, gender, etc...
It’s really a gut thing with me. I go by bloodline and I have to watch a horse move, or be able to get on it and ride it myself. I don’t know that much about con-formation, but I know when I see one go around the barrels if they’re worth it or not. I love anything that has Fire Water Flit breeding. I love Flaming Jet. The gender doesn’t matter as long as it’s a winner, but more people want to buy mares. It’s also very, very important how they’re broke, and who broke them. I have owned horses of all different bloodlines.
Tips on spotting good prospects/potential winners...
I look at the breeding, I like to see a lot of videos, and I want to see somebody on their back. I will not buy a horse that’s not broke. I am not a trainer and will never claim to be. When I figured out I wasn’t and I found a rider, I found a different way to win. I have a formula that works for me, and I will continue to use my own formula. I use a very unconventional formula. I have to listen to what the trainer’s telling me, and see if they follow through with what they’re telling me.
Sometimes what they say and what they do in competition is completely different. I need whoever rides for me to be able to do what they tell me they can do.
Anything you’d like to educate viewers on looking for what they can afford – in the end, being prepared to pay for what they want...
A real good prospect, a good bred prospect, is going to range from $8,500 to $25,000, depending on what stage of training they’re at. A prospect that is consistently clocking in the 1D is going to be $25,000 to $50,000. Another thing is that they (the horses) don’t know what they cost. Like Charmayne paying $1,100 for Scamper, just because somebody pays $25,000 or $200,000, it doesn’t guarantee they’re going to win on the horse.
Advice on vets/pre-purchase exams...
On those young prospects, you need to have them all vet-checked. I do not like for vets to play God. There isn’t a vet alive that can predict if a horse is going to last five minutes or five years – there’s just not. I like my customers to be told everything that’s seen on the x-rays or the flexion, but I do not want a vet passing or failing based on the price of a horse (which is none of their business to begin with). I’m not going to use a “pass or fail” vet.
“Women need to support other women”
Paying it forward...
I have always been a big supporter of women–young and old. Women spend too much time beating each other up, running each other down, and stabbing each other in the back. Women need to support other women, especially in this business. There is plenty of money and plenty of customers in this business for everybody to do this right and be successful.
What is your focus in the industry and why you do it
I’m a very passionate, driven person about this. I love to see a good horse run; I don’t care who’s riding it. I just have never, ever lost my passion for it. That passion is something you’ve either got or you don’t. My husband calls it fire in the belly–you either have it, or you don’t.