After not being able to show in the US for two years due to the Canadian COVID-19 restrictions, Annie Decroix decided to make the 1800-mile trip from her home in Repentigny, Quebec, Canada to compete at the 2022 Appaloosa World show. Since she was already committed to the long haul, she added the NRCHA futurity show to her travels the week prior to the world show.
Annie was born into a family deeply embedded in working western horses. Her father is a cutter and her mother a reiner. She started going to horse shows with her parents since she was a little girl. She was riding before she could even walk but started to get serious about riding at 12 years old when she started to take lessons. She was riding her mother’s old gelding, Doc Instant Bar. Annie showed in her first reining class in 2007 on her mom’s horse and showed him for two years until he was 26 years old! As a teenager, Annie was committed to her riding, going to the barn every day after school, doing her homework in the barn and doing stalls on the weekend.
Seeing her commitment, Annie’s parents bought her a younger horse for Christmas which brought MG Gay Bar Delta, a paint horse, into her life. Annie showed this mare and, in her retirement, and she is now the dam of 5 of the babies in Annie’s breeding program. Showing a paint horse in the reining opened Annie’s eyes to the fact that horses other than Quarter Horses could compete in reining. After falling in love with Appaloosas after watching a Cavalia show, she decided that she was going to own a blue roan Appaloosa someday.
That day came sooner rather than later. In 2015, Annie accompanied her father, a veterinarian, to a farm call for a new client. They were there to see an Appaloosa mare with a foal who had foundered. While working on the mare, Annie told the owners that it was her dream to own an Appaloosa. Two days after the farm call, the owners of the mare got in touch with her to see if she wanted the colt. Annie thought this was perfect as they had been looking for another baby to put out with their weaning filly. When the time came to pick the colt up after weaning, they offered Annie the mare too and, without telling her parents, she brought them both home.
Some good farrier work and care helped the mare get better. She improved enough to become a show horse in the western performance events. When her father said it was time to sell the mare, Annie explained that she had plans to add her to the breeding program and breed her to Annie’s Quarter Horse stallion, Badgers Smart Peppy. With some convincing, her father agreed and the cross produced AKD Rein A Loosa, the blue roan gelding Annie showed at the 2022 world show.
Annie and her husband Dominque have a small breeding program where they produce anywhere from 1 to 5 babies each year with her stud Badgers Smart Peppy. She bought the stud when he was 11 years old and at that time, he didn’t have much of a show record, but he had great bloodlines. Annie took him to reining and cutting shows for several years to prove himself and has since focused on showing and promoting his babies. Her foals have found success in reining, working cow horse, ranch riding, sorting, roping and even some western pleasure and barrel racing.
When COVID hit, and all Annie’s planned shows were cancelled, she was looking for things to do and ways to improve her horsemanship. She heard about a woman, Farrah Lafleur of FL Performance Horses, in her area who had started running small reined cow horse shows and thought she would give it a try. Annie fell in love with the sport and the people. The next thing for Annie to add to her list of working western classes is to learn to rope so she can do steer stopping.
Unfortunately, in her area of Canada, there is not a regional Appaloosa club nor are there many Appaloosa horse shows. This has forced her to focus more on regional cow horse shows. They also travel to New York to attend NRCHA and NCHA shows so she can add LTE to her horses. The lack of horse shows in her immediate area makes for a lot of travel but she loves it.
This year’s Appaloosa World Show as Annie’s first time showing at the event. She drove to Texas with a friend who had a horse in the NRCHA snaffle bit futurity, so she decided to ride AKD Rein A Loosa in the Non-Pro Limited Boxing class. She said she was really stressed about showing at the event as there are so many really good riders there. Despite her worries, she ended up 16th out of 50 entries!
Annie and AKD Rein A Loosa had a great Appaloosa World Show as well. The duo was the World Champions in the Non-Pro Ranch Riding Derby and the Reserve World Champions in the Non-Pro Ranch Reining Class. They also ended up 3rd in the NP Reining Derby, 4th in the Junior Ranch Reining and 7th in the Non-Pro Boxing.
AKD Rein A Loosa didn’t return home to Canada. At the show, he was purchased by Harvey Stevens of Florida to be part of his show string. We wish him luck (and no more snow!) and look forward to seeing Annie and her next prospect at a future Appaloosa World Show.