Second Career Star: This Bully Raps

Second Career Star: This Bully Raps

This retired racehorse now wears many hats for his breeder, owner and trainer.

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By Andrea Caudill

LaVerne Fein was not born into the horse industry, but she got there as fast as she could.

The Florida native was horse crazy from the start, and she built them into her life – as a police officer, she was able to work in mounted patrol. She rode show horses, then dressage, and then discovered and fell in love with barrel racing. 

A fan of speed, when Florida Quarter Horse racing re-launched in the first decade of the 2000s, Fein crossed her mare Raps Melody to legendary running sire Bully Bullion for a 2009 foal. 

Raps Melody is a granddaughter of the AAA stallion Quick Henry, and when she dropped a plain bay colt, Fein gave him the nickname “Quick” in his great-grandfather’s honor. 

The versatile horsewoman trained the gelding herself, and he made four starts – first at Remington Park, followed by three starts at the historic Hialeah Park in Miami, Florida. 

“He was quick on the track, but he is more of a cow type conformation, and smaller, so he got shoved around leaving the gates,” she remembered. “I thought it maybe just wasn’t his deal, so I took him home.”

At the time, Fein didn’t fully realize the treasure she had in her pasture, but Quick would soon reveal himself as she began to pattern him on the barrels and getting familiar with him under a stock saddle.

“He just started taking to it real quick, and he will do anything you need him to do,” Fein said. “He’s so versatile. We’ve roped heels on him, done pole bending on him, I trail ride all over the country, he ponied on the racetrack. Whatever – he’s up for the job and he likes to be busy.”

The intelligent gelding has a mischievous personality, requiring his handlers to be vigilant in ensuring that gates are latched and he is securely tied up, lest he untie himself and the horses around him. 

“He is just a big clown,” Fein said with a laugh. “If he gets turned out in the arena, he’s walking around carrying the pole bending poles. But when you get on him and get ready to make a run, he’s all business. He knows his job.”

The pair compete on the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association circuit, have earned a Top 10 placing at the AQHA World Championship Show in senior barrel racing and earned his performance Register of Merit.

Much of Quick’s success is founded in his intelligence and willingness, indicates his owner and breeder.

“I can run pro rodeo on him and the next day take my neighbor’s 5-year-old kid and sit them on him and walk around the barrels and trot over the poles and he won’t go a step faster. He knows when it’s work time and then he chills right out. He’s such a cool dude.”

Earlier this year, Quick suffered a severe wire cut injury to his hoof, but has healed miraculously and is now returning to competition. 

“He’s just big and scopey and has a heart the size of Texas,” she said. 

While Fein, who is based in Prague, Oklahoma, is now focusing on barrel horses, she retains her love of racehorses, and uses her connections to help retiring racehorses transition to new lives as barrel or riding horses. She has transitioned about 50 horses.

“It’s a blast to know that these great horses go on to be loved by somebody else,” she said. “They can find all kinds of jobs and that’s what’s so great about them.” 

As for Quick, he already has a forever home and is well loved.

“He’s just a plain bay, but to me, he’s beautiful,” Fein said. “People have tried to buy him from me and I was like, there’s not enough tea in China – you can’t make one like this.”

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