angle-left New Every Time

New Every Time

Versatility Ranch Horse events provide fresh challenges for Jerrilynn Harrington.

text size

By Ranch Horse Journal Editor Andrea Caudill

This is going to be a surprise to many of us here at the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships, but there is someone showing this week who enjoys showing the conformation class. 

Her name is Jerrilyn Harrington, and she hails from Sierra Vista, Arizona. She and her handsome gray gelding, DF Colonel Smoky, are contesting the limited amateur division.

“I’m one of the few people that likes conformation,” she confirms. “I like to ride a nice-built horse. I like conformation, I don’t mind standing there and showing my horse.”

But Jerrilynn is showing Versatility, and that’s not all she’s challenged with.

“I love the cow stuff, I love the ranch riding – well, I love it all,” she says. “I think it’s an opportunity for us mature horsewomen to find a second childhood with horses. We’ve done all kinds of things, and this provides a quiet challenge for us. I think it’s cool to look around and see them all.”

Jerrilyn was born into a ranching family, but grew up as a racetracker when her family switched to racing horses. She’s done just about everything with horses, from flat racing to barrel racing to team sorting. 

About eight years ago, she decided to try Versatility Ranch Horse when her cousins got into it.

“It sounded like fun,” she says. 

In 2013, she was in the market for a new horse. A friend recommended Oklahoma breeder Deryl Parker; she called him, and he helped her locate “Flynt.” 

“An old lady needs a 3-year-old, so I bought him,” she says with a laugh.

Foaled in 2010, Flynt, who wears Parker’s Drag T brand, is by Dualin Freckles and out of the Master Colonel mare MC Colonel Smoky.

“He’s turned into a nice horse,” she says of her equine partner.  “It’s just me and him – he doesn’t stay at the trainers, he stays at home, although I have a trainer I go to (for lessons).”

Flynt lives with her other horse in her backyard. His best feature, she says, is his kind heart. 

“He wants to be a love bug,” she says. “He is very kind. He comes to you when he sees you – doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.”

Just a few weeks ago, the pair unfortunately had an accident at a show, where the horse took a bad step and fell on his side, landing on her leg. 

“We are both recuperating now,” she says, before the tough-as-nails cowgirl listed the extensive treatments that she made sure her horse received to make him feel better (with no mention of her own treatment).

Jerrilynn and Flynt are enjoying every aspect of their second trip to the VRH World.

“I love it all because you can never get good at it,” she says of showing Versatility. “You go to a show and think, ‘Oh, I can go home and train all these things.’ But then next time, they add a new thing – drag the dummy cow out of the water – and lo and behold, there’s something new. I just think it’s fun.” 

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit www.aqha.com/news.