Ryons Vapor Trail
Ryons Vapor Trail
Successful barrel horse Ryons Vapor Trail has died, according to the family that owned him.
The 1995 palomino gelding is by Taipan Pie San and out of the Windy Ryon mare Kay Ryon. He was bred by Sam G. Clark Jr. of West Point, Mississippi.
He was acquired by Tina Griffin of Flowood, Mississippi, in 1997, and then by Larry Griffin of Morton, Mississippi, in 2013.
In 2001, he was the BOAH-BFA Youth Barrels winner with Erin Griffin, and earned more than $14,500 in Barrel Futurities of America competition.
Family member Tanya Callahan remembered the horse:
“I vividly remember getting to ride you for the first time. I was in the fifth grade. You were supposed to be Dad’s horse, but for whatever reason, they decided to let me ride you that night. I came back over to the fence after loping some circles and said ‘he’s so smooth!’ And that was our beginning.
"From 1999 to 2009, you won. First with Mr. Paul and then it was our time to shine. You were the one they hated seeing on the draw sheet. You had everyone watching the clock. You were famous and electric with your long bright white tail streaking out behind you, just like a real vapor trail. For 10 years you served as heart and soul for both of us.
"You were the textbook definition of the phrase ‘the good ones will try to die on you.’” Thank God my mom was always there to will you back to life. This is not one of those unexpected and tragic times. This time, you’re saying goodbye after more than 20 wonderful years with us.
"You had too many quirks to mention. To this day, you’d still get a wild eye when your back feet had to be put on a farrier stand. You cribbed like it was your full-time job and if we would have let you, you would have absolutely foundered yourself on Berry Good treats.
"To say that I am indebted to you is saying it too lightly. I owe you my identity. You gave me everything…a name, recognition, a love for this sport, later a house with your earnings and everything in between. None of this is as important as the confidence you gifted me. I could conquer the entire world sitting on your back.
I remember winning every one of those 40+ buckles and every saddle. I remember hitting the alley and seeing the clock change. You gave me the feeling of winning; something that quite a few people chase their whole lives. I remember braiding your mane and putting on your boots. I remember your energy. I remember those golden eyes.
"I will never forget you. When it’s my time and I come looking, I hope you and ‘Cash’ meet me at the gate.
Thank you for giving me your wings to fly with, my golden horse."