A Family Affair

Three generations of the Etcheverry Family competed at the 2017 AQHA West Level 1 Championships.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Joanie Etcheverry, Lori Crow, My Silver Pebbles, Monica Etcheverry and Anna Etcheverry (Journal Photo)

Three generations of the Etcheverry family competed this week at the 2017 AQHA West Level 1 Championships.

“Because showing horses is a family thing and it’s the best way to raise a child,” says 71-year-old Joanie Etcheverry of Bakersfield, California.

Joanie was showing at the West Level 1 with daughter Monica and 7-year-old granddaughter Anna, who are also from Bakersfield.

“My dad – Frank “Frankie” Schneider – was a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association cowboy and won three world championships, so we grew up with ranching and showing,” Joanie explains.

A member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Frank always said it was “probably environment” that got him into a career in professional rodeo because his older brother, Johnie, was already a top hand when he started out riding calves. The Schneiders were the first brothers to win world championships in rodeo with Frank earning bull riding titles in 1933 and 1934 and a bareback riding championship in 1935 while Johnie – eight years his elder – had three bull riding championship and the 1931 all-around title.

According to his ProRodeo Hall of Fame biography, Frank started working for stock contractor Cuthbert “Cuff” Burrell in Hanford, California, when he was 13, helping with the bucking stock and racehorses at the ranch, becoming a skilled all-around hand. While he had his greatest success in bull riding, including four wins at California Rodeo Salinas and another at Prescott, Arizona, he was a threat to win in any one of a half dozen events.

Joanie Etcheverry and Mr T Smoke (Journal Photo)

“That’s what we did, and so I passed it on to Monica and her brother, and now to Anna,” Joanie says of her dad’s horsemanship. “My dad trained all of us kids – and our cousins – for horseshows as we came along. We showed at Salinas every year. My dad won Salinas, I won the stock horse at Salinas, and now Monica is still trying to win the stock horse at Salinas. We just keep showing.”

“This is great … it’s all we know,” Monica adds. “When Anna wanted to start showing, we got with Lori (Crow, their trainer) and she’s great with the kids. This has been a lot of fun and everyone has a good time.”

As for their horses, Joanie says her dad really didn’t have a big breeding program.

“We just rode ranch horses,” she says. “The better of the ranch horses got to go to the shows, but they all worked on the ranch.”

Today, Monica shows in ranch riding; Anna competes in trail, horsemanship, 10-&-Under ranch riding and western pleasure; and Joanie shows in ranch riding and cow horse.

They brought two horses with them to show at the West Level 1: home-bred My Silver Pebbles, a 2007 gray mare by Silver Gun and out of My Nala Rider by My Shotgun Rider; and Mr T Smoke, a 2008 black gelding Smart Little Pepinic and out of Hadley T Bar by Just Plain Colonel.

“We’ve raised ‘Pebbles,’ and it has been kind of a long year, but Lori has been really helpful and we’ve come a long ways with Pebbles,” Monica says. “She’s not the easiest horse to ride … very, very challenging. It has been a lot of work and been well worth it. Thanks to Lori’s work, we came here and ended up ninth in Rookie amateur ranch riding.”

The Etcheverrys’ family theme even extends to their trainer, Lori Crow, whom Joanie has known since Lori was 7.

Monica Etcheverry and My Silver Pebbles (Journal Photo)

“We even have a photo of me leading Monica in leadline at a show when she was little,” says Lori, who trains out of AQHA Professional Horsewoman Cynthia Cantleberry’s facility at Paso Robles, California. To add to the story, Cynthia and her late husband, Red, who lived in Bakersfield, were who Lori took horseback riding lessons from when she was 5. “The lady who got me started riding with Red and Cynthia is Joanie Etcheverry’s sister-in-law.”

“I showed through my youth, turned amateur, then went to work for Red and Cynthia and turned professional 35 years ago,” Lori adds. “Then Red and Cynthia moved to Paso Robles, then Red passed away, then my husband and I moved to Paso Robles 13 years ago and now I train out of her facility.”

“Having three generations riding out of my barn is actually pretty exciting,” Lori says of the Etcheverrys. “You just don’t see much of this. Some people get into horses and then they get out, but having three generations riding and all of that history is pretty exciting.”