By Hope Sickler
Rising futurity superstar Adrian Bolin shined against the best trainers and riders in the industry when she rode to victory aboard Don't Judge My Socks at the Jackson Hall Memorial on April 2 at the Shawnee Expo Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The $10,000 added BFA 4-year-old futurity was held in honor of Jackson Hall, the father of champion barrel racer and trainer Sharin Hall. Jackson was an exceptional horseman and was known in the horse world for his raw talent to get a horse to perform.
FloRodeo: Tell us about yourself and how you got involved in barrel racing.
Adrian Bolin: I am 25 years old and I grew up in Southeastern Ohio. I finished college and moved to Sallisaw, Oklahoma, about 4 1/2 years ago to pursue a career training horses. I started riding at the age of 5 on a pony, then moved up to a Standardbred mare that I trained to run poles and barrels. At 11, I moved on to an actual "barrel horse." He was a quarter horse gelding that was seasoned, and I learned a lot from him. Throughout my junior high to high school years, I spent most of my time on race-bred quarter horses.
Tell us about the horse that you ran in the futurity at the Jackson Hall Memorial.
Don't Judge My Socks, (aka Weezy) is by BHR Frenchies Socks out of Judge Dixie (by Judge Cash). Weezy was one of the most natural horses I have ever started. He was very trainable and has a pleasing personality. When I first started hauling to exhibition him as a 3-year-old, he noticed everything. He was a "looky" horse when riding around. He was that way for a little while, and he sort of grew out of it all at once. Now he is a confident individual; not much bothers him. He is a total sweetheart and really enjoys a good scratch.
You made two great runs at the Jackson Hall Memorial which solidified you the futurity average. Tell us about those runs.
The first go, my only concern was to try to make a smooth run. I hadn't made a run on him for a few months. Cody Bauserman (my boyfriend) had run him at a couple of the other futurities (LG Pro Classic and Diamonds and Dirt), and he ran well both places.
The entire run felt smooth, and I knew he made a good run. I just wasn't expecting quite that good of a time. He is a little deceiving, because he can really run. But he is smooth about it.
The second go, I didn't approach anything any differently. It worked the first go to try for a smooth run, so I wasn't going to change things. I didn't think about any times or out running anyone. I just wanted to ride him with the confidence that he would do his job, and he did. I was very pleased!
Running against the best in the futurity industry and winning the Jackson Hall Memorial must've been a very memorable moment. Was that your first big futurity championship?
Yes, that was my first futurity championship. It was a good feeling of course, but I think more than anything I was proud of my horse. We have tried to make the best decisions with him, because we think so much of him. So to be a part of that with him was great.
Putting on an event as large as the Jackson Hall Memorial takes a lot of work and a slew of help. What did you enjoy most about the event?
I thought the event staff was great. From the first time in the office to the last, they were incredibly kind. Sharin (Hall) was so nice throughout the entire event, and the fact that we (myself, Cody, and Sharin) are all originally from Ohio was sort of neat.
Now for the fun stuff: What kind of music do you listen to while driving down the road to a futurity?
The station changes a lot. Anything from the 50s, rock, to hip-hop. I love music, and it usually varies upon my mood!
While on the road, what is your favorite fast food restaurant? What is your least favorites?
My favorite fast food restaurant would have to be Chick-fil-A, and my least favorite would be McDonald's.
If you don't mind sharing, what is one thing on your bucket list that you'd like to do or accomplish next?
Wow, to pick just one is very difficult! Involving horses, winning Old Fort Days Futurity in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is pretty high on the list.
Who has been your biggest inspiration both inside and outside the arena?
Outside of barrel racing, Eileen Clark. She taught me so much in a short amount of time. After retiring as a teacher, she became a dressage instructor, and I would work off my riding lessons. I was overwhelmed with the information that I was learning from her, and our lessons were very demanding. She was disciplined in every aspect of her life. She was very serious about what we were doing and what she expected of me.
Each day seemed to be physically and mentally challenging, but I loved every second of it. In my mind, she was the "tough love" type. And if she offered a compliment, she meant it, and you earned it.
In the barrel racing, and more specifically, futurity industry, I would have to say Jolene Montgomery, Kassie Mowry, and of course Cody. I have learned how much time and hard work it takes because of him, and I look up to his strong work ethic.
Adrian Bolin Captures The Futurity Title At The Jackson Hall Memorial
By Hope Sickler