Barricklows love raising Morgan horses
By BRYAN PECK
Roger and Juanita Barricklow, of Sardinia, had humble beginnings in the world of raising horses, which eventually branched into a nationally recognized endeavor. The Barricklows purchased their first horse in the late 1960s, as Roger Barricklow said he felt that raising horses would be a great activity for his family to get into.
The Barricklows’ first horse, however, left a bit to be desired.
“We bought out first horse in 1969 or 1970,” Barricklow said. “At that time our children were still small and I always had a love for horses, so I thought we could get our kids involved. So, we bought a crippled pony. She couldn’t walk very well.”
“She was okay, she just couldn’t maneuver very well,” Juanita Barricklow said.
Roger Barricklow said he did not get into raising horses until later, after a discussion with his friend, Steven Feike. At that time, Barricklow and Feike started to look at the possibility of raising horses, and began to research which breed they wanted to focus on. Barricklow said Morgan horses stood out above the rest. That was 44 years ago, and Roger Barricklow said he has been working to improve the breed ever since.
“Steven (Feike) and I started looking at horses and we decided that Morgans were intriguing.” Roger Barricklow said. “We thought they seemed like they had a lot of sense and did what we’d like to be able to do with a horse. We were also swayed just as much by the people. The owners of Morgan horses seemed like people we could relate to and talk to, and they still are.”
After selecting Morgan horses, Roger Barricklow said the next step was to purchase horses with a bit more quality and breed them. The Barricklows foundation mare, Shakers Ann Lee, was purchased shortly after. Shakers Ann Lee was already in foal when the Barricklows purchased her, and soon gave birth to Wind Blu Don Lee, a stud colt.
Horse names can often be complicated, though Juanita Barricklow said there is usually a method at work behind them. The Barricklow farm is named Wind Blu, in reference to the harsh wind storms that frequently sweep through the area. Every horse that is born on the Barricklow farm is prefaced with Wind Blu.
“There’s a pine tree on the farm that grows almost flat to the ground, and if you look at the barn there’s a tree, that’s a marker for one of our mares who is buried there, and it’s leaning way over, looks like its blowing down because the wind comes through there all the time,” Roger Barricklow said.
Each horse name is a reference to the mare that produced it. For example, the Barricklow’s mare Wind Blu Park Avenue eventually gave birth to a number of foals, including Wind Blu Roadmaster and Wind Blu Mustang Sally. Juanita Barricklow said if they deviate from this method, they have a hard time remembering the lineage of their horses.
“Even the ones you think are strange probably have some reasoning behind them,” Juanita Barricklow said.
Raising horses has been good to the Barricklows. Roger and Juanita Barricklow originally met at Blanchester High School. With a small class size of 35, the two knew each other, and both served as officers of their class. Roger Barricklow was the president, and Juanita Barricklow was the treasurer.
After graduating, the Barricklows lived around the Blanchester area, where Roger Barricklow worked for the SB Craig company, a fertilizer and grain elevator. In 1963 the company built a grain elevator in Sardinia and the Barricklows were moved to Brown County. At that location, Roger Barricklow was the manager, and Juanita Barricklow worked as a part-time secretary for the next 40 years.
In 1992, the SB Craig grain elevator shut down and Barricklow went to work for a fertilizer company in Mowrystown until his retirement. Of course, Roger Barricklow doesn’t see it that way.
“They closed in 1992, and in that time I went to Mowrystown for a fertilizer company,” Barricklow said. “I stayed with them until I quit working. I don’t say I retired, I just tell people I quit my paying job.”
Raising horses takes up most of Roger Barricklow’s time now. He has 14 stalls and has between 10 to 15 horses on average, and jokes with his friends that he keeps in shape by doing “stall aerobics” by cleaning out the horses’ stalls frequently.
The Barricklow’s decision to raise horses worked out well for their family. They have three children, Rick Barricklow, Lana Richey and Stormy Barricklow, and each of them has become involved in horses over the years. Rick Barricklow, the oldest of the three, still raises horses occasionally, as does Lana Richey. Additionally, Richey’s son is now a professional horse trainer.
Stormy Barricklow took the hobby in a new direction. Juanita Barricklow said he was not as interested in showing horses, but was more interested in riding them. Stormy Barricklow, along with his sons Cord and Strand, are now major players in the world of rodeo.
“His oldest son was the national junior rodeo president,” Juanita Barricklow said “It’s kind of gone from buying the little crooked legged pony to our grand kids that are really expanding with horses.”
Richey’s son, Reese Richey, has also taken home equitation awards for showing and riding horses raised on the Barricklow farm. Every time the Barricklow farm produces a world champion horse, it helps to get the Wind Blu name out more and increases business to the farm.
“We took (Reese Richey) to Oklahoma City for a national show and he was undefeated in six classes,” Juanita Barricklow said. “He had three world champions with a horse we raised, and I think that was the best advertising we could do.”
“We usually have one or two we try to keep for family use, but the primary motive is to sell them so we have some income,” Roger Barricklow said. “The world champion equitation horse that Reese rode we sold for a lot of money. That makes you think, can we do it again? Can we produce another one?”
In addition to the recognition gained by horses raised on the Barricklow farm, Roger Barricklow was named American Morgan Horse Man of the Year in 2010, an award that is given to those who have made great strides in breeding Morgan horses, and for what they have given back to the Morgan world.
As he gets older, Roger Barricklow does not show horses at equitation matches as much, though he has gotten into carriage riding as the years go on. His current goal is to compete while driving four horses at the same time.
The Barricklows currently farm 30 acres of hay to support the horses, and have an additional 20 for pastures.
Roger Barricklow recommended getting into the horse breeding business to anyone looking to establish great work ethic into their children.
“It’s kind of expensive, but extremely rewarding, especially if you have children,” Barricklow said. “It really gives the children responsibility.”
(Bryan Peck is the editor of the News Democrat and Ripley Bee, in Brown County.)