Bryce and Toby: Two Teens Take On the World

Bryce and Toby: Two Teens Take On the World

Brad and Mindy Barkemeyer have each enjoyed heaps of success in the western show circuit, and now they are the proud parents of a AQHYA World Champion. 13-year-old Bryce Barkemeyer earned a resounding victory in the Boxing class at the AQHYA Boxing World Championship in Oklahoma City earlier this month, competing on a horse one year his senior, "Toby" (FS Smart Boomer Chic). We caught up with Barkemeyers to learn more about Toby and what it takes to be a world champion. 


Q: Well, tell us about Toby. What's his story?

Bryce Barkemeyer: Toby had been around our family for a few years before becoming part of it. A customer of ours purchased him from good friends and fellow trainers Brandon and Sophie Buttars, where he had a successful career in the non-pro. He was in training, as our client Larry Lommen showed him in the amateur boxing and down the fence.

Last December, the Lommen’s made the decision to gift Toby to me. In the short time we have been a duo we have been Circuit Champions at the Arizona Sun Circuit, NRCHA Stallion Stakes Reserve Youth Champion, NRCHA Derby Reserve Youth Bridle Spectacular and 13 and under Champion, AQHYA Boxing World Champions and 13 and Under World Champion.  


Q: What is Toby's personality like?

BB: He is the same everyday. When he comes out of his stall he is all business. Toby likes to come out do his job get his pat on the neck, a bath, a cookie and get put away.

He has started a tradition of bucking someone off once a year, and man can he buck! Last year it was my mom, then two weeks before we left for the youth world show he bucked me off. 


Team Barkemeyer: Bryce, Brad, Mindy and Zane

Q: How did the team prepare for such a large competition? 

BB: Being in Arizona it heats up quickly, so we woke up around 4am so we could get a good work in before it got too hot. We didn’t work on his reining very much because he’s pretty solid in that area. We worked a lot on his cow work which paid off when we were at the Youth World Show. 


Q: How do you make sure Toby is in top shape, even at 14? 

BB: Winning is fun but keeping Toby feeling good on the inside and outside is what is  most important. We use Equithrive Gut, Joint and Electrolytes. Toby is turned out and roped on which we feel keeps him fresh and loving his main job as a cowhorse.

Q: As parents, how does it feel to watch your son's hard work pay off on the big stage?

Mindy Barkemeyer: Bryce has an incredible work ethic in everything he does. He sets his goals high and works really hard to attain them. We couldn't be more proud of his success but his humility, kindness, dedication and work ethic is what makes us beam. He has great grades, he’s deeply rooted in his faith, has had success on the football field as well as the arena, and is a leader. We know there is a big purpose for his life and we are just glad we get to enjoy this ride along side him.  

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