A Page To My Pard Russell, Gone But Not Forgotten.

Kid Lightning & Russell

Doin What He Did Best

Dapper Dan & Russell's Last Ride, Fandango 04

So Long Russell, A Better Horse I Never Rode. (Or Fell Off Of)

From Kid Lightning:

To my friends in an out of the Mounted shooting world, please forward this to those that knew Russell. Last Tuesday November 2, the second mounted shooting horse east of the Mississippi, Russell, died peacefully in his pasture at home. At 2:30 he was munching on grass down by the creek and about 3:10 he laid down by the barn and never got up again. He had developed a heart murmur last year and based on that  I decided I would not ask him for more than he could deliver.  I believe his heart failed as he laid down.  The last few years of his life he spent teaching small children to ride and to trust a horse. He was home again with Angie Reidesel. Angie was Russell's first owner. She and her father, Ed Doherty went to purchase Russell when he was just a colt and she was just a young girl of 12 years. And he came full circle to her. She has four children of her own and Russell was able to pass along his special gift of trust to those children, the youngest of which now is 3 has ridden Russell all by herself!  What a great feeling of success he must of been for her! Years ago I made him a promise to him that I would not ride him till he broke under me, and I kept that promise. In return he really taught  me to ride, (he was always better than I was) to hold a gun safely (he made me look real good) and took me places no 4 wheeler ever could. He even helped me ride a shooting course bareback a couple of years ago....and we got em all. We traveled more than 100,000 miles promoting the mounted shooting sport and enjoying the world together. We competed and rode from the Black Hills to Texas, Arizona to Ohio. We swam in a wild mountain river, picked our way through the desert near El Paso, cliff walked in South Dakota, went into an abandoned mine and climbed a mountain in Colorado. For several years he was a parade horse. He was every bit as much at home jumping in the woods or the show ring. At the Midwest Horse Fair he showed several thousand people for several years how easy it was to be a mounted shooting horse. He even volunteered to take a TV camera man from channel 12 out of Milwaukee shooting a few years ago. He never got crazy and never hurt a soul. He could be ridden with only a handful of mane. If someone was having a confidence problem he would help them get through it. For many ...he was the first mounted shooting horse that they ever rode. If he understood what you wanted he would try to give it to you.  If you asked ... and he could ... he would... In his last competition at the Mississippi Fandango in October of this year, he even taught Cassidy how to play poker! For those that knew him, he was kind and gentle. He was a true gentleman and a wonderful friend. And I miss him very much.

Pierce Barker III AKA kid Lightning


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