Pat Roberts and Black Design's story began in 1963 when Mrs. Pat Roberts competed on Black Design’s great grandmother, a beautiful Quarter Horse named Julia’s Doll. Pat showed Julia’s Doll successfully prior to sending her to the breeding shed.
In mid-December, Pat received notice that her horse, Black Design, had qualified for the National Reined Cow Horse Association's World Championship show.
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During their campaign Julia’s Doll achieved her American Quarter Horse Association’s Championship. This meant she had to not only win in ridden competition but also to win in conformation classes. This outstanding mare won many Grand Champion awards during her career in the show ring.
Pat then happily retired from competing in the show ring to raise a family and to begin a small breeding program while she and husband, Monty Roberts, ran an international Thoroughbred Racing program at their Flag Is Up Farms in Solvang, California. For the next 50 years, Pat expanded her interests to art, becoming especially renowned for her bronze sculptures of her favorite subject, horses.
That small breeding program continued to be nurtured by Pat, who first bred Julia’s Doll to Monty’s champion stallion Johnny Tivio producing some notable offspring. Then Pat selected just the right genes through sires around the United States, carrying the beauty and athleticism forward generationally from Julia’s Doll.
A few years back, Pat found herself with two homebred horses that exhibited world class Western Reined Cow Horse abilities. She decided to pick up the saddle again and begin to learn a discipline she had never before competed in.
She started with a mare called My Diamond Lena and found the partnership and the sport a lot of fun. Another homebred gelding named Steel Buns needed exercise too, so she began to compete on both in reining and cow classes.
About this time, Black Design was born to Pat’s mare called Tesigner Jeans, who was not only responsible for Black Design, but also Steel Buns. Further, this mare was the dam of Nice Chrome, Monty’s champion Reined Cow horse who has been featured on many horse training videos.
Black Design was sent to train with Phillip Ralls, an accomplished trainer who’s list of accomplishments include three NRCHA World's Greatest Horseman reserve champion titles.
When Black Design was deemed by Ralls as trained and ready to compete, as they say, the student was ready. While both Ralls and Monty had their doubts that Pat was ready for the power and athleticism of Black Design, Pat had no doubts.
Despite being out of the competition world for 50 years, her determination, work ethic and sheer desire would set her up for the amazing record she and “Blackie” would have in 2019.
In late September 2019, Pat traveled to Reno, Nevada for the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity and Horse Show where she was entered in the Non-Pro Limited Open Class and the 5K Non-Pro Limited class. The procedures for showing in these classes compose of completing a prescribed reining pattern and then boxing a cow for 50 seconds.
In the Non-Pro Limited Open class Pat was one half a point behind the first-place winner of the class. However, in the 5K Non-Pro Limited she placed first to win the class and bring home a beautiful silver and gold buckle. Her high scores were 217 on the cow work and 217.5 for the reined work.
Also, in September, Pat flew to Ft. Worth, Texas to be present to receive an award for Johnny Tivio, a horse Monty competed on for numerous years. Johnny Tivio was honored and inducted into the NRCHA Cow Horse Hall of Fame. Johnny Tivio was truly a great horse that competed in all events possible. He was shown in reining, cutting, working cow horse, roping (heading and heeling), pleasure and was undefeated in the Western riding competition.
In November, Pat was informed that she was nominated, along with her longtime friend, JoAnn Jones of Morro Bay, California to be presented an award for their contributions to the world of rodeo and both were given the ‘Who’s Who of the Western World,’ NOTABLE LADIES OF THE WEST, gold and silver medallions at the World of Rodeo Reunion at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on December 13.
And, in mid-December, Pat received notice that her horse, Black Design, had qualified for the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s World Championship show to be held in Ft. Worth, Texas in mid-February. Black Design qualified in both the Open Non-Pro Limited and the 5K Non-Pro Limited classes.
Pat says she is undecided whether she and Black Design will make the trek to Ft. Worth, Texas, but she has plans to enter as many classes as she can in the year 2020. In her hometown, the Santa Ynez Valley Equestrian Association is planning a series of classes where prizes are saddles and buckles. In her eighth decade, while still competing in open divisions, there is little doubt that this talented lady has designs on winning more trophies than most mere mortals her age.
MONTY ROBERTS first gained widespread fame with the release of his New York Times Best Selling book, The Man Who Listens To Horses; a chronicle of his life and development of his non-violent horse training methods called Join-Up®. Monty grew up on a working horse farm as a firsthand witness to traditional, often violent methods of horse training and breaking the spirit with an abusive hand. Rejecting that, he went on to win nine world's championships in the show ring.
Today, Monty's goal is to share his message that "Violence is never the answer." Roberts has been encouraged by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the award of the Membership in The Royal Victorian Order, as well as becoming Patron of Join-Up International. Other honors received were the ASPCA "Founders" award and the MSPCA George T. Angell Humanitarian Award. Monty is credited with launching the first of its kind Equus Online University; an interactive online lesson site that is the definitive learning tool for violence-free training.
"In my eighth decade I am still riding, working cattle, reining and just riding out through the hills. There is hardly a time when I feel better or happier within myself than when I am riding. I suppose I could be injured tomorrow, but if I am I will know that at least I worked very hard to minimize the chance of that." Monty Roberts
Join-Up philosophies can be seen at work with both humans and horses across the world, from farms to major corporations. To learn more about Monty Roberts or the many applications of his Join-Up training methods, visit www.montyroberts.com
Press release provided by Debbie Loucks - Monty and Pat Roberts, Inc./Join-Up® International