Krystal Wright's 4-year old mare, J.B., has the makings of a great horse.
The registered Blue Roan Overo Paint brought home three world-class titles from the American Paint Horse Association's 2012 World Championship Show last month in Ft. Worth, Texas.
J.B., officially known as "Somebodys L'il Rebel," is now the Reserve World Champion Junior Class Working Cow Horse, the Reserve World Champion Cow Horse in the 4- and 5-year old class, and the fourth best tie-down calf-roping horse on the planet.
For Rifle resident Wright, it's a dream come true.
She said she's always wanted to have a horse that she bred go to the world show. Wright's herd of five horses boards with trainer Aaron Ralston on Silt Mesa.
"If I had to choose one to keep," she said, "It would be [J.B.]."
This world-champion horse, however, came from humble beginnings.
"She was a surprise baby," explained Wright. "I didn't know [her dam] was pregnant until about two months before she was born."
Wright also did not purposely breed J.B.'s mom.
"The mare and a stallion got out one night," she said, with a chuckle. "You know, it was one of them long, dark, cold nights."
Then, just a few months after the filly was born, tragedy struck.
The mare suffered a bout of colic and died. But, thanks to the care of Wright and a friend, J.B. thrived.
Ralston has been training J.B. for just over a year. He said he was amazed at the horse's performance in Ft. Worth, as tie-down calf-roping and reining cow horse maneuvers are complicated.
"Usually, horses have a minimum of 18 to 24 months [of training] and they compete in one event, not three," he said. "It's a testament to J.B. to be able to mentally accept all these different jobs."
Ralston explained that J.B. was a little stubborn and defiant when training began, but once she understood what was being asked of her, that stubbornness turned into willingness.
"That's her X-factor," said Ralston. "She never got scared or mad. She just showed up every day to do the work."
Ralston said show horse owners spend big money to buy or breed horses with big pedigrees.
"J.B. is none of that," he said.
She's had to work her way up.
"It's a rags-to-riches story," said Ralston. "J.B.'s got the confirmation, mentality, and physical ability to where, hopefully, we'll start seeing that in her babies some day."