Arkansas Stories - Neighbor Stories - Arkansas
Cody Bauserman Race and Barrel Horses in Sallisaw, Okla., is a workplace and home to Cody Bauserman and Stefanie Frei.
Cody explained, "Stephanie is a true partner. She is the business and stable manager and has been an equal part in every step of the process that puts us where we are today."
Cody said, "To make money in the competitive horse industry you need dogged determination and a strong work ethic more than anything else. He told a story of being a kid and working with horses during the summer. Night was better for both him and the horses because of the heat, so he slept during the day and worked at night coming in just before his irritated father got up and saw his son sprawled on the couch. At the time, however, that is what worked. He still follows the same philosophy as is proven by long hours and a refusal to let diabetes control his life. Both are simply part of living with his passion for horses.
Neither Cody nor Stefanie is a native Oklahoman having been in Sallisaw only since 2001. Cody came firstwith about 10 horses leavinga few behind in Ohio with Stefanie until he found their current 15-acre location, which he bought at auction.
Cody started riding Stefanie's mom's horse and won a substantial amount of money, which led to a training clientele. Then in 1998 he won his first futurity in Asheville, N.C., on a horse named Likely Fuel and the “Super Bowl” of barrel racing called Old Fort Days Futurity in Fort Smith, Ark., for $94,000. Those wins opened up more doors for his business and allowed him to start buying some horses of his own. Stefanie is also a barrel racer and owns her own horses.
Because 2004 was a good year, the couple was able to purchase a young horse with excellent barrel racing bloodlines named Shenanigan. They felt he needed another year’s maturity before barrel racing so they put him on the racetrack. He won and started their racing career. Since then they have expanded into Thoroughbred racing with five horses that are just beginning to race in Oklahoma. They currently own 15 horses and train an additional 10.
Competitive horses require careful attention to health. Shipping fever is even more serious with horses because they travel so frequently to so many different locales thereby requiring a strict vaccination program. Thoroughbreds are especially vulnerable and require meticulous care for their legs including painting, icing, wrapping and shoeing. Keeping horses healthy requires watching how they eat and breathe and scoping them as needed for throat and stomach issues.
Regardless of the economy, work, extensive travel and other complicating issues, the couple loves what they do. Cody explained, "We respect them, and they respect us."