Dale Youree, Addington, Okla., is to the sport of barrel racing what the late Byron Nelson was to the sport of golf. Much more than a multi-decade champion and respected horseman, Youree is, above all else, a gentleman. A gifted athlete, Youree was a competitive boxer in college, then competed in calf roping on the professional level before finding his undisputable life’s calling of training winning barrel horses.
For a number of years, the TBRA Futurity, held in the late fall of the year, was the only game in town. But with their success growing, other producers saw the opportunity of throwing their “hat in the ring” and spring Futurities started cropping up all over the country, in addition to a number of fall events that followed on the heels of the TBRA’s. Youree was ready for the first Old Fort Days Futurity held over Memorial Day 1978 riding a speedy sorrel gelding named Moon Sales. The $12,000 check he won for winning the championship was the largest single check any barrel racer had ever picked up for one run.
The following decades held more of the same for Youree as he produced additional famous barrel horses in addition to Quick Juan and Moon Sales including Mr Humdinger Jr, Tricky Nix, Duggans Moon, Moon Blister, Moon County, Wilsons Bar Deck, Flashy Motor, Tri Deck Bars, Dr. Nick Bar, A Bit of Fame, Bounce of Gold, Dollar Rags, Gotebo’s Special, Jay’s Gotebo, Native Money, Easy Sprinter, Dolls Little Bully and Ole Man Slew—all were either futurity, derby or AQHA winner’s under the saddle of the gentleman that became known as the Futurity King.
Truly a legend in his own time, Youree’s name brought credibility to any event he entered. “We were always honored and proud to have Dale enter our NBHA events,” said NBHA Executive Director Sherry Fulmer, Augusta, Ga. “When he and Florence made the long trips from Oklahoma to Georgia for the World Shows in Augusta it seemed to always elevate the excitement just to have him running here. Of course he didn’t come just for the experience as I can’t remember him ever leaving without a hand full of checks.”
The sport of barrel racing is more fortunate than it will ever know to have a role model like Dale Youree—a champion who will long be remembered for being much more than another winner in the record books.