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Walking Horse Trainer Salute: Wayne Dean




Wayne Dean – Lewisburg, Tennessee

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAINING HORSES PROFESSIONALLY?
Began amateur training around 1967, full Time since 1973, That is fifty-three years. Wow…

TELL US SOME FAMILY HISTORY OF RAISING AND SHOWING WALKING HORSES.
Paris, Tennessee was my hometown. My great uncle, my grandfather’s brother, Audie Dean, raised Sun’s Delight. My dad took me to visit and I was bit by the bug. My dad and I raised some colts and I began working summers at Chalmus Davenport in Humboldt and competed on the juvenile West Tennessee circuit. I worked for Bob Cherry, David Landrum and Montverde Academy for short periods, but always preferred to be my own boss. Current trainer of the year, Philip Trimble, is one of the trainers of whom I am most proud, that trained under me.

OF ALL THE HORSES YOU HAVE TRAINED, OPEN AND AMATEUR, DO YOU HAVE A HORSE YOU FEEL MADE YOU INTO THE TRAINER YOU ARE TODAY? WHAT HORSE WAS THAT AND WHY DO FEEL THAT WAY?
It is hard to name just one but Delight’s Flash, Pride’s Challenger, Ebony’s Merry Mac, Double Copper Coin, and Frankie Blue Eyes would be in the top five. Delight’s Flash in the ‘70s really put a young trainer on the show radar. Pride’s Challenger really tested my ability to break a colt. (Don't think I ever really got him broke.) Ebony’s Merry Mac was my sweetheart horse. Freda was the only one I ever let show her. Double Copper Coin and Frankie Blue Eyes probably won more blue ribbons. Frank is a Dean family member.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG ASPIRING TRAINERS?
Marry a rich woman! No, seriously, work hard, tell the truth, and don’t give up.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN THE PERFECT YEARLING?
Sweeping back end, high headed, loose way of going

HOW ARE YOU MANAGING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK?
We are practicing the six-foot rule. Only necessary trips are the feed store and the grocery, and the farrier is essential.

IS YOUR BARN ON LOCKDOWN?
Partially, only one customer comes at a time; however, most are choosing to wait it out.

ARE YOU STILL HOLDING YOUR REGULAR CLIENT APPOINTMENTS?
Only a few, by appointment.

HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED YOUR TRAINING?
It has given me more time to spend on riding.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST WORLD GRAND CHAMPION AND WHY?
Sun’s Delight because of the family connection.

IF THERE WAS ONE AREA OF THE INDUSTRY YOU COULD CHANGE OR RAMP UP, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I could say a lot but I think I’ll keep my mouth shut.

IF YOU WERE NOT AT THE BARN OR A HORSE SHOW, WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Watching the grandkids play baseball

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TV SHOWS, MOVIES OR NETFLIX FEATURES HAVE YOU BEEN BINGE WATCHING DURING THE PANDEMIC?
Love the show, Chicago PD

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER THUS FAR?
I love putting an amateur or a youth in the ring. When they come out with that blue ribbon on the bridle, the smiles and excitement keep me going.

WHAT WORDS OF WISDOM CAN YOU GIVE TO THE HORSE INDUSTRY ON THE PANDEMIC?

Hang on, it will all work out.

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