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Year In Walking Horses Dedication: Honey Badger



By Sadie Fowler

Do you know what a honey badger is? If not, don’t worry about it … the honey badger really doesn’t care what you think because they know how awesome they are. A small, fierce mammal also known as a ratel, the honey badger was made famous after a video about it, narrated by Chuck Norris, went viral.

In the world of Tennessee Walking Horses, everyone knows who Honey Badger is. “Honey Badger got her name from the YouTube video that went viral after the narrator spoke of how awesome honey badgers are and how they just don’t care,” said Hannah Pulvers, the long-time trainer of Honey Badger (the mare).

“Honey Badger has a style to her that is very unique. Her stride behind is everything and she does it all effortlessly … She is the total package of a western horse.”

When the 2018 show season closed out, Honey Badger was on a 36-show winning streak, an accomplishment that is rarely achieved. With an unbelievably stellar show record, a more specific look at Honey Badger’s record reveals her legendary Celebration record, which is now 15-0.

This year, she turned heads by taking her latest owner, LaMar DePoyster, to Celebration victory in the Amateur Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship.

As if Honey Badger’s show record isn’t enough to prove how talented she is, it is further amazing to point out that Honey Badger has achieved her record over time with three different owners — and in four different divisions. Her extremely rare and unique talent has earned her the attention and affection of fans spanning the country’s west coast to east.

Bred and raised in Franklin, Kentucky by the Chip Carrier family, Honey Badger is by José José and out of a Pride’s Generator mare. When she was a yearly, she was sold to David Green and hauled out west to her new home in Oregon, where she was started by Bailey Momb. Her show career began in 2012 when she earned two third place ribbons under Momb’s direction.

“David Green knew he had a special horse and I can still remember the excitement in his voice when he called me to see if I had room for her to come into training in our barn,” Pulvers said. “It was maybe just a month after she came into training with us that David received an offer he couldn’t refuse on Honey Badger.”

That proud owner was Jordan Howell. Soon enough, Howell, Pulvers and Justus Carter kicked off a six-year endeavor with the horse that would eventually include an undefeated 37-show winning streak.

By the time the 2013 show season approached its final stretch, Honey Badger had a new partner in Lily Catherine Holland after Neal Holland, Lily Catherine’s dad, purchased the mare following her incredible Celebration that year.

“Neal bought Honey Badger after she won two world grand championships her first Celebration and two world championships,” Pulvers said. “Lily Catherine and Honey Badger were an unstoppable team from 2013 through 2017.”

Pulvers described Honey Badger’s talent as being one that’s rare and unique — the epitome of a western horse. “Everyone breeds to achieve,” she said. “Honey Badger is a great example of this. She does everything right and is the ideal package of a perfect western horse in the show ring. At the barn, she is a pocket pony. She bows on command, too!”

In short, Honey Badgers relatively short career is marked by many great wins. The fact that these wins span across four different divisions with several different owners is remarkable. Besides her two third place finishes early on with Momb, Honey Badger has remained in training her entire career with Pulvers and has won every single time she has been in the show ring.

Pulvers and Honey Badger were a great trainer-horse team from the start. An amazingly skilled trainer herself, Pulvers has racked up 110 world and world grand championships at the Celebration. After starting her career in her native state of Oregon, Pulvers moved to Shelbyville in 2011 and finally landed

in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2014 after marrying walking horse enthusiast Jason Myatt. Just as Pulvers has always been there for Honey Badger over the years, Honey Badger has been there for her trainer as well, proving herself through various transitions as the tried and true champion she is.

In 2018, Honey Badger embarked on yet another new journey with new owner, LaMar DePoyster. They won all year and capped off the stellar show season with victory at the Celebration.

Honey Badger has been a special influence in the lives of all her owners. The relationship between Pulvers and DePoyster has also been very special. DePoyster said she and Pulvers were friends instantaneously among meeting, and Pulvers echoes that sentiment.

“LaMar is very special to me and seeing her show, and truly enjoy, this great mare has been very rewarding,” she said. “I remember LaMar’s first show on Honey Badger in 2018. It was at the Trainers’ Show and I was worried about LaMar having so much pressure on her, coming out on her new mare and striving for top honors in a harder division.

“Like always, LaMar came in the ring, exhaled and kept her cool. She truly is an amazing horse woman.”

Click here to read the feature published in the 2018 Year In Walking Horses.

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