Little did Barbara Brooks expect to be greeted by a beribboned Nurse Nellie and her husband, Kix, of country music’s Brooks and Dunn fame, when she went to the show barn at Painted Springs Farm, Thompson Station, Tennessee, on August 1. It was Barbara and Kix’s (pictured) 25th anniversary and instead of the traditional gift of silver, Kix presented Barbara with gold, in the form of 4-year-old Nurse Nellie, whose half-sister was co-Reserve Champion of the 2003 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity under Linda Holmes.

Barbara and resident trainer, Brad Mitchell, who hit a grand slam in all three open divisions of the Music City Futurity on Painted Springs Farm horses, had admired Nurse Nellie, by Dual Pep and a three-quarter sister to leading sire Dual Rey, at the NCHA Futurity, when Linda Holmes rode her as a leader going into the Non-Pro Semi-Finals.

During the NCHA Summer Spectacular, Mitchell engineered a deal for Kix to purchase Nurse Nellie, unbeknownst to Barbara. “She was speechless,” said Mitchell of Barbara’s reaction, when she was handed Nurse Nellie’s lead shank.

Barbara showed Nurse Nellie for the first time at an event in Tunica, Mississippi and placed second. She will show her for the second time on Sunday, September 17, as the last rider of the day, in the first go-round of the Music City Derby non-pro competition.

Photo by Stacy Pigott