Behind the Slide – Andrew Bailey

In March 2023, Andrew Bailey showed a reiner for the first time. In November 2023, Bailey is showing a 3-year-old in the National Reining Horse Association CINCH Non Pro Futurity.

It’s a bold move, but Bailey is a risk-taker by nature. He defies Mother Nature every day as captain of the tugboat Robert W. Taylor for Ingram Barge Co.

“Being a tugboat captain on the Mississippi River, playing football at a high level – the mental pressure – I’m used to it,” Bailey said. “But riding is different. I’m used to (the pressure) being on my shoulders, not having to be on the same page with a horse and the horse being on the same page with me. So, the mental stress (of reining) is OK, but just making sure my horse is prepared and making sure I’m doing the right thing to get through the pattern is a challenge. But we’re ready.”

Bailey only began riding horses about five years ago, trail riding with friends who have horses. He was scrolling through YouTube about three years ago and came across a video of a horse making a hard sliding stop.

“I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do. That’s it,’” Bailey said.

So, he started learning more. Then he met NRHA Professional and Million Dollar Rider Nathan Piper, and he made even faster progress.

“I had this buckskin horse that I trained about 75 percent of the way,” Bailey said. “I got some help from my buddies Todd Sommers and Nathan Piper – they helped finish him for me. We had a pretty successful first time in a pen (in March). We got a score. It wasn’t the greatest score, but we got a score. So that’s kind of how that went.”

Bailey had his heart set on showing at the Futurity, so he bought a 3-year-old filly.

“We had a little work to do to get here,” Bailey said. “We just kept chipping, and here I am.”

Bailey will be draw 46 on Late Night Deja Roo, sired by Late Night Stopper and out of Guns Miss Deja Roo.

“I’m expecting to make the Finals,” Bailey said. “I mean, OK, I’ve been riding this 3-year-old for about nine months, and I’m a non pro that took a 3-year-old started them. It’s been a challenge, but I feel like, with Nathan’s guidance, it’s been a really easy transition. We’re planning on having a big run.”

He intends to be the captain of his own fate at the Futurity.