Scamper: The End of an Era

What makes a champion?

What is that special ingredient that sets some so far above the rest? Is it physical greatness, determination, dedication...?


It's heart. And you can't measure, predict, buy, or replicate that.

My heart dropped last Wednesday when I read that the 10 time World Champion, 10 time Rodeo Houston winner, and winner of over $1 million in lifetime earnings had died. My heart dropped to hear that Scamper had died. There's really no way to fully describe the impact that one animal has had, and will continue to have. To say he was an inspiration is such a huge understatement. (Here's a great article about his life)

“It’s sad that he is gone but what a life he had. It’s something to be celebrated.” ~Charmayne James

What's so amazing to me is the unlikeliness of his story.

Talk about beating the odds. A marginally bred, cold-backed 4 year old gelding, who had been shuffled through 4 auctions, gets paired up with an 11 year old girl and 3 years later they are winning World Titles. No way. No freaking way. Oh, and not just one World Title... 10. They were unstoppable.

They overcame injuries, surgeries, respiratory issues,... even managed to win an NFR go-around without a bridle! I love what Kenneth Springer says about that run...

“When Charmayne won that go round, she was just so dominant at the time," Springer said, "and you knew it was a great thing she had done, but it took maybe a decade for it to really sink in how phenomenal those two were together and what an important moment that was. She had to do everything you’d normally do in a run, balance that bit in his mouth after the bridle broke and keep it all going, which she did seamlessly.

“The bridle broke, and Charmayne’s focus was on keeping that bit in Scamper’s mouth for as long as she possibly could. When he finally spit it out while turning the third barrel, she went to the bat. I don’t think anyone would have predicted her to do that. Most people would have been thinking about how to get stopped at that point, and she goes for a go round win. That spoke volumes about her as a focused, quick thinking and athletic individual.

(Read more:

There's no doubt Charmayne was a huge factor in the making of that miracle, but it's evident from what she says about him, that she credits her success to Scamper. Scamper was Charmayne's once-in-a-lifetime horse.

The unlikely pairing of Charmayne and Scamper and what this unstoppable duo accomplished is the stuff of storybooks. The kind of stuff that makes you believe in miracles. They taught us to dream bigger. The impossible things they accomplished were magical, as silly as that sounds, but it really was. Scamper brought a little real-life magic to our lives and he will never be forgotten.

And while I doubt there will ever be another horse who will compare to Scamper, I've got hope that there just might someday be another horse that brings a little of that magic into the world. And because Scamper taught me to dream, I've got hope that maybe, just maybe, that next miracle maker is out eating in my pasture right now.

Until next time ~ Jess

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