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Kristen Galyean

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34 – July/August, 2022

By Susan Winslow

Multiple World Champion Kristen Galyean is a prime example of the modern cowgirl, deftly juggling her role as a wife and mother with a busy career, a successful breeding, competition and sales operation, and her own competitive goals. This dedicated horsewoman has excelled in a wide variety of disciplines–from the show pen to the cow pen–while making an indelible mark on the breeding world with her wildly successful breeding program based on the Multiple World Champion and Hall of Fame mare, Vital Signs Are Good. She has been winning since age 11, with titles including multiple Congress and AQHA World Champion, 2007 AQHA World Show All-Around Amateur, NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Champion, and NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame inductee.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, where she still lives, horses were part of Galyean’s life from her earliest memories. Her parents, Jim and Debbie Glover, had a few horses; Jim with a small string of Quarter Horse race horses while Debbie was into show horses.

They both encouraged Kristen to ride. She recalls, “My first experience with horses was with my dad’s race horses. I loved going to the track with him, and Mom and I just fell in love with the horses. Shortly after, I got into 4-H and started doing open shows. I think I showed in every class they offered! The more I did, the more serious I became about getting better. My parents were really supportive.”

By age 11, Galyean was riding with Jackie Krshka in Yukon, Oklahoma, where she took lessons on high caliber horses including a special horse named Conclusive Bar Cody. She recalls, “Riding with Jackie, I had the chance to ride horses of exceptional quality. My parents surprised me with my first real show horse, The Mega Step, for my twelfth birthday and Jackie helped me prepare for my first Congress. I remember when we got there; I was a little in shock and awe driving through the gates on our way in, seeing the sheer number of people and horses. I was nervous about the competition, but we did our best and won 11-and-Under Hunt Seat Equitation. That was it–I was totally hooked forever.” Galyean went on to train with Leigh and Leonard Berryhill, who now train her own daughters, Gracelyn and Aislynn. She says, “From the time I was twelve years old, they were my main trainers back in the Lucy and Waylon (VS Code Red) days. They were the most instrumental in developing me into the rider I am today, and I couldn’t have done it without them. I owe so much of my successes to them and the effort they put into pushing me to be my best.”

Click here to read the complete article
34 – July/August, 2022

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