HER OWN WORDS....PASSION BORN
Passionate but clueless
Darolyn Butler stepped into the endurance ride world
for a single race -
the Tevis Cup. 35,000 competitive miles later, she
has never looked back!
started riding before she could walk, and cried when
taken off horses as a toddler. Even though there was
no such thing as Endurance Riding in her native state
of Oklahoma in the 1960’s, she claims to have
been born to do just that. Early years found her riding
for hours and hours, exploring the countryside on and
near her family’s farm and ranch. She was soon
active in horse shows and barrel racing, as that was
the thing to do in Oklahoma in the ‘60’s
& 70’s. A stint as Miss Rodeo Oklahoma, (she
also won the Horsemanship Division in the Miss Rodeo
America pageant), and a job as Miss Ford Country, (a
cowgirl advertising campaign for Ford Motor Co.), gave
her another boost in the equine direction.
In 1972 she was Crowned Miss Oklahoma State University
and after graduating from there, she represented Tony
Lama Boot Company in East Texas and Southern Louisiana,
which spurred her relocation to the Houston, Texas area.
Horse shows and rodeos still filled her spare moments
until she discovered Endurance riding in 1981. A short
year later, all the performing quarter horses had been
replaced by Arabians and cross-Arabs, the breed of choice
for endurance riding.
Her previous experience with horses served her well
as she moved into the ultimate sport of Endurance Riding
with devoted enthusiasm. Endurance is normally a one-day
event (much like a human marathon), of distances from
25 to 100 miles. The famous Tevis Cup Ride, (considered
the toughest ride in the world), was her third Endurance
Ride, and she won her first of several National Championships
With the change in her horse sport came a career
change also. She became the owner and producer of Horseman
Video Showcase, a premier video production company that
specialized in producing equine training videos and
equine product promotionals. With more than two dozen
instructionals under her belt, including her own “Long
Distance Riding” video and the top selling equine
instructional of all time, John Lyons “Round Pen
Reasoning”, she produced 8 Issues of Horseman
Video Magazine, and nearly 40 thirty minute television
shows entitled, The Horse Show.
Her daughter Rima was born in 1979, and in 1982, she
was joined by her sister Cecilia, and, as they became
old enough, joined their mother, as she continued her
hobby/obsession of Endurance Riding. She gives clinics
and private instruction on her favorite sport, competes
internationally, and has won team and individual medals
of Gold, Silver and Bronze, in the U.S. and abroad.
One of her greatest thrills was winning the Gold Medal
and Best Condition at the World Nature Games in Parana,
Brazil in 1997.
In 1995 she acquired her Texas Trainer’s License
and has intermittently trained Arabians and a few thoroughbred
racehorses for the racetrack. Her heart remained with
the Long Distance horses however. Then in 1994, after
rebuilding her home and Cypresswood Stables, following
a devastating flood of 15 feet depth, she gave in to
the public who continually asked to rent horses from
her very visible farm, near Humble, Texas. Now, she
combines the business of giving Adventure Trail Rides
and lessons, with conditioning, training, buying, and
selling only the long distance racehorses.
In 1998, she and her great mare DJB Albanet finished
7th and Best Condition in the grueling Old Dominion
100-Mile Ride. 1999 was truly an Endurance year as she
ran 12 Texas races in the first 6 months of the year.
Darolyn finished Tevis in late July, traveled to Canada
for the Pan American Endurance Championship in early
August & had her 2nd Top Ten finish at the Cosequin
Challenge in Virginia on September 18.
In November 1998, Darolyn was invited to present a 6-day
clinic on Endurance at THE UNIVERSITY OF THE HORSE,
near Sao Paulo, Brazil. Then in December 1998, she took
off for the World Endurance Championship in the United
Arab Emirates, where she served as Chef d’Equipe
for the Romanian Team, whose rider finished 54th from
a field of 175 competitors. She capped off 1998 by winning
the National Middleweight 100 Miles Series Championship
Brazil has a special appeal to Darolyn. November 1999
she has been invited to race in the Brazilian 10th Anniversary
of Endurance Riding.
Year 2000 found her competing in the Presidents Millennium
Cup in UAE, a member of USET’s Team at the World
Championship in France, and returning to the UAE for
the World Cup in March 2001. Vermont was the next International
stop as Darolyn was a member of the Silver Medal winning
team at the Pan American Championship of 2001 and likewise
a member of the 2003 Team.
The 2004 (run in January 2005) World Endurance Championship
saw one of Darolyn’s horses, DJB Wersus, ridden
by Japanese rider, Kanako Hayashi complete in 30th place
in 9:23 out of 180 starters. He was also the first
horse to start & finish a World Championship
Removing the iron shoes seemed to work very well for Butler’s horses, as in year 2010, 7 horses that had started or still lived at Darolyn’s ranch were entered in the World Endurance Championship in Lexington, Ky. In fact, Darolyn had sold DJB Juniper to Deborah Reich the only USA finisher only a short year before their solo finish. Darolyn and DJB Nevada capped off 2010 by winning the AERC Middle Weight Division National Championship, barefooted of course.
Then in early 2010, Cecilia, Darolyn’s daughter, riding DJB Cytron finished the highly acclaimed Presidents Millennium Cup In Abu Dhabi, UAE…. Coincidentally only 7 minutes slower than her mom’s 4th place finish ride in year 2000, and by the way, the fastest time logged by an American in the President's Cup.
is available separate or as a team for Clinics or
to give consultations on any of their specialties.
I am constantly bombarded with questions about Endurance,
training, feeding, and “barefoot trimming”.
Our phone rate for Consultation is $25 per 1/2 hour,
$40 per hour. If I am able to talk when you call,
I will gladly talk with you at that point. If not,
I will set up an appointment time for you to call
back when I can totally devote my time to answering
Darolyn, daughter CeCi and her husband, Jason Stasiuk, and a host of others that associate
with Cypress Trails Equestrian Center attend over
two-dozen endurance competitions a year in the United
States and abroad. Darolyn has been responsible for hundreds of new endurance riders in Texas and beyond.