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Stable relationship

John and Jessica Moser raise high-performing quarter horses fueled by Co-op Pinnacle feeds
By Chris Villines 3/23/2017

 

John Moser, at right aboard 10-year-old gelding J.R., skillfully ropes the head of a steer as team roping partner Larry Darnell prepares to lasso the animal’s heels during a 2015 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) event in Murray, Kentucky. John and wife Jessica take part in more than 20 AQHA competitions each year. (Photo courtesy of John and Jessica Moser)
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Marriage, as wedded couples will attest, involves compromise. Such was the case before Columbia’s John and Jessica Moser tied the knot 15 years ago.

Both were equine enthusiasts but proficient in vastly different disciplines — roping for John and English jumping and dressage for Jessica. Before “I do” could be uttered, John had an “I don’t” ultimatum for his bride-to-be.

“He told me we were going to have to do one of two things,” Jessica recalls with a chuckle. “Either I had to learn how to rope or he had to learn to ride English and wear those tight britches — and he wasn’t wearing those tight britches! So I learned to rope.”

With those details ironed out, the Mosers have centered the quarter horse operation at their rural Maury County farm around building athletic animals that excel in roping competitions, including those sanctioned by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). The couple travel to more than 20 AQHA shows a year and also take part in regional roping and “jackpot” events, juggling each with raising their 14-year-old son, Jackson, and plying their full-time careers. John raises beef cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay on 1,000 acres, and Jessica is a nurse with Maury Regional Health’s Family Health Group.

“Our ultimate goal is to have an AQHA world champion,” says John, who earned a national top 10 award for team roping heeling in 2011 aboard Curly, the couple’s now-14-year-old gelding that’s one of six horses in their barn. AQHA awards bearing Jessica’s name also adorn the table inside the office of the Mosers’ neatly kept horse facilities.

Jessica competes in breakaway roping and, like John, as a header and heeler in team roping, where sometimes she’ll even match up against her husband. It’s a friendly rivalry, though.

“We both want each other to win,” she says. “It’s good if we both do well. We say as long as we keep it in the truck, it’s a good day.”

John concurs with Jessica’s sentiment and adds that this type of camaraderie is prevalent at the horse shows they attend.

“Everyone cheers for their fellow competitors,” he says. “One thing about the horse show world is that people who are legends and world champions are just good, everyday folks. You can walk up to them and talk for a while. Where else can you do that? You sure can’t walk into a pro football team’s locker room and talk to the players.”

It was through their friendships in the equine community that the Mosers met Elsworth (Elzy) and Kathy Harrison of Harrison Performance Horses in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Harrisons have trained and/or shown numerous AQHA world champions, including the legendary OSU Pistol Pete. John and Jessica have also purchased most of the horses in their stable from the Harrisons and turned to the couple to train these performance animals.

“The Harrisons raise top-quality horses with superior bloodlines,” Jessica says. “These horses have all the qualities you need in a strong roping horse — quiet, athletic, correct, and a good mind. Elzy and Kathy are highly respected in the horse world but are as down-to-earth as anyone you’ll ever meet.

“They’re out there riding and training their horses every day, rain or shine, snow or storms. You don’t find that a lot. Everybody wants to go with the bling. These guys aren’t about the bling. They are just about work and making these horses work for you.”

Co-op is another partnership the Mosers trust when it comes to their equine athletes. The Maury Farmers Cooperative members work closely with General Manager Keith Farmer and Calli Bain, equine specialist at the Columbia store, to tailor a health and nutrition program that keeps these graceful animals looking and performing their best.

Central to this program is Co-op Pinnacle Horse Feeds, which John and Jessica incorporate each day into the horses’ diet along with high-quality alfalfa hay. Co-op horse feeds have been part of the daily lineup at the Moser farm for many years, even before the Pinnacle line launched in 2014.

“I’m a firm believer in good forage,” John says. “To me, that’s where it all starts, and the feed is an important complement to that forage.”

To that end, the Mosers use two different Pinnacle feeds for their stable: Pinnacle Low Starch (#319) and Pinnacle 1200 (#333).

“John and Jessica realize that all horses have different nutritional requirements,” says Calli. “Their mature horses in the barn perform better on the Low Starch as a maintenance feed, while the younger horses perform best on the Pinnacle 1200 because it offers more of a comprehensive nutritional package for growing horses.”

With the complete, balanced nutrition packed into each Pinnacle bag, John stresses that a little of the feed goes a long way.

“My granddaddy used to say that the best feed is the most expensive, but it’s the cheapest in the long run because you don’t have to use as much,” he says. “I’ve found that to be true.”

Because of their busy show schedule — which will take them from South Carolina to Oklahoma to “anywhere between” in 2017 — and their support of Pinnacle, the Mosers were selected to be ambassadors of the brand through a sponsorship by Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s Feed Department in partnership with Maury Farmers Cooperative.

In this unique agreement, the couple is compensated with Pinnacle Horse Feed products in exchange for wearing Pinnacle-branded apparel and posting the Pinnacle logo on their trailer at equine events and shows, displaying a Pinnacle sign at their farm, and recommending the feed to fellow horse owners.

“The Mosers have been loyal Co-op customers for a long time, and they run a great equine operation, making them ideal ambassadors for Pinnacle Horse Feeds,” says Dr. Jennifer Earing, TFC equine nutritionist. “They understand the role that good management and nutrition, including quality forage and feed, play in a horse’s overall performance. We’re proud that our products play even a small role in their success.”

And the proof of Pinnacle’s effectiveness on their horses, Jessica contends, is evident through the eye test.

“Their body condition is excellent, and their coats are shiny,” she says. “They have a glow to them. When we go to shows, people have gone out of their way to compliment us on how our horses look — it makes your day. When they ask us what we do to make the horses look good, we say, ‘Give them Pinnacle feed!’”

For more information about Co-op Pinnacle Horse Feeds, visit with the professionals at your local Co-op or (www.co-opfeeds.com.)

 
 
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