By Janis Blackwell
Deacon, a 22-year-old, flea bitten, gray Quarter Horse gelding is the Equine Superstar Everyday Hero featured this month. Deacon and his five-year-old rider, AnDee Jo Miller, reside in Chico, Texas. AnDee is the daughter of J.J. and Jennifer Miller and is the youngest of several Miller children. She has two big brothers who still live at home, Tallan Miller and Parker Emola, who are vigilant to watch out for her when she is on or around the horses and mom and dad aren’t near. In fact, it is the boys who got AnDee Jo riding alone on the horses to begin with.
During the summer when the parents were at work and the boys and their friends wanted to rope, they needed a safe place for AnDee (four at the time) since they were the baby sitters. So, they put her on their dad’s hazing horse (not Deacon) to keep her safely out of the way. Although when J.J learned of this, the boys might have been in a bit of danger, all turned out well, and AnDee has continued to ride big horses alone. But her safest and main mount is Deacon.
Deacon is out of a stud and mare owned by J.J.’s dad—one of the last colts he raised. When J.J.’s father became terminally ill, he made a request of J. J. That request was that no matter what else J.J. did after he passed, Deacon was to be Tallan’s for as long as he might want him. He was never to leave the place unless that was Tallan’s wish.
They broke Deacon (a colt at the time) and sent him off for some guys to use for day working. According to J.J., he could have sold him several times over while there because he was so gentle.
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