International Endurance Champion – Owner of Cypress Creek Ranch
Darolyn 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.
Darolyn was soon active in horse shows and barrel racing, as that was the thing to do in Oklahoma in the ‘60’s and 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 A short year later, all the performing quarter horses had been replaced by Arabians and cross-Arabs, the breed of choice for endurance riding.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 in 1984.
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 promotional videos. With more than two dozen instructional videos 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. Darolyn 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.
Darolyn is available as a speaker, individual trainer, as a team member for clinics, or to give consultations on any of her equine specialties.
She is happy to answer questions about endurance, training, feeding, and barefoot trimming. Phone consultations are $25 per 1/2 hour, $40 per hour. Call 281.446.7232 to schedule your consultation or to get a quote for a consultation at your location.
Darolyn attends over two-dozen endurance competitions a year in the United States and abroad, she has been responsible for inspiring and mentoring hundreds of new endurance riders in Texas and beyond.
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 trail and endurance horses.
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 and had her second 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 on Albanet.
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 President’s Millennium Cup in the United Arab Emirates (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 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 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 and finish a World Championship completely barefooted.
Removing the iron shoes seemed to work very well for Butler’s horses, as in year 2010, 7 horses that had started or were boarded at Darolyn’s ranch were entered in the World Endurance Championship in Lexington, Kentucky. 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 President’s 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.