Lee grew up in NE Queensland, Australia. His dad was a bareback rider and horse breeder. Lee’s decision to become a professional horseman is largely in part to his upbringing around the horses and his love for the equine lifestyle. When Lee was 16 he went to work on a cattle station to further his cattle skills.
In 2006 Lee was ready to take his career to the next level, so he went to work for John Wicks, the #2 money earning reiner in Australia, learning to train and show reining horses and put a relaxed confident foundation on a horse. This was a great start to his horse training career.
In 2007 Lee went to work with another well-known Reining Australia Professional , Warren & Carol Backhouse. Warren, an exceptional horseman and the #1 money earner in Australia, really gave Lee some great tools to put in his “training tool box” and was a very hard man to beat out of bed in the morning. Carol really instilled in Lee the importance of going above and beyond to ensure a horse is at their peak physical condition and appearance and that they should always go home in better condition than they came. Warren then led Lee to an opportunity to train for John Samain of Dusty Rivers Stud, training his horses along with a few outside customers. Lee then spent 2 years running his own horse training operation and competing in reining, stockmans challenges(cow horse) and camp drafting.
In 2012 Lee made a big leap and moved to the U.S. to work for professional cow horse trainer Chris Dawson. In 2013 Chris had a year most professionals will only ever dream of. Chris went on to win every NRCHA premier derby and made the finals at NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity on both of his futurity horses. Lee was able to witness and play a part in a true success story in this industry. Lee has continued working for Chris Dawson and growing his own training program. In December 2014 Lee got married to Ashley Taylor, a fellow competitor and trainer in the NRCHA. January 2015 they opened the doors of Deacon Equine. Still working out of Chris’ barn, Lee was able to have a great set of eyes to continue guiding him as he branched out on his own. At the start of 2016, Lee and Ashley purchased Immanuel Ranch and have since been able to expand their business.
Lee is an NRCHA approved Judge, as well as, ASHA, and SHOT.
NRCHA SNAFFLE BIT
OPEN FUTURITY CHAMPION
At the 2022 National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity®, Lee Deacon achieve a dream he had long waited for—becoming a Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion. The Australian-born horse trainer came to the United States in 2016 where he began working for NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Chris Dawson.
While he’s had steady success, and driven himself to train harder and better, Deacon adjusted his expectations leading into the 2022 event, and he credits that with the win aboard Tornado Jonez (Stevie Rey Von x Missi Jonez x Travelin Jonez), owned by Della and Brandy Ragland.
“Unreal. It’s unbelievable,” Deacon. “In 2016, I made the Limited Finals and that is the last time I made any Finals. I’m very thankful, humbled and grateful. I can’t believe God would allow me the blessing of this and I don’t want to take it for granted. Now, how can I use this to glorify him. I hope I’m an example for any one of these guys who are working as hard as we do, they can achieve it if you just don’t quit. We all face adversity. It’s tough but we keep going. It’s our dream.”
His earnings as both Open and Intermediate Open Champion launched Deacon into the top five rider spots for the year-end NRCHA standings. He won $200,000 in the Open and another $45,000 in the Intermediate Open, and that qualified him for the March 2023 American Performance Horseman event presented by Teton Ridge.
Among his NRCHA premier event titles are the 2022 NRCHA Hackamore Classic, presented by Oswood Stallion Station, Intermediate Open Champion aboard Seven S Party Favor, and the 2021 Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby, presented by MARS Equestrian™, Intermediate Open Derby Champion aboard Bet Shesa Pepto.
Lee and his wife, fellow NRCHA professional Ashley Deacon, train together at their Marietta, Oklahoma, facility.