NCHA Futurity Recap

For those of us in the biz, travelling to year end shows most often headlined in the southern states, whether the Ohio Congress, AQHA or APHA World Show, or NRCHA, NRHA and NCHA Futurities is not only a great excuse to escape the onslaught of a Canadian winter, but also a perfect opportunity to scope out new trends and get a handle on the health of the horse industry in the United States – a true marker for our own economy. Not to mention observe and cheer on the top athletes in our respective disciplines and sports.

So, I was happy to head to Fort Worth last week to take in a few days of the National Cutting Horse Association Finals. And, this year’s event turned out to be a must-see, with several world records being broken.

Cheering easily rivalled the most intense hockey game in Canada, when rider Lloyd Cox rode One Time Royalty (One Time Pepto), for Mathews Cutting Horses to an NCHA record-breaking score of 230, in the Saturday night Open Finals. I can tell you – the spirit in the packed house that night was electric!

It was clearly One Time Pepto’s year as a sire, as not only did he sire the Open champion, but the Non-Pro Futurity Champion as well – One Rockin Pepto, making One Time Pepto the only stallion to sire the winners of both the NCHA Open and Non-Pro Futurities in his first foal crop.

I’m guessing his 2010 breeding book is filling up fast.

Here in Canada, you might remember Janice Eaton’s success this year at the Calgary Futurity, where she won the Non-Pro Futurity on another One Time Pepto – Pepto Time – purchased from Top Notch Performance Horses.

A typical trip to the NCHA Futurity encompasses not only watching the cutting, but attending any one of six days of sales, where this year, Western Bloodstock recorded net sales of $11,332,100 on 792 head, for an average of $14,308, compared to the 2009 net average of $13,260 on 778 head.

I believe there might have been another record broken at this sale when a partnership of three Canadians purchased the high seller of the sale – nine-year-old NCHA world championship mare, Jazzys Pep Talk. With $500,000 in earnings, she sold in foal to Dual Rey, and came with three High Brow Cat embryos. That translates to four actual mares, (as the three “recip” mares are present, and sell with the matron mare). And four wee hopes and dreams in the oven.

Jazzys Pep Talk was purchased by Lyle and Sandy Reid, Moe and Maureen Stewart and Dean Ness for $215,000, making her the high seller of the sale.

Pictured here are the happy new investors, from left, Lyle, Moe and Dean.

Ah, one of you did remember to bring the trailer, correct?

And here are the happy new moms, from left, Sandy and Maureen. I got to be included in the photo for fun. Hey, it’s not often you get to pet a World Champion mare!

I really have to apologize for the quality of the photos. My camera – an iphone!

As well as the great sales and cutting action, our trip included visits out to training barns and ranches. . . .

. . . . such as expat’s Ian Chisholm’s. . . where I fell in love with a rooftop. . .

. . . the Rocking W. . . . where I unabashedly lusted a fabulously functional arena and barn.

. . . and Buffalo Ranch, where a gorgeous barn-front captured my view. We have an outstanding article lined up in the Feb/Mar issue of Western Horse Review, featuring an interview with Buffalo Ranch creator, Shane Plummer. Stay tuned for his candid remarks on the state of the western horse industry.

We also had a chance to visit with brothers and homeboys Paul and Winston Hansma. . . .

. . . and take a quick trip to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where Christmas – Texas style – was in full swing.

Another highlight of the trip was the Stallion Showcase, where elaborate booths are set up, and attendees are able to view top stallions in the flesh, and meet the owners and collaborators of their breeding programs. It’s stall to stall people by 10:00 a.m. so be sure to attend early if you plan on going.

As usual, I brought home a ton of promotional material. There were some truly unique ideas presented by stallion owners this year, not the least of which included this logo-stamped icing on a shortbread cookie. I’ll be compiling a post of the promotional ideas I ran into at the Stallion Showcase early in January.

Stay tuned!

Texas Sale Bonanza

If you need a wickedly good reason to write off a trip to Texas, (yes, as breeders we’re allowed to do this!), you may want to consider the final two weeks of October. For beginning October 14, what’s sure to be three of the most discussed sales of 2010, are set to begin.

Beginning this trio is the Buffalo Ranch dispersal on Oct. 14 (demonstration, Oct. 13), at the ranch near Fort Worth. Seventy-two horses are on the auction block, with many of these offspring of Buffalo Ranch’s two signature stallions, Hydrive Cat and TR Dual Rey.

Next on the agenda for performance horse sale hounds would be Babcock Ranch, near Valley View, Texas, on October 15. While it’s billed as an annual production sale on their website, it’s more of a partial dispersal, as the sale will actually run through approximately 100 head comprised of not only yearlings and two-year-olds, but three-year-olds, finished show horses, broodmares and three stallions including 23-year-old Trashadeous (Be Aech Enterprise x Miss White Trash x Mr Gun Smoke), 15-year-old Captain Nice (Smart Chic Olena x Dry Tang x Dry Doc), and 25-year-old Lucky Little Lena (Smart Little Lena x Chexy Lady x King Fritz).

According to the Quarter Horse News post on the sale, owner Jim Babcock is of the belief the performance horse world is on the comeback trail and is quoted:

“When the public slowed down breeding, we continued to breed, realizing that there would be a shortage in the market of these young horses. 2008 and 2009 were very tough, now we’ve actually had a very good year in 2010 with a great response on our young horses. People have been totally impressed with the number of 2-year-olds and the quality that we have here.”

The final sale stop is Waggoner Ranch, where the current all-time leading sire of cutting horses, High Brow Cat, resides. And, where it appears every equine but High Brow Cat, and a few other select stallions, are on the block. For instance, the stallion Pretty Boy Cat, is selling. Incidentally, the Waggoners are the NCHA’s leading cutting horse breeder for 2009. According to Western Bloodstock, this sale is by court order, and includes 220 horses selling with no reserves. The sale will be held at the DLR Stallion Station, Weatherford, Texas, on October 30, with demonstrations on the 29th.

Am I reading your mind? You would like me to head down and report on these sales for you?

Gotcha. Loud and clear. It will take a bit of personal time, but if it will keep you happy and subscribed to Screen Doors & Saddles, I’ll do it, alright!

Smart Little Lena: 1979-2010

When we heard about the passing of Smart Little Lena on Monday, I posted it, along with a wonderful video tribute, on Western Horse Review’s Facebook page, and many people immediately responded with heartfelt comments.

At 31-years-of-age, it’s unlikely the stallion, though reportedly in “good shape” at the time of the stroke which led to his euthanization, could have been much longer for this earth. Hence, the news came not as a shock, but instead, simply shared sadness among horsepeople, at the passing of a tremendous legend.

Indeed, has the performance horse world been altered through this legendary stallion and his progeny. Considered perhaps the broodmare sire of the century in the western horse world, it’s hard to come up with many comparables. Or, to contemplate a western performance sport his bloodlines have not influenced.

I’m grateful today, for the SLL blood in the pedigrees of the horses we own in this family. They have done us well.

Smart Little Lena was bred by Hanes Chatham and shown by the late Bill Freeman to a championship in the 1982 NCHA Futurity, followed by a win in the 1983 Super Stakes and a co-championship with Peppymint Twist in the 1983 NCHA Derby.

Following his competitive career, he spent most of his life at Manion Ranch, near Aubrey, Texas.

Be sure to view the touching video of Bill Freeman and Smart Little Lena on our Facebook Page.

AQHA’s 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

Mr San Peppy, Skipper W and Streakin Six, as well as Douglas and Nancy Dear, Joe Kirk Fulton, and Frank Howell will be honored at ceremonies during the 2011 AQHA Convention in March in Grapevine, Texas, with an induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. 

“These horses, horse owners and breeders have contributed their best to continuing the legacy of the American Quarter Horse,” said Don Treadway Jr., AQHA executive vice president. “We’re proud to be able to honor them as they deserve.”

Mr San Peppy

Mr San Peppy, by Leo San and out of Peppy Belle by Pep Up, was intended for the racetrack but ended up in the cutting arena. Greg Welch rode the 1968 sorrel stallion to the top of the National Cutting Horse Association Derby in 1972. Welch’s father, American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Buster Welch, rode Mr San Peppy to NCHA world championships in 1974 and 1976. The horse also won an AQHA world championship in 1976. Mr San Peppy, owned by the King Ranch, sired Peppy San Badger, a member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, as well as horses earning more than $2.63 million in NCHA competition. Mr San Peppy died in 1998.

Skipper W

Skipper W was foaled in 1945 and bred by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Hank Wiescamp. Skipper W was shown three times as a 4-year-old and, by many reports, was named grand champion all three times. He retired undefeated and returned to Wiescamp’s ranch, where he sired 132 foals that earned 1,392 halter points and 586.5 performance points; 13 became AQHA Champions. Skipper W never stood to outside mares, but horses of his lineage are still known as “Skipper W-bred.” He died in 1963 at age 18.

Streakin Six

Streakin Six was bred by the Tom L. Burnett Cattle Co., of Fort Worth, Texas. The 1977 chestnut stallion by Easy Six and out of Miss Assured by Little Request (TB) won the 1979 Rainbow Futurity (G1) and was second in 1979 in the All American Futurity (G1). His racing career ended with a record of 19 starts, 10 wins, five seconds and one third. As a sire for the Four Sixes Ranch, Streakin Six really hit his stride. He is the No. 6 American Quarter Horse sire of stakes winners and money-earners and the No. 3 broodmare sire. His offspring earned $17,348,666 on the track and five world championships. Streakin Six was euthanized in December 2005.

Douglas and Nancy Dear of Simms, Montana, are 60-year breeders of American Quarter Horses at their Birdtail Ranch, focusing on ranch horses to work the family’s Angus cattle. The Dears were influential in the 1954 establishment of the Montana Quarter Horse Association and have played many roles in the group since that time. Doug died in 1999, and a scholarship in his name assists Montana students with their college education. Nancy is still involved with the family’s breeding program, one that has placed the Dears 12th on the list of breeders of American Quarter Horse Champions.

Joe Kirk Fulton of Lubbock, Texas, breeds winning racehorses as well as ranch horses for his Quien Sabe Ranch. He bred Peppy San Badger, who was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008. Fulton has bred or been the owner of stallions that have sired the earners of more than $60 million on the racetrack. He has seven world championships earned by two world champions, Special Leader and Dashs Dream. In 2007, he received the American Quarter Horse Association Legacy Award for breeding American Quarter Horses for 50 consecutive years.

Frank Howell of Union City, Georgia, was president of the American Quarter Horse Association in 2005-06. He joined the Georgia Quarter Horse Association in 1976 and served two terms as president. The halter exhibitor became active in AQHA governance in 1990, serving on the amateur committee and being elected to the board of directors in 1996. He has also served on the stud book and registration committee, the public policy task force and the affiliate and racing councils. He was influential in establishing the AQHA Regional Championships.

CD Olena Dies

CD Olena: 1991 - 2010

The great cutting horse sire, CD Olena, ranked #3 among all-time leading living sires of cutting horse money earners, died August 6 at the age of 19.

According to Sally Harrison’s cutting blog:

“He was okay at ten on Thursday night and on Friday morning (August 6), we found him peacefully lying in his stall dead,” said David Hartman, DVM, who had leased CD Olena from Bobby Pidgeon last year to stand at Hartman’s Equine Reproduction Center in Whitesboro, Texas.

“He seemed in good health and was still very fertile. It was a horribly sad day here. I had become very fond of the horse and was looking forward to many more years with him.”

Dr. Fairfield Bain of Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in Weatherford, Texas performed the autopsy and determined the cause of death as an aortic aneurysm.

The great Canadian connection to this sorrel colt by Doc O’Lena began when Bobby Pidgeon purchased the stallion for his Bar H Ranche near Weatherford, Texas in the early ’90’s. Soon after brothers Winston and Paul Hansma established themselves at the ranch and the rest is history.

The brothers became accomplished trainers and showmen, and much of that success came from showing the offspring of both CD Olena and Dual Pep, the two leading stallions standing at the Bar H.

Winston relates in Sally’s blog that he knew as soon as he began CD Olena as a two-year-old that the colt was special.

CD Olena won the 1994 NCHA Futurity  and the NCHA Derby. He also won the semi-finals of the NCHA Super Stakes, and placed fifth in the finals. He was named NCHA Horse of the Year in 1995.

Winston Hansma and partner Danny Motes, now own one of CD Olena’s most notable offspring, 2006 NCHA World Champion Stallion, CD Lights, an impressive stallion which is incidentally nominated to the Canadian Supreme.

CD Olena was buried at the Bar H Ranche arena where he and so many of his sons and daughters were started on cattle.

Yet, as Harrison states in her blog post:

“. . . the end of one chapter leads to the beginning of another. Paul Hansma has leased Bar H Ranche to operate as his training facility; CD Lights is proving to be a leading performance sire for Winston Hansma; Dr. Hartman has an ample supply of CD Olena’s frozen semen; and all the owners of CD Olena daughters will now hold them even more dear.”

Read all of Harrison’s post here.

Topsail Whiz

In 2008, NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Topsail Whiz reached the top of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) all-time sire list with total offspring earnings of $5,527,700 surpassing Hollywood Dun It’s mark of $5,494,100. The following year, the stallion achieved another NRHA milestone by becoming the first sire in NRHA history to have offspring earnings in excess of $6 million. Today according to current NRHA records, the sire has achieved another first – he is the first NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire.

Bob Loomis’ Topsail Whiz (Topsail Cody x Jeanie Whiz Bar by Cee Red) is an NRHA Hall of Famer who earned $49,865 in the NRHA show ring. His successes included an All American Quarter Horse Congress Junior Reining Championship, 1991 NRHA Lazy E Classic Open Championship and a third place finish in the 1990 NRHA Open Futurity. Last fall, the reining community mourned the loss of this great stallion.

Topsail Whiz’s offspring have shown their prowess in the reining arena and are comprised of many champions such as: The Great Whiz (2003 NRHA Open Futurity Champion and 2003 Canadian Reining Breeders Classic Champion), Easy Otie Whiz (2006 World Equestrian Games (WEG) Team Gold Medalist), Walla Walla Whiz (2007 NRHA Open Derby Champion), Whizard Jac (1996 NRHA Open Futurity Champion, 1999 first-ever USEF Reining Championship winner), Remin Whiz (2002 American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Junior Reining Horse) and Topgun Whiz (1998 NRHA Futurity Limited Open division champion and 1999 Open Derby Champion).

Hollywood Dun It $6 Million Dollar Sire

National Reining Horse Association Hall of Fame Inductee Hollywood Dun It’s offspring just helped the sire surpass six million dollars in official NRHA offspring earnings. Hollywood Dun It’s offspring earnings now total $6,007,133. The earnings of Hollywood Dun It’s get have broken one record after another and now the legendary sire becomes the second NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire. Without a doubt there are more records to be broken by Hollywood Dun It offspring. His legacy continues.

Hollywood Dun It get can be found in the winner’s circle virtually worldwide. Whether ridden by a Professional, Non Pro or Youth, Hollywood Dun It offspring have been stellar in the sport of Reining. Six of his offspring have earned in excess of $100,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings: Hollywoodstinseltown ($169,820), Reminic N Dunit ($164,664), Hollywood Vintage ($143,548), Matt Dillon Dun It ($113,711), Hollywood Downtown ($102,619) and BH Hollywood Lady ($101,631). His foals have won many notable reining events including the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity and National Reining Breeders Classic. They’ve qualified and won Gold medals in Fédération Equestre Internationale and USEF competition, as well as breed association world championships.

Now deceased, the celebrated sire was owned by McQuay/Easton LLC, a partnership comprised of NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Tim McQuay and his wife, Colleen McQuay of Tioga, Texas, along with partner Jennifer Easton of St. Mary’s Point, Minnesota.

In 2005, Hollywood Dun It (Hollywood Jac 86 x Blossom Berry) passed away at the age of 22. At that time, Tim McQuay said the decision to put him down was a difficult one. McQuay noted, “He’s been a part of our family, and a part of our lives, for a lot of years.

A Silver Spoonful

Hes A Peptospoonful. Photo by Don Shugart

I recently read on that David and Stacie McDavid – owners of Hes A Peptospoonful – have offered to dish out $1 million dollars to the owner of any Hes A Peptospoonful offspring who can claim the title of National Cutting Horse Association Open Futurity Champion through to 2013. I believe this was in place for the 2009 Futurity, but obviously unclaimed, as the Dual Rey-sired stallion Rockin W was guided to that spectacular 229 finish by Tony Piggott.

The McDavid family are also offering a sizable bonus to non-pro, limited non-pro and amateur winners sired by Hes A Peptospoonful or Widows Freckles at all three of NCHA’s Triple Crown events, through the 2014 NCHA Summer Spectacular. In fact, they intend to match the official NCHA payout to any Hes A Peptospoonful-sired or Widows Freckles-sired offspring that win the non-pro, limited non-pro and amateur divisions of the NCHA Futurity, NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Derby from the 2009 NCHA Futurity through the 2014 NCHA Derby.

According to Harrison’s blog post, David McDavid purchased Hes A Peptospoonful at the 2001 NCHA Futurity, where the three-year-old “had captured headlines by becoming the first horse in 30 years to win both go-rounds and the semi-finals. The red roan stallion was in the news again during the 2006 NCHA Futurity, where his first foals made an impressive showing in the finals.”

Hes A Peptospoonful stands at Joe Landers Stallion Station near the cutting capital of North America, Weatherford, Texas. His stud fee is currently $8,500 U.S.

19th Million Dollar Sire Named

Photo by John Brasseaux

Viola Scott’s Magnum Chic Dream created a “most special weekend” at the 2010 National Reining Breeders Classic in Katy, Texas. During the open finals, Gilberto Leal’s Stop Like A Dream and NRHA Professional Jordan Larson, Aubrey, TX, earned nearly $66,000 to push the sire’s offspring earnings over one million dollars. With these unofficial earnings, Magnum Chic Dream is NRHA’s 19th Million Dollar Sire.

Viola Scott and her husband Jack were in Katy to enjoy the historic moment. She commented about her stallion’s achievement beaming with pride, “We’re most excited and still smiling. We have a special place in our heart for all the Magnum Chic Dream babies. We love them all and have so many favorites. This past year has been especially exciting. We’ve loved watching NRHA Professional Casey Hinton, Whitesboro, TX, and his Lil Magnum Jessie win reserve at the 2009 NRHA Futurity. We’re also proud of Bit of Magnum who we bred and raised. Nicole Sinkule was the amateur reining world champion at the AQHA World Show on him last year. This weekend it was exciting to see Jordan Larson ride Gilberto Leal’s Stop Like A Dream. The mare just came up from Mexico. She is as honest as the day is long.”

She continued, “Jack and I try to make the big shows to watch each one. We go where all the Magnums go. They’re like our grandchildren.”

In 1998, Viola was looking for a new horse to compete on when she found Magnum Chic Dream. She bought him as a two-year-old in training with Patti Brownshadel and intended to geld him and use him as her non pro horse. She said, “He was such a nice fella we never gelded him. Even when we started breeding, he was the same sweet boy. He’s so nice, good-minded and willing. I enjoyed every moment showing him and enjoy riding him still. We moved to Sherman, Texas to be closer to him.”

Viola said she’s had a lot of good offers for him in the past, but never thought twice about keeping him in the family. “People say that ‘every horse is for sale,’ but not this one!”

Magnum Chic Dream (Smart Chic Olena x Sailin Barbee) accumulated more than $44,000 in NRHA earnings. He was a finalist in the NRHA Futurity Level 4 and Level 3 Open divisions with NRHA Professional Patti Brownshadel and won the 2004 AQHA Sr. Reining World Championship with Casey Hinton. His top earning offspring include: Lil Magnum Jessie ($131,782 LTE, NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Champion, Rocky Mountain Summer Slide Level 4 Open Champion, John Deere Futurity Level 4 Open finalist); This Chicsdundreamin ($86,658 LTE, 2009 NRBC Level 3 Non Pro Champion, 2008 NRBC Level 3 Non Pro Reserve Champion, Level 2 Non Pro Champion, two-time NRBC Level 4 Non Pro finalist, NRHA Derby Level 3 Open finalist); Magnum With A Dream ($80,804 LTE, NRHA Derby Level 3 Open Reserve Champion, NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open finalist, NRBC Level 4 and Level 3 Open finalist, NRHA Derby Level 4 and Level 3 Open finalist).

~ courtesy NRHA