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.