Archive for February, 2007

Peptoboonsmal changes hands

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Jackson Land and Cattle, Jackson Hole, WY, announced Tuesday, February 27 that it has completed the purchase of 15-year-old Peptoboonsmal from Larry Hall Cutting Horses, Weatherford, TX. Bred by the late Larry Hall and his wife Elaine (pictured with Peptoboonsmal), the red roan Quarter Horse stallion won NCHA Futurity in 1995 and is currently ranked among leading sires of cutting horses.

The purchase price remains confidential.

“We are honored that Elaine Hall has allowed us to acquire Peptoboonsmal and are excited about the future,” said Richard Fields, owner of Jackson Land and Cattle. “Peptoboonsmal’s bloodline, as well as the quality and depth of horses that he has sired, make him a perfect addition to the Jackson Land and Cattle breeding and cutting horse operation.”

Fields is the chairman of Coastal Development, LLC, a finance and development company that specializes in resorts and casino gaming facilities. Most recently, he co-developed the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel with locations in Tampa and Hollywood, FL. He is also a partner in Excelsior Racing Associates, which is poised to succeed the New York Racing Association (NYRA), currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, as operator of New York’s three thoroughbred racetracks – Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga.

Rick Overstreet, who specializes in the working cow horses, is manager of Jackson Land and Cattle. The cutting horse operation is under the direction of trainer Al Dunning, Scottsdale, AZ. Peptoboonsmal will continue to stand at Carol Rose Quarter Horses in Gainesville, Texas. Rose, a member of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, is the all-time leading breeder of AQHA arena performers.

Peptoboonsmal is sired by Peppy San Badger and out of Royal Blue Boon, the cutting industry’s all-time leading producer of money earners.

Shepard sweeps MillionHeir Cutting

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Austin Shepard made a clean sweep of the MillionHeir Open Finals in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 25, winning the Derby on San Tule Uno and the Classic on MH Quixote Plays. The Derby win was worth $300,000 to owners Mike and Libby Bowman; the Classic fetched $68,000 for teenage owner Elizabeth Brumbaugh, Weatherford, TX.

Both wins were decisive, with San Tule Uno scoring 221.5 points to trump reserve champion Jae Bars Tule, with Matt Sargood for Ron Knutson, by 3 1/2 points. MH Quixote Plays marked 223 points over reserve champion Sir Ellard, under Guy Woods for EE Ranches, with 219.5 points. 

The earnings, added to his other accomplishments this year, put Shepard in the lead among open riders of 2007.

San Tule Freckles, bred by the Bowmans, Simpsonville, KY, is by 2001 NCHA Open Futurity champion San Tule Freckles, owned by Western States Ranches, who created the MillionHeir program for progeny of MillionHeir sires. Shepard also rode San Tule Uno to place sixth in the Memphis Futurity.

Second-placed Jae Bars Tule, also sired by San Tule Freckles, was also bred by her owners and is out of Jae Bar Maisie, an NCHA Non-Pro world champion and full sister to the great performer Jae Bar Fletch, who was euthanized earlier this month.

MH Quixotes Plays, by Playboysalittlesmart, was bred by Western States Ranches and purchased by Brumbaugh at three. The 5-year-old mare has earned more than $170,000 and has qualified under Brumbaugh for the MillionHeir and South Point Non-Pro second go-round, which continues on February 28.

Sir Ellwood, a 5-year-old stallion sired by Bodee Boonsmal, was bred by EE Ranches and has earned more than $60,000.

In the South Point Winter Open Championships, being conducted in conjunction with the MillionHeir Derby and Classic, Miss Cat Olena, a High Brow Cat daughter owned by Jim Bilbrey, Conyers, GA, won the Derby with 220.5 points under Ronnie Rice. Lenas Affair, owned by Carrolls Cutting Horses, Weatherford, TX, was second with 219 points for Matt Gaines.

Gaines also placed as reserve with 224 points on Im Countin Checks in the Classic, where Pepto Rio Playboy won with 226 points under J.B. McLamb for Brewer Ranches, Weatherford, TX. Pepto Rio Playboy, by Peptoboonsmal, earned $18,000, to increase his career earnings to nearly $100,000. Im Countin Checks, by Smart Lil Ricochet, has career earnings of over $250,000.

Avila World’s Greatest Horseman

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Bob Avila, Temecula, CA, rode Light N Fine to win the the 2007 National Reined Cow Horse Association World’s Greatest Horseman division and $30,000 on February 25, during the NRCHA World Championships in Stephenville, TX. Avila, a three-time NRCHA Snaffle Bit Open Futurity champion, as well as a National Reining Horse Association Open Futurity champion, also won the World’s Greatest Horseman on Paid By Chic in 2000.

The World’s Greatest Horseman competition tests horse and rider abilities in herd work, rein work, steer stopping, and cow work “We all say it’s the event we love to hate,” Avila said.

“It’s so nerve racking. You have to have a cutting horse at one minute, then bring the tempo down and have them be a reining horse. Then you have to go catch (a steer) and then the cow comes again.”

In the 28-horse preliminaries, Avila and Light N Fine placed fourth in both the herd and rein work, seventh in the steer stopping, and third in cow work. They returned to the clean-slate finals to win the championship by one-half point over Shawn Hayes, Saint Jo, TX, and Shine Smartly, by Shining Spark.

“We knew the cattle were going to be wild down the fence,” noted Avila. “Being first, I just tried to be safe. He was a little strong in the rein work … and really good in the roping. In the cow work, I stayed on that first cow so long, I didn’t know if I had enough horse left. And when they blew the whistle on that second cow, I was out of horse.”

A former NRCHA Open Stakes champion and Open Derby reserve champion. 8-year-old Light N Fine, owned by Alan and Kay Needles, Temecula, and sired by Grays Starlight, is now officially retired from competition.

“I really wanted to win (the World’s Greatest Horseman) on this horse,” Avila said. “He deserved a big title and this is it. I’ll let him ride into the sunset with this one.”

Avila grew up in California in the 1950s and 1960s with mentors such as Don Dodge, Tony Amaral, Harry Rose, Clyde Kennedy and Jimmy Williams, who influenced his direction as an all-around Quarter Horse trainer of 37 world title holders in multiple performance events, as well as in halter.

“I’m sure a lot of other kids looked up to those horseman, too,” said Avila. “But thanks to my parents involvement with horses, I didn’t have to admire them from afar. I was around them almost constantly, at all the shows we went to. They helped raise me.

“They were truly horseman,” he added. “There was no such thing as specialization in those days. To survive you had to be able to train anything and everything. To this day, I enjoy producing a good all-around horse and that comes partly from the influence of my childhood heroes.”

Avila, who received the first AQHA Professional Horseman Award, is one of only four riders to have earned more than $1 million in NRCHA competition. He has combined NRHA and NRCHA earnings of $1.5 million.

2006 NCHA World Champions

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Following are the National Cutting Horse Association’s 2006 World Champions, with money won at the World Finals, and total money for the year. In rider classes, the horse shown is the one ridden at the World Finals.

  Dual Rey Me Jeremy Barwick $10,915 $105,624
  1999 g. (Dual Pep x Miss Smart Rey Jay, by Smart Little Lena)
  Neat Choice Joe Howard Williamson $13,321 $90,056
  1997 g. (SR Instant Choice x Anita Freckles, by Doc Freckles)
$50,000 Amateur
  Squeaks My Alias Denver Jo Williamson $160 $38,622
  1995 g. (Squeak Toy x Haidalias, by Haidas Little Pep)
$20,000 Non-Pro
  Miss N Royal King Justin Farr $2,370 $15,506
  1997 g. (Miss N Cash x Royaldee Bar, by Doc’s Dee Bar)
$10,000 Amateur
  Chex Out My Harley Joe Pridmore $2,928 $14,757
  1999 g. (Peppys Fella x Swiss Fantasy, by Buenos Swiss Reed)
$10,000 Novice
  Smart Like Reba Rusty Carroll $5,228 $50,562
  2000 m. (Smart Little Lena x Dual Tari, by Dual Pep)
$10,000 Novice/Non-Pro
  Lectric Boom Kathy Boone $1,583 $39,221
  2000 m. (Lectric Playboy x Peps Little Boomer, by Peppys Dry Award)
$3,000 Novice
  Tachitas Cat Gavin Jordan $1,627 $40,442
  2001 g. (High Brow Cat x Tachitas Last, by Peppy San Badger)
$3,000 Novice/Non-Pro
  Docs Tee Boots Stephanie Larrabee $1,646 $31,944
  1993 m (Docs Argyle x Tee Boots, by War Time Leo)
$2,000 Limited Rider
  Jessica Wood Ben Royal $4,820 $21,132
  1996 m. (Zack T Wood x Jessies Oak, by Doc’s Oak)
Senior Youth
  Cowcamp Leo Chance Smith 8 pts 198 pts
  1999 g. (Ima Dually Leo x Cowcamp Cutie, by Smart Retsina)
Junior Youth
  Boonsmart Jake Milner 26 pts 201 pts
  1998 g. (Peptoboonsmal x Smart Little Margie, by Smart Little Lena)

John Henry turns 32

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

The same tenacity of heart and spirit which propelled John Henry to two Horse of the Year titles and record earnings, may have something to do with his ability to keep going beyond the average life span for a horse.

According to Blood-Horse magazine’s list of the top 100 racehorses of the 20th century, the two greatest Thoroughbreds alive today are John Henry and Cigar, both of whom reside at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. A celebration of John Henry’s life and achievements is scheduled on his 32nd birthday, March 9 at 1:00 p.m., in the Hall of Champions at Kentucky Horse Park.

Sired by Ole Bob Bowers and out of Once Double, by Double Jay, the less than fashionably bred John Henry sold for $1,100 as a yearling (his sire once sold for $900) at the Keeneland January Sale and acquired his name because of his habit of yanking feed buckets from the wall and stomping them flat (from the folk song about John Henry the steel-driving man).

He had changed hands two more times and won his first stakes race, the Lafayette Futurity at Evangiline Downs, when Samuel Rubin purchased him and sent him to trainer Bob Donato, who recognized his potential on the turf. By 1980, John Henry was on the West Coast and in the hands of Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally and regular rider Chris McCarron. He raced for the rest of his career under the silks of Dotsam Stables, owned by Samuel and Dorothy Rubin. When he retired on July 28, 1985, at 10, he was the world’s richest racehorse, with 30 stakes wins and $6.5 million.

John Henry’s hallmark on the track was his thrilling come-from-behind style. He loved to win and on one occasion, when he didn’t, he tried to drag his handler along with him to the winner’s circle. He also had the habit of turning back to look at the toteboard after a race, as if to check the order of finish and the odds.

To this day John Henry remains the world’s richest gelding. His many accomplishments include seven Eclipse Awards; two Horse of the Year Awards (1981 and 1984); a record of 25 graded stakes; and induction into Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1990. He is also the oldest horse to win an Eclipse Award and the oldest Grade I stakes winner, both accomplished at the age of 9.

“It’s interesting that in the midst of the sorrow so many of us recently experienced for Barbaro and his team, our park received phone calls and email from some of Barbaro’s grieving fans who just needed to know that John Henry was still okay,” said John Nicholson, executive director of Kentucky Horse Park. “It seemed to comfort them and ease their heartache in the wake of that tragedy to know that another deeply loved and respected racehorse was still alive and well.

“I think John Henry represents the way we all want every horse to live out its life – healthy, loved, respected, cared for, inspiring their fans and finishing well as very, very old horses,” he added. “Again this year, we ask that John Henry’s fans honor his life and achievements by making a donation to an equine rescue organization, such as the Secretariat Center here at the park. We believe it is a great way to pay tribute to a legendary racing hero, by assisting horses who are not as fortunate as John Henry.”

Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm, museum and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. For information on John Henry’s birthday party, which is included with park admission, call the park’s Hall of Champions at 859-259-4272.

Williamson wins NCHA Non-Pro World title

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Horsemen for Christ leader Joe Howard Williamson, 53, Archer City, TX, won his third NCHA world championship title on February 16 at the NCHA World Finals in Amarillo, TX, where he earned $13,321 to end the year (2006) with $90,056.

“The reason none of us got over that $100,000 mark this year was because it was so competitive,” noted Williamson, who had earned $108,597 in 2004 (he also won the title in 1999 with $79,275). “It was the most competitive, tough year that I’ve ever been involved in.

“I came (to the World Finals) with a lead of $18,000,” he added. “But I believe I was more nervous (in the first go-round) than I was any time in my life. “I don’t know if I’m a worrier or a competitor,” he added. “I knew mathematically that I’d won it. I guess I’m kind of a cross, like a black baldie. I slept fairly well, but I was still on the hook.”

Riding Neat Choice, Williamson tied Paula Wood with 220 points for a win in the first go-round of World Finals competition. But Wood eclipsed him by winning the next three go-rounds. She earned $21,971 for her clean sweep and finished the year ranked sixth with $55,289.

Williamson’s daughter, Denver Jo, 21, won the $50,000 Amateur world championship on February 9, but had to accept her trophy on crutches, as the result of a fall in the second go-round. “This will be one finals I won’t ever forget,” said Williamson, who blew a stirrup and lost her seat during a stop.

Mary Jo Milner, Southlake, TX, seven-times Non-Pro world champion, finished as reserve to Williamson with earnings of $68,827, including $10,311 won on Jewel Bar Ruby during the World Finals. For Milner, however, the highlight of the event was watching her grandson, Jake Milner, as he won the NCHA Junior Youth World Championship with a final go-round score of 224.

Dual Rey Me wins NCHA World Championship

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Dual Rey Me, ridden by his owner Jeremy Barwick, held his ground as leading weekend money earner to claim the title of 2006 NCHA Open World Champion on Saturday, February 17, at the NCHA World Finals in Amarillo, TX. CD Lights, ridden by co-owner Winston Hansma, won the Open Finals, as well as the title of World Champion Stallion and Reserve World Champion. His 229-point score in the third go-round was the high mark of the event.

“We were right at $21,000 ahead (of CD Lights) when we came here,” said Barwick. “You can win a little over $25,000 here, so it wasn’t a sure thing until after the first go-round, when Winston had a little bad luck and I got a good check. That pretty much cinched it. But Winston has a great horse and (Dual Rey Me) had some great competition.”

Barwick, 29, and his wife Candace purchased their 8-year-old gelded son of Dual Pep at four from trainer Kobie Wood.

“That’s where he started, on weekends, because he was pretty green,” said Barwick. “I think he’d won $900. So we both showed him a lot.”

In 2004, Dual Rey Me was reserve world champion in both the $10,000 Novice and $3,000 Novice divisions. When he was six, he finished the year third in weekend Open standings, won the NCHA Non-Pro Classic/Challenge with Candace, and was Open reserve champion at the same event under Jeremy. His NCHA earnings of $480,000 place him among cutting’s all-time top 20 money earners.

“I never work him,” noted Barwick. “We lope him at home and when we have a couple of weeks off, he goes to the swimming pool to swim and then gets turned out. He stays pretty sound. We inject (his hocks) maybe twice a year as pretty much regular maintenance.”

Barwick grew up riding horses in Georgia and apprenticed with Futurity champions John Tolbert and Bill Freeman. “A lot of people have helped me,” he said.

This year, Barwick is riding Clutch Player for owners Don Lester and Scott Amos, while Candace will take the reins of Dual Rey Me in the Non-Pro division.

“He’s pretty much going to be Candy’s horse from here on out,” said Barwick. “She loves that horse – he’s been good to us.”