Archive for April, 2008

2008 Cotton Stakes 5/6yo Open

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
Earned: $26,000


Orren Mixer 1920-2008

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Renowned equine artist Orren Marion Mixer, 87, died Tuesday evening, April 29, at the home of Elaine Hall, Weatherford, TX. Mixer, who had a history of heart problems, had just delivered a portrait that Hall had commissioned of her mare Royal Blue Boon, the all-time leading dam of Quarter Horse performers.

“He couldn’t have depicted it better,” said Frank Merrill, past president of the American Quarter Horse Association and longtime friend of Mixer’s, referring to the artist’s sudden passing at one of many fulfilling moments in his life.

Mixer was born in Oklahoma City in 1920 to Florence Motter and Orren Marion Mixer Sr. After attending public schools, he graduated from Central High School and through the efforts of his high school art teacher, Grace Chadwick, he obtained a scholarship to attend the Kansas City Art Institute from 1938-40.

Mixer worked in graphic arts in New York, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth, Texas, before moving to San Diego to work in an aircraft manufacturing plant. He returned to Fort Worth in 1943 and joined the US Navy. Stationed in Chicago, he was a visual aids graphic artist.

In his personal time, Mixer painted Western scenes, and his first sales came through a Chicago sporting goods store. Discharged from the service in 1946, he brought his wife, Evelyn Leonard, whom he’d married in 1941, back to Oklahoma, where he built a house and studio near Arcadia/Edmond.

Mixer became a well-known local Western artist during the 1950s and 1960s. Livestock, particularly horses, became his specialty, and his work graced the covers of Western Horseman, The Quarter Horse Journal, Cattleman, and Oklahoma Today. In 1968, the American Quarter Horse Association commissioned Mixer to paint “the ideal American Quarter Horse,” and six other breed associations followed suit. He depicted the ideal Pinto, Paint, Palomino, Appaloosa, Buckskin, and Pony of the Americas.

Briefly retired during the 1980s, Mixer resumed his artistic productions in the mid-1990s, still working from a studio near Arcadia. He was inducted in the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1993.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 5 at 2:00 pm, at the First Baptist Church, 1300 SE 33rd Street, Edmund, OK. Visitation anytime after 12:00 noon, Matthews Funeral Home, 601 S. Kelly, Edmund, OK, 405-341-2787. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations for the benefit of Boys Ranch Town, in care of the First Baptist Church of Edmund.

International Equine Summit

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The face of the average horse owner in the United States belongs to a middle-aged married woman, who also has dogs, cats and children. That trend was among the topics during the Kentucky International Equine Summit held in Lexington, Kentucky, April 28 and 29.

John Volk, senior consultant with Brakke Consulting in Chicago, said his company’s marketing survey gives the horse industry more information than ever before.“We found that horse owners are more involved in their vocation than just about any other group. They read equine publications, they use the web, and they are impulse buyers. Horsemanship defines horse owners. It’s very much a lifestyle.”

Sponsored by the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program, in cooperation with the University of Kentucky’s Equine Initiative, the summit drew speakers from every facet of the equine industry. Two main areas of interest were fragmentation of the equine industry and  the need to attract and educate new owners.

“In terms of growth, a lot of times we think taller, bigger, better,” said John Long, CEO of the United State Equestrian Federation (USEF). “But another level we have to consider is horizontal. We have to learn to connect all the silos in the business. (Right now) we have no central voice, and we don’t even have the ability to talk to each other. We share the same interests and concerns, but there is no vehicle to connect us.”

“The challenge is to combine the power and resources of the smaller groups,” noted Martin Concannon, with Lafayette Associates of Lexington. “The key of any business is information, and our fragmentation is holding us back.”

“Many of the issues have been the same the last 30 years,” added John Della Volpe, founder and managing partner for SocialSphere, which works with the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). “The difference is that technology can assist us now. It has reach and  is affordable.”

Technology is changing the horse world,” agreed Tim Capps of the University of Louisville, who moderated the sessions. “We’re trying to connect with our customers, and connect customers with the horse. We have to reshape our mindset. We’re all marketers and ambassadors and we all have to reach out.”

2008 Cotton Stakes 4yo Open

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
Earned: $26,381


Peppers Pride scores historic 16th

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Peppers Pride joined Citation, Cigar, Mr Frisky and Hallowed Dreams, in the exclusive roster of Thoroughbreds that have won 16 races in a row, with her victory in the $75,000 Russell and Helen Foutz Distaff Handicap at SunRay Park, Farmington, NM, on April 26.

The 5-year-old New Mexico-bred daughter of Desert God carried high weight of 127 pounds – six to 14 pounds more than her seven rivals – to win the 6 1/2 furlong race by 2 lengths, in a time of 1:17.01. Carlos Madeira, who has piloted Peppers Pride for all of her races, was once again at the controls for trainer Joel Marr and owner and breeder Joe Allen, Abilene, Texas.

Bossy Bush, a 4-year-old with a perfect record of four wins and bet as second favorite to Peppers Pride, finished second, but broke down just past the wire.

Peppers Pride, with 12 stakes victories in 16 wins, has career earnings of $861,665. Although some elitists have tried to diminsh Peppers Pride’s accomplishments because she has run strictly against New Mexico-breds, owner Joe Allen, defended her achievement in an article in the Abilene Reporter News. “As far as this particular record goes, it has nothing to do with where you ran or who you ran against,” he said. “It is simply the longest winning streak. If it was so easy, there’d be hundreds of horses to have already have done it.”

Allen, who owns a popular restaurant and catering business in Abilene, has said he plans to retire Peppers Pride at the end of her 5-year-old season, following at most five more starts.

Got Country Grip broke an all-time Quarter and Paint horse record for consecutive wins from starts with his 15th victory last November, in the G1 Olympia Joe Paint & Appaloosa Handicap at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. Quarter racing’s Josie’s Bar, Destiny Drummer and Pies Royal Request had previously earned 14 wins in a row but lost in their fifteenth start.

NCHA Super Stakes Sale has second highest average on record

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Broodmares were in demand during the NCHA Super Stakes Sales, produced by Western Bloodstock at Will Rogers Equestrian Center, Fort Worth, TX, April 18 and 19. The high seller at $265,000 was the 12-year-old Dual Pep daughter Kwackin (pictured), dam of the 2006 NRCHA Open Futurity champion. Bred to High Brow Cat for 2009 and consigned by Elephant Butte Ranch, Kwackin sold to Floyd Miller, Cottonwood Springs Ranch, Bayfield, CO.

Bambi Freckles also bred to High Brow Cat and consigned by John and Hope Mitchell, brought $225,000 from Jack and Sherry Cowan, Payson, AZ. The 13-year-old Freckles Playboy daughter is the dam of 2007 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro co-reserve champion Millions Of Freckles. Austin Cat, a 9-year-old High Brow Cat daughter bred to Peptoboonsmal, sold to John McCoy, Houston, TX, for $100,000. She was consigned by Bennett-Martin Cutting Horses.

Gross sales for the two-day sale averaged, $16,765 on 186 head, including 55 head with reserve not attained. Net sales on 131 head averaged $16,765; 18 head were withdrawn. Session 1 on March 18 saw the strongest exchange with 31 broodmares that averaged $33,716. Session 3, featuring trained cutting horses sold live while working cattle, averaged $14,466. The weakest of the sale’s 3 sessions featured 32 three-year-olds that averaged $5,228.

“The quality just wasn’t there on the three-year-olds that we had to offer,” said Jim Ware of Western Bloodstock. “Otherwise it was a strong sale with the second highest average on record for the Super Stakes Sales.”

The sale average was $1,965 more per head than in 2007, while the number sold was up by 15 head from 116 in 2007.

The NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale, held during the 2008 NCHA Derby and Classic/Challenge, is scheduled for August 1 and 2 at Will Rogers Equestrian Center.

Hats off to the NCHA Super Stakes champions

Monday, April 21st, 2008

The NCHA Open Super Stakes had all the elements of a blockbuster. Peptos Stylish Miss and John Mitchell threw out the challenge with a gutsy 222-point performance as the third draw. The score held its number one rank until NCHA Futurity champion High Brow CD and Austin Shepard came cutting, seventh down in the second set, looking for their fourth consecutive major title and the second leg of the NCHA Triple Crown.

Their 227-point run had the crowd roaring. Then Playin N Fancy Smart and Kory Pounds tied into the herd, three slots after High Brow CD, and scored 227 points.

But the cutting wasn’t over until Miss Stylish Pepto and Bill Riddle, cutting dead last, wrung 223 points out of a well worn herd and claimed the resertve championship and $80,418. High Brow CD, by High Brow Cat, and Playin N Fancy Smart, by Smart Little Lena, each won $103,776 as co-champions of the 2008 NCHA Super Stakes, and split $39,200 from the Super Stallion Incentive Fund.

“I felt like my first two cows were really good and my third cow was a little bit gentle,” said Shepard, who rides High Brow CD for the stallion’s new owner, Chris and Staci Thibodeaux’s Grace Ranch, Jennings, LA. “I think if me or Kory, either one or the other, got a better third cow, the one with the better third cow would have won.

“But I’m happy it ended like it did. We both won. I like tying with my friends.”

Coincidentally, Miss Stylish Pepto, owned by Glenn and Debbie Drake, and Peptos Stylish Miss, owned by Slate River Ranch, are full siblings by Peptoboonsmal out of Stylish And Foxie, by Docs Stylish Oak.” Both Miss Stylish Pepto and Peptos Stylish Miss were bred to High Brow CD this spring. Slate River Ranch also owns Sarahs Super Cat, who split 14/15 under John Mitchell. All added, between Playin N Fancy Smart, Peptos Stylish Miss fourth place), and Sarahs Super Cat, Slate River Ranch won $190,184.

“It’s a testament to Slate River Ranch that they had three horses in the finals,” said Pounds. “I knew my mare was good, I knew I cut good cows. I wasn’t trying to beat Austin. I just wanted to go get my mare shown as best I could.”

Non-Pro co-champs Bushaw and Wood
Chad Bushaw, a Non-Pro go-round leader, grabbed the lead with 222 points on Cats Ruby, as the third rider in the first set.

His only threat came four-deep in the second set, where Paula Wood and Cash My Boon made their bid for another 222-point score. Only Jim Vangilder, the next-to-last rider, came close to Bushaw and Wood, with 218.5 points on Playin At The Mall.

“Good clean cuts make the biggest difference,” said Bushaw. “If you cut good cows, you’re supposed to dominate the situation.”

Bushaw, who spit 10/13 in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity on Cats Ruby, purchased the mare through her trainer Sean Flynn, and sold the gelding Dual Ya Scoot, who would go on to become the NCHA Amatuer Futurity champion under Philip Layne and third-placed in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.

“I was scratching my head there for a while, wondering if I had made the right decision,” said Bushaw, referring to the sale of Dual Ya Scoot. “But I couldn’t be happier for Philip, and you like to sell good horses to good people and see them do well.”

Paula Wood made her move as fourth rider in the second set on Cash My Boon, by Duals Blue Boon, a the stallion raised by Paula and her husband, trainer Kobie Wood.

“The first two cows were exactly the order that we wanted to cut them in,” she said. “My horse is a run-go-stop type and those kind of cows fit him.

“He’s from everything that we’ve had and raised, from Cash Quixote Rio to Duals Blue Boon to Tari Chick Gay,” Woods added, referring to horses shown by Kobie. “It’s what we’ve dreamed of raising and we finally got it.”