Archive for April, 2009

Former race champ rescued from final finish

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Ten years ago, when I produced a tip sheet for Lone Star Park, Lights On Broadway was always a reliable pick for a ticket at the North Texas track, where he was named  2001 Texas Horse of the Year. But last year, the Texas-bred gelding was on a fast track to the final finish line.

Click here to read Gary West’s excellent article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram about Lights On Broadway, who was rescued from slaughter and is now at home with race trainer Dallas Keen (pictured in 2001) and his wife, Donna, who retrain former racehorses for new careers.

Horses, humans and Hendra virus

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Swine, those dirty pigs, get the credit for the current flu pandemic. But, I wondered, have horses recently transmitted a potentially fatal virus to humans?

It turns out they have – the Hendra virus.

Hendra virus (photo credit CSIRO) is named for the Brisbane suburb in Queensland, where it was first identified in 1994, after causing the deaths of 14 horses in the stable of well-known Australian racehorse trainer, Vic Rail. Since then, 10 more outbreaks have occurred, most recently in August 2008,  just 10 days after Queensland was officially cleared of equine influenza (EI).

Scientists believe fruit bats are the natural “host” of the virus and that horses are infected through bat urine or saliva. All known Hendra outbreaks have occurred in Australia, where the fruit nectar-eating pteropid fruit bats are commonly known as “flying foxes.”

Although the first cases presented with flu-like symptoms, some later cases caused encephalitis. According to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world, of the six known human cases of Hendra virus, all contracted directly from horses, three were fatal. So far there has been no evidence of human-to-human transmission. (more…)

Dams of 2009 Money Earners

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Following are the leading dams of NCHA money earners for the 2009 calendar year, based on official NCHA results posted through April 25, including the NCHA Super Stakes.

Dam 2009 $
Chers Shadow $172,621
Tapt Twice $164,978
Crab Grass $136,205
Stylish And Foxie $135,038
Bueno Chex Dually $94,827
Hangem High Playboy $87,115
Oh Cay Shorty $83,041
Desire Some Freckles $82,291
Stella Starlight $82,197
Dainty Playgirl $74,981


2009 NCHA Riders

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Following are the leading NCHA riders of the 2009 calendar year, based on official NCHA results posted through April 25. The list includes both Open and Non-Pro riders. NCHA Super Stakes and Classic earnings are now included. (Compare to previous listing).

Rider 2009 Earnings
PHILIP RAPP $261,671
BOYD RICE $175,512
MATT GAINES $137,186
CLINT ALLEN $132,471
ED FLYNN $116,432
BILL RIDDLE $115,912
CHAD BUSHAW $114,724


Results of NCHA Super Stakes Sale encouraging for cutting industry

Monday, April 27th, 2009

In spite of a wounded national economy, results of the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes Sale were encouraging, according to Jim Ware of Western Bloodstock, the company that produces all official NCHA sales.

“I am optimistic,” said Ware. “Our averages for the Futurity Sales in December were down 36 percent, but not nearly as much compared to sales in the Thoroughbred and other horse industries. In the Super Stakes Sale, I read the market to be better than in December for the types of horses we sold.”

“It was a good sale,” reiterated Ben Emison, also of Western Bloodstock. “The attendance was great, the averages were good, and there were fewer pass outs than in previous sales. Overall, it was very encouraging for the cutting industry.”

The 2009 Super Stakes Sale averaged $11,004 on 155 head sold, with an average of $76,800 on the top five sold; $56,500 for the top 10; and $41,375 on the top 20. Reserve was not attained on 32 head with an average of $22,322. (more…)

Freshman sire CD Lights shines at NCHA Open Super Stakes

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

On April 14, I listed sires of 2009 NCHA Super Stakes Open semi-finalists and noted 8 freshman sires that each had at least one semi-finalist. Although CD Lights was on the list of sires, I failed to note that he is also a freshman sire. Highlighting the omission, is the fact that CD Lights was the only freshman sire with two NCHA Super Stakes Open finalists: Dual Lights and A Little Bossy, both of which were also Super Stakes Open Gelding finalists.

CD Light’s first 13 performers have qualified for 20 LAE finals and won eight championships and one reserve championship in both cutting and reined cowhorse events. In addition he was the leading 2009 NRCHA Stakes Stallion with his first crop.

CD Lights is owned by Winston Hansma, who rode his sire CD Olena to win the 1994 NCHA Futurity, and Danny Motes, owner of his dam, 1997 NCHA Derby champion, Delight Of My Life, also ridden by Hansma. He stands at Alpha Equine Breeding Center in Weatherford, TX.

Here’s a look at the 2009 Super Stakes Open finalists, sorted by sires:

Sire Finalist
Abrakadabracre Magic Abbie
Athena Puddy Cat Athena Nuff
Boonlight Dancer Third Cutting
Cats Red Feather Purdy Feather
CD Lights Dual Lights
CD Lights A Little Bossy
CD Royal Lil Dusty Lola
Docs Stylish Oak Stylin Playgirl
Dual Rey Mandalay Rey
Dual Rey Lean On Rey
Dual Rey Never Reylinquish
High Brow Cat Metallic Cat
High Brow Cat Dont Look Twice
High Brow Cat Hangem Cat
High Brow Cat That Catomine
Its Just About Me Dees Mr Charles
Peptoboonsmal Eyez On Me
Peptoboonsmal Boon Too Suen
Peptoboonsmal Ginger Pepto
Royal Fletch Metro Fletch
Smart Lena Boon My Other Toys A Car
Smooth As A Cat Smooth Asa Zee
WR This Cats Smart Catsmere


Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Recent news of a new strain of influenza spreading in Mexico reminded me of some interesting facts from the book The Horse In The City, written by Clay McShane and Joel A. Farr and published in 2007.

Humans are victims and vectors for the flu in Mexico, but McShane and Farr remind readers of equine “epizootics” that a little more than one hundred years ago could shut down public transportation and teamster operations for weeks.

The first major American epizootics occurred during the Civil War, when military animals were tethered together on picket lines. The Union remount depot in the District of Columbia housed up to 30,000 horses, where as many as 300 horses died per day. During the first two years of the War, 248,000 Union Army horses died from glanders, alone. (more…)