Archive for December, 2009

The gift that keeps on giving

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Christmas 2009 was especially sweet for NCHA Futurity finalists, including the connections of the open champion Rockin W, who earned $265,496. The Dual Rey son was one of 19 out of the 28 open finalists that are descendants of the stallion Rey Del Rancho through his son Rey Jay. Many also trace to the Rey Jay daughter Gay Jay through her famous son, Freckles Playboy.

Gay Jay was a weanling in 1958, when her breeder, Curly Talmage, then of Azle, TX, sold her along with a gelding for $400 to Bill Riley of Fort Worth, who surprised his children with the horses that Christmas.

“I delivered them to his house and tied them in the back yard on Christmas Eve,” Talmage remembered. “When Gay Jay got old enough to ride, Mr. Riley sent her to me and I trained her. Then he sold her to Dr. Rex Howard and I trained her for him on cattle.”

Later, according to Talmage, Howard put a price tag of $1,000 on the mare and sold her to Guy Harrel. Eventually, Gay Jay ended up with B.F. Phillips, who bought her for his daughter, Pam. When Phillips dispersed his show horses in favor of Quarter racehorses, Talmage went to the sale in hopes of buying Gay Jay.

“At this time, I had a little money in my pocket,” Talmage explained. “But Marion Flynt sat down in the front row and he bought Gay Jay for $17,000 and I went home with an empty trailer.”

Flynt, a West Texas auto dealer, owned Rey Jay, who he reportedly paid $25,000 for in 1965. Talmage had given Ira White $350 for Rey Jay in 1957, at the same time that he purchased Georgia Cody for $250. Gay Jay was Georgia Cody’s first foal; her second one, a 1959 colt named Solaz Sin Tachos, by Rey Jay, was the last before her untimely death.

“I bought Rey Jay because of his King Ranch breeding and his looks,” Talmage said. “The first time I ever saw him he was in a little old garage. It was boarded up and I looked through a crack and the first thing I could see was this white spot in his eye glaring at me. But when I got a good look, I liked him and went ahead and bought him, spot and all.”

Veterinarians told Talmage that Rey Jay had about sixty percent vision in the eye, which Talmage discovered was especially sensitive to dust. “I bought a pair of trailer goggles that we used at that time to keep bugs out of horses’ eyes when we hauled them in open trailers,” Talmage said. “I cut the plastic cup off of the good eye and left it open, but kept it on the bad eye.

“If the dust got in his eye he would hold it closed and go to missing cows. As long as you kept the dust out he worked just fine.”

In 1959, Talmage sold Rey Jay to Tommy Lee, of Fort Wayne, IN, for $4,000 and got a Royal King daughter besides. “I thought I did real well,” said Talmage. It was Lee who sold the sorrel stallion to Flynt, who by this time already owned Gay Jay and the stallion Jewel’s Leo Bars (Freckles). Freckles Playboy, foaled in 1973, was by Jewel’s Leo Bars.

Talmage never saw Gay Jay again after the Phillips Ranch Sale, but he watched her famous sons, Jay Freckles, Freckles Playboy, Freckles Hustler and Lenas Success perform and owned a daughter of her full brother, Solaz Sin Tachos.

“I’ve had people ask me if I couldn’t kick myself for selling Rey Jay,” said Talmage. “Yes and no. Anytime you can make that kind of a profit in two years, you’d do the same today. The numbers would just be different. Most everybody sells horses if they can make a profit.”

2009 NCHA Futurity open finalists who trace to Gay Jay and/or Rey Del Rancho:

1 Rockin W
3 Smooth Going Cat
5 Arosesuchaclatter
6 Reys Desire
7 George C Merada
9/10 Stylish Rey
11/12 Smooth O Toole
13 Special Nu Baby
15 Blue Dox Com
16 Cat A Rey
17/19 Im Divas Cat
20 Lil Fayemous Pepto
21 Ms Peppa Roanie Rich
22/23 Chiquita Cat
22/23 RPL Pepto Max
24 Can You Dual It
26 Harley
27/28 Glows Smooth Cat
27/28 Little Jazzarey

Regulators seek to put the bite on equine dentistry

Monday, December 28th, 2009

“It’s like saying you need to become an architect in order to work as a carpenter,” says Tom Allen, who floats horses’ teeth for a living and also happens to be a licensed veterinarian. Allen, quoted from a front-page article by Stephanie Simon in today’s Wall Street Journal, is voicing his concern about veterinary oversight boards in Texas and several other states that aim to put “unlicensed” floaters out of business.

The concern is the safety of patients in the hands of floaters who may use power tools and sedate animals. According to attorney Clark Neily, who wants to block overregulation, forced licensing of equine teeth floaters could open the door for licensing of all manner of cowboy jobs, such as bull castrators, or cattle dehorners, not to mention other fields.

To read the article and view a video of Texas floater Carl Mitz, who has been at his job for over 25 years, click here or go to

WSJ photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

2009 NCHA Futurity finalists’ sires

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Below is a breakdown of the 2009 NCHA Futurity finalists’ sires. Dual Rey was the leading sire in all divisions and in terms of total offspring earnings – $833,902. His foals earned $576,862 in the Open Finals; $136,326 in the Non-Pro Finals; and $30,121 in the Amateur. High Brow Cat offspring earned a total of $711,256, while Smooth As A Cat ranked third in total offspring earnings with $535,650. In all, the offspring of 75 different stallions earned checks at the show. (Total earnings reflect all divisions, including limited, semi-finals and senior.)

Sires (11) of Open Finalists (28)
Dual Rey 7
High Brow Cat 6
Smooth As A Cat 5
Pepto Boonsmal 3
Abracadabracre 1
Cats Merada 1
Mecom Blue 1
Mr Peppys Freckles 1
Peeka Pep 1
Spots Hot 1
That Sly Cat 1


2009 NCHA Riders

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Following are the leading NCHA riders of the 2009 calendar year, based on official NCHA results for all shows held during the year. The list includes both Open, Non-Pro and Amateur riders. (Compare to previous listing).

Rider 2009 $
PHIL RAPP $593,769
MARY ANN RAPP $417,104
BOYD RICE $345,501
CHAD BUSHAW $338,938
CLINT ALLEN $329,654
MATT GAINES $316,149
SEAN FLYNN $297,913


NCHA Futurity Sales reflect healthy cutting horse economy

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

It’s official. The 2009 NCHA Futurity Sales averaged $13,260 on actual sales of 778 horses for completed sales of 80 percent. The average was just $300 shy of last year’s figure ($13,688), while completed sales rose by 3 percent.

“We believe the market has bottomed out and it’s on the rise,” said Jim Ware, a director of Western Bloodstock, the company that produces the sales. “While we didn’t have the numbers or some of the great broodmares to sell that we’ve had in the past, the horses we did have sold well, and there were some high-dollar lots that came within just a few thousand dollars of meeting their reserves.”

Two of the sales – 2-Year-Olds by Select Sires, as well as the Mid-Futurity Sale of Show Horses – averaged more than they did in 2008, and the average for the Select Seasoned Cutting Horse Sale remained the same, proof, according to Ware, that the market for show horses under saddle is especially strong.

“In the end, the results were very positive,” said Ware. “The top 100 category was off by a big amount because we didn’t have those great broodmares to sell, but prices for the mid-range horses were so strong that they pulled the average up.

“What we’ve seen in year’s past, with a big adjustment like there was last year, due to the national economy, when the market starts to go back up, the mid-range horse averages improve first. That’s the sign we look for to tell us the market is on the upswing. The top-end horses will follow, when they are offered.” (more…)

2009 NCHA Futurity Open

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Earned: $250,000


2009 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Earned: $50,735