Archive for January, 2013

MC Im With The Band earns baton at Augusta Futurity

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Craig Thompson

Patrick and Laura Collins’ gelding MC Im With The Band, by Smooth As A Cat, took center stage on Saturday with 223.5 points to win the Augusta Futurity and a paycheck of $10,000. Trained and shown by Craig Thompson, MC Im With The Band was the second consecutive Augusta Futurity champion owned by the Collins and shown by Thompson, who won the 2012 event with 222.5 points on Oh Cay Do Over, who had been NCHA Futurity Non-Pro champion under Patrick Collins.

Reys Lucky Gal, by Dual Rey, with Jonathon Rogers, and SDP Moms TR, by TR Dual Rey, under Brett McGlothlin, tied for second with 220 points. McGlothlin also placed fifth with 215 points on SDP Gretchens Kitty and in addition, Rogers placed with Starlight Smoothie and Smooth Catallac.

Harris Shepard, 18, carried the banner in the Non-Pro Futurity with a 217-point win worth $6,200 on homegrown Especially Thomas, by Thomas E Hughes. Harris, a college freshman near his home in Verbena, Ala., is the third member of his family to win an Augusta Futurity championship. Collectively, Harris and his father, Sam, and half-brother, Austin, have won the event seven times. Together, they earned a total of $32,554 in this year’s event, alone.

Barnwell Ramsey scored 216 points on Autumn Ruby Reys, by Vaca Rey, for the Non-Pro reserve title, and Amateur champion Alexis Stephas was third, with 215.5 points, on Once You Go Black, by Hydrive Cat.

The high score from all finals divisions was 225 points marked by Fort Worth Pipeline and John Wold in the Open Classic. The win, which paid $12,000, was the first for Wold at Augusta, as well as the first for owner and breeder, Lisa Bankston of Fort Worth. Wold, who also showed Fort Worth Pipeline to win the AQHA World Show last November, was a finalist in the 2003 Augusta Futurity on her sire, Cats Merada.

Great Chief, shown by Austin Shepard for Joel Congrove, was reserve champion of the Open Classic with 222 points. Lahaina Lena, under Phil Rapp, and Bellas Davidson, with Gabe Reynolds, tied for third with 218 points. Shepard also placed sixth on Cats In Ya Dreams, and Rapp tied himself for seventh with 215.5 points aboard Teninas Smooth Cat and Shorty Boonsmal.

Chisholm Clark, 17, and Jason McClure were co-champions of the Classic Non-Pro division with 220 points, respectively, on Jesse Woodson James and Freckles Meow. Elizabeth Queen was second with 219 points on Lil Sting Rey.

Click here for full details, scores and breeding.

2013 Augusta Futurity

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

High Brow Cat: 25-year-old leading sire changes hands

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Jack Waggoner

“All good things must come to an end.” Except for American Quarter Horse stallions who, dead or alive, are able to sire foals until their frozen semen supplies are depleted. Such is the case with High Brow Cat, the cutting industry’s all-time leading sire, with offspring earnings of more than $57 million.

The sale of the 25-year-old stallion, owned since a foal by Jack Waggoner, Bridgeport, Tex., is to be officially announced at a press conference today, January 25, at NCHA headquarters in Fort Worth, where details of the transaction will be discussed. Colt Ventures, owned by Darren and Julie Blanton, Dallas, Tex.

Short notes from the press conference: Waggoner sold High Brow Cat and his remaining semen to Colt Ventures, along with Waggoner’s remaining horses, including 25 High Brow Cat offspring; a High Brow Cat clone due this year; Waggoner Ranch and equipment; and the 22-year-old stallion Smart Aristocrat. Although the Wall Street Journal reported the selling price to be just under $9 million, Waggoner and Blanton would not confirm this.

Private investors Darren and Julie Blanton have owned and shown cutting horse for 10 years, and will continue to “stand” High Brow Cat, to a select number of mares, through the services of Weatherford Equine Breeding Facility in Weatherford, Tex.

“Breeding horses is just like building a business, you have to have a plan,” said Waggoner, who built his personal wealth in the insurance and hotel industries, and his understanding of selective breeding by raising Golden Retrievers for field trials, before he turned to cutting horses in 1982.

“When we started to breed (High Brow) Cat, people said, ‘Oh, boy, he’s a High Brow Hickory.’ But I said that this is the way a cutting horse should be bred to look and to act.”

High Brow Cat was moderately successful as a show horse with two wins, one as a 5-year-old and one as a 6-year-old, and career earnings of $110,102, and annually bred a modest number mare owners, until his seventh season, when his 3-year-olds caught the whole-hearted attention of the cutting industry.

Waggoner purchased High Brow Cat as a foal, along with his dam, Smart Little Kitty, by Smart Little Lena. At the time, Smart Little Lena was just hitting his stride as a sire.

“His mother was never shown,” said Waggoner of Smart Little Kitty. “She had her eye put out when she was a yearling, but she was out of Doc’s Kitty, maybe the best Doc Bar daughter that there ever was. And I had the advantage, I bought her first son, Smart Bronze (by Smart Little Lena and thus inbred to Smart Little Lena), and I knew what she produced. I bought her because of him. He was a little, wiry thing and he wasn’t very strong, but he was the smartest baby I had ever seen. He was very, very intelligent.”

High Brow Cat himself was from the first crop of High Brow Hickory, 1986 NCHA Futurity reserve champion, who would go on to have a mediocre stud career with 347 money earners and average offspring earnings of $13,362. His first son out of Smart Little Kitty, however, would set a new standard for cutting horse sires.

“Every once in a while a horse will come along that whatever you breed him to, it will cut,” Waggoner said. “But not very often.”

The beauty of High Brow Cat, from the outset, was the fact that he crossed well on daughters of so many different sires. While Smart Little Lena, syndicated at the start of his breeding career, had a limited but select book of mares, High Brow Cat was initially bred to a wide range of mares by numerous sires. Although he endured a six-year drought because a limited number of mares were bred to him during those years, the most being 133 in 1998, the drought ended for High Brow Cat in 2003, when One Smart Lookin Cat won the NCHA Futurity under Craig Morris, and High Brow Cougar and Miss Woody Two Shoes placed third and fourth.

Altogether, High Brow Cat accounted for seven of the 25 finalists in the 2003 NCHA Open Futurity; in the 2004 NCHA Futurity, he improved on his record with 10 open finalists; and in 2006 with 12. In addition, he has sired a record six NCHA Futurity open champions and is the dam’s sire of two more, with a double jackpot in 2012, when his son, He Bea Cat, and his granddaughter, CR Tuff Hearted Cat, out of CR Cats Meow, became NCHA Futurity co-champions.

From 1998 through 2010, High Brow Cat never bred fewer than 100 mares in one season. In 2003 and 2006 he bred 205 and 208, respectively, and 177 in 2010. The divorce of Jack and Susan Waggoner, however, necessitated a sale of their assets in October 2010, as well as extenuating legal issues over ownership of High Brow Cat and his frozen semen. He sired 88 foals in 2011 and 20 have been registered to date by AQHA from his 2012 crop.

Through January 24, AQHA shows High Brow Cat with a total of 2,205 foals, 1,326 which are performance horses, including 574 performers in 2012. Official NCHA records, to date, show High Brow Cat as the sire of 1,286 money earners with a total of $53,368,830 and average earnings of $41,500. By comparison, his closest rival among all-time leading sires of NCHA earners, Smart Little Lena, has sired 1,281 NCHA money earners with $35,819,095 and average earnings of $27,962.

2013 NCHA World Series Augusta

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

2013: Emerging breeding trends

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Contested on the heels of the NCHA Futurity, the Abilene Spectacular and the Augusta Futurity often serve as bellwethers for annual cutting horse breeding trends. While the Augusta Futurity is in full swing (it began its seven-day run on January 20), I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast some of the data on sires of open and non-pro finalists from the NCHA Futurity and Abilene. Here is some of what I found:

There were a total of 44 finalists in the Abilene Spectacular 4-year-old open and non-pro divisions (31 open; 13 non-pro). The 44 finalists were represented by 24 sires, eight (33 %) of which were first or second-crop sires.

These first and second-crop sires accounted for 11 (25%) of the 44 finalists and include –

First-crop sires:

  • Hydrive Cat with 2 – Open Champion Overdrive and SDP Hydriven Hicapoo
  • Cats Quixote Jack with 2 – Non-Pro Reserve Champion Lizzard Jack and Jack Boon Cat
  • High Brow CD with one – Non-Pro Champion Reyzin
  • Halreycious with one – No Way In Hal (open)

Second-crop sires:

  • Autumn Acre with 2 – Freckles In Autumn (open) and Hillbilly Handfishin (non-Pro)
  • Atta Cat with one – Cattapep (non-pro)
  • Purdy Boy Flash with one – Flash About (non-pro)
  • Woody Be Tuff with one – CR First Tuff (open)

Seven of the 23 sires had over 100 foals born in their 2009 foal crops, including first-crop sire Hydrive Cat, with 131 foals. The others were Hes A Peptospoonful (183); Smooth As A Cat (171); One Time Pepto (158); High Brow Cat (157); Peptoboonsmal (133); and Dual Rey (102).

High Brow Cat was the leading sire of finalists with 6, followed by Dual Rey with 5 and One Time Pepto with 4. In addition, 6 of the finalists were sired by sons of High Brow Cat.

Smart Little Lena, Peppy San Badger, and Freckles Playboy predominate, as they have for over a decade, as maternal grandsires of sires, but Doc Quixote also made a stronger appearance through Atta Cat, Cats Quixote Jack, Nitas Wood, Quejanaisalena, Spots Hot, and Woody Be Tuff.

The NCHA Futurity had a total of 62 open (30) and non-pro (32) finalists, represented by 28 sires, seven (11%) of which were first of second-crop sires.
These first and second-crop sires accounted for 12 (19%) of total finalists –

First-crop sires:

  • Halreycious with 3 – Looks Halreycious (open), Hal Ofa Secret (open), and No Way In Hal (open)
  • Cats Quixote Jack with 2 – Jack Boon Cat (open) and Ima Studio Cat (open)

Second-crop sires:

  • Woody Be Tuff with 2 – Open Champion CR Tuff Hearted Cat and Kittyswood (open)
  • Boon Too Suen with 2 – Non-Pro Champion Donas Suen Boon, also an open finalist
  • Atta Cat with one – Catta Pep (non-pro)
  • Autumn Acre with one – Hillbilly Handfishin (non-pro)
  • Thomas E Hughes with one – Especially Thomas (non-pro)

For complete results, with breeding information, from the 2012 NCHA Futurity and the 2013 Abilene Spectacular, click here.

2013 Abilene Spectacular

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

One Dashing Eagle named AQHA World Champion

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

One Dashing Eagle, who made history by winning three million-dollar futurities and setting a single-season earnings record of $2,079,065, has been named the 2012 World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse, as well as champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old colt.

Owned by Jose and Gustavo De La Torre with Jorge Carmona’s San Gregorio Racing Stable of Norco, California, One Dashing Eagle won six of seven races at two, including the $2.4 million All American Futurity (G1), $1,073,000 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and $1,001,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1). He joins a select group of 10 horses chosen as world champion in their freshman year, with the most recent being Stolis Winner in 2008.

Bred by the Allred Bros. of Mesa, Arizona, One Dashing Eagle is by champion and leading freshman sire One Famous Eagle and out of the First Down Dash mare One Sweet Dash. His trainers include Jose and Ugo De La Torre and Eloy Navarro, and his jockeys include Ramon Sanchez and Adrian Loza.

PJ Chick In Black, the winner of the Ruidoso Futurity (G1) and New Mexican Spring Futurity (RG2), was named champion 2-year-old filly. Trained by Carl Draper and John Stinebaugh, and ridden by Esgar Ramirez, PJ Chick In Black won five of six starts and earned $523,339. Bred by Fredda Draper of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, and owned by Dennis Bowen, Susan Taylor and Jack Smith Farms of El Paso, Texas, the New Mexico-bred is by Desirio and out Eddie Jym, by Corona Cocktail.

Champion 2-year-old gelding El Duero won the West Texas Futurity (G1) and was second by a nose in the Heritage Place Futurity (G1). Trained by Toby Keeton and ridden by Agustin Silva, G.R. Carter Jr. and Francisco Ramirez, the Oak Tree Special son earned $285,378, with a record of one win and three seconds in four starts. Bred by Jorge Haddad of Seguin, Texas, El Duero is owned by Joel Valeriano, Sammy Valeriano and Lionel Zapata’s R/T Stables of Odessa, Texas.

Ochoa, 2011 champion 2-year-old and 2-year-old gelding, became the sport’s all-time leading money earner, with more than $2.6 million, and was also named 2012 champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding. The winner of six of eight starts in 2012, Ochoa won the All American Derby (G1) and Rainbow Derby (G1), while earning $1,375,541. Owned by his breeders, John T.L. and Brenda Jones, Quanah, Texas, in partnership with Monte and Katsy Cluck and Doug Benson, Ochoa is by Tres Seis, out of Stolis Fortune, by Stoli, and was trained by C. Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath and ridden by Roy Baldillez.

Other 2012 AQHA racing champions include:

Champion 3-year-old colt – Hez Our Secret, by First Down Dash. Owned by Johnny Trotter, trained by Blane and Trey Wood, and ridden by Ricky Ramirez, Hez Our Secret had a record of 3-2-1 in 8 starts, with earnings of $630,252.

Champion 3-year-old filly – Flame N Flash, by Walk Thru Fire. Owned by Robert Williams, trained by Juan Aleman and Elena Andrade, and ridden by Francisco Rubio, Flame N Flash had a record of 4-1-1 in 8 starts, with earnings of $353,756.

Champion aged gelding and champion aged horse – Rylees Boy, by Heza Motor Scooter. Owned by Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez, trained by Paul Jones and Gerardo Ochoa, and ridden by Ramon Sanchez and Joe Ruiz, 7-year-old Rylees Boy had a record of 4-1-0 in 7 starts, with earnings of $609,685.

Champion aged stallion – Prospect To The Top, by Coronas Prospect. Owned by Joel Tavarez, trained by Ralph Muniz, Mario Sanchez and Brandon Muniz, and ridden by Oscar Rincon, 4-year-old Prospect To The Top had a record of 3-1-0, with earnings of $275,500.

Champion aged mare – Fredaville, by Mr Jess Perry. Owned by the late Robert Gentry, trained by Juan Aleman, Cody Joiner, Matt Frazier and Clint Crawford, and ridden by G.R. Carter Jr., Francisco Rubio and Shanley Jackson, 6-year-old Fredaville had a record of 3-1-3 in 7 starts, with earnings of $131,920.

Champion distance horse – All About Larry, Heza Motor Scooter. Owned by Diane Heath, trained by John Stinebaugh and Tom Bartol, and ridden by Salvador Martinez, Jorge Carreno and Ry Eikelberry, 5-year-old All About Larry had a record of 6-1-0 in 8 starts, with earnings of $144,490.

Champion owners – Jose and Gustavo De La Torre, owners of world champion One Dashing Eagle. With a three-horse stable, the De La Torres earned $2,079,965, with six wins in 11 starts.

Champion breeders – Jerry, Harvey and Dale Allred, breeders of One Dashing Eagle. The Allred Bros. bred horses that earned $2,491,469 in 2012, while winning 14 of 50 races.

Champion trainer – Paul Jones earned the trainer title for the 11th consecutive year. In 2012, his runners earned $4,487,221 with 167 wins from 905 starts, making him the leader in money earned and in number of wins.

Champion jockey – G.R. Carter Jr. earned his 10th national riding title. In 2012, he rode the earners of $4,503,632, with 120 wins from 808 starts. He was the leading jockey by money won, and was sixth on the list by races won.