Widows Freckles 1994 – 2020

March 26th, 2020

Widows Freckles, 2002 NCHA Eastern Nationals Open and Non-Pro champion, owned by NCHA Hall of Fame inductees David and Stacie McDavid, of Fort Worth, Texas, was put to rest on March 24.

The McDavids, also owners of the stallion Hickorys Indian Pep, purchased Widows Freckles from Robert Middleton in 2006. Bred by the late Franklin Jones Jr., Marshall, Tex., Widows Freckles was sired by Freckles Playboy out of The Widow Wilson, by Son Ofa Doc, and was raised and trained by Son Ofa Doc’s owner Sam Wilson, Pattison, Tex.

Robert Middleton, Flora, Miss., purchased  Widows Freckles in June 1999, and that fall showed the sorrel stallion to win the Southern Futurity Non-Pro 5/6 championship. Robert, his daughter Lauren, also a non-pro competitor, and trainer Robert Rust continued to show Obi, as Widow Freckles came to be called, successfully through his 6-year-old season. In 2002, Austin Shepard took up the stallion’s reins to win the NCHA Eastern National Open championship, while Lauren Middleton showed Widows Freckles to win the Non-Pro. The next year, Shepard and Widows Freckles placed sixth in the NCHA Open World standings.

“I may not be able to stay away from home and win the World, but I’d like to get him qualified for the World Finals,” Shepard said in March 2003 about his plans for Widows Freckles. “My best three-year-old for the (2003) Futurity is by him, so it’s kind of neat to show him in the open (World competition) and then my best three-year-old, when I get home.”

Shepard and Widows Freckles did qualify for the World Finals, where they topped one of the go-rounds with 228 points, and Widows Freckles, who had already sired three crops of foals, retired with NCHA career earnings of $113,522. Through February 2020, Widows Freckles had sired earners of over $1.5 million.

Shepard’s top Futurity prospect, Widows Intentions, a gelding by Widows Freckles out of a Bob Acre Doc daughter, didn’t make the cut for the Futurity Finals, but he did qualify for the Semi-Finals, and six months later claimed the 2004 NCHA Derby Open reserve championship. Shown by  Shepard and owner Jim Langdale, Widows Intentions retired with lifetime earnings of $352,665.  

“I knew I liked him, when I first saw him,” said Shepard, after he qualified for the NCHA Futurity Semi-Finals on Widows Intentions. “He looks just like his daddy and is real low-headed and confident.

“His daddy, when you got a cow in front of him and serious about what he was doing, he was going to get there. I thought a lot of that horse because he was so gutsy.”