March 22nd, 2011

Wes, Beau and Jody Galyean

It’s the age old question and one we are constantly reminded of in sports, politics, and the arts. Is it heredity or environment? Or both, as Martin Sheen would have us believe in regard to his son, Charlie’s, aberrant behavior.

The question is compounded in horse sports (there could be a thesis here), but a list of fathers and sons who have excelled as professionals in cutting competition gives credence to the prepotency of family connections, while NCHA Futurity wins serve as a good measure.

The stellar example is the Gaylean family. Jody Galyean, 56, and his sons, Beau, 31, and Wesley, 28, have together earned more than $7 million. They can also claim distinction as cutting’s first triumvirate with individual NCHA Futurity Open championship titles.

Winston and Paula Hansma are the only other siblings besides the Galyeans to have claimed cutting’s most prestigious title, but there are other father-son winners:

Buster Welch – Greg Welch
Buster won the first edition of the NCHA Futurity, in 1962, and holds the record with five NCHA Futurity titles. Greg won the 1991 NCHA Futurity on Little Tenina.

Shorty Freeman – Bill Freeman
Shorty won the NCHA Futurity on Doc O’Lena in 1970 and on Lenaette in 1975. Bill won the event in 1979, on Docs Diablo; in 1982, on Smart Little Lena; and in 1988, on Smart Little Senor.

Ronnie Rice – Tag Rice
Ronnie won the NCHA Futurity in 1998 on Dainty Playgirl and again in 2001 aboard San Tule Freckles. Tag won the NCHA Futurity, as well as the Super Stakes and Derby in 2002/2003 on Chiquita Pistol.

Father and son Olan and Faron Hightower just missed inclusion in this elite group. Olan won the NCHA Futurity in 1976 on Colonel Freckles; Faron was reserve champion in 2000 on Justa Smart Peanut.

Jody Galyean won the 1986 NCHA Futurity on Royal Silver King; Wesley Galyean earned the title in 2004 on Spots Hot; and Beau won in 2008 aboard Metallic Cat.

Winston Hansma was NCHA Futurity champion in 1994 with CD Lights; Paul Hansma won in 1996 riding Playboy McCrae.