Lizzys Gotta Player, 2004 NCHA World Champion Stallion and sire of 61 NCHA money earners with $2 million and an average of $31,771, died May 12, following colic surgery. He was owned all of his life by Drummond Land & Cattle Company and buried on the Drummond Ranch near Pawhuska, Okla.
Bred by Oxbow Ranch and sired by Freckles Playboy, Lizzys Gotta Player was a full brother-in-blood to the noteworthy sire and dam’s sire Freckles Merada, whose offspring included Meradas Little Sue $670,098, at one time the sport’s all-time leading female money earner.
In 1997, the same year Drummond Land & Cattle Company sold their preeminent sire Docs Stylish Oak, Charles Drummand purchased Lizzielena from Oxbow Ranch, hoping the Freckles Playboy foal the Doc O’Lena daughter was carrying would be a “stud colt.”
“When we owned Docs Stylish Oak, the best cross on him was with Playboy mares,” said Tim Drummond, a fourth generation rancher and son of Charles Drummond. “So we wanted Lizzys Gotta Player to cross on our Docs Stylish Oak mares, with the theory of using that good cross in reverse.”
The theory proved all but flawless. The majority of Docs Stylish Oak’s money earners were out of daughters of Freckles Playboy or his son Freckles Merada, including 15 who each earned more than $100,000. Moreover, five of the 15 – Stylish Foxie $303,736; Stylish Play Lena $264,474; Mr Mom DNA $223,084; Stylish Playlin $181,525; and Playin Stylish LTE $111,330 – were bred by Drummond Land & Cattle Company. One of the five, Stylish Play Lena is also a leading producer of earners of $1.3 million, with four individual earners of more than $200,000 each, including Smooth Talkin Style, champion of the 2015 NCHA Open Super Stakes and reserve champion of the 2014 NCHA Open Futurity.
In addition to being the colt Charles Drummond had hoped for, Lizzys Gotta Player was a strong, cow-savvy athlete. Trained by Terry Riddle, who also trained and showed Freckles Merada, and showed Docs Stylish Oak throughout the stallion’s limited age event open career, Lizzys Gotta Player competed as an open finalist in five major 4-year-old events in 1999, including the Bonanza Futurity, where he won the open championship under Riddle. Tim Drummond showed Lizzys Gotta Player in 1991, as well, to win the Kansas Futurity Non-Pro finals.
In 2000, Kathy Daughn showed Lizzys Gotta Player as an open finalist in three major events, and in 2004, Robert Rust campaigned him to earn the NCHA World Champion Stallion title.
“He was a pleasure to ride,” said Drummond. “An absolute dream. He just wanted to please and to do whatever you wanted.”
“It’s been a constant goal of ours to raise good horses and improve our bloodlines,” Drummond continued. “That’s what my grandfather started years ago. We still breed a lot of horses for ranch work because we have need for them on a daily basis. One of my dad’s philosophies was that he only trained fillies (for competition). Most of the horse colts stay here as ranch geldings.
“After Lizzy went through his limited age event career, we brought him home and pasture bred him for four years to just a very limited number of mares. It takes a long time to develop (their babies) from the time you breed them to the time they get to the show pen. So we would have better served him, if we had stood him to the public earlier in his career. But he served us very well and we appreciate everyone who believed in him and bred to him. We also appreciate all EE Ranches did for him. He wasn’t just a tenant, they truly cared about him.”
The Drummonds stood Lizzys Gotta Player his entire public career at Jo Ellard’s EE Stallion Station in Whitesboro, Tex., also the home to six other stallions, including two-time NCHA World Champion sire, as well as Horse of the Year sire, Cat Ichi, owned and bred by EE Ranches.
“We will really miss him,” said Ellard of Lizzys Gotta Player. “Whenever I went to the stallion barn in the mornings and evenings, he was always one of the first to come to their stall doors and greet me.”
Lizzys Gotta A Player’s lifetime count of 61 NCHA performers includes 38 earners produced out of Docs Stylish Oak daughters, among them My Lizzie Babe $154,689; Sir Stylish Lizzy $142,514; Card Trick $142,514; and Lizzys Got Style $103,252, all bred by Drummond Land & Cattle Company.