…but frozen semen supplies eventually do.

Waggoner Ranch recently announced that due to testicular degeneration, High Brow Cat is sterile at the age of 22, although he will remain “cryogenically” fertile through frozen semen supplies for a number of years.

High Brow Cat is second only to Smart Little Lena, who turned 31 this year, as the all-time leading sire of cutting horses. Dual Pep, ranked third among leading living sires is 25.

The next decade will see a shift in hierarchy among cutting stallions, although the genetic pool is likely to remain the same, unless the elusive “out-cross,” which calls to mind the search for the Dutchman’s lost mine, is finally discovered.

There are a number of young stallions with outstanding performance records, but as yet no performers, that are ready to take up the leader’s mantle. In the meantime, there are the top-ranking “middle-aged” sires (in order of total offspring earnings at the end of 2009) – Peptoboonsmal (1992 – $13.8 million); Dual Rey (1994 – $13.3 million), CD Olena (1991 – $12.5), Playgun (1992 – $5.6 million) and Smart Mate (1990 – $5.4 million), all among the 20 all-time leading sires.

Most intriguing are the NCHA leading sires of 2009 (excluding those I have mentioned and Docs Stylish Oak, deceased)  in descending order of 2009 offspring earnings: Smooth as A Cat, Smart Lil Scoot, Sweet Lil Pepto, San Tule Freckles, Hes A Peptospoonful, TR Dual Rey, Boonlight Dancer, Bodee Boonsmal, Cats Merada, Peptos Stylish Oak, Playin Stylish.

Five of these 11 stallions (Sweet Lil Pepto, Hes A Peptospoonful, Boonlight Dancer, Bodee Boonsmal, and Peptos Stylish Oak) are sired by Peptoboonsmal.

Close up connections also come through Docs Stylish Oak, the sire of Playin Stylish, who is a full brother to the dam of Peptos Stylish Oak.

Smooth As A Cat and Cats Merada are the only two sired by High Brow Cat, while Smart Lil Scoot, San Tule Freckles, and  TR Dual Rey, are sired by Smart Little Lena, Freckles Playboy, and Dual Rey, respectively.

It should be noted that less than $925 separated 20th-ranked Playin Stylish from numbers 21 – 23: Smart Sugar Badger, by Smart Little Lena; WR This Cats Smart, by High Brow Cat; and Mecom Blue, by Peptoboonsmal.

Dual Rey, at 16, is the youngest of the top all-time leading sires, and Smooth As A Cat, Sweet Lil Pepto, TR Dual Rey and Cats Merada, all foaled in 1999, are the youngest of the 2009 new guard, where Playin Stylish, foaled in 1995, claims senior status.