Smart Kitty RG and Boyd Rice
Smart Kitty RG and Boyd Rice

Horse pedigrees are intriguing because of seemingly unrelated people and events that are often connected to them in surprising ways.

Take the example of Smart Kitty RG, the 2008 NCHA Futurity Open reserve champion. The High Brow Cat daughter, most recently an NCHA Super Stakes Classic Open finalist under Boyd Rice, has a tail female line that traces all the way to the Cananea Consolidated Copper Company, one of the world’s richest sources of copper ore in the first decade of the 20th century.

The look back begins with Smart Kitty RG’s dam, Smart Moria (1991), bred by the Oxbow Ranch. The Smart Little Lena daughteris a full sister to top-ranked cutting sire Smart Lil Ricochet (deceased), as well as a half-sister to Sugar Dox Com, the dam of two 2010 NCHA Super stakes finalists: Blue Dox Com, Super Stakes Gelding Open (13th) and Dual N At Noon, Super Stakes Classic Amateur (6th).

Smart Moria’s dam, Moria Sugar, has produced 23 earners with a total of $877.000. The 1984 daughter of Son O Sugar is the top money earner and producer out of Stay With Me.

Stay With Me, foaled in 1980 and sired by Doc O’Lena, is a full sister, out of Moira Girl,to Shorty Lena, an all-time leading sire and maternal sire.

Moira Girl, foaled in 1962, was out of Sonoita Queen, by J B King, and half-sister to 1978 NCHA world champion stallion Sonita’s Last.

Canelo Girl, foaled in 1942 and dam of Sonoita Queen, was by Little Ben, by Ben Hur. C.H. Martin of Sonoita, AZ bred Canelo Girl, whose dam, Martin’s Snort (1934), was bred by Cananea Cattle Co. of Mexico and registered by AQHA as being by an RO Horse out of an RO Mare.

The Cananea Cattle Co. was part of a vast cattle empire owned by the colorful Colonel William Cornell Greene, a former cowpuncher and prospector, who discovered the Cananea copper load in 1899. In addition to owning Cananea Consolidated Copper Co., Greene at one time was a dominant shareholder in one-third of the railroad mileage in the US.

Greene’s contiguous land holdings in northern Mexico equaled the size of the State of Connecticut. He also owned Greene Cattle Company in Arizona and registered the RO brand in Mexico and the OR brand in Arizona.

The RO outfit, noted for its remuda, at one time ran 30,000 head of cattle and 3,000 horses. After the Colonel’s death in 1911, Greene Cattle Co. continued under his widow, Mary Greene Wiswall, who expanded ranch holdings with 257,000 acres northwest of Prescott, Arizona, turning them into the O OR Ranch.

In the 1930s, some of the best of the Cananea broodmares and saddle horses, most of them descendants of Peter McCue, were brought from Cananea Cattle Co. in Mexicoto the O RO Ranch in Arizona. When the American Quarter Horse Association was founded in 1940, 250 of the best of these were selected to be registered.