Topsail Whiz, a 1987 stallion who sired earners of more than $6.8 million, died Wednesday, Dec. 23. The stallion had undergone surgery for a problem with a vertebrae that was pinching his spinal cord and affecting his balance, and although the surgery was successful, Topsail Whiz collapsed two days later and could not get back on his feet. Owner Bob Loomis, Marietta, Okla., made the difficult decision to humanely put him down.
“It’s been a really sad day,” Loomis said. “I’ve been blessed so many ways for so long. He was more of a family member than a horse.”
The loss came just two weeks after Loomis’ junior sire, West Coast Whiz (Topsail Whiz x My Moon Stone Chex x King Fritz), had to be euthanized due to complications of founder and white line disease.
Topsail Whiz and Loomis had a long, successful relationship that began as a dream in 1986. Loomis was working for C.T. Fuller’s Willowbrook Farm, Catasaqua, Pa., where the legendary Joe Cody stood. He was a huge fan of the bloodline and found a mare he wanted to breed to Topsail Cody, a son of Joe Cody out of Doc Bar Linda by Doc Bar. The owners wouldn’t sell that mare – Jeanie Whiz Bar, by Cee Red out of Jeanie Whiz by Billy’s Whizzer – but they did agree to allow Loomis to breed her to Topsail Cody. Topsail Whiz was the result of that breeding.
The little chestnut colt had the pedigree of a winner. Topsail Cody was the 1980 NRHA Futurity Champion and the 1981 AQHA World Champion in junior reining. Jeanie Bar Whiz had achieved numerous AQHA honors, including her Superior award and Register of Merit in both open and youth competition. She was the 1977 high-point youth reining horse and the 1978 Reserve Champion in the open standings.
“I’d known Jeanie Whiz Bar since she was a 2-year-old and I had watched Tom McBeath show her. She was just an incredible mare,” Loomis recalled in an interview several years ago with Quarter Horse News. “Her sire was an AQHA honor roll world champion. You were looking at a world champion mare back when she had to go to a lot of horse shows to win that title. Her father was also a world champion. That family of horses had a tremendous amount of longevity. And she was gorgeous. I thought the combination was definitely the mixture for a great producing mare.”
It was no surprise that Loomis’ colt went on to prove himself in the show pen, earning $57,178, according to Equi-Stat. His show career started with a win at the 1990 Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity with Loomis in the saddle, and the duo went on to place third in the NRHA Futurity. The following year, they won the NRHA Lazy E Classic and placed fourth in the NRHA Derby.
“As a 3-year-old, it was just evident that he was extremely special,” Loomis said of Topsail Whiz. “I rode a lot of great horses in my life, but I had just never ridden anything quite like him. He was so light and feely and talented, and just so easy to train it was absolutely unbelievable.
“I’ve never rode a horse that could stop as effortless as he could or as pretty as he could, and he puts that on every one of his babies. But the main thing that made him special was his attitude. You get some horses that have great attitudes and are tremendously trainable, but a little short on talent. You get some that have a lot of talent but they’re tough to train. Topsail Whiz was one of those horses that had it all.”
Although many horses have successful show careers, only a select few go on to be great sires and producers. Topsail Whiz did both; he is Equi-Stat’s leading reining sire, and his offspring have made him a household name among reining enthusiasts.
Topsail Whiz’s top money earner is The Great Whiz, a 2000 gelding out of Shirleys Folly by Great Pine. Ridden by Duane Latimer and owned by Lance Griffin, De Winton, Alberta, he was the 2003 NRHA Futurity Open Champion and the 2004 NRBC Open Reserve Champion. In 2006, Cody Sapergia showed him to the Open finals of the NRBC. His earnings total $273,969.
His second-leading earner is Easy Otie Whiz, a 1999 stallion out of Miss Poco Easy by My Lucero, and the earner of $233,611. Also shown by Latimer, he placed fifth at the 2002 NRHA Futurity Open, and fourth at both the 2003 NRBC and the 2003 NRHA Derby. The stallion continued to have a successful show career for several years, and in 2006 was the Intermediate Open Champion at the NRBC with Matt Mills riding. Mills also showed him to the 2006 USEF Open Reining Championship. He is owned by Bobbie Cook’s OutWest Stallion Station, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Coming in third, with earnings of $187,817, is Walla Walla Whiz, a 2003 stallion out of Shiney Walla Wanda by Shining Spark. Owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, Weatherford, Texas, he was shown by Shawn Flarida to win the John Deere Futurity at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic in 2006, and made the Open finals at the NRHA Futurity. In 2007, Walla Walla Whiz and Flarida placed third at the NRBC and won the NRHA Derby. He was an Open finalist at the 2008 NRBC, placing fifth, and was Reserve Champion at the Wimpys Little Step Derby.
Topsail Whiz has sired 1,269 AQHA-registered offspring; 634 of those horses have earned money and/or AQHA points. He also sired 21 APHA-registered offspring, including the 2003 APHA World Show 3-Year-Old Reining Challenge Champion, Painted By Whiz, owned by Pam Loomis and shown by Josh Visser.
Loomis said there is a supply of frozen semen from Topsail Whiz and he will continue to breed mares at Loomis Ranch in Marietta; there will be no shipped semen.