Past, Present & Future

In late July, I decided to put my house on the market, and by early September, I had an offer on the table. As I write this, I’m house shopping for something a little closer to the Quarter Horse News office, and packing and scheduling inspectors and appraisers and repairmen. Selling a house, buying another house and moving have got to be some of the more stressful events we go through in life. But, the entire process can also be a time of great reflection and introspection and inspiration. 

As I go through closets and drawers, deciding what to pack and what to purge, I often come across items that make me take pause. Sure, there are the random things that make me scratch my head and wonder, “Why do I have this?” But more often than not, the items that make me stop for a moment are sentimental in nature  — a carefully selected gift from my mom, far away in Michigan; a souvenir from one of my many trips to California to visit my best friend; a hand-written note from my late dad. Each piece brings a smile, sometimes a tear, and every one is carefully packed away to be moved to my new house when the time comes. Because while there are many proverbs that direct us to live in the present, not grieving over our past nor worrying about our future, I find that the past and future both play a large role in the present I am living today. 

The horse industry is the same way. We cannot succeed in the present without a nod to the past and an eye toward the future. One of the best examples I can offer is that of breeder Carol Rose. For decades, Rose carefully selected pedigrees and bloodlines using proven crosses, exemplary performance and her own superior knowledge of horseflesh to produce the next generation of champions. Carol Rose Quarter Horses was the present for many of us for many years. Until, on Aug. 17, it became the past.

The Carol Rose Quarter Horses Dispersal Sale was bittersweet and yet strangely exhilarating, all at the same time. Hundreds of people packed the sale barn that day to be a part of history as the gavel fell on horse after horse from the famed Carol Rose program. Our present was becoming the past. I wonder how many of those sale catalogs will be tucked away on a bookshelf or in a drawer, to be pulled out at a later date when they will give the owner pause as he remembers the events of that day.

And while Carol Rose Quarter Horses has come to an end, a part of it will be carried on through Aaron Ranch. The largest buyer of horses at the sale, Aaron Ranch also leased the facilities and has retained Carol Rose herself as manager. Their goal is to preserve the past that Carol Rose built, while also embarking upon a new future that includes their well-bred line of Blue Valentine horses. You can read the complete story beginning on page 58.

The past, present and future also collide on page 50, when pedigree analyst Larry Thornton delves into the bloodlines of the late Nu Cash. The stallion, who passed away last year, has a pedigree that combined some of the greatest foundation lines of the American Quarter Horse to produce a top-performing individual. Teddy Robinson bought the best mares he could to breed to Nu Cash, banking on the horse’s ability to be a sire of the future. He was right. And now, Nu Cash continues to influence the future through his sons, daughters and granddaughters.

“The Legacy Of Nu Cash” is the perfect introduction to this, our Equi-Stat Lifetime Reined Cow Horse Statistics issue. Even in statistics, and especially in lifetime statistics, the past, present and future collide. The all-time leaders are those who, like Carol Rose, have succeeded and persevered, year after year. One great horse might get an owner, breeder or rider on a list, but they won’t stay there without consistent efforts. Many of the leaders stay the same year after year – the stalwart horsemen who invest their lives in this industry and never give up. Sometimes a newcomer jumps up the ranks, hinting at a promising future to come. And often, the horses of today are mixed in those pages, adding to records and making memories along the way.

The Equi-Stat Lifetime Reined Cow Horse Statistics start on page 93. If your name is among the all-time leaders, some of you may even put this issue in your scrapbook, and the pride you feel at present will be relived when you look at it again in the future.

Past, present and future. They are all intertwined in a wonderful way that makes life complete. I think it’s a good thing to remember the past, be it with a small physical token or just in your mind. Remember the old horsemen who have brought us this far. Remember the horses that have developed into the equine athletes we admire today. Remember the growing pains various associations have struggled through and overcome to govern the sports we love. But do it all with thoughts of the future, because only then can we make the most out of our present, changing it as needed to improve as we move forward.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shopping for a house so I can create my new future, which will always include a few cherished items from my past.