Longtime leading stallion and former standout cutting performer Smart Aristocrat died Friday, Feb. 14, in Weatherford, Texas, due to complications of colic surgery.
“He was in great health. He was 23, but he looked like he was 15. It was kind of a fluke deal,” said Darren Blanton, managing partner of Colt Ventures, which bought Smart Aristocrat and all-time top cutting stallion High Brow Cat from breeder and owner Jack Waggoner, of Bridgeport, Texas, in early 2013.
A 1991 stallion, Smart Aristocrat earned $172,846 and five limited-age titles during his cutting career. Sired by cutting’s first “Triple Crown” champion, Smart Little Lena, and out of the Peppy San Badger mare Miss Quixote San, Smart Aristocrat competed exclusively with the late Bill Freeman, his career-long trainer.
Two of Smart Aristocrat’s 190 money-earning offspring have topped $200,000 as cutters – the 2000 mare Aristo Kata (out of Katz x High Brow Cat), with $270,161, and the 1999 mare Spookys Smarty Pants (out of San Starlight x Grays Starlight), with $258,027. Four others have earned more than $100,000. Overall, horses sired by Smart Aristocrat have earned more than $3.5 million, averaging $18,430, through the end of 2013, according to Equi-Stat.
“He was a great horse,” Blanton said, adding that Smart Aristocrat has a few more foals expected this year. He also has a limited supply of stored semen available. While mourning the loss, Blanton said he’s glad to own several mares sired by Smart Aristocrat. Those mares have often crossed well with stallions sired by High Brow Cat (High Brow Hickory x Smart Little Kitty x Smart Little Lena), Blanton added.
Smart Aristocrat and High Brow Cat shared adjacent pastures at a breeding facility operated by Weatherford Equine Medical Center, near Weatherford, Texas, since early 2013. Blanton plans to bury Smart Aristocrat on a hill overlooking the pasture he used to roam.