IntheKnow ITK01 SHSmokeNSparks NKent 16W

In the Know: The Arabian Guys

IntheKnow ITK01 SHSmokeNSparks NKent 16WAt the Wild Card Reining Challenge, Nathan Kent and Sage Hill Arabians-bred SH Smoke N Sparks (AR), owned by Connie O’Brien, picked up the Half-Arabian Level 1 Open Championship. • Photo by Waltenberry

Nathan Kent and Preston Kent both train reining horses, but they had an unconventional start in the industry. The brothers grew up breaking Arabian colts and riding them in the mountains of Idaho. Their father, Dave Kent, has owned Arabians since he was a little boy and has been breeding them to use on their ranch for 30 years, according to Nathan.

“They’re cowy,” Nathan said. “They’re just as cowy as the Quarter Horses, but I feel like a lot of them aren’t athletic enough. So that’s where my dad’s kind of tried to breed them along, so that they’re athletic. Growing up, we’d ride with all the Quarter Horse guys, and they’d mock us and kind of snicker if we had to go round up [cattle] or something. But by the end of the day, the biggest difference is we still had horses left. If we had to chase one down or something, sometimes those Quarter Horses’ [energy] would be shot.”

IntheKnow ITK02 SHHiredGun PKent 16WPreston Kent and Amy Johnson’s SH Hired Gun (AR) picked up several paychecks at the Wild Card after they won the Arabian Level 1 Open and took Reserve in Level 4. • Photo by Waltenberry

Nathan, who has won more than $50,000 reining, and Preston, an earner of $45,462, both saw great success with their Arabians at the Wild Card Reining Challenge held in Las Vegas. Preston rode SH Hired Gun (AR) (Nobles Top Gun [AR] x Noble Elegance [AR] x Vaguely Noble [AR]) to the Arabian Level 1 Open Championship and Level 4 Open Reserve Championship. Nathan piloted SH Smoke N Sparks (AR) (Shiners Bright Spark x Vannalou [AR] x Muscastar Son [AR]) to the Half-Arabian Level 1 Open Championship. Both horses were bred by their father’s Sage Hill Arabians.

“My dad always tried to breed Arabs that you could use, that either had some cow sense or just overall were not ‘crazy’ like the stereotypical Arab is,” Preston explained. “And that were tough, bigger-boned, with bigger bodies and better minds. That was what his goal was.”

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