In the Blood: Lil Bay Hawk

Lil Bay Hawk & Justin Wright • Photo by Primo Morales

Lil Bay Hawk and Justin Wright made a big statement with a 227 in the fence work to pull out a win in the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby Open. They scored a 225 in the herd work and a 220.5 in the rein work for impressive composite score of 672.5. They won $29,588, which takes Lil Bay Hawk’s Equi-Stat record to more than $86,000 for owner Stephen Silva.

Lil Bay Hawk was bred by Cowan Ranch Inc. His pedigree (Catty Hawk x Little Gray Freckles x Playgun) is not only a cutting-based pedigree, but also one that shows the ability to cross over into other events. Lil Bay Hawk shows this versatility, as he was a finalist in the 2015 Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Futurity Open with Morgan Cromer.

The pedigree of Lil Bay Hawk is also built on a hybrid vigor pattern produced in an interesting way.


Sire Line

Catty Hawk & Bill Cowan • Courtesy of the NCHA

Lil Bay Hawk’s sire is Catty Hawk, who started his cutting career with Bill Cowan by winning the 2008 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Limited Non-Pro. Catty Hawk followed that win with the 2009 Abilene Spectacular Open Reserve Championship under Sean Flynn. Catty Hawk went on to earn $240,282 as an aged-event participant.

His arena success carried over into the breeding shed, as Catty Hawk was the 2014 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Leading NCHA Freshman Sire. His top money-winners are cutting horses like Cattys Hope ($184,529) and Billies Catty ($152,231). His current Equi-Stat sire record stands at $614,569 with 17 money-earners. Equi-Stat records show that Catty Hawk has four reined cow horse money-earners. They include Cattyholic, the 2015 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Non-Pro Limited Champion.

The pedigree of Catty Hawk (High Brow Cat x Scarlet Dance x Peppy San Badger) is built on the powerful cutting sires High Brow Cat and Peppy San Badger. Through High Brow Cat (High Brow Hickory x Smart Little Kitty x Smart Little Lena) is the addition of Smart Little Lena as a crossover sire of horses like Lenas Wright On, a National Reining Horse Association Futurity Open Champion and an AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse World Champion.

Catty Hawk’s dam, Scarlet Dance, won the 1996 Abilene Western Cutting 4-Year-Old Limited Non-Pro Championship. She is dam of cutters like Cats Rhett ($53,293) and Seal Team 6 ($42,710). Her sire, Peppy San Badger, showed his versatility as a sire through horses like Peppy Badger Chex, an AQHA World Champion in reining and working cow horse.

The dam of Scarlet Dance is Chiclynx (Doc’s Lynx x Gay Sugar Chic x Gay Bar King). Gay Sugar Chic is the dam of Smart Chic Olena, a leading sire and maternal grandsire of reining and reined cow horses.

Dam Line

Little Gray Freckles & Michelle Cowan • Photo by K.C. Montgomery

Lil Bay Hawk’s dam, Little Gray Freckles, carried Michele Cowan to the 2007 AQHA Amateur Cutting World Championship. She earned her AQHA Amateur Register of Merit with 12 cutting points, and she has an Equi-Stat record of $76,208.

In addition to Lil Bay Hawk, Little Gray Freckles’ produce record includes Little Gray Pepto (by One Time Pepto). Little Gray Pepto has reined cow horse earnings of just $805, but she has 50.5 AQHA points in amateur heading, heeling and working cow horse, again showing the versatility of this bloodline.

Little Gray Freckles is by Playgun (Freckles Playboy x Miss Silver Pistol x Doc’s Hickory). Playgun ($186,000) is the sire of foals with cutting earnings of $7,432,603. His leading money-winners in cutting include Mr Beamon ($319,518) and Peppy Plays For Cash ($304,713). Playgun has reined cow horse offspring earnings of $701,968, and his leading cow horse money-winners are PG Dry Fire ($135,000) and Handle It Playgun ($80,260).

Playgun is the broodmare sire of horses with Equi-Stat records of $6,932,055. His leading money-winners are Reys Desire ($409,851), Sweet Lil Amanda ($239,802) and Amandas CD ($238,482). He is the maternal grandsire of horses that have reined cow horse earnings of $548,320, including Dualin Stargun ($69,910), SJR Reygun ($60,735) and Desire Rey ($57,232). (The earnings of these three horses include their cutting and reined cow horse earnings.)

The dam of Little Gray Freckles is Texas Rolena, an unshown mare. She is the dam of two registered foals, with Little Gray Freckles her only money-earner. Texas Rolena is by Texas Kicker, the 1991 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion. He is the sire of horses such as Texas Velvet Lady, an NRHA Futurity Limited Open Champion, and Kick Dee Bar, an NRHA Derby Limited Open Co-Reserve Champion and two-time reining World champion in the American Paint Horse Association.

Texas Kicker is by Colonel Freckles (Jewel’s Leo Bar x Christy Jay x Rey Jay), the 1976 NCHA Futurity Open Champion. He is a three-quarter brother to Freckles Playboy (Jewel’s Leo Bar x Gay Jay x Rey Jay). This gives Little Gray Freckles a breeding pattern of 2 X 3 Colonel Freckles and Freckles Playboy.

The dam of Texas Rolena is another unshown mare, Little Bay Freckle, by Doc O’Lena. She produced horses that have Equi-Stat records totaling $37,929, including Play Lena Royal ($17,136) and PG Pancho ($4,958). PG Pancho is an AQHA register of merit earner who accumulated 50.5 open and 48 amateur performance points in team penning and ranch sorting. He is an NCHA money-earner of $2,172.

The dam of Little Bay Freckle is Freckles Royal, who was an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist in 1976. This was the year Colonel Freckles and Freckles Playboy were first and second in the Futurity Open. Freckles Royal is the dam of earners of $179,461, including Brants Olena ($101,419) and Lenas Jewel Bar ($74,081).

Hybrid Vigor

Freckles Royal is by Jewel’s Leo Bar, which provides a third cross to this stallion in Freckles Royal’s pedigree with a breeding pattern of 3 X 4 X 4. This breeding pattern sets the pedigree of Lil Bay Hawk up to take advantage of hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor is defined as the phenomenon that occurs when a stallion and a mare are crossed, producing outstanding foals. Hybrid vigor happens when two unrelated lines are crossed to produce an individual.

The breeding pattern of Doc Bar in Lil Bay Hawk is 5 X 6 X 5 X 5 X 5 X 5. This is linebreeding to Doc Bar, and the linebreeding to Jewel’s Leo Bar is the outcross needed to make hybrid vigor a factor in the pedigree of Lil Bay Hawk.

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