Stallion Management: The Who, What & Why – Part Two

Today I’m picking up from where I left off with my last blog entry about our 2018 stallion roster. I know this is a long blog, but it is one I hope mare owners can really sink their teeth into.

Pretty Peppy Chec

2005 bay (Lil Ruf Peppy x Chex N Whiz x Topsail Whiz)

I first saw Pretty Peppy Chec at the Kentucky Reining Cup. He took home the Bronze medal. It’s pretty remarkable to have that much longevity as a reining stallion; it speaks volumes to his mind. This great stallion left a lasting impression on me, and I will never forget it. I never imagined I’d be involved with him, but I’m sure happy fate has dealt me this card!

Pretty Peppy Chec’s first year with us at SDP was 2017. He had a great year, and we expect even bigger things for him in 2018. The word really is getting around about Pretty Peppy Chec as a sire. He is one of the best unknowns in reining circles – a quiet achiever. From his first two foals crops, he’s already sired TWO National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Open finalists! These two crops were from limited numbers no less. This year’s futurity crop has exceptional quality again! He sired a Futurity Non-Pro finalist and an Open finalist at the Tulsa Reining Classic. We are very excited for the NRHA Futurity next month.

Pretty Peppy Chec himself was an NRHA Futurity Open finalist. To have a successful show career from 3 through 8 at the highest levels of Level 4 competition in reining is pretty remarkable. He won $103,969 during his career.

I mentioned the first time I saw Pretty Peppy Chec, but the first time I handled him is when he was hauled into SDP for the start of the 2017 breeding season. Unloading him from the trailer, I took a step back to take a look. What a specimen he is! He’s a stallion that just exudes quality in presence and attitude. I don’t mean that in a boastful way, but imagine a quiet confidence. It’s common for new studs to act out in a new environment, natural for them to say, “Hey, look at me!” He did none of that, more like – “I’m here, take notice.” I’ve been around a lot of horse flesh. Pretty Peppy Chec is the goods.

Every great sire is backed by a program to push, promote and support their foals on their way to success. Pretty Peppy Chec has that going for him. This quiet, achieving sire is about to get a lot louder as everyone is taking notice. I’ve said this many times, a sire is a sire is a sire. Pretty Peppy Chec is a sire!

Ragged Charm

2012 palomino (PC Frenchmans Hayday x This Ragtime Cat x WR This Cats Smart)

My family has been in the stallion business for 40 years. Having stood more than 100 stallions over that time, I have learned a thing or two about what makes a successful sire. When I was given the opportunity to be involved with Snowy Range Livestock’s beautiful young stud Ragged Charm, I jumped at the chance!

Ragged Charm is an impressive individual in both type and mind – a true outcross stallion that unites the elite bloodlines from barrel, ranch versatility, cutting and cow horse. Great outcrosses are needed in a gene pool; it creates hybrid vigor. The hard part is finding them and having a program behind them. I believe Ragged Charm is just that. To be bold, he has a similar outcross pedigree and story of the great Doc Bar, who forever changed Western performance horses and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

Versatile blood, versatile type, versatile ability – Ragged Charm has it all! 

Reys A Shine

2011 sorrel (Dual Rey x Lil Miss Shiney Chex x Shinning Spark)

After the first-ever National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity was held in Fort Worth, Texas –a mere 11 miles from the ranch – I am very keen and excited for reined cow horse. To have Reys A Shine here, I’m thrilled to be a part of his breeding career! His first offering at stud will be in 2018, and he’s in strong hands with a vision of success ahead of him. These are exciting times for this stallion!

There are many stallions out there. The differences between them can sometimes seem overwhelming. You’ve probably heard the advice to follow the dam’s side of a pedigree, and there is merit to that advice. The reason is dam’s produce so few foals and sires so many. When you look at Reys A Shine’s pedigree, he has one of those special dams that truly jumps off the page.

Lil Miss Shiney Chex is by the No. 1 NRCHA Sire of all time – the great Shining Spark. She is one of the elite, meaning top-producing, dams of all time. Her résumé is stout, as she has produced an NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion, NRCHA Derby Open Champion and NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Champion! Huge, huge, huge. Reys A Shine was the NRCHA Derby Open Champion, and his half-brother Blind Sided was Reserve Champion of the Snaffle Bit Futurity and Champion of the Stallion Stakes.

Reys A Shine’s sire, Dual Rey, needs no introduction. In the very near future, he’ll be the No. 2 all-time leading sire in the performance horse industry. He’s sired earners of more than $38 million to date. He is the only sire in history to have sired an NCHA Futurity Champion, NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion and a National Stock Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion – all in the same year!

Reys A Shine is a gorgeous and well-balanced stallion. Correct conformation is a must in reproduction. Not enough emphasis is placed on it anymore, in my opinion. Our horses are becoming more and more specialized in disciplines, and the conformational requirements for each discipline vary. Some of the variants are minor and some are large. Reys A Shine is one of those stallions that has conformation to suit multiple disciplines, a major plus considering he is a great show horse and a proven Champion.

You will see Reys A Shine compete in the 2018 World’s Greatest Horseman with Clay Volmer, and I am so excited about that! It has become one of my favorite events to attend, and the versatility the show demands is tough, tough, tough. They are amazing athletes. If you haven’t followed it, I highly recommend. Clay and Reys A Shine will continue to compete in 2018. Increasing earnings and getting out in front of the public is great for mares coming to him.

In this highly competitive day and age that we live, we love big value for low prices. Reys A Shine is without a doubt a big value and an excellent choice for any breeder wanting a winning combination for cow horse!

Sannman

2010 red roan (Metallic Cat x The Smart Look x Smart Little Lena)

Some studs just tick all the boxes. I’ve mentioned that a couple times with some of these stallions. Sire – check. Dam – check. Performance – check. Conformation – check. Value – check. Market share – check. ARC Gunnabeabigstar, Hydrive Cat, Reys A Shine – I mentioned similar things about them. They were just destined to be great from conception. Sannman is one of those rare stallions who had it from the get-go, and he’s proven it.

I chased this horse for a couple of years. I chased his previous owners at Fults Ranch, and since they are friends of mine, I gave Alvin Fults a hard time as I dreamed of having him join us at SDP! Of course, Sannman’s sire, Metallic Cat, has been the hot stallion from his initial foal crop born in 2010. Sannman was from that crop.

I’ve never seen a breeding stallion like Metallic Cat. His demand is mind-boggling, and his ability to meet the demand is even more mind-boggling. To have the demand and ability to breed more than 400 mares in a year…I’d never heard of such a thing. Metallic Cat, of course, was the No. 1 sire in the performance horse industry last year, and he’s the odds on favorite again this year. He’s already a $16 million sire!

As I just said, there are a lot of Metallic Cats out there – he has already bred more mares than MOST stallions will ever breed. But Sannman is a son of the great Metallic Cat that happens to be out of The Smart Look, and that is when the heart starts to beat a little faster and the adrenaline starts to kick in!

The Smart Look is a wow mare. She’s the No. 3 all-time broodmare with $1.8 million in progeny earnings, and she is the only mare in history to have produced an NCHA Futurity Open Champion, NCHA Super Stakes Open Champion and NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open Champion (the Triple Crown), that are three different horses by three different sires! When she’s the common thread in that ball of awesomeness, you just stand back and say wow! She’s got two leading sires as sons – the great WR This Cats Smart and the great Dual Smart Rey – who are Sannman’s half-brothers.

So, like I said, I chased this stud for a couple of years. I was able to get him for his initial year at stud in 2016 and having seen his first foal crop born in 2017, there are so many reasons to be excited about this sire. Sannman has a legitimate shot of all-time leading sire status, as he’s bred quality and quantity in both mares and owners. You have to have good genetics to win, but more important are the owners to support them. Horses don’t have checkbooks, so getting support is vital. I’ve seen Sannman’s first foals and the excitement from the breeders with theirs. Take notice; he’s the real deal!

Shortly after getting him in January 2016, I felt very fortunate to have Paul Hansma train at our facility. Sannman’s original trainer, Beau Galyean, did a phenonmanl job with Sannman, and he deserves all the credit in the world for training him to be the great show horse that he was. It made more sense for us to have Paul try him, because when they are standing and showing at the same time, it can sometimes be tricky to excel at both duties.

Paul took the reins and Sannman’s final year in aged events was such a fun ride for us. At his last three events, he had 11 runs in a row of 220 or higher, and he placed as champion, reserve champion and champion again, marking a 228 in his final run! His show career ended that day, and his future as a breeding stallion began. It wasn’t the end for him. It is only the beginning for Sannman.

Sigala Rey

2008 sorrel (Dual Rey x Uno Tassa Mia x Smart Little Uno)

Sigala Rey! Well, if you don’t know this stud, let me tell you that you soon will. Over the past six months, I don’t think there has been a day that has gone by when I haven’t opened my Facebook and seen a video of one of his foals getting ready for the 2017 NCHA Futurity. His foals have outstanding ability on a cow; I don’t say that lightly, either. Do me a favor and search them out – go to Francisco Sigala’s Facebook and check them out. When we say the rumors are spreading on Sigala Rey and that some rumors are true, well, you’ll see what all the hype is about!

I’ve said this a few times. A sire is a sire is a sire, and you can’t always predict where they’ll come from. The easiest example for me to pick out is, of course, High Brow Cat, because I don’t think anyone but his owner Jack Waggoner believed in him as a breeding stallion. Well, High Brow Cat simply out-sired everyone else. Quite simply, he’s a flipping amazing sire! He’s in a category all his own, but he’s a great example of a sire is a sire is a sire.

Sigala Rey is a sire. It’s only a matter of time, and I am very excited that the Sigalas have given us this opportunity to manage this great stallion on the brink of his debut as a futurity sire! Stallion managers dream of opportunities like this. I’m excited for what the future will bring with him.

He’s sired by the great Dual Rey, soon to be the No. 2 all-time leading sire. Dual Rey is a great sire, and it is well known his foals are good athletes. They are some of the most athletic cutting horses going today, and there are 38.2 million ways to prove that! Dual Rey is also known to sire busier-minded horses that are chuck full of cow. It’s a potent combination, one that requires a good hand who manages that ability well. Finding the ability and the temperament is really what everyone looks for in the breeding shed on this necessary sire line. I believe Sigala Rey is just that – a champion with freakish talent and a quality mind. His futurity crop shows that to us.

We expect 2018 to be an exciting year for Sigala Rey, as his first foal crop debuts at the 2017 NCHA Futurity. The rumor has been spreading about him for months, and now is the time to see the results. Exciting!

Steppin On Sparks

2009 palomino (Jacs Electric Spark x Mahoganys First Step x Wimpys Little Step)

Steppin On Sparks is one of those horses that impresses everyone, from the strictest critic to the newest novice. He is a specimen! He is like a cover model for horseflesh. But, he’s not just a pretty face. Steppin On Sparks was an elite performer who finaled in every show entered, won money at 3, 4, 5 and 6 years old, was a Level 4 Open finalist at the Futurity, Derby, National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) and in the AQHA! I’ve done some research on this, and I haven’t found another horse out there that has done the same.

He’s bred in the purple, as he is the third-highest money-earning son of Jacs Electric Spark, who is a $3 million sire. Jacs Electric Spark is sired by the No. 1 NRCHA sire of All-time, Shining Spark. Steppin On Sparks’ dam is an NRHA money-earner by Hall of Fame stallion and $9 million sire Wimpys Little Step. His second dam is the great Custom Crome daughter Custom Mahogany, a winner of nearly $200,000 in the NRHA! Steppin On Sparks is a true breeding stallion and just as impressive on paper as he is in the flesh!

Another great feature to him that can’t be overstated is his mind. He’s A+ in that department, a perfect gentleman in every respect. It’s one thing to be a perfect-minded stud when they’ve got a saddle on their back and a bit in their mouth, but he’s equally as quiet as a breeding stallion that served more than 100 mares this season. That is outstanding when you take in all the facts.

Owned by HDC Quarter Horses, Steppin On Sparks is backed by industry leaders. That is so important. HDC Quarter Horses, represented by Hubert and Cara Huele, and their testimony on this great stallion is all true.

I was speaking with Hubert the other day about the horse, and he was telling me Steppin On Sparks’ lameness veterinarian from when the stallion was a show horse bred to him this year with his best and only mare. The reason was this vet is a lameness specialist and feels it is irresponsible of breeders to not do everything they can to produce anatomically correct horses with sound conformation. Also, he mentioned how sound in body and mind this stud is, having never needed time off or serious maintenance. I can’t think of a better endorsement than that. It’s pretty special.

I am very pleased to have this great stallion here at our stallion station and be able to offer him to the world! Not only will he sire great reiners, I’ve studied his pedigree enough to see the potential as a multi-discipline sire, depending on the mare. He stamps his babies with that same great mind and outstanding conformation. A certain recipe for success is Steppin On Sparks. 

Third Cutting

2005 chestnut (Boonlight Dancer x Crab Grass x Smart Little Lena)

This great horse is a legend! If you are a fan of cutting or cow horses and you don’t know who Third Cutting is, well, friend, you must be living under a rock! A winner of more than a half-million dollars ($545,146) and shown by Hall of Fame trainer Boyd Rice, this Hall of Fame stallion is truly a living legend. Some legends are told, some are made of rock or stone. This living legend is the stuff dreams are made of!

Third Cutting is the only horse in history to win four NCHA Triple Crown events in the Open. He was an eight-time champion and four-time reserve champion. I have him in my list of top three favorite show horses I’ve ever seen, and that is a pretty stout list of great horses.

But, he’s not just a great show horse; he’s now a proven sire of nearly $2 million to date! In just the past two months, Third Cutting has sired nearly $200,000 in winners, and that is outstanding by any measure! He’s a consistently good sire at all ages and on a number of different bloodlines. Third Cutting is a sire. Nothing speaks louder than results.

His debut season with us was this past breeding season under new ownership. Sandance Equine has a grand vision for their lineup of stallions. I’m not only thrilled to have landed a sire of such amazing quality like Third Cutting, but it is indeed refreshing to have forward-thinking owners that want to promote their stallions and support their mare owners. In the very near future, everyone will know what Sandance Equine has been working on to advance their stallions and breeders. It is innovative and has broad appeal to all disciplines.

Do me a favor and look up Third Cutting’s runs on YouTube or on our website when you can. You need to be reminded of how exceptional he was as a show horse. Then, imagine the possibilities with your great mare. You can’t hit a home run unless you swing for the fences.

This Guns For Nic

2007 sorrel (Nic It In The Bud x Katie Gun x John Gun)

Having stood This Guns For Nic at SDP Buffalo Ranch in 2017, I will tell you that This Guns For Nic (TGFN) is an amazing stud. When Skye approached me on him at the end of 2016, I told her I needed to do some research and get back to her. I have to find out the what, who and how on studs.

I started with the WHAT. I took my time with it, but quickly found out how deep his family is and how influential his dam, Katie Gun, has been in the industry. She is not to be underestimated, nor overlooked. From the show ring to the sale pen, she is the goods. His sire is vastly underestimated, in my opinion – a true dual-discipline horse and completely versatile sire. Pedigree is a predictor of performance, so it is the first thing I look at.

Then I had to analyze WHO this stud is and does he, as an individual, get my blood pumpin’. Performance record, conformation, mind – all of his phenotype needs to be thoroughly analyzed. His record shows that he had success in the show pen starting as a 4-year-old, but it continued each year through the age of 9. Through the age of 9! To stay pure, honest and sound in Open-level competition as a reining stud, well, that is quite impressive. He’s passed through a few hands along the way; to adapt and thrive in various situations is a plus that must be analyzed. The WHO, got me going, as well.

Then, to the HOW. How will the market take this horse? As a stallion manager, there is a lot on my shoulders to accurately convey to the market the what and the who. The how is always a moving target. If y’all in the market could see TGFN, the how is simple. If y’all could interact with him in person, the how is simple. If y’all could see him as a 10-year-old still showing and winning checks, the how is simple. Now seeing his first foal crop hit the ground in 2017, the how is simple.

I hope y’all take This Guns For Nic seriously. I sure do. I bred to him. I believe in him. This is the ground floor. Get in on an up-and-comer.

TR Dual Rey

1999 sorrel (Dual Rey x Peppys Misty Oaks x Candy Bar Peppy)

TR Dual Rey is and probably always will be my favorite horse. I know it might be bad for me to admit that, kind of like trying to say I have a favorite child, as I’m a father of five. But, I can’t help it; TR has impacted my life and helped direct my life path. It’s funny how a horse could do that, but it’s true. I’m writing these blogs because of that horse. He is beyond special to me.

It all started in 2003. My parents had steadily been investing in cutting horses and building an amazing facility in Utah. They’d been acquiring the best mares they could get their hands on, and they wanted to have a cornerstone stallion to build their program around. In 2003, there was one stallion that stood out in the show pen and hailed from the first crop by Dual Rey, a hot young stallion then. That stallion was “TR.” 

My father had been in discussions with Jim Holmes, who owned TR in partnership, and a long negotiating process ensued. My dad is a great negotiator and businessman; he worked hard to buy TR, but couldn’t get them to budge on price. I remember as if it were yesterday, visiting my parents in their home, and they were both watching TR Dual Rey’s finals run at the NCHA Summer Spectacular, the one in which he was crawling on his knees, on VHS over and over again. My mother is the wisest amongst the Plummer clan, and she turned to my father and said, “You won’t find anything better; you just go ahead and buy him.”

At that time in my life, I didn’t know what I was going to put my heart and soul into. Cutting horses were new to me; I’d grown up with race horses. But when you can be around a horse like TR Dual Rey, it changes you. A deep passion that I never new was in me grew and fostered. I’m in the stallion management business now, not only because I grew up in this business, but because a horse named TR Dual Rey won my heart and helped me decide to forge ahead.

So, from that point on, TR Dual Rey really has helped build this place. He is an extraordinarily successful sire. He is nearing the $5 million mark. He is the No. 1 performing son and No. 1 siring son of the great Dual Rey. His foals excel at everything from cutting, cow horse, reining, barrel racing, team penning, sorting, roping – I mean everything. Not just money-earners, but champions at the highest levels. TR has blessed my life in so many ways.

My words mean little when you can just add up facts. TR Dual Rey is a true sire of great horses. Everyone loves their TRs. It has been one of his keys to success as a breeding stallion – repeat breeders. There is no greater testimony than that. 

Whiz Van Winkle

2004 bay (Topsail Whiz x My Way Oakie x Lena My Way)

The first thing you’ll notice when you see Whiz Van Winkle is that he is strikingly beautiful, and I mean he’s really something! He is smooth from the tip of his nose down to his toes. Standing 15 hands tall, with his full mane and tail just about as long – “Van” certainly leaves an impression.

But, he is not just a pretty face. Whiz Van Winkle won an astounding 103 checks! The road to his more than $30,000 in winnings shows his longevity in the show pen and purity of mind to keep going and going like the Energizer bunny. It’s not easy for any horse to do that, rare is it for a stallion. I believe his conformation, bone and body helped him hold up through the years of showing. His ability to win 103 checks truly is remarkable.

He’s by Topsail Whiz, who needs no introduction as the No. 1 all-time leading NRHA sire with more than $11 million in offspring earnings! Whiz Van Winkle is a champion from a very long and storied line of champions. Van is a perfect cross on daughters of today’s leading lines. Pedigree will always be the best predictor of performance. You get a lot of bang for your buck with Whiz Van Winkle, and there are so many sire lines he will excel on.

His first foals are starting to show, and their promise and aspiring future has led Van down to Texas to stand at our stallion station. Owned by McNamara Performance Horses, Whiz Van Winkle is supported to help his mare owners succeed with his foals.

I am very happy to have Whiz Van Winkle here and to provide him to a worldwide market. He has been at our facility now for nearly a month. He has a pleasing disposition and is a real joy to be around. That is one of the keys to success, I’ve learned. Great sires have great minds. Van is a perfect gentleman at all times. Any serious reining breeder that wants to not only win early in aged events, but last through the years on weekends, as well, I highly recommend Van. You won’t be disappointed!

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