In the Blood: Dual Reyish


Dual Reyish and Austin Shepard topped the 2017 NCHA Futurity Open with a 228. • Photo by Hart Photos 

When Dual Reyish won the first round of the 2017 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open with a 222.5, he confirmed the pre-futurity buzz that he was going to be a good one. He gave that buzz a boost after finishing second in the second round, making him the composite winner with a score of 442.5. Then he won the semifinals with a 223. He confirmed the excitement was well-placed when Equi-Stat Elite $7 Million Rider Austin Shepard rode him to win the Futurity Open finals with a 228.

Dual Reyish (Hottish x A Little Reylena x Dual Rey), bred by Greg Smith, was purchased by Billy Wolf from Kade and Emily Smith in April of 2017. The 2014 stallion earned $212,672 for his win.

Dual Reyish’s Futurity performances conjured up memories of the great Doc O’Lena, who placed first in both go-rounds, led the semifinals and then won finals to become the 1970 NCHA Futurity Open Champion. A look at the pedigree of Dual Reyish allows us to see the wide contribution of Doc O’Lena and highlight a most interesting breeding pattern founded around the important stallion.


Hottish’s first foal crop made a big splash, and his athleticism and unique way of moving have passed on to his babies. • Photo by Cam Essick

Hottish (Spots Hot X Stylish Play Lena X Docs Stylish Oak) earned $301,200 in the arena including major wins as the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes Non-Pro Champion, the 2012 NCHA Summer Spectacular 4-Year-Old Open Champion and the 2012 Breeders Invitational 4-Year-Old Open Champion. Dual Reyish gives his sire the distinction of being an NCHA Futurity Open winning sire from his first foal crop.

Spots Hot (Chula Dual x Sweet Shorty Lena x Shorty Lena) earned $529,435, including a win in the 2004 NCHA Futurity Open. As a sire, he returned to the NCHA Futurity Open winner’s circle in 2016 when his daughter Second Spot was named the Champion. Foals by Spots Hot have earned $4.5 million, and his roster includes 2010 NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion Some Like It Hott ($183,223) and 2014 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Amateur Cutting World Champion Harley ($205,168).

Chula Dual (Dual Pep x Smart Fancy Lena x Smart Little Lena) earned $171,134 while winning events like the 1999 Polo Ranch Classic 4-Year-Old Open and the 1999 Royal Santana Futurity 4-Year-Old Open. Chula Dual has sired winners of $2 million, and his leading money-winner is Spots Hot.

The pedigree of Chula Dual brings us to our first look at a cross of a Dual Pep son on a Doc O’Lena-line mare. His dam, Smart Fancy Lena, is sired by Smart Little Lena, by Doc O’Lena.

Sweet Shorty Lena is the next part of the breeding pattern we are looking at in the pedigree of Dual Reyish. This mare (by Shorty Lena) won $114,276, with a win in the 2002 Wyoming Futurity 5/6-Year-Old Futurity Non-Pro. She is the dam of horses that have won greater than $1.1 million, including Innovation Time ($195,686) and His Reyflection ($134,652).

Spots Hot has quickly climbed to Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Sire status, and his offspring record is on the rise. • Photo by Don Shugart

Shorty Lena is a son of Doc O’Lena so through Spots Hot, there is linebreeding to Doc O’Lena through Smart Little Lena and Shorty Lena, with an outcross to a son of Dual Pep.

Shorty Lena is the sire of mares that have produced more than $13 million, including NCHA Futurity Open champions Spots Hot, Oh Cay Felix, One Time Royalty and Oh Miss Caroline. All four of these Futurity winners were sired by stallions out of Smart Little Lena mares. This means they all show the same breeding pattern found in Spots Hot through Smart Little Lena and Shorty Lena to Doc O’Lena.

Stylish Play Lena (Docs Stylish Oak x Play Lena x Freckles Playboy), with earnings of $289,624, is the 2003 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open Champion and the 2003 Abilene Spectacular 5/6-Year-Old Open Champion. Stylish Play Lena is the dam of cutters that have earned in excess of $1.6 million, and six of her 18 money-earners have accumulated more than $100,000 each. Three of these earned higher than $300,000. Her leading money-winner is Pepto Boom with earnings of $316,324.

Play Lena (Freckles Playboy x Tina Lena Bars x Doc O’Lena) is an NCHA money-earner and the dam of horses that have won $524,431, with Stylish Play Lena as her top winner, followed by Smart Play Lena ($184,630).

Play Lena serves as an example of the cross between Freckles Playboy and daughters of Doc O’Lena. Some of the other cutters from this cross include Play Like A Lena, a three-time AQHA Amateur World Champion, and Playboy Olena, the 1987 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Champion and 1988 NCHA Super Stakes Challenge Champion.


Dual Reyish’s all-star pedigree doesn’t stop at the sire line. His dam, A Little Reylena, accumulated $126,608 in her cutting career. • Photo by Hart Photos

A Little Reylena (Dual Rey x Katie Little Lena x Smart Little Lena) won $126,608 in the arena. Before Dual Reyish won the Futurity, the foals out of A Little Reylena had won $405,595. Her leading money-winner was Hay U, winner of the Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro Championship at the 2016 Idaho Cutting Futurity.

Dual Rey, a $38.9 million sire, is a son of Dual Pep. His dam is Nurse Rey, by Wyoming Doc, by Doc O’Lena. This gives us a similar breeding pattern to what we see in Chula Dual – a Dual Pep son out of a Doc O’Lena-line mare.

Katie Little Lena is an NCHA money-earner and the dam of three money-earners that have earned $137,953. A Little Reylena is her leading money-winner. The dam of Katie Little Lena is Doc’s Chico Girl, a daughter of Doc Bar. Doc’s Chico Girl is the dam of horses that have won $36,740 with Little Lena Doc, a full sister to Katie Little Lena, as her leading money-winner with earnings of $30,265.

Dual Rey’s blood has made a huge impact on the cutting industry, and that influence is reflected in his offspring record of more than $38 million. • Photo by Cam Essick

The pedigree of A Little Reylena brings us back to the breeding pattern we saw in Hottish. We have a son of Dual Pep (Dual Rey), who is out of a Doc O’Lena-line mare. Then Dual Rey is bred to Katie Little Lena, and we have Smart Little Lena back in the picture, repeating a linebreeding to Doc O’Lena through two of his sons crossed on a son of Dual Pep.

The breeding pattern using a son of Dual Pep out of a Doc O’Lena-line mare and then crossing that on a Doc O’Lena-line mare is an example of what is called “returning the blood.” This cross returns the blood of Doc O’Lena through the foal’s dam and the sire’s dam. That increases the influence of the sire’s dam on the foal, as it increases the pedigree influence of Doc O’Lena through her.  

No horse since Doc O’Lena has won both go-rounds, the semifinals and the finals of the NCHA Futurity Open, but we came close with Dual Reyish when he won the first round, the composite, the semifinals and the finals to become the 2017 NCHA Futurity Open Champion. It must be in the blood.