In the Blood: Metallic Train

When you look at the results of the Open finals of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes, you see that Clayton Edsall, of Oakdale, California, had a great shot at winning the event with four qualifiers. His qualifiers finished 20th (a scratch after the herd work), eighth, seventh and then there was Metallic Train, who finished first.

Metallic Train and Edsall put together a composite score of 656.5 with a 215 in the herd work and a 214.5 in the rein work. They clinched the title with a 227 in the fence work to earn $57,147 and secure not only the Open title but also the Intermediate Open Championship.

Metallic Train (Metallic Cat x Sparking Train x Shining Spark) is owned by Beverly Vaughn and was bred by Cottonwood Springs Ranch LLC. Vaughn bought the 2013 mare from Gardiner Quarter Horses, of Ashland, Kansas. A look at the pedigree of Metallic Train shows a combination of the cutting and the cow horse segments that we find so common today. It will also give us the opportunity to reflect on the power of Shining Spark as a broodmare sire.

Metallic Train • Photo by Primo Morales


Peptoboonsmal • Photo by John Brasseaux

Metallic Cat (High Brow Cat x Chers Shadow x Peptoboonsmal) was the 2008 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Champion and the 2009 NCHA Horse of the Year. He earned $637,711 in the arena. The offspring record for Metallic Cat shows that he has sired earners of more than $18 million. His offspring include Metallic Rebel, the 2017 NCHA Open Horse of the Year, and Stevie Rey Von, the 2015 NCHA Futurity Open Champion and 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Open winner.

The success of Metallic Cat as a sire is showing up in the reined cow horse arena with his Equi-Stat five-year record reflecting that he has sired horses that have won $879,058, and his cow horse progeny have garnered more than $1 million overall. His leading money-earners in the discipline include Cats Picasso ($150,336) and Call Me Mitch ($149,095).

Chers Shadow was a cutting money-winner of $1,675. She is the dam of only four foals, with three money-earners. Her sire, Peptoboonsmal, was the 1995 NCHA Futurity Open Champion and is an Equi-Stat leading sire of cutting horse money-winners with earnings of more than $24 million.

Peptoboonsmal is making his presence known in the reined cow horse, as well. His foals have a five-year record of greater than $1 million in the discipline, with $2 million earned overall in the sport. His leading cow horse money-winner is Blind Sided ($215,852), the winner of the 2018 NRCHA Stakes Open Bridle Championship.

Shesa Smarty Lena (Smart Little Lena x Shesa Playmate x Freckles Playboy) is the dam of Chers Shadow. This mare earned $224,005 and took home the 1996 NCHA Open World Finals Championship. She is the dam of foals that have earned $238,269, and her leading money-winner is Pantera Cat ($87,441, by High Brow Cat).


Sparking Train & Don Murphy • Photo by Primo Morales

Sparking Train (Shining Spark x Sister Train x Reminic) was the 2007 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Senior Heading World Champion, the 2006 AQHA Working Cow Horse Reserve World Champion and the 2004 NRCHA Open Two-Rein World Champion. She earned 212.5 AQHA performance points, with superiors in Heeling and Working Cow Horse. She also earned points in heading, tie-down roping, cutting and reining. She has lifetime earnings of $93,487, according to Equi-Stat.

Sparking Train’s offspring earnings total more than $180,000 with the Stallion Stakes paychecks added in. She is the dam of Bet He Sparks (by Bet Hesa Cat), who was eighth in the Stallion Stakes and was Sparking Train’s second Stallion Stakes finalist. Bet He Sparks and Sparking Train are three-quarter siblings, as they were both sired by sons of High Brow Cat.

Shining Spark (Genuine Doc x Diamonds Sparkle x Mr Diamond Dude) was the 1993 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion and the 1994 NRHA Derby Open Champion. He earned $62,674 in his show career.

Shining Spark is a versatile sire of horses that have won in excess of $9 million in events like cutting, reining, heading, heeling and reined cow horse. His foals show this versatility, with 29 of his offspring winning 39 World championships in these same events. His top winners include 2008 NRHA Futurity Open Champion Shining N Sassy and Shine By The Bay, the winner of two AQHA World championships in Working Cow Horse – one in 2003 and one in 2004.

Shining Spark & Tim McQuay • Photo by Waltenberry

Shining Spark is Equi-Stat’s No. 1 money-earning sire of reined cow horses with more than $4.4 million. His top reined cow horse performers include Smart Shinetta ($130,977), Shine Smartly ($128,850) and Shine Like Hail ($114,379).

Genuine Doc (Doc Bar x Gay Bar’s Gen x Gay Bar King) was a cutting horse who won the 1981 Atlantic Cutting Horse Association Non-Pro Championship and the 1985 AQHA Junior Cutting Reserve World Champion title.

Genuine Doc was a versatile sire whose foals have won greater than 15,000 AQHA and American Paint Horse Association points, with 151 Registers of Merit and 11 World championships. His offspring include Genuine Nita ($113,098); Genuine Peppy San (PT), the 1985 APHA Junior Cutting World Champion and Genuine Redbud, the 1995 AQHA Super Horse at the World Show.

Diamonds Sparkle was the 1979 AQHA Super Horse and the 1979 AQHA Senior Heading World Champion. She earned 39 heeling, 22 heading, 31 pleasure, 28 reining and 23 halter points to be an AQHA Champion.

Diamonds Sparkle was the dam of 14 performers that earned $439,560 and 2,642 AQHA points. Her son Zans Diamond Sun was the 1987 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion. He earned 356 AQHA points, picking up AQHA High-Point All-Around Stallion titles and earnings of $46,616.

Her daughter Sparkles Rosezana was the 1985 NRHA Futurity Open Champion, boasting earnings of $123,380 and 259 AQHA points. She was an AQHA High-Point All-Around Mare, as well as an AQHA World Champion in Junior Reining and Senior Heading.

Sister Train, the dam of Sparking Train, was the 1992 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Champion. She was a finalist in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity and she won $14,124 in her career, according to Equi-Stat. Her foals recorded in the database have earnings of $121,898. Sparking Train is her leading performer and her second-highest earner is Shiney De Mayo, an NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity finalist.

The dam of Sister Train is Calan Gay (Gay Bar King x Cal Booger Bar x Cal Bar), and she was the dam of horses with earnings of $109,549. Her foals include Remin Gay ($43,398) and Lotsa Train ($32,501). Lotsa Train was the 1995 NRHA Futurity Non-Pro Champion.


Shining Spark is Equi-Stat’s leading broodmare sire in the reined cow horse discipline with earnings of nearly $6.7 million. His impact as a broodmare sire can be summarized in the top 25 magic crosses for reined cow horses, which were published in the Dec. 15, 2017, issue of Quarter Horse News. We see that in the top 25 for the reined cow horse, Shining Sparking is the broodmare sire in eight crosses.

When we give a pedigree explanation for the success of Shining Spark as a broodmare sire, we think in terms of the genetic tie between the stallion, his daughters and his dam. The best example of these genetic ties between the stallion, his mother and his daughters is when he passes the X-chromosome he inherited from his mother to his daughters.