Custom Crome. • QHN file photo.

NRHA Futurity Champ Custom Crome Remembered For Athleticism, “Kind Eye”

Custom Crome was remembered Monday as a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Open Champion and leading sire who passed along both his talent and kind disposition.

The 1990 stallion (Crome Plated Jac x Another Greyhound x Greyhound Step) died on Sunday, June 17, at owner/breeder Steve Simon’s facility in Marietta, Oklahoma. He was found dead in his stall.

“From the day he was born, he’d always leave the herd and leave his mother if somebody came to the fence, whether it was me or somebody else,” Simon recalled. “He just had this affinity and the love and the trust of people. That’s where he preferred to be, and he remained that way all through his life whether you were just riding him or breeding him or handling him. He always put the person he was with first.”

Owned by Simon his entire life, the stallion had sired earners of more than $4.2 million at the time of his death, according to Equi-Stat. He became an NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire in late 2016.

“Crome” was ridden to the 1993 Futurity Open Championship by Mike Flarida. The horse earned more than $116,000 during his show career and was inducted in to the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2009.

“With the exception of the birth of my daughter, it was the greatest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Simon said of the Futurity victory “Until you win it or win the lottery or something, because that’s pretty much about the odds, you just can’t express to somebody how that feeling is.”

Although the stallion passed along his athleticism, his foals also seemed to inherit what Simon described as a “kind and soft eye” — a desire to rely on and trust in people.

“I always tell people if you just love them and feed them, because they all like to eat…I mean, they like to eat,” he said with a laugh. “They would take care of you.”

Simon still owns and stands the stallion’s son, National Reining Breeders Classic Derby Open Champion Custom Legend (out of Dry Doc Bobbie, by Dry Doc Bob). The greatest similarity between father and son was how they both viewed reining as something fun, not work, Simon said.

“When I had Crome at home, his paddock was on a hill and he used to trot up the hill, turn around, and come running down full speed and sit down and slide and go 40 feet. If he wasn’t going straight he’d kind of pump his legs like ABS brakes to keep himself straight. And, he’d turn around and trot back up,” said Simon, who would watch and worry the stallion would hurt himself. “I’d go crazy and everybody loved it. I mean, he was doing it barefoot!”

In all, Custom Crome was the sire of earners of more than $4.2 million, including: Custom Pistol (out of Hollywood Lady Jo, by Hollywood Smoke, $254,858,); Custom Cash Advance (out of Cash In Roan x Topsail Cody, $230,892); Custom Legend ($228,287); Custom Mahogany (out of Gay Doc Nell, by Gay Doc, $211,203); and Custom Red Berry (out of Otter Run Terri, by Dun Berry, $187,902).

As a broodmare sire, he fathered the dams of earners of more than $2.7 million. His leading performers as a maternal grandsire are $235,719-earner Custom Spook (Smart Spook x Custom Spinderella), $120,219-earner Lean With Hollywood (Lean With Me x Cee Miss Hollywood) and $112,676-earner Mr Masota Star (Wimpys Little Step x Cee Another Masota).

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