Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Light N Lena was laid to rest on Nov. 2, according to a post on 72 Ranch co-owner Kris Martin’s Facebook page. The stallion was 18.
Light N Lena (Grays Starlight x Little Missie Lena x Smart Little Lena) was bred by Melissa and Jay Gribble, of Rosston, Texas, and owned by Billy and Kris Martin’s 72 Ranch for most of his life. He began his performance career with Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Sean Flynn at the 2003 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, where he advanced to the Open semifinals.
The sorrel stallion consistently made the Derby Open finals at major limited-age events in 2004 with Flynn and then Equi-Stat Elite $9 Million Rider Phil Rapp at the helm, while also carrying Billy Martin to several top 10 finishes in the Non-Pro. Among his accolades as a 4-year-old were the Brazos Bash Derby Open Reserve Championship and fourth in the NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Non-Pro.
As a 5- and 6-year-old, Light N Lena was shown almost exclusively by Rapp in the Open. He retired in 2006 with total lifetime earnings of $165,076, according to Equi-Stat records. By that time, he was already establishing himself as a sire.
Light N Lena’s first American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)-registered offspring were born in 2005. That first crop consisted of merely nine foals, but it included Laredo Montana (out of Little Memory Maker x Peppy San Badger), who went on to collect more than $228,000 in cutting pens.
The third-highest money-earner by Light N Lena, Laredo Montana was the 2009 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Non-Pro Champion, 2011 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro Reserve Champion, 2011 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Reserve Champion, a two-time Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro Champion and the horse that carried the Martins’ daughter, Kaitlyn, to the 2012 NCHA Non-Pro Reserve World Championship.
Light N Lena, whose offspring earnings in Equi-Stat totaled $2.2 million at the time of his death, reached his status as a sire with 76 money-earners and an average of nearly $29,000 among his performers. His No. 1 offspring is 2009 gelding Buzzted ($293,874, out of Honey Bee Time x Peptotime), who was the 2013 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Open Champion, followed by 2007 mare Light N Lily ($286,640, out of Meradas Oh Cay x Freckles Merada), who carried Kaitlyn to the 2016 NCHA Non-Pro World Championship.