Bet Yer Blue Boons & Lindy Burch, weeks before the mare's death • Photo by Lizzie Iwersen

Legendary Mare Bet Yer Blue Boons Dies

The death of a National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open World Champion and million-dollar producer has the Western performance horse industry in mourning. Bet Yer Blue Boons, an earner of $350,615, reportedly died at the age of 29 on May 1 due to complications from colic.

Bet Yer Blue Boons, a daughter of No. 1 cutting dam Royal Blue Boon, was a phenomenal performer in the arena. She and Lindy Burch, whose Oxbow Ranch owned the 1990 Larry Hall Cutting Horses-bred mare for the majority of her life, were a force to be reckoned with, especially on the Open weekend circuit. The duo qualified for the NCHA World Finals, which was held early in the year for the previous season’s leaders, in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

horse chasing a cow
Bet Yer Blue Boons & Lindy Burch • Photo by Don Shugart

They finished in the top 10 Open standings four out of those five years, and won the 2000 NCHA Open World Championship. During the 1999 World Finals, which determined the final standings from the 1998 season, the mare set a record when she won the third round with a blistering 233. That score has since been exceeded only two times with 234s — once by Dont Look Twice during the 2011 Idaho Cutting Horse Association Futurity and once by Special Nu Baby during the 2015 El Rancho Futurity.

Thanks to her impressive performance career, Bet Yer Blue Boons (by Freckles Playboy) was sought after as a producer. As her offspring excelled, they garnered more and more money at public auctions. Between the years 2006 and 2018, 16 of the mare’s get passed through sale rings at major Western performance horse sales. With merely one repurchase, the net average on 15 offspring reached $121,200 and the median was an incredible $87,000.

As of her death, Bet Yer Blue Boons’ offspring record boasted 22 performers, according to Equi-Stat. Her $1.2 million in total progeny earnings average out to an impressive $55,000-plus per money-earner. While the majority of her get were shown in cutting, she also has a reined cow horse performer in Bets Smart Lena ($10,970, by Smart Little Lena).

Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Bet Hesa Cat (by High Brow Cat) is Bet Yer Blue Boons’ leading earner. The 2011 NCHA Open World Champion first made headlines in 2007 when he sold for $400,000 as a yearling during the NCHA Futurity Invitational. The stallion now boasts $272,000 in lifetime earnings and is nearing the $3 million mark as a sire.

Stylish Bet (by Docs Stylish Oak) is the mare’s highest-earning daughter with lifetime earnings that exceed $218,000. She is followed on her dam’s record by three $100,000-plus earners — Bets CD ($129,230, by CD Olena), Bet Shes Smooth ($128,705, by Smooth As A Cat) and Bet On Me 498 ($102,877, by Smart Little Lena).