The first year a stallion’s offspring compete can trigger many emotions. A mix of excitement, anxiety and hopefulness flood the senses for those who spend years waiting.
For the 31 freshman sires in the Western performance horse industry this year, the successes and failures of their own show careers are no longer the gauge. It’s up to the next generation to carry their names into the future.
In order to qualify as a 2019 freshman sire, a stallion’s first American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)-registered offspring must have been born in 2016. Their youngest foals have come of age this year and will be eligible to compete in the cutting, reining and reined cow horse futurities later in the season.
The 2019 class of sires is unique in that it is a bona fide mixture of elite performance horses with six-figure records and stallions whose Equi-Stat records seem minimal in comparison. But now, it’s anybody’s game.
There are six cutting stallions going into futurity season as freshman sires, all but one of which have records that exceed $100,000. None come close to the leader, Meteles Cat. The 2010 stallion, who was bred and shown by the Hedlund family, amassed a staggering $437,016 during his career before standing at Brazos Valley Stallion Station.
Cody Hedlund advanced to the 2013 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Non-Pro finals with Meteles Cat. The stallion then went on a tear the next few years with Hedlund in the Non-Pro and Hedlund’s father, Rock, in the Open.
Along with earning the Derby Non-Pro Reserve title at the 2014 NCHA Super Stakes, Breeder’s Invitational and El Rancho Futurity, Meteles Cat earned the AQHA Junior Cutting World Championship as a 4-year-old. He returned in 2015 for his best season, carrying his owners to $164,511. His highest-paying accomplishments that year included the Breeder’s Invitational Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Championship, Showdown in Cowtown Non-Pro Championship, Classic/Challenge Open Championship at the West Texas Futurity, and first in the Classic/Challenge Non-Pro and second in the Classic/Challenge Open at the El Rancho Futurity. The 2015 season concluded the same way as the year before, with the AQHA Junior Cutting World title.
Meteles Cat’s first crop includes 12 offspring, the oldest of which is JL Missy Meteles, a daughter of One Time Tinker (by One Time Pepto). Some of the highest-profile mares the stallion bred in 2015 were $67,238-earner Karats N Oaks Cat (Atta Cat x Karats Oak x Doc’s Oak), $54,480-earner Miss N A Little Cash (Smart Lil Ricochet x Docs Miss N Dinero x Miss N Cash) and $41,600-earner Hallmarks Sonita (SR Hallmarked x Sonitas Cindy x Sonita’s Last).
Dont Tell Bae, a bay Meteles Cat colt out of Tina Bars Queen ($48,011, by Tina Bars Peppy), is a half-sister to $41,580-earner Queen Of Hots (by Spots Hot). And blue roan filly Let Me Teles Lies, who is out of Tuesdays Fast Gun (by Playgun), is a half- or greater sister to two performers, including Gun Metal Blue ($31,200, by Metallic Cat).
Cool Cat Dual Rey is the second-highest-earning freshman cutting sire. A 2013 NCHA Futurity Open semifinalist, the stallion boasts a record of nearly $200,000. The homebred from Kobie and Paula Wood’s reputable breeding program has been shown successfully for six years (2013-2018).
Save for a few large checks from shows like the Abilene Spectacular, Bonanza Cutting, NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Summer Spectacular, much of Cool Cat Dual Rey’s lifetime earnings were won in weekend competition. Although the stallion never advanced to the NCHA Open top 15, he came close in 2016 and again in 2017.
While Cool Cat Dual Rey has five AQHA-registered foals, only one is from his 2016 crop. Dual Lil Lena, a sorrel filly, is out of Wild Lil Child (by Smart Little Lena), who won more than $27,000. The 2000 NCHA Futuity Open semifinalist already has five money-earners on her Equi-Stat offspring record, which totals $51,000-plus.
Smart Time Pepto 10 is hitting the breeding scene with $148,822 in earnings. If his debut in cutting is any indication of his first year as a sire, it’s going to be a good fall for the James Eakin-bred stallion’s connections.
Smart Time Pepto 10 was a talented competitor, tying for fifth in the 2013 NCHA Futurity Open with Ascencion Banuelos at the reins. Banuelos’ son, Adan, took over in 2014, piloting the stallion to The Ike Derby Open win and the NCHA Super Stakes Open finals, among other achievements.
Owned by G&A Performance Horses and currently standing at Valley View Ranch, Smart Time Pepto 10 bred mares that produced 19 foals in 2016. None of the dams from that first crop were by the same stallion, giving an incredible variety to his 3-year-olds.
Playdox Honey (by Playdox) is the highest-earning mare to produce a 2016 Smart Time Pepto 10 foal. The earner of $51,070 has an Equi-Stat progeny record of nearly $100,000 with merely one performing offspring — 2007 gelding Smooth Dox (by Smooth As A Cat), a 2010 NCHA Futurity Open and Non-Pro finalist. The stallion also bred the Playmates Dually mare Playmate Dual Foxie, whose offspring have garnered more than $132,000.
Rounding out the 2019 freshman cutting sires who boast more than $100,000 are Australian NCHA Futurity Open Champion Heavy Metal (AS) and 2017 NCHA $5,000 Novice World Champion Check Counter.
Freshman Sires Complete List
Stallion/Lifetime Earnings, according to Equi-Stat/Year Born/Pedigree/# of AQHA registered foals, as of April 1 (* # of Australian Quarter Horse Association-registered foals)
ARC Gunnabeabigstar, $308,902
11 (Gunnatrashya x Wimpys Little Chic x Wimpys Little Step)
2016 foals: 26 / 2017 foals: 9 / 2018 foals: 2
Blind Sided, $223,726
10 (Peptoboonsmal x Lil Miss Shiney Chex x Shining Spark)
2016 foals: 17 / 2017 foals: 18 / 2018 foals: 11
Check Counter, $132,756
10 (Im Countin Checks x Haidas Youngster x Haidas Little Pep)
2016 foals: 1 / 2017 foals: 8 / 2018 foals: 4
Chics Smart Lena, $29,753
10 (Smart Chic Olena x Hixie Chic x Doc’s Hickory)
2016 foals: 2 / 2017 foals: 1 / 2018 foals: 0
Cool Cat Dual Rey, $196,207
10 (Dual Rey x Donas Cool Cat x High Brow Cat)
2016 foals: 1 / 2017 foals: 4 / 2018 foals: 0
Dulces Little Light, $30,919
07 (Dulces Smart Lena x Light The Stars x Grays Starlight)
2016 foals: 13 / 2017 foals: 0 / 2018 foals: 0
Electric Snow, $100,399
11 (Jacs Electric Spark x Snow Gun x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner])
2016 foals: 1/ 2017 foals: 3 / 2018 foals: 22
Freckles Got Ashiner, $101,442
08 (Smart Shiner x Scats Frecklefoot x Doctor Freckles)
2016 foals: 7 / 2017 foals: 0 / 2018 foals: 3
Gunnin For Chicks, $79,971
09 (Gunner x Dun It By Chick x Hollywood Dun it)
2016 foals: 6 / 2017 foals: 16 / 2018 foals: 6
Guns R For Shootin, $113,873
10 (Gunner x Chelsea Lena x Smart Peppy Doc)
2016 foals: 23 / 2017 foals: 30 / 2018 foals: 24
Guthrie City Limits, $0
12 (Sixes Pick x Jim N Nicks Di x Els Scottish Nick)
2016 foals: 14 / 2017 foals: 18 / 2018 foals: 7
Gypsys Starlight, $16,229
11 (Starlights Gypsy x Mia Uno Tassa x Smart Little Uno)
2016 foals: 4 / 2017 foals: 4 / 2018 foals: 0
Heavy Metal (AS)*, $143,513
12 (Metallic Cat x Reyk It In x Dual Rey)
2016 foals: 30 / 2017 foals: 11 / 2018 foals: 0
Heza Shiney Kodo, $88,200
06 (Kodo x Sheza Shinette x Shining Spark)
2016 foals: 2 / 2017 foals: 0 / 2018 foals: 0
High Brow Shiner, $201,654
09 (Shining Lil Nic x High Brow Meow x High Brow Cat)
2016 foals: 5 / 2017 foals: 2 / 2018 foals: 1
Jesses Topaz, $0
11 (Mr Jess Perry x Paddys Topaz x Paddys Irish Whiskey)
2016 foals: 17 / 2017 foals: 48 / 2018 foals: 32
11 (Metallic Cat x Miss Sea Rey x Dual Rey)
2016 foals: 1 / 2017 foals: 0 / 2018 foals: 2
10 (Very Smart Remedy x Magical Lena x Little Lenas Legend)
2016 foals: 2 / 2017 foals: 1 / 2018 foals: 0
Metallic Gun, $16,117
11 (Metallic Cat x Playguns King Badger x Playgun)
2016 foals: 1 / 2017 foals: 3 / 2018 foals: 7
Meteles Cat, $437,016
10 (Metallic Cat x Teles Lies x Lenas Telesis)
2016 foals: 12 / 2017 foals: 78 / 2018 foals: 35
Natural Bottom, $2,341
11 (Playboys Buck Fever x Natural Ingredient x Peppy San Badger)
2016 foals: 6 / 2017 foals: 16 / 2018 foals: 11
One Fine Vintage, $116,956
09 (One Time Pepto x Shiners Siena x Shining Spark)
2016 foals: 6 / 2017 foals: 3 / 2018 foals: 5
SCR Thunder Crackin, $0
12 (Metallic Cat x Smart Crackin Chic x Smart Chic Olena)
2016 foals: 9 / 2017 foals: 7 / 2018 foals: 9
Smart Time Pepto 10, $148,822
10 (One Time Pepto x Uno Tassa Mia x Smart Little Uno)
2016 foals: 19 / 2017 foals: 13 / 2018 foals: 0
Sushi Boss, $41,321
11 (CD Lights x Shiney Sushi x Shining Spark)
2016 foals: 5 / 2017 foals: 9 / 2018 foals: 6
This One Time, $154,303
09 (One Time Pepto x Katie Starlight x Grays Starlight)
2016 foals: 9 / 2017 foals: 13 / 2018 foals: 12
Time For The Diamond, $150,050
10 (One Time Pepto x Diamonds With Style x Playin Stylish)
2016 foals: 13 / 2017 foals: 16 / 2018 foals: 14
Tricked Out Spook, $68,762
10 (Spooks Gotta Gun x Rowdy Brinna x Rowdy Yankee)
2016 foals: 2 / 2017 foals: 18 / 2018 foals: 17
11 (Wimpys Little Step x Melodys GI Jane x Missin James)
2016 foals: 1 / 2017 foals: 0 / 2018 foals: 0
What A Wave, $275,746
08 (Tidal Wave Jack x What A Sunrise x Sunrise Enterprise)
2016 foals: 1 / 2017 foals: 16 / 2018 foals: 10
Wimpys High Bid, $154,201
09 (Wimpys Little Step x Lucky Little Jewel x Smart Little Lena)
2016 foals: 2 / 2017 foals: 3 / 2018 foals: 5
Disclaimer: This list was compiled using information contained in the last five issues of the Quarter Horse News Stallion Register, major sale catalogs, previous Equi-Stat statistics and other industry publications. American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) records were used to determine eligibility as a freshman sire; therefore, stallions with offspring in other countries or associations — including those born prior to 2016 or those born later in 2016 due to different breeding seasons in other parts of the world — may be included. Although we have made every effort to compile a complete and accurate list, stallions not regularly advertised or those whose offspring have not sold at public auction may not be included.
This article was originally published in the May 1, 2019, issue of QHN.