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.
Reined Cow Horse
It’s hard to deny the stature of this season’s freshman reined cow horse sires. If 2017 and 2018 were cutting’s and reining’s big years, respectively, 2019 is all about cow horses. In a stout list of stallions, there are six with more than six figures in lifetime earnings.
The group is topped by 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion Blind Sided, whose Equi-Stat record totals $223,726. The Carol Rose-bred stallion has been shown exclusively by Jay McLaughlin for owner Aaron Ranch, who also stands Blind Sided.
After his success at the Futurity, Blind Sided continued to excel, winning the 2015 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open and making the Open finals of the NRCHA Derby twice. He was also the 2015 AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse Reserve World Champion. As a bridle horse, he has picked up several wins, including top three and top four finishes in the World’s Greatest Horseman. In 2018, the stallion shifted gears and pulled several checks in cutting, including a top 10 placing in Senior Cutting at the AQHA World Show.
Perhaps one of the highest-profile foals out of Blind Sided’s 17 offspring from 2016 is Bush Whacked, a blue roan colt out of 1993 cutting mare Smart Bunny Lena ($83,152, by Smart Little Lena), a half-sister to 2002 cutting stallion Tomcat Chex (by High Brow Cat), who amassed $125,618. Bush Whacked is a half-brother to the winners of more than $100,000, including $45,266-earner Smart Cattilac (by High Brow Cat) and $31,672-earner Playgun Lena (by Playgun).
SLRblindedbythelight is out of Starlit Holly, a 16-year-old Grays Starlight mare with $44,689 to her credit. Nearly all of that sum was earned at the 2006 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. She won the Limited and Intermediate Open, and ended up just out of the top 20 in the Open. Starlit Holly’s 2016 red roan Blind Sided filly could become the mare’s first performer in Equi-Stat.
My Boots Are Tuff (by Woody Be Tuff) has a fan following, especially in the ranch horse versatility industry, and those folks are likely excited for Seven S Tuff Boots, the mare’s sorrel Blind Sided filly. If she debuts well, she will be her dam’s first money-earner.
Blind Sided’s 2016 foals born to other mares with proven progeny records are Shootin Blind, a son of Play It With A Twist (by Playgun), and Blind Dejavu, a daughter of Dejavu N Blue (by Smooth As A Cat).
Known affectionately as “Samson,” High Brow Shiner’s rich palomino coat and flowing mane demand attention as he walks in the ring. Still competing in 2019, the earner of more than $200,000 has been a solid performer since he posted his first check to Equi-Stat in 2012 as a fourth-place finisher in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open.
Shown by Doug Williamson for breeder Belle Meade Ranch Quarter Horses the majority of his life, High Brow Shiner was the 2012 Idaho Futurity Open Champion, 2013 AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse Reserve World Champion, 2014 AQHA Junior Working Cow Horse Reserve World Champion and 2014 NRCHA Open Hackamore World Champion.
Late in 2018, the stallion’s ownership transferred to Williamson, whose wife, Carol, won a Non-Pro Bridle class aboard the horse early this year. Williamson Training Stables stands High Brow Shiner, who has five 2016 foals.
The most notable mare bred to High Brow Shiner that first season was 2008 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Black Pearl (by Smart Little Pepinic). The mare boasts lifetime earnings of $121,032 and has five money-earners with $25,250 on her offspring record. Her High Brow Shiner foal is a bay colt registered as Time To Shine Pearl.
Smart Miss Shiner, a sorrel filly, is out of Smart Miss Merada, who garnered $66,417 with Williamson. The Leo Merada mare was the NRCHA Hackamore Classic Open Champion in 2009 and 2010.
Magicality is known as a top-notch performer across disciplines. While much of his $156,642 was amassed in reined cow horse, he has picked up hefty checks in reining and cutting, as well. He is the only horse that ranks on the Equi-Stat All Industry Statistics Horses chart for all three sports.
Bred by Joyce Pearson and owned by her daughter, Annie Reynolds, Magicality was fourth in the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open before earning the NRHA Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro Reserve title and Level 3 Championship. During 2016, when his first offspring were born, he added more checks in cutting, reining and cow horse.
Magicality, who stands at Why Worry Ranch, has three registered offspring with the AQHA. Two of those — FLS Playin Magic (out of FLS Nitasplayin x Playin Stylish) and Magic MD (out of Chic Rx x Smart Chic Olena) — are from his first crop.
This One Time is another NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion who qualifies as a freshman sire. Owned for the first few seasons of his performance career by Pam Bailey and then by Whispering Willows Ranch, the Cinder Lakes Ranch-bred stallion boasts $154,303. His bankroll continues through 2018, and among his many earlier accomplishments are the 2014 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Championship and NRCHA Derby Open Reserve Championship.
Nine offspring by This One Time, who stands at Vista Equine Colorado, will represent their sire for 2019, and This One Is Shiny is one of the most royally bred. The palomino filly is out of Lil Shiny Long Legs ($76,523), an NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finalist, NRCHA Open Bridle Reserve World Champion and NRCHA Open Two-Rein Reserve World Champion. The filly’s second dam is Lil Lena Long Legs, an Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Dam.
One Shiny Time, out of Shiners Little Rita, is a half-sister to Gunnabeagoldenstar, the 2016 filly by ARC Gunnabeabigstar.
The horse Blind Sided played runner-up to in the 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open is also a freshman sire. Time For The Diamond ($150,050), who stands at Oswood Stallion Station, is debuting with 13 foals.
Play With Sparks still has his dam working for him in the ring. The sorrel colt is out of the Shining Spark mare Sparktilion, who was fourth in February’s World’s Greatest Horseman. The earner of more than $82,000 was a 2013 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finalist and third-place finisher in the 2015 NRCHA Derby Open.
Time For The Spark, a sorrel son of Cashs Shining Spark (by Shining Spark), is a half-brother to three performers with total earnings of more than $35,000. His leading sibling is Remedys Shinin Cash (by Very Smart Remedy), who has won $28,652.
The last $100,000-plus reined cow horse earner whose first foals were born in 2016 is One Fine Vintage, who won the AQHA Senior Working Cow Horse World Championship that same year.
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.