sparking train pedigree chart

In The Blood: Sparking Train

As the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) ramps up for its biggest event of the year — the Snaffle Bit Futurity and Hackamore Classic — it seems appropriate to celebrate a special line of cow horses through broodmare Sparking Train.

When the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) opened the registration of foals out of mares through embryo transfer, it increased mares’ influence on the breed. Because this allowed breeders to register more than one foal out of a single mare in the same year, it gave two or more of her foals the opportunity to participate in the same classes at aged events.

sparking train and don murphy
Sparking Train & Don Murphy • Photo by Primo Morales

The 2019 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Derby, presented by Cats Picasso, gave us the chance to see how it works thanks to Sparking Train. The 1998 mare is the dam of this year’s NRCHA Derby Open Champion Bet He Sparks, as well as NRCHA Derby Non-Pro Champion Sparking Metallic.

Sparking Train, currently owned by Jose Milare Garcia, belonged to Garth and Amanda Gardiner in 2014 when she produced Bet He Sparks (by Bet Hesa Cat) and Sparking Metallic (by Metallic Cat). Bet He Sparks ($173,807), who is shown by Clayton Edsall and owned by Kathryn and Layn Phillips of K & L Phillips LLC, and Sparking Metallic ($38,393), are both scheduled to compete in Fort Worth, Texas, this month during the NRCHA Hackamore Classic.

A pedigree perspective on the offspring of Sparking Train gives the industry an interesting view of the pedigree of her No. 1 and 3 foals. It will also show some interesting similarities between the pedigrees that ultimately result in collateral linebreeding.

Sparking Train — Sire Line

bet he sparks and clayton edsall
Bet He Sparks & Clayton Edsall • Photo by Primo Morales

Bet He Sparks was sired by Bet Hesa Cat ($272,000), the 2011 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open World Champion. The 2014 stallion is the sire of horses that have earned more than $3.5 million. His top cutting money-winners include Betchalou ($200,569), winner of the 2019 Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Spring Gathering Classic/Challenge Amateur, and Reyzurbetsonthiscat ($147,796), winner of the 2017 Augusta 4-Year-Old Futurity.

Bet Hesa Cat’s leading reined cow horse earner is Bet He Sparks, followed by Plain Catty ($169,253), the 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion. Next on the list is Bet Hes Black ($121,736), the 2017 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion. 

Metallic Train was sired by Metallic Cat ($637,711), the 2008 NCHA Futurity Open Champion and the 2009 NCHA Horse of the Year.

Metallic Cat recently surpassed the $30 million milestone as a sire. His top foals include 2018 NCHA World Champion Stallion Hashtags ($495,471); 2017 NCHA Open Horse of the Year Metallic Rebel ($437,965); 2019 freshman sire Meteles Cat ($437,016); and 2015 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Stevie Rey Von ($420,559).

Some of Metallic Cat’s leading reined cow horse offspring include 2014 National Stock Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Call Me Mitch ($189,923) and Cats Picasso ($156,196), the 2019 Cowtown Open Two-Rein Champion.

bet hesa cat
Bet Hesa Cat • Photo by Don Shugart

Bet Hesa Cat and Metallic Cat are both sons of High Brow Cat (High Brow Hickory x Smart Little Kitty x Smart Little Lena), the all-time leading sire of Western performance money-winners. The dam of Bet Hesa Cat is Bet Yer Blue Boons (Freckles Playboy x Royal Blue Boon x Boon Bar), and she was the 2000 NCHA Open World Champion.

Bet Yer Blue Boons earned $350,000-plus in her career. She is the dam of foals that have cumulative Equi-Stat records of more than $1.2 million. Bet Hesa Cat is her leading performer, and her No. 2 money-earner is NCHA Platinum Award winner Stylish Bet ($218,227).

Freckles Playboy (Jewel’s Leo Bars x Gay Jay x Rey Jay) was the 1976 NCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion and the 1977 AQHA Junior Cutting World Champion. He earned $59,976, according to NCHA records. In Equi-Stat, he is the No. 4 all-time leading sire of cutting performers. His top money-winner is Playboys Madera ($570,819), the 1988 NCHA Non-Pro World Champion.

Royal Blue Boon (Boon Bar x Royal Tincie x Royal King) was the 1984 NCHA Super Stakes Open Co-Reserve Champion and boasts $381,764 in lifetime earnings. She ranked first on the 2019 Equi-Stat Lifetime Cutting Statistics Dams chart with in excess of $2.6 million in progeny earnings. Her top offspring is Red White And Boon ($922,063), a five-time NCHA Non-Pro World Champion.

Chers Shadow (Peptoboonsmal x Shesa Smarty Lena x Smart Little Lena), who was a finalist in the 2002 Abilene Spectacular Derby, is the dam of Metallic Cat. She earned a modest $1,675, and her only other performing foals were full siblings Little John 448, the 2008 Ozark Mountain 4-Year-Old Champion, and Bet Yer Valentine — both by Bet On Me 498.

The pedigree of Chers Shadow brings us back to some familiar pedigree ingredients. Peptoboonsmal was sired by Peppy San Badger, and his dam is Royal Blue Boon. Then we see that Chers Shadow’s dam, Shesa Smarty Lena, was out of Shesa Playmate, a daughter of Freckles Playboy. This is the reverse of what we saw in Bet Hesa Cat, and it gives the pedigree of these two High Brow Cat sons close ties to the Freckles Playboy and Royal Blue Boon cross. This is an interesting observation as we further investigate the pedigrees of foals out of Sparking Train.

Sparking Train — Dam Line

Sparking Train (Shining Spark x Sister Train x Reminic) was the 2004 NRCHA Open Two-Rein  World Champion. She went on to earn 212.5 AQHA points, securing Superiors in working cow horse and heeling. She was also the 2007 AQHA Senior Heading World Champion and the 2006 AQHA Senior Working Cow Horse Reserve World Champion. She has lifetime earnings of $93,487, according to Equi-Stat.

sparking metallic and hope miller
Sparking Metallic & Hope Miller • Photo by Primo Morales

The foals out of Sparking Train have a total record of $398,333, and her second leading winner is Metallic Train ($139,752) — a full sister to Sparking Metallic. Metallic Train was the NRCHA Open Hackamore World Champion at the 2019 Celebration of Champions. Sparking Train’s fourth-highest earner is One Sparking Time ($32,730), a 2018 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finalist.

Shining Spark (Genuine Doc x Diamonds Sparkle x Mr Diamond Dude) was the 1993 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion and the1994 NRHA Derby Open Champion. He has gone on to become the sire of horses that have won more than $9 million, according to Equi-Stat. He is the all-time leading sire of reined cow horses with nearly $4.5 million in offspring earnings for the discipline.

His reined cow horse winners are topped by Smart Shinetta ($130,977), a 2005 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finalist. His reining performers are led by Shining N Sassy ($260,164), the 2008 NRHA Futurity Open Champion.

Sister Train ($14,124) was the 1992 NRCHA Stallion Stakes Open Champion. Her foals have earned $121,898, with Sparking Train as her leading money-winner. She is also the dam of Sparking Train’s full brother Shiney De Mayo ($27,400), a 2007 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finalist; and Light N Fine Train (by Light N Fine), the 2014 AQHA Open Cowboy Mounted Shooting World Champion.

Sister Train’s sire, Reminic, was sired by Doc’s Remedy, and her dam is Calan Gay, by Gay Bar King. Genuine Doc, the sire of Shining Spark, was sired by Doc Bar and out of Gay Bar’s Gen, by Gay Bar King. This gives Sister Train a breeding pattern of 4 X 3 to Gay Bar King through Shining Spark and Calan Gay.

The dam of Calan Gay was Cal Booger Bar, by Cal Bar, a full brother to Doc’s Remedy. Then we see that Royal Blue Boon was sired by Boon Bar, another full brother to Doc’s Remedy and Cal Bar, giving the pedigrees of Bet He Sparks, Sparking Metallic and Metallic Train a collateral linebreeding pattern and a blood affinity that we find between sire and dam that nick.

When we add Sparking Train’s daguhter One Sparking Time to the mix, we see she was sired by One Time Pepto, by Peptoboonsmal, who is out of Royal Blue Boon, by Boon Bar. This gives this foal out of Sparking Train another collateral linebreeding pattern to the three full brothers.