A family of Western performance horse competitors bought JL Dash Ta Heaven – one of the rising stars of the barrel horse breeding industry – for $1.75 million at the dispersal of his late breeder.
Lainie and Ray Whitmire, of Whitmire Ranch, had the winning bid on the sorrel stallion on Saturday, June 13 at the Jud Little Ranch LLC Complete Dispersal.
Thrilled to own the horse, Lainie Whitmire said she looks forward to managing the next phase of the stallion’s breeding career in a way that maintains the legacy of his former owner and breeder, the late Jud Little.
Little, who died March 25, had managed his homebred stallion’s career as part of a breeding operation in Oklahoma that bred the earners of more than $5 million.
“I give them all the credit for making him what he was,” Whitmire said of Little and those who rode JL Dash Ta Heaven during his show career. “But, we’re going to do our best to continue on with his success and help with the legacy there.
“We’re just fortunate to have him. So, we’re just very grateful.”
‘Admired from Afar’
The Whitmires, of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, are involved in several aspects of the horse industry.
In addition to being active cutters, they own barrel racing horses and racing Quarter Horses. They founded the World Cutting Horse Association, an organization that promotes beginner-level cutting and aims to make the sport more affordable.
It was while visiting her own stallions at Cinder Lakes Ranch – grade 3-winning racing Quarter Horse, Barue (by PYC Paint Your Wagon) and Bullseye Bullion, a winner of nearly $50,000 in barrel racing — that Whitmire first saw JL Dash Ta Heaven shortly after he arrived at the ranch in Valley View, Texas.
At that time, she didn’t imagine owning the horse.
“We’ve watched him for years, just like everybody else, and admired him from afar, [and] never thought that he would be for sale for any reason,” she said.
Barrel Racer & Sire
A son of Equi-Stat Elite $24 Million Sire Dash Ta Fame and out of Dynas Plain Special (by Special Feelins), JL Dash Ta Heaven won multiple barrel racing titles during his career, including at the BBR World Finals, 2010 Old Fort Days Derby Championship, the 2009 WPRA World Championship Futurity and at major rodeos. He also qualified and competed at the National Finals Rodeo with Benette Little.
He finished his competition career in 2015 with an Equi-Stat record of $208,087.
So far, JL Dash Ta Heaven has sired more than $2.36 million in earners during his breeding career, which includes 115 money-earning performers who banked an average of $20,588, according to Equi-Stat.
His first foal crop registered with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) — consisting of just two AQHA-registered foals — hit the ground in 2011. According to the AQHA, he has sired 334 registered Quarter Horse foals through last year.
Through his 2019 crop, his largest AQHA foal crop to date was 51 registered foals in 2017.
The horse got a great start to his stud career being bred mostly to Little’s outstanding broodmare band, Whitmire said, but noted she looked forward to offering JL Dash Ta Heaven to the public at Cinder Lakes Ranch.
“Jud was wonderful at getting a program put together, so he’s had a real good opportunity with Jud,” she said. “But, there’s a lot of horses out there that didn’t get that opportunity – a lot of really great mares. So, we’re going to try to give them the opportunity to breed to him.”
JL Dash Ta Heaven’s leading earners are multiple futurity and rodeo champions Hell On The Red, ($271,933, out of Designer Ruby, by Designer Red) and Feelinthefirewater ($211,599, out of Fire Water Fanny, by Fire Water Flit), as well as multiple futurity and 1D champion JL Jamaican Me Rich ($191,709, out of Frenchmans Lana, by Frenchmans Guy).
The stallion also has begun to make his mark as a sire of sires. The stallion’s son Heavenly Firewater, who stands at Weatherford Equine in Texas, has sired three barrel racing earners with a cumulative Equi-Stat record of $74,106.
The stallion will continue to stand at Cinder Lakes Ranch, whose roster not only includes Whitemire’s stallions Bullseye Bullion and Barue, but also is also home to National Reining Horse Association Triple Crown Champion Spooks Gotta Whiz.
His current advertised fee is $3,500.
“He’s so comfortable there, and I’d seen him several times there since [the first time she saw him], just going to see ‘Bulls’ and Barue, and I’d seen him there and he was just so relaxed and so quiet,” Whitmire said. “He loves his big stall and his big fans and they treat those stud horses like they’re just king.”