The reining world lost two influential producers recently when Shirleys Folly and Cee Miss Hollywood passed away.
The mares, owned by George and Carol Bell, together combined for more than a million in offspring earnings. Some two-thirds of that was from foals out of Shirleys Folly, who at age 31 was living out her retirement as the babysitter in the weanling pasture when the end came.
It came recently when the great broodmare couldn’t stand up. Her caretakers called a veterinarian, but the old mare went out on her own terms.
“I called the vet, and before the vet got there she had already died. She was laying there already gone,” George Bell said. “She was a babysitter for our weanlings. We’d throw them all in there with her and she would take care of them every year to ease the pain of weaning for the babies.”
Bred by Thomas Fidago, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, Shirleys Folly was a 1989 mare by Great Pine and out of Ms Enterprise (by Be Aech Enterprise).
She competed in reining under the name Pines BH, the mare earned $1,603 in the reining pen with Hermon Aycoth and Susan Perry.
The mare produced many foals for Griffin Farms, and Bell bought her during the breeder’s dispersal sale in 2013.
“She’s just a good mare. She was a big strapping mare when she was young,” Bell said. “And a lot of people are ignoring the Great Pines, but I’m telling you that’s still good breeding to me.”
In all, Shirleys Folly foaled 22 money-earning performers who won a collective $674,307 during their show careers. She was bred to a wide variety of stallions during that time, but her leading earners were sired by legendary stallion Topsail Whiz and his son, Whiz N Tag Chex.
Those leading earners were NRHA Futurity Open Champion The Great Whiz ($273,969, by Topsail Whiz); NRHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion The Great Tag ($249,737, by Whiz N Tag Chex) and NRHA Derby Level 3 Non-Pro Reserve Co-Champion Shirley Your A Tag ($37,940, by Whiz N Tag Chex).
The mare also foaled money earners sired by Lucky Little Lena, Big Chex To Cash, Custom Crome, Reminic N Dunit, Hollywood Dun It, Wimpys Little Step, Boggies Flashy Jac, Hollywoodstinseltown and Gunners Special Nite.
As of her death, she had an Equi-Stat produce record of $674,307 from 22 money-earning performers.
Cee Miss Hollywood
Bred by Kidd and Beeson Horse Center, of Hartfield, Virginia, Cee Miss Hollywood was a 1995 mare sired by NRHA Futurity Open Champion Custom Crome and out of Miss Cee Blair (by Blair Cee).
Bell got to know the mare when he cared for her while she was owned by someone else. He acquired her – along with her mother, Miss Cee Blair and her mother’s full sister, Cee Blair Masota – upon the death of their previous owner.
Cee Miss Hollywood didn’t get broke to ride until after she was bought by George and his wife, Carol, which meant her show record didn’t start until she was too old to compete in the sport’s most lucrative events, the futurity and derby classes.
“We got her broke to ride, [trainer Brian Bell] went out won a couple Opens on her and we decided she was gonna get famous in the pasture, not in the show pen,” Bell recalled. “Because she was so old getting started and you can’t win much money on them when they’re 7 and 8, which was she was when she got broke. So, we just bred her.”
Her leading earner thus far is multiple NRHA limited-age event finalist Lean With Hollywood ($120,219, by Lean With Me), followed by Carolina Classic Open Champion Mr Royal Hollywood ($72,553, by Hollywoodstinseltown).
Her third-leading earner is NRHA Futurity Open finalist Cee Pepto Wood, a reining winner of $43,979 who was sired by cutting stallion Sweet Lil Pepto.
In all, as of the mare’s death she had foaled 23 earners of $365,079. She may add to that total after her death, as she has unshown youngsters — including a Lil Joe Cash filly and colts by Hollywoodstinseltown.
Bell said the mare, who was put down after injuring herself in a paddock, passed along her best attributes to her foals.
“She had a good mind and tons of athletic ability,” he said. “And her babies all seem to have the same thing. We’ve got several that are young and haven’t been shown yet. So there’s a lot more to come from her.”