The latest stallion to enter the elite ranks of National Reined Cow Horse Association million-dollar sires is Lenas Wright On, a 1991 stallion by Smart Little Lena and out of Slide Me Again (by Isle Breeze). As of Aug. 31, officials said the late stallion’s offspring have earned $1,004,150.40 in association earnings.
Purchased in 2006 by a group of investors dubbed the Lenas Wright On Syndicate, the stallion won the 1994 National Reining Horse Association Open Futurity with Bob Avila found a forever home after the purchase when he moved to Crawford Stallion Station in Blanchard, Oklahoma. An earner of $109,995, “Ned” was an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Junior Working Cow Horse World Champion and Junior Reining Reserve World Champion.
Yet, it was not only his accomplishments that endeared the stallion to his would-be buyers, led by NRCHA Hall of Fame member and EquiStat Elite $3 Million Rider Todd Crawford and Larry Bell of Parks Bell Ranch and Kalpowar Quarter Horses, it was his bloodline.
“Carol Rose, who was part of the syndicate, urged a lot of her mare buyers to breed to Lenas Wright On,” recalled Bell. “Several of our [syndicate] partners had [Shining Spark] mares in their programs. A lot of his top performers were out of Shiner mares, and that was an important part of his impact on reined cow horse. We had already bred a few mares to [Lenas Wright On] and really like them, so I was definitely interested in becoming a partner.”
Bell and Crawford worked to put a buying group together that included breeders who just happened to all be members of the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association, an NRCHA affiliate hosting events in Northern Texas and Oklahoma. The Lenas Wright On Syndicate included: Jerry & Shelly Alvord, Larry & Ellen Bell, Ritchie Bell, Matthew & Anne Bell, Spence Bell, Bill & Michelle Cowan, Todd & Pam Crawford, Walter Greeman’s Hat 6 Ranch, Garth & Amanda Gardiner, Lyle Lovett, Carol Rose and the Stuart Ranch.
Lenas Wright On sired multiple successful reining and reined cow horses, but his highest-earner in the NRCHA is Hes Wright On, a 2003 bay stallion out of Shesa Lota Nic (by Reminic), who earned more than $169,291 and titles that included the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Reserve Championship with Doug Williamson in the saddle. After a taste of stallion ownership with the syndicate, Garth Gardiner said that they were ready to buy a stallion of their own. They purchased Hes Wright On when the horse was 5.
“One of the reasons both of those stallions appealed to us is because they were great crosses on Shining Spark mares, and we had a lot of them at the time,” Gardiner said. “It was an introduction for us to the breeding business and got us excited to own a stallion on our own, which is why we bought Hes Wright On. They were both two really cool stallions.”
Hes Wright On, who recently sold at the Fults Ranch Absolute Reduction Sale, himself found success as a sire –– with lifetime progeny earnings of more than $530,248.
Standing at Crawford Stallion Station, Lenas Wright On became part of Todd and Pam Crawford’s family. While her husband rode the offspring, Pam handled Ned.
“He was a real character! He had so much personality and sometimes it wasn’t always good, but he oozed personality,” she said. “He had a lifetime home with me and Todd; he was one of ours.”
Though Lenas Wright On was euthanized in the winter of 2019, the stallion’s legacy continues to live on in his offspring. Bell recalls when those offspring hit the first earnings mark.
“We were excited when he was a $100,000 producer. To hear he’s a Million Dollar, it’s fun to be part of that milestone,” he said.
Lenas Wright On will be celebrated as a Million Dollar Sire during the 2021 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity® Finals on Saturday, October 23, in the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas. Tickets for the Finals go on sale Wednesday, September 8, at NRCHA.com.
The Snaffle Bit Futurity event runs Oct. 7-23, with a full slate of horse show classes, the Hackamore Classic, special events and an AQHA Ranching Heritage show. For more information, visit NRCHA.com.