A stallion’s first foal crop to compete at the futurities is exhilarating. Things become even more interesting when that freshman sire is Copy Cat, a clone of High Brow Cat, the number one cutting sire ever recorded.
Copy Cat, a 2013 stallion, will be represented at this year’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity by his daughter, Xeroxx, a mare whose owners, Jennifer and Jeff Foland, have a deep connection to both Copy Cat and his donor, the late great High Brow Cat.
Jennifer Foland is scheduled to ride Xeroxx in the Futurity Non-Pro. If Xeroxx were to win money at the 2021 NCHA Futurity, she would be the first money winner recorded in EquiStat for her sire.
The leading freshman cutting sires going into this year’s NCHA Futurity – stallions who are represented by their first crop of 3-year-olds this year – include two grandsons of High Brow Cat: NCHA Open Horse of the Year Metallic Rebel (by Metallic Cat), whose sons and daughters have won more than $110,277 at the early futurities, and NCHA Futurity Open Champion Stevie Rey Von, another son of Metallic Cat who so far has more than $62,014 in progeny earnings in the database.
Success on Repeat
Xeroxxx was sired by a clone, but her maternal line runs deep at the Foland’s ranch in Weatherford, Texas.
A series of mares that started with 1988 model Hustlin Leopard (Freckles Hustler x Doc’s Leopard x Doc Bar) has yielded performers and producers people dream of.
As owners of Weatherford Equine Breeding Center and also Weatherford Equine Medical Center, the Folands have a unique relationship with both High Brow Cat (High Brow Hickory x Smart Little Kitty x Smart Little Lena) and Copy Cat – both of whom are on the Weatherford Equine Breeding Center stallion roster.
According to Foland, the couple had received a High Brow Cat breeding after Dr. Jeff Foland performed colic surgery on High Brow Cat.
“As a thank-you for saving [his] life, Jack and Susan [Waggoner] gave us a breeding to High Brow Cat,” said Foland, who is scheduled to ride Xeroxx on Saturday, Nov. 27, in the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro. “Since our other two mares were already bred, we bred him to Hustlin Leopard, who was my daughter’s kid horse and had only won $1,200,” Foland said.
The resulting foal was Hissy Cat, who went on to produce performers like NCHA Super Stakes Classic/Challenge Open Champion Hiss N Vinegar (by Dual Smart Rey), eventually becoming a million-dollar producer and is the mother of Hisstereya, who is the dam of Xeroxx.
“Xeroxx was kind of always a favorite. From the time she was a baby, she’s had tons of personality,” Foland said, “She’s the one, when she wasn’t getting worked, would literally climb the pipe fence and stand there and look and watch the other horses get worked.”
According to Foland, Xeroxx wasn’t even supposed to exist. The plan was to breed Hisstereya to one of High Brow Cat’s grandsons, but when ultrasounded she had four large follicles and there was no semen from that stallion on hand to breed her with. Since Copy Cat stood on site at the Weatherford Breeding facility, he got to fill in and Xeroxx became one of the 20 foals in his first crop registered by the American DNA Registry.
Because the American Quarter Horse Association does not recognize clones, Copy Cat and his offspring cannot be registered with the Amarillo, Texas-based registry.
“Everybody has said to me ‘Why did you breed to Copy Cat?’ We decided to breed to him because we love [High Brow Cat] so much,” Foland said. “Copy Cat was a little character. He had similar traits to [High Brow Cat]. He is a clone of the number one horse, pretty much worldwide. So, if you’re going to take a chance, why not take a chance and try it [with him]?”
Foland says Xeroxx just keeps getting better, and although she may not peak at the Futurity, she’ll be a solid cutter. But the stigma around clones is still there, and Foland said she wouldn’t tell people who Xeroxx was sired by when they asked.
“People are funny about [clones]. They haven’t really taken off. It’s crazy because if they pull hair, it’s a genetic replica,” Foland said.
Other Clone Progeny
Xeroxx won’t be the first progeny of a clone to compete at the NCHA Futurity. In 2020, Phil Rapp’s Believe In Science advanced to the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity finals with Ryan Rapp, winning more than $9,000. Sired by Dont Stopp Believin, Believe In Science is out of Tap O Lena clone Whats On Tap. She’s continued to add to her earnings since the Futurity, and now has a lifetime EquiStat record of more than $47,349.
Other clones with money-earning progeny include Royal Blue Two, a clone of the great Royal Blue Boon, who has five earners totaling $64,000. Smart Look Classic, a clone of the late great producer The Smart Look, has a produce record of four earners who have won more than $67,455.