When TR Pride N Joy walks into the pen at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, she may not look much different than any of the other sleek 3-year-old reiners. However, her breeding makes her one-of-a-kind.
Her father is National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Champion Stevie Rey Von, a decorated cutter and freshman stallion. And, she has already started building a record that will follow her into the broodmare band of her owner and breeder, Tamarack Ranch.
In an effort to expand their broodmare band’s gene pool, Tamarack Ranch has focused on breeding a mare or two to unconventional sires each year. According to head trainer Gabe Hutchins, TR Pride N Joy or “Reba,” is one of the first mares to come from their outcross program.
“We’ve tried to open our avenues as far as getting some different blood in our mares,” Hutchins said, “It’s such a small gene pool for reining horses and we’ve tried to go some different routes.”
According to Hutchins, from the moment he saw Stevie Rey Von warm up and compete at the 2015 NCHA Futurity – where Stevie Rey Von won both the Open and the Limited Non-Pro – he was sold on the red roan son of Metallic Cat.
“I just absolutely fell in love with him. A good individual is a good individual and that horse, to me, had some parts that made me say ‘That horse could make some reining horses.’ That horse is a beautiful mover,” Hutchins said.
The mare Hutchins picked to breed to the cutting stallion was Miss Silver Gun, a winner of more than $175,000 in reining competition and is a producer of more than $320,000. Her top earner, Isnt She Perfect (by Walla Walla Whiz), was the 2018 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Champion.
TR Pride N Joy will try to find her own success at the NRHA Futurity with Cory Hutchings, who earier this year rode her to the Futurity Level 1 Open win at the High Roller Reining Classic. They were third in the Level 1 Open at the Low Roller Reining Classic, banking more than $5,097 going into the big show in Oklahoma City.
They made their NRHA Futurity debut on Friday, Nov. 26 in Section 2 of the first go-round of the Open. Their score of 210 qualified them for the second go-round of the Levels 2 & 1 Open.
A New Era
According to Hutchins, cutting and reining breeding has changed in the last decade, making crossover between the bloodlines possible.
“I think the cutting and reining horses ten, fifteen years ago used to be bred a lot different. There have been a lot of reiners who tried cutters and they were just too hot. [The cutters] were bred to work a cow and they weren’t bred to think when you wanted a maneuver in the reining pen,” Hutchins said.
Now, Hutchins believes cutters have something to contribute to the saturated reining gene pool.
“From day one [TR Pride N Joy’s] been one of those horses that, if anything, she tries too hard. We’ve had to slow her down a little bit in her training because she just tries way too hard. We’ve really took our time with her and got her to where we can manipulate the brain and get her to do things we want her to do. Once she figures it out, she’s really fun to train. She has a ton of natural turn,” Hutchins said.
The mare has proved to be an aggressive stopper, a trait Hutchins believes comes from the cutting side. She wears hock boots to keep her from burning the hair off her hocks.
“She definitely stops a lot hard than what I’d want her to. She’s really low-hocked, which I know is something they really want in the cutters,” Hutchins said, “Everything she does, she does hock first. We’ve changed her [sliders] around, to keep her angles right so she doesn’t get so deep. Once she figured it out, she freed up.”
With TR Pride N Joy’s entry in the NRHA Futurity, Stevie Rey Von will be one of the few stallions (if not the only one) to have offspring entered in each of the three major 2021 futurities: the NRHA, National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRHCA) Snaffle Bit and National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) futurities.
In the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Stevie Rey Von had progeny make the Open finals and his daughter, Lookatlittlesister, won the Non-Pro Limited with Kelsey Delaplaine Fulmer. He also has several sons and daughters in the NCHA Futurity, which is going on now in Fort Worth, Texas, where his daughter Janie Wood is tied for the highest composite score after the second round of the Open.
TR Pride N Joy’s Got the Stuff
According to Hutchins, Reba’s unique breeding has been fun change-of-pace to train. Her sorrel-colored wrapper may be modest, but her conformation and size have lent themselves to the reining pen. As a three-year-old, Reba is nearly 15 hands and tips the scales at 1,020 lbs.
“That filly is not a small filly by any means. She’s a big, strong mare. As far as conformation, that mare has never had a pair of [front shoes] on her. She’s going to the Futurity barefoot. Good boned, and knock-on-wood she’s been a really solid individual,” Hutchins said.
Some of the other products of the outcross pairings at the ranch in Oregon include TR Guns And Roses, a 2017 filly (One Time Pepto x Miss Silver Gun x Gunner) who is a reined cow horse money earner, as well as 2020 colt TR Clocks Ticking (Hickory Holly Time x Shiners Mistress x Shining Spark) and 2019 colt TR Cold Shot (Stevie Rey Von x Shiners Mistress x Shining Spark).