Cookie Banuelos with NCHA Futurity entrant Abra Abra Kadabra, one of only seven offspring of the stallion Abrakadabracre born in the United States since he was exported in 2011.

Bringing the “Abra” Magic Back to the NCHA Futurity

Two decades ago, Cookie Banuelos rode into Will Rogers Coliseum and won the 2001 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Limited Open on a dun stallion, Abrakadabracre, who would go on to be found in the bloodlines of some of today’s top cutting horses.

Though the stallion was exported to Brazil more than a decade ago, Banuelos is hoping to capture the Abrakadabracre magic at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity with a son of the stallion, Abra Abra Kadabra.

On Saturday, the trainer from Las Vegas, Nevada, will ride on Abra Abra Kadabra in the first round of the Open for owner-breeder Paula Gaughan, his mother-in-law. The horse is one of two sons of the stallion entered in this year’s show — the other is named Abra and owned by Banuelos’s sister-in-law.

“He gives me everything he’s got every single day,” Banuelos said of Abra Abra Kadabra. “And just the way he moves, it’s such a unique style.”

Who Was Abrakadabacre?

Bred by Suzan Cardwell, of Houston, Texas, Abrakadabracre was a 1998 son of Bob Acre Doc and out of Willys Tivio Babe (by Doc N Willy). Banuelos said the horse was bought by Hanes Chatham and Marvin Marmande as a 2-year-old, and then sent to Jacksoboro, Texas, at the facility where Banuelos and his brothers, including eventual EquiStat Elite $2 Million Rider Ascencion Banuelos and Carlos Banuelos, trained horses.

There were about 15 horses at the facility pointing toward the 2001 NCHA Futurity, Banuelos recalled.

“Ascencion picked the best two 3-year-olds for the Futurity that year, and then Carlos. And then we had Brady Bowen and the Tom Lyons catch-ride two of them,” said Banuelos, who picked after the others had their horses. “So [Abrakadabracre] was kind of on the bottom of the pick and that’s how I got him because I didn’t have any experience showing.”

However, Abrakadabracre and Banuelos won the NCHA Futurity Limited Open and the horse went on to $106,978 while being ridden by Cookie, Carlos, Ascencion and other riders. One of his career highlights was the 2002 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Junior Cutting World Championship with Ascencion.

“To this day, I’ve trained a lot of great horses, and that horse just had something about him,” Banuelos recalled. “Like, every time I watch ‘Seabiscuit’ the movie it reminds me a lot of that horse, because you couldn’t ever force him. It didn’t matter what you did. He never felt good training on him. He never felt good getting ready to show. But, every time I walked in that show pen it’s like you could just see his expression just totally change. I mean, he was a phenomenal show horse.”

However, Abrakadabracre failed to gain great fanfare as a breeding stallion. He’d sired just shy of 280 AQHA-registered foals through 2011, which was when he was sold to Brazilian Quarter Horse breeder Renato E. Rezende Barbosa, of the AQHA International Best Remuda winning Fazenda Campanario.

That may have seemed like the end of Abrakadabracre’s influence in US cutting pedigrees, but that actually hadn’t even been felt yet. Four years after his export, the stallion’s granddaughter, Ichis My Choice, and grandson, Metallic Rebel, had people saying his name again when they won back-to-back NCHA Open Horse of the Year titles in 2015 and 2016.

The dams of those two horses, full sisters Sweet Abra and My Little Abra, have proven to be blockbuster producers. Sweet Abra, who is the mother of Metallic Rebel, has foaled the earners of more than $2.3 million and My Little Abra, the dam of Ichis My Choice, has foaled the winners of more than $826,000.

The 2022 Futurity Horses

Banuelos was interesting in bringing the bloodline back, and was able to get some Abrakadabracre frozen semen fromone of the horse’s former co-owners, Marvin Marmande, Jr. He used it to breed Instant Mary, a mare sired by the same stallion — SR Instant Choice — as Abrakadabracre’s great producing daughters Sweet Abra and My Little Abra.

The resulting offspring, Abra Abra Kadabra, has shown great intensity on a cow and has a lot of heart. Banuelos said he can’t wait to show him in the NCHA Futurity.

“This horse, he’s not a big horse but he is as athletic as any other horse here,” Banuelos said. “I mean, he’s just amazing. [He’s] cow smart and all the things that we look for, he dang sure has them.”

Like his father, Abra Abra Kadabra has a pedigree that stands out for what isn’t in it: the names Dual Rey, Dual Pep, Peptoboonsmal and even Smart Little Lena do not appear. And, he also doesn’t have High Brow Cat‘s name on his family tree either, though he and the stallion do share a close-up ancestor, Doc’s Hickory, who is Abra Abra Kadabra’s maternal grandsire and High Brow Cat’s paternal grandsire.

Banuelos, who believes the pedigree made Abrakadabracre a great outcross on today’s cutting mares, hopes Abra Abra Kadabra can help continue his father’s sire line in the Western performance horse industry.

“I’m going to breed some of my mares and just have fun with them,” he said. “That bloodline is remarkable. You can’t really get it anymore.”

The second son of Abrakadabracre entered in this year’s NCHA Futurity was Abra, is out of the mare A Spoonful Short (by Hes A Peptospoonful). Owned by Alicia Banuelos, Abra marked a 208 with rider Lucas Araujo in the first go of the Open from draw 60 on Monday, Nov. 14.

Abrakadabracre’s Lasting Influence

In addition to the two sons of Abrakadabracre entered in the NCHA Futurity Open, a slate of other entrants also trace back to the stallion.

Many do so through the stallion’s NCHA Open Horse of the Year winning son, Metallic Rebel, a stallion by Metallic Cat was the leading freshman cutting sire last year and has dozens of sons and daughters in this year’s NCHA Futurity. Metallic Rebel’s mother, Sweet Abra, has three offspring entered in the Futurity Open and her full sister, My Little Abra, has two.

Abra (Abrakadabracre x A Spoonful Short) and trainer Lucas Araujo in the first round of the 2022 NCHA Futurity Open. The horse is one of two sons of Abrakadabracre entered in this year’s show, and one of only 7 AQHA-registered offspring of the stallion since his export to Brazil in 2011.

Additionally, Abrakadabracre daughters Abby Kadabra Acre, Marie Lavoux, Quita Abbys Choice and Purr N Like Magic also have sons or daughters in the first round of the NCHA Futurity Open.

The influence of Abrakadabracre could continue to be felt over the next few years thanks to Fults Ranch, which owned Sweet Abra and My Little Abra before selling them in 2021 to Teton Ridge. In recent years, ranch owners Becky and Alvin Fults bred the two sisters and several other daughters of the dun stallion to ranch stallion and 2015 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Stevie Rey Von.

Fults Ranch sold three broodmares by the dun stallion at its absolute dispersal sale in 2021, the top mare fetching $135,000, and 21 of the young Stevie Rey Von offspring sold at the dispersal were out of Abrakadabracre mares.