During the 2022 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) show season, the competition was tough and the purses big, and those that came out on top not only earned recognition for themselves but also for their sires. With offspring propelling him over the million-dollar earnings mark, stallion Once In A Blu Boon joined the NRCHA’s Million Dollar Sire Club.
Once In A Blu Boon sired earners of $1,012,069 that launched him into the Million Dollar Sire Club in 2022. The 2008 stallion (Peptoboonsmal x Autumn Boon x Dual Pep) was bred by Bill Freeman and is managed by his widow, Jill Freeman. Only two months after the roan stallion was born, the first National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Triple Crown Winning trainer passed away.
“He is everything Bill bred him to be,” said Jill. “My husband loved riding Smart Little Lena’s and High Brow Cat’s, but he saw the need for an outcross on those bloodlines, and he acquired Autumn Boon as a broodmare. He decided to roll the dice and breed Autumn Boon to Peptoboonsmal because he was such a fan of the Little Peppy bloodline and how it crossed on [Smart Little Lena] and High Brow Cat. He felt if you could concentrate that Royal Blue Boon line and have a stud, you would have a sire. That is exactly what happened.”
The stallion is a performer in his own right, with NCHA professional James Payne piloting him to many championships. Over the course of “Blu’s” career, the stallion claimed the 2014 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Senior Cutting World Champion title as well as 14 National Cutting Horse Association championships from 2011 to 2014. He retired from competition in 2015.
His reined cow horse offspring have continued his winning ways, with 2019 Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Here Comes The Boon (out of Stay Outta My Shorts), a 2016 stallion, earning $237,502. His second high-earning offspring is 2019 stallion Nothing But Blu (out of CC Cat), owned by Alicia Bolls, with $116,439 and a large portion of that coming from the 2022 Snaffle Bit Futurity Intermediate Open Reserve Champion check. 2017 red roan stallion Tee Boone (out of Skeets My Bro), has $90,995 in earnings, the third-highest for Once In A Blu Boon’s cow horse offspring, aided by the 2022 Hackamore Classic Open Champion win with Jay McLaughlin aboard for owners J.T. “Trey” and Sandra Neal.
“While he started with a desire to breed an outcross for cutting horses, Bill’s end product with Once in a Blu Boon reaches a wider audience in cow horse,” she said. “With Once In A Blu Boon being double-bred Little Peppy, he has the size for both of the cow-focused events in NRCHA, the athleticism, mindset and disposition.”