A junior sire was leading stallion at two of the three major year-end futurities in the Western Performance horse world in 2022. That horse is Stevie Rey Von.
Offspring of Stevie Rey Von amassed the most earnings in both the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity and also the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity.
The second-crop sire, whose first foals just reached futurity age in 2021, fathered the 2022 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Tornado Jonez — who earned $245,250 for winning — and NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Reserve Champion Vince Von ($133,094) and amassed a total of $439,526 in progeny earnings in the futurity classes, according to EquiStat records.
“At the Snaffle Bit [Futurity] when he did what he did, that was just really unexpected,” said Stevie Rey Von’s owner, Alvin Fults, of Fults Ranch. “We knew he had some good ones there, but we had just no idea that it was going to end that way. So I don’t know any other way to say it, but we were just elated, [my wife] Becky and I both, to see the fruits of our labor of breeding the mares and to see Stevie babies do that was just … Man, it was it was phenomenal.”
In the NCHA Futurity, which concluded Dec. 10, Stevie Rey Von had 56 progeny who earned $982,659 — the most cumulative money earnings of any sire in the event, according to EquiStat.
His leading earner at the NCHA Futurity was Swing Wide, who tied for third with trainer Cullen Chartier and earned $138,237. His second-leading earner at the show was Kitty Von Wood, who Ali Good rode to the Intermediate Open finals, the Open semifinals and third place in the Non-Pro finals.
According to EquiStat, the last horse to be leading sire at both events was Stevie Rey Von’s sire, Metallic Cat, who also accomplished the feat and is currently the all-time leading sire in the NRCHA.
One of the things that stands out among Stevie Rey Von’s earners in both shows is that they come from a wide variety of maternal pedigrees. While there are trends and multiple earners out of the same broodmare sires or similarly-bred broodmare sires, there isn’t one magic cross dominating the entire bunch.
The stallion’s 56 money earners from the NCHA Futurity were out of mares by 31 different sires. The most money earners in that show, 10, were out of Dual Rey mares and the second-highest number of earners, 5, were out of daughters of Spots Hot. Stevie Rey Von also had multiple money earners at the NCHA Futurity out of mares by High Brow Cat, Woody Be Tuff, Playgun, Abrakadabracre, Hes A Peptospoonful, Dual Jazz and Bobs Freckle.
In the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, every one of his eight money earners recorded in EquiStat were out of mares sired by different stallions. NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion Tornado Jonez was out of a daughter of reined cow horse Travelin Jonez, and Open Reserve Champion Vince Von was out of Hottness, by Spots Hot.
His other money earners in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity were out of mares by cutting stallions Peptoboonsmal, Smooth As A Cat, Cats Moonshine and Soula Jule Star; as well as reined cow horse Nic It In The Bud and reining stallion Dun It Gotta Gun.
Fults says those earners track what he’s seen from Stevie Rey Von’s other money earners, which is that the stallion has gotten money winners out of mares from many different backgrounds. That trend, along with his status as being negative for the HERDA genetic mutation, has opened up possibilities for the stallion, he said.
“The boxes are checked for him to be able to cross on mares that are HERDA carriers or maybe kind of out of the fray of the normal bloodlines,” he said. “It looks like he’s gonna be able to cross up on those, and that’s an exciting thing as a stallion owner to have a stallion that’s going to have that. That’s that’s pretty cool to put it mildly.”
Following His Father’s Example
Fults and his wife, Becky, acquired Stevie Rey Von a year into the horse’s breeding career. The 2012 stallion stood his first year at stud for trainer Ed Dufurrena, who rode the horse to the 2015 NCHA Futurity Open Championship.
Stevie Rey Von was sold in midway through the 2018 breeding season after becoming the subject of litigation between Dufurrena and two of his clients, Don and Janie Vogel. Upon purchasing the horse from the Vogels for an undisclosed amount, Fults sent the horse to trainer Beau Galyean to continue his cutting training and planned to follow the breeding strategy he used to rocket Stevie Rey Von’s famous sire, Metallic Cat, to the top of the sire charts: breeding the stallion to very large, diverse books of mares.
“Stevie” did his part in the show pen to appeal to the masses, winning another $67,601 with Galyean aboard to close out his career. Of those final starts, the one that really caused the phones to ring was when the stallion marked a 231 to win the NCHA Super Stakes Open.
But, Fults was making calls in addition to receiving them.
“We had a little advantage because, you know, we had had Metallic Cat for so many years and we had such a good clientele base, or customer base, from over the years,” he said. “And so I just went, you know, to making calls [and] calling them old customers and talking to him about breeding Stevie to some of their mares.”
In addition, Fults supported Stevie Rey Von with his own broodmare band, which at the time included EquiStat Elite $2 Million Dam Sweet Abra and her full sister, $861,924-producer My Little Abra.
In his first foal crop, Stevie Rey Von sired 61 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)-registered foals in 2018 — which included eventual 2021 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Janie Wood — under from mares booked by Dufurrena. In 2019, he sired 272 AQHA-registered foals — which turned 3-year-olds in 2022 — under Fults Ranch management.
Stevie Rey Von’s since fathered crops of 286 registered foals in 2020 and 259 registered foals in 2021, according to AQHA online records. Those foals will turn three years old in 2023 and 2024.
The opportunity to guide the stallion career of a son of EquiStat Elite $57 Million Sire Metallic Cat — who Fults Ranch sold in 2017 to Bobby Patton’s Rocking P Ranch — makes Stevie Rey Von’s success all that sweeter for Fults.
Fults said he and Becky felt lost after selling Metallic Cat, who had been the focus of their lives for several years, a feeling that lasted several months.
“So, when the opportunity come for us to get Stevie, it was the perfect fit because we were going to get to promote a son of Metallic Cat,” he said. “So, it felt like we could still be in the game and still be kind of going towards the same end goal as we were with Metallic Cat, still promoting that bloodline.”
Leading 2022 NCHA Futurity Sires
|Stevie Rey Von (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey x Dual Rey)
|Hottish (Spots Hot x Stylish Play Lena x Docs Stylish Oak)
|Metallic Rebel (Metallic Cat x Sweet Abra x Abrakadabracre)
|Reyzin The Cash (Dual Rey x Spookys Cash x Miss N Cash)
|Metallic Cat (High Brow Cat x Chers Shadow x Peptoboonsmal)
Leading 2022 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Sires
|Stevie Rey Von (Metallic Cat x Miss Ella Rey x Dual Rey)
|Bet Hesa Cat (High Brow Cat x Bet Yer Blue Boons x Peptoboonsmal)
|Hickory Holly Time (One Time Pepto x Hickorys Holly Cee x Doc’s Hickory)
|Once In A Blu Boon (Peptoboonsmal x Autumn Boon x Dual Pep)
|WR This Cats Smart (High Brow Cat x The Smart Look x Smart Little Lena)