Reyzin, with Mary Ann Rapp up, won numerous championships and the title of NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year. • Photo by Midge Ames.

Saying Goodbye to Reyzin, NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year

From the very beginning of her career, Reyzin was the little horse with a big heart.

She missed her chance to appear in the yearling sales due to an injury and then didn’t overly impress as a 2-year-old, but hidden between her ears was razor-sharp cow sense and a lot of desire. With an assist from elite non-pro rider Mary Ann Rapp, Reyzin was able to harness those qualities to win more than $423,522 and earn the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Non-Pro Horse of the Year title and be enshrined in the NCHA Horse Hall of Fame.

The great show mare was humanely euthanized on Monday, Jan. 23, due to colic. She was 14 years old.

Her death was a blow for her owners, Bobby and Lori Gale, as well as Rapp and her husband, Phil, who both rode the mare during her career and cared for her throughout her life. They bred Reyzin, and the mare stayed in their care after her sale to the Gales in 2014.

Reyzin was put down after suffering an episode of colic on Monday, Jan. 23, at the Rapp Ranch near Weatherford, Texas. It was the latest incident in a re-occurring problem, as Reyzin had already had three colic surgeries in the last half of 2022. Her caretakers did not want her to endure a fourth.

“That was kind of the general consensus, that we weren’t going to put her through another colic surgery,” Phil Rapp said.

The Gales, who cheered her on during her show career before she was a broodmare, are feeling the loss of not only a great equine competitor. They’re also missing a mare that enjoyed human attention, was sweet to all those who met her and always seemed to appreciate a good scratch, Bobby Gale said.

“She was a small mare, but she just had a lot of heart,” Gale said. “She was very cowy, but she was so loving [to] everybody that got a chance to have a relationship with her — she was like a barn favorite.”

Starting her Show Career

The daughter of High Brow CD and out of Miss Reycine (by Dual Rey) was ridden by the entire Rapp family during her career. Mary Ann showed her first in non-pro cuttings, and then Phil showed her in Open classes. Their daughter, Emma, rode her quite a bit in Youth classes during the last few years of her career, with brother, Ryan, also taking a turn at the reins.

Bred by the Rapps, she entered training at their facility in Texas. However, word was that staff didn’t think she would amount to anything. She didn’t move, they said.

While Phil Rapp conceded the mare never was the best mover, he said it wasn’t lack of physical ability that was causing the mare to act like that early in her training. It was her cow sense, something he credited Mary Ann for discovering midway through the mare’s 2-year-old year when she began working with the mare.

“She basically told him the reason why she’s not moving is because the cow won’t move and she’s locked on the cow,” he said.

Reyzin kicked off her show career as a 3-year-old with Mary Ann Rapp. She earned her first few paychecks at age 3, and then launched into an incredible 4-year-old campaign in 2013. She and Mary Ann won Non-Pro derbies or 4-year-old classes at the Abilene Spectacular, Bonanza Cutting, The Cattlemen’s Derby, West Texas Futurity and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Futurity shows. In addition, Phil Rapp rode her to Open championships in the Breeder’s Invitational and the NCHA Summer Spectacular.

She earned more than $221,025 during that 2013 season and was named NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year.

Reyzin, with Mary Ann Rapp up, won numerous championships and the title of NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year. • Photo by Midge Ames.

The Cutting Stakes at the PCCHA Futurity still stands out in Mary Ann’s mind as vintage Reyzin.

“If I didn’t win that show we were not going to win Horse of the Year. There was no way, because I was sitting second and so I needed that win,” Mary Ann recalled. And so I just looked at Phil, and I said ‘We’re looking at one spot here.’ And he said ‘Yes, we are.’ So, we just went in to win and we did.

“But, that’s just kind of horse she was– she gave it her all.”

From the Non-Pro to the Open

Reyzin moved into a new phase of her career in 2014 after her sale to Gale Force Quarter Horses. Owners Bobby and Lori Gale left Reyzin the Rapp barn, but this time she was shown in the Open by Phil Rapp.

While some horses are successful because of sheer athleticism, Phil Rapp said Reyzin’s success came because of her brain and tenacious nature.

“She just had so much cow and she had such a big heart,” he said.

The mare’s top year as an Open contender came in 2016, when she won the NCHA/Mercuria World Series of Cutting at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and finished the year as the NCHA Open World Finals Show Champion.

She clinched the NCHA Open World Finals title in her last run of the show — a run that still stands out to Bobby Gale.

With Phil Rapp aboard, Reyzin finished up her main body of work in Open cuttings by winning the 2016 NCHA Open World Finals Show Championship with Phil Rapp. She made some additional starts in the Open in 2017, and then was shown primarily in the Youth by Rapp’s daughter, Emma Rapp. • Photo by Hart Photos.

“Her last run was 231, and that was just an outstanding run,” Gale said. “We put [a video of] that on our Facebook page to kind of memorialize her when she passed away.”

The Gales excitedly watched her compete all the way to the end, wanting just as badly for her to do well in the Youth for Emma Rapp as they had for her to do well in the Open with Phil Rapp.

“They are they are cutting enthusiasts and they want to have something they can be excited about when they come to town to see them, and she was that for them,” Mary Ann Rapp said. “They’re such great people and great friends of ours that they thanked me for sharing my horse with them.”

Future Impact

So far, Reyzin has foaled seven money-winning performers with a cumulative EquiStat record of more than $189,772. Her leading earner is 2020 Brazos Bash Derby Non-Pro Champion Reyzin You Suen, a 2016 daughter of Boon Too Suen who earned more than $113,318 in the cutting pen.

Although the Reyzin has passed, her legacy as a producer is just getting started. She has a number of youngsters sired by stallions such as Peptoboonsmal, Dont Stopp Believin, Stevie Rey Von and Hottish. There also are several additional frozen embryos by Dont Stopp Believin, Once In A Blu Boon and Third Edge.