Breeders Invitational Cutting Luv Struck Stella
Luv Struck Stella and Coleta Rosson * Photo by Suzanne Sylvester

Orphan Foal Luv Struck Stella Triumphs at the Breeder’s Invitational

Life hasn’t been easy for Luv Struck Stella, but the mare who was orphaned as a foal proved at the Breeders Invitational that she is on her way to success as a cutting horse.

The 4-year-old daughter of Stevie Rey Von and owner-breeder Coleta Rosson, of Gully Enterprises Inc, scored a decisive victory on Saturday, May 20, in the Harland Radomske Derby Amateur finals. They marked an impressive 219, which was 5.5 points more than Reserve Champions Champayne Supernova and Olavo Nogurira.

It was a homebred victory, as Rosson’s family had raised the mare. She is the last foal out of Stylish Luv, a broodmare by Doc’s Stylish Oak and out of Luv To Play (by Freckles Playboy) who died three days after Luv Struck Stella was born.

After her mother’s death, “Stella” was sent to the vet to get on her feet before returning home to Rosson.

“She stayed at the vet for a little while, for a couple of weeks, because they had around-the-clock care. They got her eating feed and milk pellets, and she was really easy,” Rosson said. “I just put her with an old gelding that we have that I used to show {and is] retired, and he just led her around and she learned to be a horse.”

The Breeder’s Invitational was Luv Struck Stella’s first major win. Her first show was the 2022 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, where she and Rosson didn’t advance out of the first round.

“I just think she was a little bit immature. She’s just really now starting to mature,” Rosson said of the Clay Johnson-trained mare, whose mother died three days after she was born.

“I don’t know if it’s because she was an orphan or if it’s just her nature, but she wants to please — and she kind of has big motor. She tries so hard that sometimes she gets herself in a mess. And so, I think Clay’s done a really good job of getting her dialed back a little bit and just going through the basics. I think it has slowed her down quite a bit.”

Their win earned $4,442.

Luv Struck Stella was sent earlier this year to Johnson, an EquiStat Elite $1 Million Rider who trains Rosson’s show horses. Rosson was thankful for all the work that Johnson and others put into the mare.

That includes Will Roden, who put the initial training on the mare before she was sent to Johnson, and support staff in Johnson’s barn such as Cassidy Wahlert, who loped the mare and helped get her ready for Rosson to ride at the Breeders Invitational.

“It takes a whole team of people and I feel like I’m fortunate to get to have Clay Johnson and his crew with with us,” Rosson said. “And, we’ve got a good group of people at home that gets things started, so I can’t take all the credit is the main thing.

“I couldn’t do it without them, that’s for sure.”

Breeders Invitational Cutting Luv Struck Stella
Luv Struck Stella and Coleta Rosson * Photo by Suzanne Sylvester