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When Russell Dilday and Topsails Rien Maker won their third World’s Greatest Horseman title in 2011, they cemented their place in the annals of reined cow horse history as a legendary team. The recent loss of Topsails Rien Maker brings an end to the saga of this great team, but not to the legend of Topsails Rien Maker, one of the most versatile horses to grace the performance arena.
An asking price of $12,000 for a top cutting futurity prospect in today’s performance horse market is virtually unheard of. Forty-three years ago, though, it sounded like a lot of money to non-pro cutter Paul Crumpler, of Wichita Falls, Texas, who, on the advice of legendary trainer Shorty Freeman, flew to California to look at a 3-year-old named Doc Quixote. Leon Harrel, who had the horse in training for owners Neil and Linda Mussallem, of Gilroy, California, helped negotiate the sale.
National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Hall of Fame inductee and non-pro rider Ken Sutton was said to have an exceptional eye for a good horse. One of his most successful “picks” was Royal Cutter (Cutter Bill x Royal Ida May x Royal King). Sutton spotted the 1968 gelding at trainer Don Dodge’s barn.
The team of Ashley Weaver, of Morgan, Utah, and Starlight Per Se, aka "Peanuts," has been a successful one, with the duo recently winning the $2,000-added Maturity Level 4 Non-Pro at the Best Little Derby in the West in Nampa, Idaho. It's a partnership that can only be chalked up to fate, as Weaver sold the mare the first time she owned her.
In the last issue of the QHN Insider, In the Money took a look at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity finalists and the mares that produced them. This time, the focus shifts to Oklahoma City and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, where there were 30 finalists in the Level 4 Open last year. Of those, three were out of mares that, at some point in their lives, were offered at public auction. Wimpys Rose, Malibu Whiz and RG Miss Starlight are all former sale horses and now dams of NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open finalists.
Breeder’s Invitational (2003-2015)
Sly Playgirl (That Sly Cat x Taquitas Playgirl x Freckles Playboy), a 2007 mare bred by Slate River Ranch, of Weatherford, Texas, and owned by Luis De Armas, of Boca Raton, Florida, is the leading Breeder’s Invitational's (BI) money-earning horse with show earnings of $141,697. Among the mare’s BI paychecks were the Classic/Challenge Open Championship with trainer Jaime Snider and the Limited Non-Pro Championship, with De Armas riding, in 2012. Sly Playgirl’s lifetime Equi-Stat earnings total $343,307.
By now, you’ve probably already heard about Nyquist’s victory in the Kentucky Derby. Many of you probably watched the race and cheered as he raced across the finish line to become the first undefeated 2-year-old champion to win the Kentucky Derby since Seattle Slew did it in 1977, the year he took the Triple Crown. But what you might not know is that while Nyquist was a relatively expensive yearling, selling for $400,000, his dam sold twice for far less.