InthePast Bill Shorty SharonFreeman

In the Past: Family Legends

InthePast Bill Shorty SharonFreemanEqui-Stat Elite $5 Million Rider Bill Freeman, Freeman’s father and legendary trainer Shorty Freeman, and Freeman’s sister Sharon Freeman, who married Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Terry Riddle, of Foster, Oklahoma • Photo by Bonnie Scott

William Fredell “Bill” Freeman, unquestionably one of the cutting industry’s finest trainers and showmen, earned his final cutting paycheck on June 28, 2008, just 31 days before his untimely death on July 29 at the age of 58. Freeman died due to complications of fungal pneumonia and chronic asthma, a condition that Freeman’s father, Shorty Freeman, also died of in 1990.

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In the Past: 2006 Magnificent 7 Champion

InthePast 01LightNFine BAvila.06DDBob Avila and Light N Fine. • Photo by Darrell Dodds

Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Bob Avila, of Temecula, California, and Light N Fine (Grays Starlight x Lenas Fine Freckle x Doc O’Lena), aka “Polo,” deservingly won the 2006 Magnificent 7 Championship with high scores in both the herd and cow works.

The 1999 stallion, bred by Polo Ranch, of Marietta, Oklahoma, was owned at the time by Rhodes River Ranch in Arlington, Washington. He earned $12,432 for his win at the Magnificent 7, and capped his career with a victory in the World’s Greatest Horseman competition with Avila one year later when owned by Alan and Kay Needle.

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In the Past: 2006 Team USA

InthePast Team06 AB(left to right) Team USA members Matt Mills, Aaron Ralston, Tim McQuay, Dell Hendricks and Chef d’equipe Jeff Petska. • Photo by Andrea Bonaga

Ten years ago this coming August, four of the United States’ top reiners and an alternate rider arrived in Aachen, Germany, to represent their country in the Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) World Equestrian Games (WEG), held Aug. 20-Sept. 3.

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In the Past: Nu Circle Of Light

InthePast NuCircleOfLightNu Circle Of Light and Ted Robinson accumulated 654 points (213.5 herd/216.5 rein/224 cow) to take the $100,000 Open winner’s check in the 2005 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. • Photo by Primo Morales

Nu Circle Of Light carried reined cow horse trainer Ted Robinson to his seventh National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship nearly 11 years ago, in October 2005. The win was especially meaningful to Robinson because he had won his first Futurity Championship, in 1987, on the stallion’s grandsire, Nu Cash. Nu Circle Of Light’s dam, Katie Starlight, also provided many special memories for Robinson with the mare having carried Robinson to two World’s Greatest Horseman championships, in 1999 and 2001.

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In the Past: Cutter Bill

InthePast CutterBillCutter Bill • QHN File Photo

Cutter Bill (Buddy Dexter x Billie Silvertone x Silvertone), a 1955 palomino stallion bred by R.L. Underwood, of Wichita Falls, Texas, was owned by Rex Cauble, of Denton, Texas, who purchased the stallion at Underwood’s 1956 dispersal sale for $2,500.

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In the Past: Gins Solano and Gary Bellenfant

InthePast BreedersCup1985 PatHall LOWRES1985 Breeder's Cup Open Champion Gins Solano • Photo by Pat Hall

Gary Bellenfant rode Gins Solano (Tanquery Gin x Solano Jill x Doc’s Solano) to a final-round score of 221.5 to win the 1985 Breeder’s Cup Open Championship.

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In the Past: Reined Cow Horse Rider Jake Telford

InthePast 02JakeGorrell-QuickAsEinstein-06StakespmTen years ago, Jake Telford rode Quick As Einstein (As Smart As The Fox x High Brow Jose x High Brow Hickory), to the 2005 NRCHA Stakes Open Reserve Championship. That same year, the pair also won the Open and Intermediate Open championships at the NRCHA Derby. • Photo by Primo Morales

Last October, Jake Telford, of Caldwell, Idaho, was able to finally accomplish what he had worked so many years for. He rode Starlight Kisses (Shady Lil Starlight x Kiss My Shiny Lips x Shining Spark), a homebred mare owned by Nancy Crawford-Hall and Phil Hall’s Holy Cow Performance Horses, of Santa Ynez, California, to win the 2015 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship.

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In the Past: AQHA Hall of Fame Member Jack Kyle

InthePast JackKyke MissPeponitaChickThe equine world lost a loyal friend and supporter in February 2006, when veteran horseman Jack Kyle passed away at age 80. • Photo by Waltenberry

Born near Brownfield, Texas, Kyle (pictured aboard Miss Peponita Chick at the 1982 American Quarter Horse Association [AQHA] World Show) spent most of his life ranching in New Mexico. Widely recognized in the industry for his trademark black hat and red high-topped boots, Kyle moved to Yukon, Oklahoma, in 1982 to be near his daughter, Jackie Krshka, and her family.

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In the Past: NCHA Horse of the Year

InthePast TRT01 LittleBadgerDulce PBranch 93TJLittle Badger Dulce (pictured at the 1993 NCHA Super Stakes with trainer Pete Branch) passed away in August of this year at the age of 26. She will be remembered for her numerous achievements inside and outside of the show pen. • Photo by Teresa Jett

In 1992, Pete Branch, now an Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Rider, rode Little Badger Dulce to a second-place finish in the NCHA Futurity Open finals. The pair started the 1993 show season with a 4-Year-Old Open win at the Abilene Spectacular.