Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Counts?

I've been trying to write posts about the prevalent bloodlines of the barrel horses at the NFR, but I keep finding myself going off into long dissertations about this horse or that horse. It is difficult, if not impossible to look at these great horses' pedigrees and pick out any one reason why they are the tremendous athletes that they are. Actually, I don't think you can pick one sire or bloodline and say that THIS is the one.

Much like all the generations of breeders before us, we search for the ultimate sire, the best bred dam and the ultimate nick that will produce the next generation that will set the bar. It doesn't matter what discipline you prefer...or event...or breed. All that matters is that the individuals that you produce have the ability, the desire and the heart that it takes. In the words of Ott Adams, an immortal breeder of fast horses, "You breed the best to the best and hope for the best."
***All horse's names that are in blue are linked to allbreedpedigree.com!!

I have to start with the South Dakota bred and raised duo of Jill Moody and Dolly...
Dolly's registered name is TR Dashing Badger. Dolly's sire is Mr. Illuminator, a foundation bred stallion that stood in South Dakota for several years. This stallion's greatest claim to fame was his bloodlines(IMO)...
Mr. Illuminator is truly a foundation breeder's dream. Few horses still carry the concentration of good-old fashioned running blood that he does(I'm not sure, but I think Mr, Illuminator passed away a couple years ago). He goes back to Midnight 3X's and it is all right there on his 5-generation pedigree. Also included are other foundation greats like Pud Payne, Billy Clegg and 2X's to Buck Hancock. Bred by Dan Dols, specifically for his Grey Badger II and Peter McCue blood, Mr. Illuminator was by no means a "percentages-only" horse. Although he may have been the last horse alive to carry 48% of Grey Badger II's blood and 22% of Peter McCue, he was bred to be a performance horse. Only shown one season, he earned the MQHA Champion Jr. Reining horse and the MQHA Champion Jr. Performance horse titles in 1987. Dan Dols helped to start the Foundation Quarter Horse Registry and took Mr. Illuminator to the first World FQHA show in Colorado. Mr. Illuminator was the Reserve World Champion Stallion in Conformation and was awarded the registration number #6. The first 10 numbers were saved for the most significant stallions.

So here's the scoop on what I know about these horses...prior to Dolly's fame, some people that I showed against in the Black Hills had some of these horses...and they loved them. They said they were smart and easy to train(they were reining horse people). As with most foundation bred horses-they didn't look like much their yearling and 2y/o year, but started blossoming their 3y/o year and just got better and better looking all the time. Since, the Midnight horses have always had a bit of a reputation as being tough, I asked them, Do they buck? It was a resounding NO. They had not owned one that was any ranker or tougher minded than some of their other bloodlines. From what I seen, they sure were cute-pretty headed and big hipped.

Now, I hear that Dolly is pretty tough. She has bucked Jill off quite a few times. Hmmm??

Well, I don't have to analyze too far...Dolly's dam is a double bred Dash For Cash mare...TR Double Cash, her name says a lot!! Throw some Easy Jet in there too and you have a volatile concoction. A winner!! But one that only the right person can get the most out of.

While researching the 34 horses that are listed as mounts for the top 15 barrel racers in the world, I ran across some interesting trivia...

Of the 34 barrel horses, TWENTY-THREE of them go back to Midnight at least once. The most common thread is through Jet Deck. I guess Walter Merrick's cornerstone stallion, Midnight Jr. really was everything he hoped he would be.

People can poo-poo extended pedigree's all they want too, but great horses come from great horses. You can look at any of these top horses for 10 generations back and they are loaded with the greats of yesteryear. True, each subsequent generation needs to prove itself, but you have to start with great genetics. Not one single horse that was considered good enough to run at the NFR came from unrecognizable breeding. There were some that surprised me, not for unrecognizable breeding, but for breeding that most people don't associate with speed horses...but they should.

Here is a horse that I found very interesting...Deb Renger's new horse, Harley. Registered as Lenas Mijo Dulce, Harley's sire, Pobre Dulce is a horse I have not heard of before. Pobre Dulce has Old Sorrel listed TWENTY-SIX times in his 10 generation pedigree. Peter McCue's name shows up TWENTY-THREE times in his 10 generation pedigree. That isn't counting the number of times Old Sorrel hits the 9th or 10th generation and I didn't count Peter McCue. **In comparison...Mr. Illuminator only goes back to Peter McCue 19 times. Old Sorrel is by Hickory Bill by Peter McCue. That is pure King Ranch breeding right there. Looks like most of Pobre Dulce's get are reining horses or broodmare's in reining horse breeding sheds. To make it even more interesting, not even Harley's dam is of bloodlines that are considered "running" horses anymore. She is Doc O'Lena(by Doc Bar) bred on the topside and Doc Bar bred on the bottom. It would appear that the Doc Bar's might be showing some of the speed that Doc Bar himself was bred for but missed out on in the Genetic Lottery. Just so no one thinks it might be a fluke...Stephanie Fryar's Salena, registered name Sail On Lena is also a Doc O'Lena grand-daughter. Of course, on the bottom she has a bit more of the characteristic running blood you would expect to see, but still not a widely known line. There are others too...

Deb Renger's Docs Leo Lee and Traci Dawson's Real Easy Doc.

But here is my favorite one...Lisa Lockhart's IR Peppys Breeze. A Colonel Freckles/Mr San Peppy bred horse on the top and a Doc Bar/King bred horse on the bottom. Yummy!! Now I wonder how people who believe that only the couple of generations count are going to explain that?

10 comments:

Danielle Michelle said...

I was there and went to a clinic with Tyler Magnus. One of the big questions asked was what breeds are common in the NFR horses we were seeing...common thread: Foundation Stock Breeds

Says a lot about a good horse!

Train Wreck said...

I missed you. I am sure you were runnnin crazy. I know we were. Between My fella roping in the series, and my booth it was a whirl wind. I did look for you in the crowds that passed by... Are you as glad to be home as I am?
(We didn't even get to the finals!)

Melanie said...

Excellent post!! I am also a believer in pedigrees, because you are right...great horses come from great horses. :)

I think that it is great that these horses have a lot of foundation breeding in them. Maybe the QH will become what it once was yet again! (Sorry...that was kind of confusing!)

ezra_pandora said...

I love looking at pedigrees (especially the old crazy pictures), but I am definitely not savvy enough to know which ones are super desirable or the meaning like you guys do. I was messing around to see what I could see on my mare and she has Sonny Dee Bar and somewhere Man O War (when I clicked on the pictures, War Bam came up and he's apparently a grandson of Man O' War). But since I don't have a subscription, I couldn't figure out where it lined up at.

You guys just know so much about everything.

kdwhorses said...

Great post, I agree!

There were quite a few barrel horses that kicked *ss this year! I enjoyed watching them!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Ezra-I use allbreedpedigree.com as the most convenient source of extended pedigrees. If your mare is registered(or even if you just know her sire and dam's names) you can look her up and it will give you the pedigree back to the beginning of time...or until it reaches an unknown-LOL.

PS-It's free too. If your mare is not in there, you can add her...very simple to do as all you have to do is add basic info about her, her sire and dam and it will connect the dots!!

Rising Rainbow said...

I am so with you on this one. The pedigrees of great horses will trace all the way back through with great horses. To me that just goes without saying, although it really surprise me how many breeders don't understand that concept at all.

Rebekka said...

Hey, I just found your post and wanted to comment. I have an own daughter of Mr. Illuminator and she is the best horse. If all horses were like her to break out that's all I'd do. She is a true natural; flying lead changes, stops, roll backs, etc. She was picked by family friend Ann, Dan Dol's ex-wife, as a reining prospect for me. Unfortunately I haven't shown her as much in reining as I would like. Besides reining she's a wonderful horse for just about anything. I use her in riding camp with kids that have little to no riding experience. She has a great mind and attitude. When I just want to have some fun I'll ride her bareback with just a rein around her neck and do a reining pattern. I've thrown around the idea of breeding her, mainly because of her mind, but haven't found the right stallion just yet. Anyways, thanks for the great post about Mr. Illuminator. It was great to get some more info on him. If I'm correct, in the reining show that he won he beat out one of Tim McQuay's horses. Granted it was a few years ago, but I think that's a feat in itself.

Luv my Joe Hancocks said...

Excellent post! When I look at pedigrees I want to see quality old time speed bred horses all the way back to the greats like Peter McCue. I'm not content with just looking at the first 2 or 3 generations :o). I have always been a fan of Midnight Jr and his son Grey Badger II, not to mention Joe Hancock.
We have two mares close up to Grey Badger II and Buck Hancock. One has Grey Badger II and Buck Hancock on her papers, the other has Buck Hancock on her papers twice and Grey Badger II twice, first line off.
I love to see all that great old foundation blood in the current barrel horses. Thank you.

Mike Cox said...

I really enjoyed your post. I have a really nice mare who has 2 crosses back to Grey Badger II. Her name is Threaten Badger Blue. Old quarter horse stories and histories are great and allbreedpedigree is like my home.