I am now the proud owner of a very special 'to me' mare...
This is BF Frenchmans Shesa. She is a 9y/o grand-daughter to my great mare, Diala Dandy Dolly. Diala Dandy Dolly, aka 'Woofer' was the dam of Moon and Shooter.
A very long time ago, I made the foolish mistake of selling the only filly my grand old mare would ever produce. That filly, Shesa Dandy Command went to Brian Fulton of Valentine NE...The owner of Streak Of Fling. The very first foal 'Dandy' ever produced (by Frenchman's Fabulous) was purchased by Blake Knowles and a few years down the road that mare, Shesa Fabulous...
Took Blake to the NFR in steer wrestling. In the years since, she has helped him get there again a couple more times and last year I got to watch Shesa Fabulous in real life. I was dumb-founded at how much she resembled her dam and grand-dam in actions.
Over the years I have kept a close eye on the Shesa Dandy Command foals that Brian Fulton sells in his sale every year, but they have all been geldings and are consistently some of the high selling young horses on the sale. Far out of my reach price-wise...and to be quite honest...I wasn't too interested in the geldings. I wanted a filly. But it had to be the right one.
I have no female line left out of my wonderful 'Woofer'. Moon and Shooter were my last ties to that mare of all mares and that has bothered me. Not just for sentimental reasons either. There is something very special about these horses and I hated to lose that out of my herd.
Looking at Brian's sale catalog this year, I was intrigued by the 2y/o filly out of Shesa Dandy Command Command and sired by CS Flashlight. Dandy is getting up there in age and I know that there aren't going to be many more of her foals. If I wanted a female line, I was going to have to act soon.
And then I saw BF Frenchmans Shesa on the catalog and I felt my gut wrench. She is made exactly like her mother and grand-mother. Probably the only one I have ever seen that resembled the older mares so much that it was like looking at a carbon copy. I knew I had to have her. Beings as she is a 9y/o broodmare, I also figured she would sell for a lot less than the 2y/o that was also on the sale. I talked to my husband, showed him the mare, detailed my 'plan' and explained to him that this mare was probably going to cost more than the average horse. For one, nothing is very cheap at Brian's sales...He has a proven breeding program, and two, these horses have consistently been at the high end of the sale every single year. Wonderful man that my husband is...He said if this was 'the one' that I had better get her bought.
I called Brian and visited with him about the mare. Brian said she was a really nice mare, they had rode her, her 2 and 3 year old year and had stared roping calves on her. She was scheduled to be in the sale the fall of her 3y/o year but just prior to the sale, she dinged the inside of her hock, so they pulled her from the sale. The next year they bred her and just kept her in the broodmare band for a few years. Brian said the only reason they were selling her is because she belonged to one of his son's and that son is rodeoing hard and wanting geldings.
I expressed to Brian how special these horses have been to me and how excited I was to have the opportunity to purchase this specific mare. The reality of just how rare an opportunity this was hit me when Brian told me that they had had to put Dandy down the year before. These two were all they had left and there was not going to be any more. Ever! I almost cried on the phone. Brian probably thinks I am a little crazy.
All day Friday I kept my phone in my hand and waited impatiently for sale time to arrive. They do a live video feed of the sale, so I could watch and anxiously wait for 'Frenchy' to come through. I got the warning call 5 horses before and then the return call right when the horse before her sold. I was watching the live feed, but had to turn the volume down so I could hear the phone bidder talking to me. I jumped the first bid at $2,750, didn't get in again until she was at $5,000, in again at $5,500 and again at $7,000. It was going so fast I barely had time to get 'Yes' out before the phone bidder was telling me the next bid. I got scared. The bids were coming so fast, I didn't think they were going to slow down, much less stop before I hit my max. I was instantly sick to my stomach.
The next bid to me was $7,500 and I hesitated. I was staring at this mare on the video screen and thinking...'You don't have enough money to buy this mare.' I told the phone bidder 'Yes' one more time and watched the screen anxiously. The bidding stalled and I waited for the announcer to start coaxing bids...But he looked around for a second...And dropped the gavel. Sold!!!...To ME!!!!
Believe me...I know full well that Brian Fulton did me a favor. Generally when the bidding lulls, the announcer will take a little time and give more details about a horse and try and draw a few more bids. Not this time. Nope. The instant the bidding stopped...They sold her. The phone bidder told me, 'You got her at $7,500' and the line went dead. Just like that. I sat there for a minute and then set the phone down. I was shaking like a leaf. My husband was sitting near-by and he was watching me and asking, 'What just happened?...Honey, what happened?' It took me a minute to get the words out, 'We got her!'...I was choking up and the tears were starting to well up in my eyes. I couldn't believe it.
I know this sounds crazy...some of you breeders will get it...But it wasn't just about getting 'a mare' out of Dandy to carry on the bloodline I love so much...It was about getting 'the right mare' and the instant I saw the picture of BF Frenchmans Shesa...I knew she was 'the one'. I've never seen the horse in real life, never seen anything but this one picture...and yet, I just knew.
As if the purchase of the mare wasn't enough...the cream on top is that she is bred to CS Flashlight. Brian's good grey stallion...
Holy Begezzus...That sucker can mortally F.L.Y!!!!
At the very least, the foal that Frenchy is carrying is worth her purchase price.
But I have a little more in store for Frenchy. Once she has her foal, I have every intention of starting her back under saddle and seeing what she can do on the barrel pattern herself. She should be good in her own right. Her sire is Frenchmans Bullet and he has produced numerous winning barrel/rodeo horses...
I tell ya what...Things are pretty darn exciting around here. The purchase of Frenchy is beyond words, but I've got something else in the works and I'll share that next...