In the last 2 weeks, I have gone a completely different direction...Well, with a couple of them anyway. :-)
Beretta is the only one due to foal in 2015, but I actually have 4 breedable mares.
At least one mare is getting bred back to Firewater Fooler...
This is the sire of Beretta's upcoming foal and both myself and 'Mag's' owner are anticipating the arrival of that baby. (Fingers are still crossed for a buckskin filly)
I'm not sure if I will be breeding Beretta back this year or not, but the mare that I WILL be breeding to Mags aught to be a magnificent cross. It's a proven nick for him. One thing about the Fire Water Flit horses, they are well known for being barrel horses, but they are capable of going different directions and these are horses that have longevity. They get better with age and they hold up.
I toyed with the idea of breeding Frenchie to Mags this coming year, but my heart was never really set on it. It just seemed like a good direction to go, since the Fire Water Flit/Frenchman's Guy blood seems to cross well. I some looking to see how Frenchie's A Streak Of Fling babies have turned out and 3 of them have gone to the barrel pen. They have the ASOF running style, but the few videos I saw, I can sure see Moon's turning style too. Drop and never slow down. Yeeehaawwww!! I don't see that these horses are winning in the 1D though and nobody has taken them to the rodeo pen yet, so I'm wondering if they are lacking a little in the speed department and that is why Brian switched Frenchie to CS Flashlight.
Now, I love my lil Flashy and I trust Brian Fulton's assessment that crossing Frenchie with CS Flashlight should produce an incredible horse. But, I'm wondering if Flash is going to be a little 'thick' for my taste. He's not genetically inclined to get real tall and both momma and daddy are thick as bricks. The last time I saw Flash, he was astonishingly heavy-boned for such a young guy. However, if he grows up to meet the size of his joints, he is not going to be a small horse by any stretch of the imagination. I'm sure not worried about the speed factor on that one though. :-)
I've been looking around at a few other stallions, besides Mags for Frenchie's next baby. I mean, when you have a mare that is of this quality, you don't skimp on stud fees. I think I could breed her to just about any of the hot names and she would produce a fine, very marketable baby.
So, my ultimate decision in stallion choice may seem a little odd. I didn't end up picking any of the fabulous, famous stallions that have already produced proven winners. I'm taking Frenchie back to SD to get bred to Shooter's sire, Pistol. Our no-name, not-famously bred (unless you like the old names) Oklahoma Star-bred stallion. This is the nick that feels right to me. I LOVE my Shooter and I think he is going to be way better than his brother Moon. It's mostly because of the subtle difference in attitude. Moon was typical of the Lady Bug's Moon horses...A little on the hard-minded side. Shooter is very similar in so many ways to his older brother; dominant, willful and a little ornery, but he has a kindness to him that Moon lacks. Shooter's orneriness is done more with a twinkle in his eye, like it's a big game, whereas Moon's eye has always reminded me of a shark's. Flash has the same little twinkle in his eye that Shooter does, so I think he is going to be kinder-minded than Moon as well. Which is just one of those things that you don't realize is important until you get one that lacks it...and while the difference is subtle, something you only really notice if you ride and use these horses...The end result can be vastly different.
So, Frenchie's next baby is taken care of and I am far more excited to breed her to our no-name stallion than I was looking at all of the public offerings of high-end, well-known, famous stallions.
The last mare to contemplate was Miss, the gray Tiny Watch/Driftwood mare I bought last May. From almost the beginning, I had my heart set on breeding her to Frenchman's Fabulous. The Frenchman's Guy/Tiny Watch nick is so proven that you just can't go wrong with it. I even picked out the coolest name ever for the baby. But the more I have looked at stallions, the more I realized I could pretty much go any direction I wanted to go with Miss. The Tiny Watch/Driftwood nick jells with almost every other top name bloodline out there and is successful. With Miss, my pocketbook really is the only limit on who I chose to breed her too. This is a mare that only deserves the best of the best. Due to her age, she isn't going to have many foals. I would be happy with one, am hoping for 2...would be ecstatic to get 3....and am praying for a filly. Just ONE filly. PLEASE!!
One of the studs I was toying with the idea of breeding Frenchie too piqued my interest. He was sired by a good foundation-bred stallion on the top, out of a famous name stallion on the bottom. The kind of good mix I look for, not to mention he was drop dead gorgeous and buckskin. I got to researching the sire's side and lo and behold...The sire was actually still alive. He's coming 30...But by golly, he's still alive and breeding. I had no idea. I mean, I'd heard of the horse before. Tammy Key has been successful on Hanks Rapidash, Kay Blanford on KN Letta Girl Do It, Jackie Jatzlau on Ima Nonstop Princess and Lindsey Sears on Hanky Flit Panky. I just thought he died a few years ago. :-/.
The horse's name is Letta Hank Do It...
Even though I was excited to find out he was still alive...and breeding...I really didn't contemplate breeding Frenchie to him. While I LOVE good, old-fashioned foundation lines...I don't know which way the cross of that old running/cow blood onto Frenchie's old running/cow blood would go. Frenchie is thickly made and reproduces thickly made. She doesn't need any help putting bone or mass onto her babies. This old stallion has the same ability to pass on bone and substance. The reason I was contemplating breeding her to this horse's son was because the younger horse had a lot more 'run' blood through his maternal side and that would have most likely helped smooth out the resulting foal. But since I am now able to breed Frenchie to the stallion I really want to breed her to...
I started thinking about Miss. What an incredible opportunity to combine old bloodlines. Miss is finely made and long-bodied. Her foals could do with a little extra bone and substance. There is never any doubt that the Tiny Watch blood will pass on the speed, not that this horse isn't capable of passing that on himself, but the more I thought about it...The more I thought breeding Miss to this stallion was the better option over breeding to Frenchman's Fabulous.
I mean, finding an old stallion like this is just phenomenal. I'm a fan of the Tonto Bars Gill/Tonto Bars Hank horses anyway, but what really makes this horse special is his mother. Slash J Harletta is a blue hen rodeo horse producer. Not only did Slash J Harletta qualify for the NFR herself, she went on to produce THREE horses that also qualified for and ran barrels at the NFR. And if that wasn't impressive enough, her most famous son, Fire Water Flit went on to sire three more NFR qualifiers.
Here is a wonderfully detailed article about the mare;
Slash J Harletta
I called and talked to one of Letta Hank's owners and she was thrilled at the prospect of breeding a close up Tiny Watch mare to him. She said she didn't know anyone still had any of those horses. I said, well I didn't know there was still a son of Slash J Harletta around either. We both got a chuckle out of that. The breeding contract is on the way and I can finally relax and wait patiently for my lil Firewater to show up. :-)