WPRA News March 2020

BREEDING SHED Magic Recipe By Bonnie Wheatley T here’s no denying that most of the horses dominating contemporary barrel racing competition are products of the best bloodlines in the

foaling problematic. “We were very impressed with Mistys First Success, so at that point we set out to buy Mistys Dash Of Fame.” Nichols Quarter Horses purchased Mistys Dash Of Fame from Shannon Akerstrom of Western 37 Barrel Horse Prospects located in California. Nichols never forgot the impression made by Mistys First Success and says there’s an intangible trait shared by foals out of Mistys Dash Of Fame, especially those like full siblings J-Lo and Misty that are sired by Frenchmans Fabulous. “One moment when that was really proven to me was when a full brother, a horse colt named KN Fabulous N Famous (2008 gelding) sold at the BFA. He was the high seller, but the thing that made it really stand out was that the lady who bought him was in a wheelchair. Every horse was a little afraid or spooky about it, but that colt put his head right over the gate and just let her love on him.” Nichols says that despite their kind natures, the Frenchmans Fabulous x Misty Dash Of Fame offspring all have a razor-sharp competitive edge. One needs look no further than the 2019 NFR 10th go round results for proof. Another interesting note is that all three of the full siblings qualified in 2015 and ran in Fort Worth at RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo Semifinals. “They’re not deadheads, but when they have a relationship like what you see with Ivy and J-Lo, it’s just very special,” said Nichols. “I think Misty and Cheyenne have that same thing too from what I see. We’re seeing extra special results as a product of special partnerships, that’s what’s happening right now. Mares in particular, when they have that rare bond with a person, they’ll give you their heart.” Mistys Dash Of Fame was sold to Busby Quarter Horses, but Nichols and Barron plan to keep breeding Mistys First Success and J-Lo.

the top-ranked barrel racing broodmares of all time. She is a full sister to four of the top five barrel racing money earners sired by Dash Ta Fame—Sir Patrick Blurr, Soul Flame, Dashing Mistafier, Misty Blurr Ta Fame and Misty Mountain Blurr. With 10 earners of more than $1.6 million (Equi-Stat) in the arena, Mistys Dash Of Fame’s highest money earner to date is J-Lo. “Misty’s first successful foal, we bought her as a yearling,” said Nichols. That foal was the 2005 mare Mistys First What might look like sibling rivalry is actually the perfect example of top barrel racing bloodlines and tailor-made horse and rider pairings working to produce NFR dreams—times two.

industry. What is rare, unheard of in fact, is full siblings running at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and placing in the same go round. This exact scenario played out during the 10th round of the 2019 NFR when Cheyenne Wimberley rode Robin Weaver’s KN Fabs Mist Of Fame (“Misty”) to second place in the go-round with a 13.79, while Ivy Conrado-Saebens and KN Fabs Gift Of Fame (“J-Lo”) were hot on their heels in third place with a 13.86. Veteran NFR photographer and barrel racing historian Kenneth Springer said of the anomaly, “full siblings both winning money in the 10th go round of the National Finals Rodeo is a feat not likely to be duplicated.” “You always hope to breed the kind of horses that are of the caliber to make it to the NFR, you just don’t necessarily expect it,”

said Dale Barron, who along with Kenny Nichols owns J-Lo. “It’s a dream come true.” “You hope for those things,” echoed Nichols. “One thing we knew for sure is that every one of those babies was special.” Special indeed. J-Lo was ridden by Conrado-Saebens to the top of the 2019 NFR aggregate and helped her finish the season ranked as the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association Reserve World Champion with $264,673. Nichols Quarter Horses based out of Waco, Texas also bred Wimberley’s mount Misty. Nichols and Barron own Frenchmans Fabulous, the sire of both mares, and sold Misty to Weaver of Mahaffey, Pennsylvania, as a yearling. Misty has more than $200,000 in lifetime earnings, while

Ivy Conrado-Saebens and KN Fabs Gift Of Fame placed third in round 10 of the 2019 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. The team made 10 penalty-free runs, placing in eight of 10 rounds, en route to earning $171,403 in Las Vegas. Photo by Kenneth Springer

J-Lo’s earnings exceed $800,000. Both mares are still very actively competing and winning in the rodeo arena. J-Lo and Misty’s dam, the 1996 sorrel mare Mistys Dash Of Fame (Dash Ta Fame x Misty Blurr x Murrtheblurr (TB)), is among

Success by Corona Caliente. She was Misty Dash Of Fame’s third attempt at a foal and the first one that lived. A hip injury sustained as a foal kept Mistys Dash Of Fame from becoming a performer herself and even made


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