Call it stallion networking. If you own a terrific stud, but no one knows anything about him, chances are no mares will come knocking at his stable door.
The Canadian Supreme (CS) Breeders Group hopes it can make a difference in getting word out on quality stallions that are producing solid performance offspring, and by doing so, continue to offer significant prize money at its annual Canadian Supreme event in Red Deer.
To be able to tell customers that a yearling they are considering purchasing is eligible to compete for substantial prize money is an attractive incentive, said Colleen Wallace, a Canadian Supreme committee member. And the foals are worth more because they have the potential to be at the show and earn money.
Lisa Anderson, of Springbank, AB, is a big fan of the program, having subscribed horses since 1996. It s a huge benefit to be able to showcase your horses at the Supreme in three different events, which is highly unusual, she said. I m in cutting, but I ve had horses in reining and cow horse.
Anderson credits the program for many of her horse sales. If horses are nominated into the program, they re way easier to sell because there s a place to show them, she said. There are people who won t consider buying a horse if it s not nominated.
To subscribe a stallion to the program, owners pay $800 a year, of which $450 goes towards cash prizes in three-and four-year-old classes. The remaining $350 goes towards advertising, operating costs and added purses. This year, there is a purse of $80,000 for 12 classes: four classes in each of cutting, cow horse and reining.
The program helps the Supreme be one of the best paying shows for competitors, said Betty Gardner, who runs the CS Breeders Group Stallion and Foal program. When it was initiated in the early 80s, there were three to five subscribed stallions, she said. As of last year, there were 108.
And not all are from Canada. There are subscribed stallions in Texas, Montana and Florida. With Americans selling a lot of horses (most are Quarter Horse breeders) to Canadians, it s worth it to have horses in the CS program, said Anderson. All of a stallion s yearling offspring, regardless of breed or pedigree, are then entitled to be nominated. This gives their owners the opportunity to compete in the classes for nominated horses only. This year, money from stallion subscriptions and yearling nomi- nations will go towards the 2013 Canadian Supreme purse.
Since reiner Diane Latrace began competing in the CS in 2001, she has earned more than $17,000. And in 2009, her stallion Isle Slide Wright On was named the leading reining sire at the CS, with reining earnings of $22,000 and offspring earnings of more than $50,000. We nominate all of our offspring, she said. It s a great way for anyone wanting to see how the offspring of a stallion competed, and helps people who are wanting to purchase a promising horse. My success in selling has been because of the promotion.
Don Edey of Edey Ranches in Longview, also nominates all his stallions and offspring to the program, and is among the top breeders who have bred horses earning money in the Open Snaffle Bit classes of the CS Futurities. The Canadian Supreme has been the event in Western Canada to showcase your breeding program, he said. Our program got its footing from a Reserve Championship on ER Pepi Kola in 1999 with (rider) Brad Pederson. The title and the start to earning lifetime earnings morphed into a complete passion for us to focus on competition horses. Since then, with (riders) John Swales and Jesse Thomson, it has been one hell of a ride.
It is important to promote Canadian studs at a time when many horse owners still think the best quality horses are in the U.S., Edey said. We have proven many times at U.S. shows that our Canadian stock competes extremely well on the international scale, so any movement not to showcase our awesome Canadian stallions would be a backward step for sure.
Nominating foals is the ideal way to promote the stallion, Edey said. It is my belief that if you have a great stallion, the proof of the pudding is the get. By nominating foals, you validate the fact you have sons and daughters that achieve. For example, Pepi Kola s first daughter went on to become Reserve Limited Three-Year-Old Reining Champion. Over the years, numerous other ER horses have won decent dollars in the CS classes.
This year, ER Ranches is entering a Snaffle Bitter out of its ER Spitfire stallion. So we have high hopes for his legacy to unfold, Edey said. A nominated baby adds to the interest of the purchaser wanting to take a shot at the CS Supreme additional purse, he noted.
The reputation of his breeding program has been strengthened by the fact his horses can be observed by the thousands of horse enthusiasts who attend the annual CS event. It is a world-class event that draws interest from an audience that cuts across the lines of disciplines of cutting, reining and reined cow horse, said Edey.
When a stallion is subscribed, the owner also provides a breeding report from two years previous, listing mares that produced foals that are yearlings in the current year. The yearlings can then be nominated for $80. Junior stallions that do not yet have eligible yearlings can be subscribed for $250 a year.
So what else do stallion owners get in return for their annual dues? Perks include having stallions showcased in the Breeders Group booth during the show, and advertised in the show program and on its website. Stallion ads also are run in a number of equine publications.
For people who follow pedigrees, the program is an important resource, said Wallace. To breed a winning horse takes a lot of planning and thought, she said. It s about hope and a prayer. After breeding, it takes four years for the foal to be in the arena. .
It s about hope and a prayer. After breeding, it takes four years for the foal to be in the arena.