Writing the Breeder’s Guide started out as a labor of love, but on page 73, I will tell you all more about how that labor of love became a full-time gig since the first Breeder’s Guide in 2020.
But the things I love about dealing with breeders are all still there—these stallion owners are passionate about their horses and their programs. I hang up from every single phone call wishing I had all the money in the world to own all the broodmares in the world to cross on every one of these studs.
Some breeders you’ll read about bought their studs out of the most prominent sales in the industry. Others raised them on the big ranches of the Great Plains, and they cowboyed on their sires and dams generations back. Their enthusiasm for their programs is hard to beat, even in that humble cowboy sort of way.
On page 14, we roll out the announcement that the Ariat World Series of Team Roping, USTRC, NTR and NTRL are all partnering with the Riata Buckle, too, to track the earnings of rope horses. This will help bring the richest Western sport into the equine world’s record books, dropping tens of millions of dollars into the databases. It will help buyers learn more about the horses they’re looking for, breeders truly know what sort of crosses produce the most money across the board and, hopefully, will help this little “cowboy golf” side of the industry earn some respect from the rich and famous who gladly open their pocketbooks to sponsor some of the long-tracked, higher-end sides of Western sports.
There’s more to come on this topic, and if I know anything about the folks over at the roping associations, it’s that they’re nothing if not gritty, adaptable, intuitive and innovative. I sure can’t wait to see what they come up with.