TOMBSTONE, SAILOR, GREED, DIRTY HARRY, RANSOM, LADY & INK
Key Bloodlines: STARLIGHT GYPSY (BY GRAYS STARLIGHT OUT OF
DICKERY CHEXX BY MR TONY CHEX)
The Starlight Gypsy blood has gotten its fair share of publicity over the last decade as Lari Dee Guy and Trevor Brazile tapped into the secret well of top horses by the late stallion owned by JoAnn Parker.
Parker County Oak—Tombstone—was the first in the line of great Starlight Gypsys to make his way to team roping fame. Guy and Brazile bought Tombstone as an unstarted 2-year-old from Parker, and the horse went on to carry Jake Cooper to the 2015 NFR and then Jill Cooper Tanner to the 2021 RFD-TV’s The American $100,000 breakaway championship. His full brother is American Greed, aboard whom Trevor Brazile just won both ends and nearly every round of the Royal Crown Rope Horse Futurity, and aboard whom Guy won first and second at the 2020 BFI All-Girl. Gypsy Sailor is the 13-year-old gelding Charly Crawford won Round 7 of the 2020 NFR aboard, and whom Jackie Crawford is rodeoing on in the breakaway this year. Charly also rode Gypsys King, owned by Billy Bob Brown, in the Thomas & Mack. Ransom—registered as PKR Starlight Chick—is another great one to come from Brazile and Guy’s program, whom Clay Smith made famous before selling to Wyatt Imus, who sold him to Clint Summers.
“I don’t know what makes them all so outstanding,” said NFR switchender Summers, who also bought another Starlight Gypsy mare named Gypsy Zip It (Lady) from Brazile. “They have a great mind, and they really want to please you. They have good skills and good footwork, and they’re super athletic. I bought Lady—she’s Ransom’s full sister—and I rode her and Greed and lots of the other ones. They give it all they’ve got. Lady is great to heel on. And, I think to make a great horse, it has to start between the ears, and they’re very, very good minded.”
What’s more, Hope Thompson finished 16th in the PRCA/WPRA Breakaway Roping Pro Rodeo World Standings aboard the Starlight Gypsy-bred Super Chrome Ink—an AQHA Reserve World Champion.
PATRON, JLO, WYLEY, CHIP AND LULA
Key Bloodlines: DUAL SPARK (BY DUAL PEP, OUT OF
DOLITTLE LENA BY SHINING SPARK)
AQHA and NRCHA legend Bobby Lewis is at the helm of the breeding program that produced American Rope Horse Futurity Association World Champion and AQHA World Champion Dual Patron and his full sister and Reserve ARHFA World Champion Heeling and AQHA Junior Heading World Champion J Lows Glo, ARHFA 2019 Reserve Heeling Champion CSR Dual Boonlite, as well as NFR mounts Dual Chip and Lula Dual.
All five are by Lewis’s late, great cow horse stallion Dual Spark, who won the reserve title in the NRCHA’s World’s Greatest Horseman competition with Lewis and was sold to Brazil.
“They’re all fast footed, and they’re all pretty horses,” Joseph Harrison said. “They could all really stop. They’re very trainable, but they have all stayed pretty good.”
Chip—who helped carry Harrison to his first NFR—is the horse Travis Graves tied the 3.3-second world record aboard in Oakley, Utah, and whom Graves won $25,350 aboard over Cowboy Christmas alone. He’s also who Graves won the $100,000 Lone Star Shootout riding this spring.
Lula Dual, first shown extensively in the cow horse arena by Austin Johnson, is the horse Harrison has ridden much of the regular season the last few years, performing impressively enough to be named Reserve Purina/AQHA Horse of the Year in the PRCA.
DINERO, PETUNIA, LORI, DAISY AND BOWKAY
Key Bloodlines: PC FRENCHMANS HAYDAY
(BY SUNFROST OUT OF CASEYS CHARM BY TINY CIRCUS)
Ask any barrel racer how influential PC Frenchmans Hayday has been to the sport, and they’ll simply point to the world titles and arena records his daughter “Sister” has accumulated under reigning world champion Hailey Kinsel.
But if you ask Cory Petska what the late stallion meant to rodeo, he’ll list off the great daughters of Dinero he got to ride, plus all the money he won on the stallion himself.
“I won more on Dinero than I did his daughters, honestly,” Petska said of the late stallion owned by his wife, Sherry Cervi, and her parents Mel and Wendy Potter. “They were all really different horses. But they could all mortally fly and were gritty. They were all great in their own way and easy to catch on.”
Petska rode the bay Dinero daughter MP Spice In The Hay (Petunia) behind Clay Tryan to win between $60,000 and $80,000 in a few short years, including a win at the Ellensburg Rodeo in 2004. He won Rodeo Houston with Turtle Powell aboard MP Daysys N Roses, who Petska called Daisy, and he rode her full sister Lori, registered as MP Patches Of Hay, behind Shaine Sproul at the 2007 NFR. Daisy and Lori were both out of Cervi’s great broodmare Rose Patch by Lay A Patch, who was a close relative of Troubles, the grey horse Cervi won a world title aboard, and Cervi is currently running barrels on the last full sister to those mares—MP Olive Your Money. Both Daisy and Lori are still alive at the Potter Ranch producing babies who mostly head to the barrel pen.
Another Dinero daughter in the roping pen was Bowkay—the gray mare who played second fiddle to Derrick Begay’s Swagger her whole career, but who stood out as a top horse regardless for a decade with wins at big rodeos like the Greeley Stampede.
SUN AND DISCO
Key Bloodlines: A STREAK OF FLING (BY STREAKIN SIX OUT OF MOON FLING BY FAST FLING)
Streakin Sundew, who his first NFR jockey Zac Small called Sun, won the Bob Feist Invitational and RodeoHouston before Small hung up his ropes to go to vet school.
“He’s pretty unique,” Small said of the horse. “He’s fast and you can rope on him in several different setups. He was really good at the BFI and at the NFR.”
Small sold Sun to Driggers, who rode him during the regular season before selling him to Jake Cooper. Cooper qualified for the NFR on him in 2019.
Most progeny from A Streak Of Fling find their way to the barrel pen because of their speed and incentive eligibility—which is how Garrett Tonozzi ultimately ended up with Streakin Disco, who he calls Disco.
“She went through the barrels, and she got burned out,” Tonozzi said. “Justin and Jordon Briggs got her, and I bought her from them.”
Tonozzi won two WCRA majors on the mare and placed in others, worth $144,837 for his share.
“To be as fast as she is, she scores really good,” Tonozzi said. “She’s so finished, I don’t have to practice on her. You can reach on her or go fast.”
The Tonozzis pull an embryo on her every year, with a 2-year-old by Be A Magnolia Runner, a yearling by Traffic Guy and a weanling Roarr. She’s also got a foal in utero by Tonozzi’s stallion A Guy With Proof.
REY, SUGAR, AIR JORDAN AND MANY MORE
Key Bloodlines: KINGS SLY SUGAR and SLYNKING SUGAR WHIZ (BROODMARES)
The horses that bare Dean Tuftin’s DT brand are perhaps all the most closely related and complexly connected on this list.
“It all started with two mares, both with old King breeding, in Kings Sly Sugar and Slynking Sugar Whiz,” Tuftin explained.
Most famous is Rey Shines On Top, by Shiners Lena Rey and out of Tuftin’s Kings Sly Sugar, who earned Brady Minor back-to-back AQHA/PRCA Heel Horse of the Year titles in 2014 and 2015. Rey was started by Tuftin, and Brady took him over as a 5-year-old.
“When Dean sent Rey to me to try, I took him to a roping and won first and second,” Minor said. “I figured I’d better buy him.”
Tuftin also raised the famous DT Sugar Chex Whiz, who was the 2019 AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year under Billie Jack Saebens, after winning the 2015 Junior Tie-Down Roping World Title in the AQHA. The mare is a grandget of Slynking Sugar Whiz, the other foundational mare of Tuftin’s breeding program, and by Tuftin’s stud (who now resides in Brazil) Shiners Lena Chex.
“There’s a lot of relations that are all intertwined through my program because that’s how I set out to do it,” Tuftin said. “The rodeo industry scabs horses from the other industries—like the ranching or cutting or barrel industry. The breeders like me and Mel Potter and Brian Fulton have consistent horses because of how we breed them and how we start and train them.”
Shiners Lena Chex also sired DT Air Jordan, the ARHFA back-to-back champion under JD Yates. Yates also rode DT Elenor Shine Whiz, by Shiners Lena Chex and out of Slynging Sugar Whiz and owned by George Strait, to the 2016 AQHA World Championship in the Junior Heading.
Both Kings Sly Sugar and Slynking Sugar Whiz are still alive and in their 20s, though retired from the breeding game. TRJ