2023 Breeder's Guide Program: Billadeau Quarter Horses

Billadeau Quarter Horses is featured in The Team Roping Journal's 2023 Breeder's Guide, highlighting industry-best rope horse breeding programs, studs and incentives.

The Billadeau family and their home-raised horses, built over 30 years in the breeding business. | Courtesy Billadeau Quarter Horses

Billadeau Quarter Horses
Ryder, North Dakota & Wickenburg, Arizona

The family-owned and -operated Billadeau Quarter Horses began on the racing side of breeding, but the Billadeaus found themselves looking for the “universal” horse: performance horses bred to do any discipline a rider desires.

“Our mentality is that if they’ll hunt a cow, they will usually hunt a barrel,” Layne Billadeau said. Along with his wife Codi, Billadeau heads up the program, which includes four stallions and a herd of running-bred broodmares. “We felt that that cross of cow and race produces a horse that is universal.”

Billadeau Quarter Horses relies heavily on horses with Shining Spark, the $4 million National Reined Cow Horse Association sire, for the cow side of their program.

“We really love the Shining Spark horses,” Billadeau said. “They are very trainable; they have a brain to them. They are laid back but when you ask, they give it all to you, whether you’re running down a fence, a cow or running down to turn a barrel.”

Shining Spark son Shiners Suduko is their senior sire along with IMA Hired Gun, a son of Play Gun.

Their junior stallions are the Metallic Cat son Exagereyt and Smart Shinin Spook, whose dam is a daughter of Shining Spark. All are enrolled in various incentives, including the Riata Buckle, and Shiner’s early crops have had luck there already.

Along with the outstanding attributes of their stallions—which include not only intelligence and trainability but also good bone and feet—the Billadeau program relies upon proven broodmares.

“They have all done something—98% of them were race, rope or barrel horses,” Billadeau said. “They have to earn their dues to make it as a broodmare.”

Spending summers in Central North Dakota and packing the entire herd up to winter in Arizona, the Billadeaus initially began raising horses for themselves as ropers and barrel racers.

“We started this horse deal close to 30 years ago, my dad and I,” Billadeau said. “It was what we’d always done but more as a hobby for ourselves. It seemed a little selfish, like somebody else should get a chance at these good studs, so we’re just starting to put them out there, too.”

Today, they are looking forward to participating in the rapidly growing rope horse futurity world with horses they are producing.

“We should have a fair amount showing next year.”

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