2022 Breeder's Guide Stud: Epic Leader

Epic Leader, a $170K money-earning stud, ridden by futurity legend and NFR qualifier Kassie Mowry, is featured in The Team Roping Journal's 2022 Breeder's Guide, highlighting industry-best rope horse breeding programs, studs and incentives.

Epic Leader

Lazy E Ranch

Guthrie, Oklahoma

epicleader.net; 405-282-3437

Stud Fee: $6,500

Epic Leader was destined for greatness from conception, the result of pairing the rare genetics of Confederate Leader with the iconic mare Firewater Fiesta. A standout barrel racing stallion earning $170,000 in limited competition under futurity legend and NFR qualifier Kassie Mowry, Epic Leader moved into the breeding game—siring earners of $1.9 million in the barrel racing pen. He hit the first million-dollar mark on just 25 colts.

“Kassie knew this cross could become magical,” said owner Kristi Schiller. “Confederate Leader won on the track, and Firewater Fiesta was great at every level. Kassie knew it would work and, from her vision, we got Epic Leader.”

The speed and athleticism are a given with Epic Leader’s pedigree, but the mental edge he puts on his colts will make him an outstanding outcross on cow-horse bloodlines in the roping industry. Even before the creation of the Riata Buckle incentive, top rope horse breeders had already pinpointed Epic Leader as an industry-cornerstone sire.

Dixon Flowers Quarter Horses chose Epic Leader as a cross on their AQHA/PRCA Horse of the Year DT Sugar Chex Whiz, and the program is anxiously awaiting that colt’s arrival in the spring of 2022.

“We wanted something a little higher energy and stronger in the face, with quick feet,” explained NFR heeler Billie Jack Saebens, who runs the Dixon Flowers horse program. “My wife Ivy had an Epic Leader baby out of her NFR mare JLo, and she fit that bill. I picked other people’s brains, and we felt like the Epic Leader-Sugar cross would be really, really good. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Firewater Fiesta is Epic Leader’s mom.”

Firewater Fiesta—the great NFR mare run by Kelly Yates—earned nearly $1 million in ProRodeo competition alone, but in her spare time was a top-notch head horse, too, for Kelly’s brother and NFR switchender J.D. Yates.

“At the end of the day, she was fast and strong—two things I think are important in a head horse,” J.D. said. “The first colt out of her (a maternal sibling to Epic Leader) was a horse we called Popsicle by Popular Resort Figure, and I rodeoed on him and jackpotted on him, and the boys who worked for me jackpotted and college rodeoed on him. Kelly won a lot of money on him at the futurities. I also rode Fiestas Dynasty, and that was a really, really nice rope horse. All of the Firewater Fiesta colts have been roped on or rode on the ranch or dragged calves on. Every one of them we’ve had here has been physical and fast.”

Epic Leader is enrolled in the bulk of the industry’s major incentives, including the exclusive Riata Buckle, Ruby Buckle and Pink Buckle.

“Epic’s colts are eligible for more than $17 million in incentive money every year,” Schiller said. “We wanted to be in the Riata Buckle, because we believe in the versatility of Epic Leader, and we want to offer this opportunity to the industry.”

SIRE: Confederate Leader

DAM: Firewater Fiesta by Firewater Flit

The 2022 Team Roping Journal Breeder’s Guide