Jeff and Andrea Busby built Busby Quarter Horses first from an affinity for Dash Ta Fame, followed by the purchase of a handful of specially selected mares and then the now-legendary stallion Blazin Jetolena.
Making it Big
Few people can pinpoint one defining moment that forever alters their lives. For Andrea Busby, that moment was the first time she saw Pat Spratt run Misty Blurr Ta Fame at a rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.
“I remember thinking I don’t know what that is, but I want one,” Andrea said. “It was the very first Dash Ta Fame that I ever saw go.”
Her pursuit of a Dash Ta Fame rodeo horse eventually led her to Texas and her husband Jeff Busby. Their marriage led to more Dash Ta Fames and a breeding program with the purchase of Blazin Jetolena.
Now, the Brock, Texas, couple are some of the leading breeders of barrel horses in the country. In 2019, they raised horses that won $517,095 to rank as Equi-Stat’s No. 2 breeders of barrel horses.
Andrea says the idea to raise horses came about naturally, but it wasn’t the couple’s plan from the start.
“We didn’t start out saying we wanted to go buy a stud,” Andrea said. “As hard as it is to find the good ones, we thought we were going to raise our own instead of buying from other people. That way you know what you’ve got and you can ride what you like to ride.”
Finding A Fame
Andrea’s quest for a Dash Ta Fame led her to Annie Rose of Bluffdale, Utah. Rose trained the first nationally famous Dash Ta Fame offspring, Fame Fox Kirk, that Martha Wright Jordan took over jockeying and later purchased after Rose broke her ankle.
“When I called her, she didn’t have one at the time but said to let her look around,” Andrea recalled. “She called me back and said she knew of one that was just sitting. Jeff bought Soul Flame for his daughter, but they didn’t really get along. Martha was riding him for them at the time. I called and they weren’t really interested in selling. Probably six months later they were ready to sell him, so I flew back down and tried him.”
Soul Flame, ironically, was a full brother to Misty Blurr Ta Fame. They were by Dash Ta Fame and out of Misty Blurr, a daughter of Murrtheblurr (TB) and out of Mama Soul Kirk, who just happened to be the dam of Fame Fox Kirk.
“I tried him, loved him and he flunked the vet check because he had chips in his ankles that couldn’t be taken out,” Andrea said. “I ended up leasing him from Jeff.”
She went back to Wyoming and started winning on the horse. The next year, Andrea came down to Texas for the winter run and never left.
When she and Jeff, an engineer and team roper, got married, the couple continued to focus on the Dash Ta Fame bloodline for their barrel horses. They ended up purchasing several 2-year-old fillies from Grant Little of Ardrossan, Alberta, Canada.
Among those fillies were GL Famous First Lady, a daughter of Dash Ta Fame and out of Lady Perks by Dash For Perks, and two daughters of Blazin Jetolena out of Lady Perks, one of which was Blazin Black Beauty.
They liked the two Blazin Jetolena mares so much that they flew to Arizona and purchased the 2004 Equi-Stat Leading Futurity Horse and up-and-coming sire from Sue and Randy Rist.
Just a month later, Little called and offered them Lady Perks, herself a Canadian champion barrel horse, and her full sister Fols Dream Of Cash.
Another mare Andrea searched for was Soul Flame’s dam, Misty Blurr. After learning she passed, she searched for a daughter, which led her to Mistys Dash Of Fame, who belonged to JB Quarter Horses at the time.
Although she wasn’t able to lease the mare to have the embryo flushed in her name, Andrea specifically purchased an egg to breed to Blazin Jetolena. The resulting foal was named Jets Heart N Soul in honor of Soul Flame, who brought she and Jeff together.
Jets Heart N Soul (“Prince”) would anchor the couple’s flagship foal crop in 2014. It was by design that they kept several under their ownership and placed them with trainers to be campaigned.
“Jeff has to get the credit for that,” Andrea said. “I’m the tight one of the bunch, and I don’t think I could have convinced myself to stick it out.”
By keeping several horses under their ownership, they could control the horses’ destinies. They were placed with several top trainers and campaigned specifically to bring recognition to “Jet” as a futurity sire as well as their breeding program.
“I think Jet was big in the rodeo world, and I don’t know if he was respected as much in the futurity world down here,” Andrea said. “A lot of the horses that Sue and Randy Rist (the former owners of Jet) bred were out West. It was a big expenditure, but it was to prove our product so we could control our own destiny a bit. Those colts did really well under different trainers.”
Their tactful planning came back around exactly how the Busbys hoped.
“What was most exciting is that the plan did work. It was put in place six years before—raise our horses, put them with trainers and let people see he could produce winning futurity horses with different riders,” Andrea said. “The next year, we didn’t have to foot the bill. Someone else was winning on them, and he’s booked full. We’ve sold horses for nice money, and we’ve got some nice ones of our own to run.”
For 2019, the Busbys bred three of the top 25 futurity horses. They raised the No. 2 Futurity Horse and No. 8 Overall Leading Horse, Famous Ladies Man, with earnings of $196,685—of which $181,825 came from futurities. The 2015 gelding, by Dash Ta Fame and out of Lady Perks, is ridden by Kassie Mowry for Michael Boone. The gelding is already a pro rodeo winner, having topped Odessa, Texas, and picking up nice checks at Rodeo Houston before it was cancelled.
Jordon Briggs and her husband Justin Briggs own and campaign the Busby-bred Famous Lil Jet and One First Class Lady. Famous Lil Jet, a 2014 gelding, is by Dash Ta Fame and out of one of the original purchases, Blazin Black Beauty, and won $100,664 on the year with $85,172 coming from futurities. One First Class Lady, a 2015 mare, is by Jet and out of GL Famous First Lady, and earned $73,425 at futurities. Lady Perks ended up as the No. 8 Dam with earners of $194,671, while GL Famous First Lady finished No. 23 with $108,231 in 2019.
*Editor’s note: Since this was written, Jordon Briggs and Famous Lil Jet qualified for the 2021 Wrangler NFR, and the gelding earned AQHA/WPRA Horse of the Year honors. Read more here.
The Busbys also had the No. 1 Derby Horse of 2019, Jets Heart N Soul, who won $30,601, and the No. 4 1D Horse Jets Letters Ta Abby, by Jet and out of Real Famous Abby, a daughter of Dash Ta Fame that carried Jeff’s daughter Elyse Busby to the College National Finals Rodeo. Overall, Jet sired 87 money earners of $521,233 in 2019. He’s one of Equi-Stat’s Top 10 All-Time Leading Sires with earners of more than $2.7 million (at the time this article was written in spring 2020).
“It’s been fun to see all the different ones with all the different styles,” Andrea said “He’s crossed on everything out there. He’s crossed on Fire Water Flit. He’s crossed on On The Money Red. He’s crossed on Royal Quick Dash and Frenchmans Guy. It’s mind-boggling the mares that he’s been crossed on, and it’s worked.”
Although the process was incredibly long, Andrea says it’s been rewarding, especially seeing their plan come to fruition.
“We’re super grateful to have a part in it,” Andrea said. “We didn’t create Jet, so kudos to Sue and Randy for raising him. I told Sue when we bought him we would do our best to carry it on and improve it. I hope we’ve done that.”
*Editor’s note: This article was published in the May 2020 issue of Barrel Horse News using 2019 statistics. Since then, in 2020 Busby Quarter Horses was the No. 2 Breeder with $610,620; the No. 2 Owner with $383,985; Blazin Jetolena was 2020’s No. 2 sire with $1,041,783 that year; and GL Famous First Lady was 2020’s No. 3-producing dam with $245,624.