By Blanche Schaefer, originally published in the February 2018 issue of Barrel Horse News
Take one look at Blazin Jetolena, and it’s easy to see why Andrea Busby describes him as an old soul.
“I love his eyes,” Andrea said. “When you go in his stall and he looks at you, he’s thinking about you. He’s a thinker—you can see that he’s an old soul.”
Andrea and her husband, Jeff Busby, own the 1999 stallion by Lenas Sugar Daddy and out of Blazin Jennie Jet by Jet Of Honor. The two have built Busby Quarter Horses around “Jet” and become one of the industry’s premier breeding programs. Blazin Jetolena is well known in the arena—he was an elite barrel horse himself in both the aged-event and professional rodeo ranks. He is now one of the nation’s leading sires. Judging by Jet’s demeanor, you’d never know he was a stud.
“He is a sweet gentleman,” Andrea said fondly. “He’s as easy as they come. He makes you think, ‘Oh this is no big deal; we should leave everything as a stallion. I should own a stud.’ He really is a complete gentleman all the way around. He’s just sweet and kind.”
Jet is a full-time resident at ESMS on the Brazos in Weatherford, Texas—not far from the Busbys’ ranch in Millsap. He keeps his cool even around the ladies during breeding season.
“His living environment doesn’t change, but he knows when he’s headed to the room where they collect him,” Andrea said. “At the beginning of breeding season he’s much more excited about his job than he is at the end of breeding season. I think it starts to get old! He’s pretty business-like—you can put him right next to the tease mare, and his gentleman behavior does not change.”
George Mares is the stallion handler at ESMS on the Brazos and ensures the horses are healthy, happy and looking good. Grooming sessions with Mares are a highlight of Jet’s daily routine. Though a well-behaved one, Jet is still a stallion, so Mares and the Busbys are careful not to test his good manners.
“George always keeps him pretty well-groomed every day, and he loves his spa time with George,” Andrea said. “We don’t do a lot of treats with him. He’s not a biter, but we’re not trying to get that started.”
Between visits from the Busbys and top-notch care at ESMS, Jet is living the high life. However, he has one requirement: don’t stall him near Equi-Stat Elite $76 million sire High Brow Cat.
“He hated High Brow Cat! He had a stall caddy-corner, and Jet hated him,” Andrea said with a laugh. “I don’t know what their personality differences were, but that living arrangement did not work for him. When we changed his living environment and he didn’t have to look at High Brow Cat, he was much happier. I don’t know what that was about, but apparently they had a disagreement.”
Jet’s statistics and progeny records speak for themselves. But for Andrea, his eyes and soul express the most about his character.
“I love that he produces and that he’s quiet and good, but personally, it’s that you can feel he’s looking through you,” Andrea said. “He’s just a good boy.”
Blanche Schaefer is associate editor of Barrel Horse News. Email comments on this article to [email protected]