Equi-Stat’s lifetime leading performing stallions ranked by sire earnings prove that pedigrees perform.
Reaching the ranks as an Equi-Stat top-producing stallion is no easy feat, but the coveted list of top-performing stallions is an exclusive club that belongs to a unique few. In this special Equi-Stat report, we’ll take a look at the leading performing sires of all time.
This exclusive report is ranked by each sire’s performance earnings, not by each sire’s offspring earnings. This leaderboard is not merely a top chart of producing stallions in the barrel racing industry, but rather stallions who were first successful in their own right on the pattern before going on to produce winners. It’s also important to note that while Equi-Stat began tracking barrel racing earnings in 1985, the statistical division of Cowboy Publishing Group did not begin tracking professional rodeo earnings consistently until 2010, therefore some stallions’ actual earnings are more than reflected in Equi-Stat.
Leading these charts is Slick By Design, HighPoint Performance Horses’ 2007 son of Designer Red and out of Dreams Of Blue by Dream On Dancer. Owned by Jason Martin and Charlie Cole of HighPoint, “Slick” has impressive earnings of $618,639 as a performer and more than $1.7 million as a producing stallion from 100 performers. Among four Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications, he also holds the record for the fastest time a stallion has ever run at the Wrangler NFR with a 13.48 in the Thomas and Mack Center Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“It really just grew into something we didn’t anticipate,” Jason Martin told Barrel Horse News in April 2016. “It’s supposed to be fun, and most of the time it is. Sometimes it’s not. The highs and lows are much more than I ever dreamed.”
Cole first saw Slick at the 2012 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show. The striking stallion won the Senior Barrel Racing World Championship with Jennifer Sharp in the saddle. “I was by myself watching the prelims—I love to watch—and this black stallion flies around there and wins the round,” Cole told BHN in April 2016. “I texted Jason and said, ‘I just saw the most amazing black stallion.’ We weren’t really looking for a stallion, because we had already pulled those [Dash Ta Fame] embryos on [Firewater Fiesta] and [MP Meter My Hay] that year, hoping to get a stallion. The next day, [Slick] did it again. I texted Jason, ‘This horse is amazing.’ He was like, ‘Well go find out about him!’ I had never heard of him. I don’t follow the futurities. I follow the rodeos more. I just knew when I saw him he was something special.”
Firewaterontherocks takes up the No. 2 position with $249,745 in performance earnings, with his offspring earning more than $2.2 million from 213 performers. Owned and bred by Robyn Herring and campaigned as a futurity horse by Latricia (Duke) Mundorf, the 2002 palomino by Fire Water Flit out of Rock N Roll Rona by Ronas Ryon earned $37,761 in 2006 during his futurity year with Mundorf. He earned paychecks at prestigious events such as the San Antonio Futurity, Old Fort Days Futurity and the Barrel Futurities of America World Championships. He continued earning big paydays through his derby years and into professional rodeo. 2011, 2012 and 2014 were his most prosperous years. “Happy” won $33,896, $44,584 and $49,732, respectively, with Herring in the saddle. He took home big wins at professional rodeos with Herring like the Reno Rodeo in 2011 and a $25,000 reserve championship at RFD-TV’s The American in 2014.
Coming in at No. 3 is the legendary JL Dash Ta Heaven. “To have him win what he did and then be an amazing sire is just unbelievable,” the late Jud Little told Barrel Horse News in the April 2017 issue. “And, he’s a homebred. There’s not many people can do it with a homebred, whether it’s barrels or Thoroughbred racing—it’s just wonderful.” Little was adamant that his program was built for others to be successful, not just his own horses and riders. JL Dash Ta Heaven, who’s by Dash Ta Fame and out of Dynas Plain Special by Special Feelins, was the cornerstone of that legacy. “We wanted people to know we don’t keep the best for ourselves and sell the rest,” Little said. “We’re happy to see people do well with their purchases, and they’re coming back to the well for more.”
By The Numbers
If you look at the top-performing stallions ranked by their own earnings in the arena, the leaders look quite different than the top-performing stallions if ranked by offspring earnings. For performing stallions ranked by offspring earnings, Frenchmans Guy takes the No. 1 position with offspring earnings of more than $10 million from 915 performers. However, the legendary stallion has only $417 in earnings himself. The No. 2 horse in that chart is PC Frenchmans Hayday with more than $4.8 million in offspring earnings from 244 performers. The late “Dinero” has $36,676 in Equi-Stat reported earnings, however this number is estimated much higher as professional rodeos weren’t reliably tracked during his heyday with four-time world champion Sherry Cervi. We start to see the charts cross over with the No. 3-ranked performing stallion ranked by offspring earnings, Blazin Jetolena. The Busby Quarter Horses-owned stallion is ranked No. 5 as a performing stallion with $95,200 in performance earnings and more than $3.6 million in offspring earnings from 231 performers.
This article was first published in January 2021.