World Champion Sugar Moon Express was the richest rodeo horse in the land in 2011. Owned and ridden by Lindsay Sears, Nanton, Alberta, Canada, “Martha” won the coveted Wrangler National Finals Rodeo en route to securing Sears her second WPRA world title.
Of the championship earnings, Equi-Stat recorded $160,683 of that total. While the bulk of those earnings came from the Wrangler NFR, $133,558, additional checks came from a second-place finish at the Cheyenne Frontier Days, third-place finishes at the Reno Rodeo and Livingston, Mont., Roundup, and a fourth-place tie at the Cody Independence Stampede in Wyoming.
These rodeo results were made available to Equi-Stat through individuals, who were willing to go the extra mile to add registered horse names to rodeo results. The Montana Circuit pioneered this effort back in 2009. In 2011, Amber West of the Badlands, Jewels DeNapoli of the Southeastern Circuit, Bonnie Wheatley of the Mountain States, Lyndee Stairs of the California Circuit, Sarah Kieckhefer of the Turquoise Circuit and Tanya Randall, who compiled registered horse names for the Texas Circuit, joined Montana’s Kitty Herrin in tracking down the official names of horses that won checks at rodeos within these circuits.
For their efforts, Equi-Stat recorded 259 WPRA rodeos, which represents about 52 percent of all professional rodeos, and 635 rodeo horses with total earnings of $3.3 million. The $750,000 WNFR is included in that total.
Of the Top 25 horses, 15 ran at the NFR. Jill Moody’s TR Dashing Badger is the highest ranked horse that didn’t compete in Las Vegas. The majority of TR Dashing Badger’s earnings came from a stellar winter run in Texas that included a win at the San Antonio Rodeo. (Moody and Britany Fleck actually tied for the average win in San Antonio, but Fleck had one penny more in earnings and claimed the championship title.)
TR Dashing Badger was one of eight mares that made up the Top 25 horses. Geldings were the majority (64 percent). Although the statistics indicate otherwise, Firewaterontherocks was the lone stallion among the group. (AQHA has Real Claim To Fame still listed as a stallion.)
Fire Water Flit breeding was well represented among the Top 25 with four horses carrying his blood. Firewaterontherocks is by the late, great stallion that helped the now deceased Celie Ray qualify for one of her many NFR appearances. Yeah Hes Firen, Rare Dillion and Firewater Five are by sons of Fire Water Flit—Alive N Firen, Firecracker Fire and Nonstop Firewater, respectively.
The Flit Bar line is also represented by World Champion Sugar Moon Express, who is by Dr Nick Bar. Both Fire Water Flit and Dr Nick Bar are by the legendary stallion.
All-time leading barrel horse sire Dash Ta Fame is represented by two geldings in the Top 25—Sue Smith’s Real Claim To Fame and Jana Bean’s Dash Ta Freedom.
Judge Cash earned honors as both a paternal and maternal sire of NFR qualifiers. Brenda Mays’ Judge Buy Cash is by Judge Cash, while Lisa Lockhart’s An Oakie With Cash is out of a daughter, Lady Kaweah Cash.
Texas High Dasher appeared on the top and bottom of two NFR horse’s pedigrees as well. Britany Fleck’s Dasher Dude is by Texas High Dasher, and TR Dashing Badger is out of TR Double Cash, a daughter of the late stallion.
The magic cross of Six Fols on the Lady Bugs Moon mare, Lady Bugs Martha, also appears in the sire and dam lines of two NFR horses. Sugar Moon Express’s dam Baby Blue Jeans and Mulberry Canyon Moon’s sire Marthas Six Moons are full siblings.
More than half of the 2011 Top 25 ranked rodeo horses carry some Dash For Cash blood. Only Sugar Moon Express, MP Meter My Hay, Yeah Hes Firen, Flaming Firebug, Mulberry Canyon Moon, Vegaspeed, AR Will He Tell, Heza Bug Leo, Firewaterontherocks, Bar D Mr Dual Olena, Firewater Five, and Andele Cowboy lack the blood of the legendary racehorse sire. Three—Skip The Finances, Judge Buy Cash and Easy Dash Oak are grandget of Dash For Cash through his sons Financially, Judge Cash and Victory Dash, respectively.
Of the Top 25, all but six earned barrel futurity money. Skip The Finances, Dasher Dude, Mitey Easy Alibi, Bar D Mr Dual Olena, Firewater Fire and Dash Ta Freedom have no futurity earnings recorded with Equi-Stat.
Mulberry Canyon Moon, the 2007 $100,000 LG Pro Classic Invitational Slot Futurity Champion, was the richest futurity horse with $142,501. 1999 World Futurity and Elite Futurity Champion Easy Dash Oak, who was the oldest horse in the Top 25, won $115,171 as a futurity horse before the days of $100,000 slot futurities.
Of the 19 rodeo horses that won futurity money, 13 ran as 4-year-olds with four of those earning money as 3-year-olds in juvenile or slot futurities. MP Meter My Hay, An Oakie With Cash, Rare Dillion, RC Back In Black, Vegaspeed and AR Will He Tell earned futurity money as 5-year-olds.
The most versatile horse in the field, An Oakie With Cash, has reining and reined cowhorse earnings as a 3- and 4-year-old before entering in the barrel pen.
Equi-Stat offers the most comprehensive barrel racing statistics in the industry, in addition to cutting, reining, reined cowhorse, sales statistics and much more. Equi-stat may be reached at (817) 737-6397.
Tanya Randal is a veteran contributor to Barrel Horse News. E-mail comments on this article to [email protected].