This article focuses on the maternal side of Splash:
The Impact of Tiny Watch
From this two-time AQHA racing world champion came a new generation of barrel horses with speed, guts and a true love of the game.
By Jennifer Zehnder
Sherry Cervi’s Stingray traces to Tiny Watch via her sire PC Frenchmans Hayday.
The royal blood of Calumet Farms’ Bull Lea (TB) and the Iron Horse blood of Clabber came to life in 1961 when a plain brown colt that came to be named Tiny Watch took his first wobbly steps on Frank Vessels’ farm. Sired by Anchor Watch (TB), the paternal grandson of Bull Lea, and out of the mare Clabber Tiny, AAA, by Clabber II, AAA, Tiny Watch (SI 100) proved his rightful heritage, collecting 16 wins, 12 seconds and three thirds for his 38 trips down the track. He earned nearly $107,000 and was elected Champion Quarter Running Stallion in 1965 and Co-Champion Quarter Running Stallion and Aged Stallion in 1966.
Tiny Watch’s legacy as both race and performance sire was perhaps best perpetuated by Tinys Gay (SI 106), a 1972 son out of Rocket Bar daughter Gays Delight. A race legend in his own right, Tinys Gay brought home 12 wins and amassed nearly $445,000 on the racetrack. He was named Quarter Running World Champion in 1974 and passed the same characteristic Tiny Watch speed and grit on to his foals, which included AAA earners Assured Pleasure, Merridoc and Sudden Fame.
Tiny Watch, by Anchor Watch (TB) and out of the mare Clabber Tiny proved his rightful heritage, collecting 16 wins, 12 seconds, and three thirds for his 38 trips down the track. He earned nearly $107,000 and was elected Champion Running Stallion in 1965 and Co-Champion Quarter Running Stallion and Aged Stallion in 1965. A string of barrel racing winners can trave their heritage to Tiny Watch.
The undeniable Tiny Watch influence is well alive in the barrel racing industry as evidenced by the achievements of progeny at the highest level of the futurity ranks to National Finals Rodeo and Women’s Professional Rodeo Association champions. Today the famed stallion’s mark even traces to the top of barrel racing’s sire statistics.
This collection of individual narratives tells the story of the Tiny Watch legacy through the eyes of several individuals touched most closely by it. As all great horses do, he changed lives and in so doing has been responsible for bloodlines that even today shape the direction of an industry.
Watch and Learn
Race, cow and guts all came together when a shapely colt ultimately registered as Dutch Watch was born in 1975 to breeders Howard and Joannie Driggers. A son of Tiny Watch out of a Hug Bars/Three Bars mare registered as Bar O Dutchess, “Dutch” was on track to follow in his sire’s AAA hoof prints, earning a 97-speed index during his 2-year-old year. The gelding’s race career was short-lived when a bad respiratory virus ironically sidelined him the very day he won his rating race. Following a brief layoff, Dutch was then entered into training for what was then and is now, perhaps one of the most challenging equine events for 3-year-olds — the Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev. He was shown by Bill Phillips to 10th place at the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s marquee event. However, plans to progress him to the cutting pen following the futurity were quickly reconsidered. “He was just an outlaw,” says veteran barrel racer Marlene McRae. “He was rank. No one could really get along with him but the owners’ daughter. She had tried to cut on him but he was just too much. He ran off, broke one kid’s leg and jumped on her shoulder and broke it. He was just kind of a problem child after they had put that much pressure on him.”
According to McRae, the renegade tendencies of a once-promising all-around prospect caused his talent to be shelved.
From renegade to darlings of the rodeo world, Marlene McRae and Dutch Watch earned the WPRA world title in 1983.
“For years, the family held on to Dutch and basically did nothing with him,” notes McRae.
“The daughter set up the barrels to walk and trot the pattern but that’s about all they could get done on him.”
McRae visited the Driggerses’ ranch on a mission to purchase a stallion when she met 7-year-old Dutch for the first time. Once there, she decided she didn’t want to spend the asking price on the stallion only to geld him in order to make a barrel horse out of him. So, she inquired about Dutch who was standing in a pen nearby. The owners rattled off his impressive pedigree and credentials and named their price. They told her if she could get along with Dutch, they’d consent to sell him.“They didn’t tell me how bad he was,” McRae recalls. “I rode him and got along with him and the rest is history.” McRae planned to spend that first year seasoning the well-broke horse to the barrel pen, but plans quickly changed when she discovered they were ranked among the Top 15 of the WPRA world standings by June.
“When I won the world on Dutch in 1983, he was a very green barrel horse,” recalls McRae.
During their professional rodeo campaign, McRae and Dutch won one WPRA world title in 1983 and three reserve world championships (1987-89), two NFR average titles (1983, 1988) and countless circuit championships. The gelding’s keen ability to win despite tough ground conditions earned the duo bragging rights to the Calgary Stampede barrel racing title an incredible five times. “I never hauled him hard after that first year. I think I went to 110 rodeos and 150,000 miles on the same horse. I said I would never to that to a horse again,” she explains. “After that, I’d take him to the best 25 to 30 rodeos.”
Dutch bid farewell to rodeo competition following his 1992 win at the California Rodeo in Salinas. McRae retired the 19-year-old gelding a winner. He was laid to rest just six years later. Today, McRae competes aboard a new generation of Tiny Watch horses — three mounts that carry Dash Ta Fame (First Down Dash x Sudden Fame/Tinys Gay) lineage. The Tiny Watch bloodline has been underestimated, McRae contends. The bloodline is really strongest and does its job best when it appears on the maternal side, in her opinion. “Dutch was a freak of nature like Bozo and any of the great Tiny Watch horses. They just love to run barrels. “If you’re lucky enough to get one, it’s definitely a blessing and a real treat.”
What about Bob?
Were it not for an inconspicuous chestnut gelding known by the name of “Bob,” the paths of “Bozo” and eventual four-time WPRA world champion Kristie Peterson (1994, ’96-98) may very well have never crossed. Blue Whizz Bob, a gritty son of Tiny Watch, initiated the Colorado cowgirl’s love affair with this race-bred bloodline. “He was my first,” she shares, “and he was amazing.”
By the Tiny Watch son, Blue Whizz and out of the Leo mare, Sarlee Bob, Blue Whizz Bob ridden here by Brandee Hathcock, hooked Kristie Peterson on the Tiny Watch bloodline. Quite a few years before French Flash Hawk, aka Bozo, and Peterson came together to form one of most storied partnerships between horse and rider ever in the history of professional rodeo, Peterson and Bob teamed up to decimate the Colorado amateur rodeo ranks.
“Some people called him the Scamper of the amateur world,” she remembers. “Bob was an absolute natural, and really took to the barrels.” Peterson purchased the 3-year-old from a Baptist preacher who worked with her at the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office. Her co-worker acquired Bob after he flipped in the starting gate during race training. Peterson took the gelding home to try him and was initially on the fence about purchasing him. That decision was made for her when he sustained a cut and she had to buy him. Though Bob’s minor chest wound healed perfectly, it was this seemingly small twist of fate that profoundly and positively influenced Peterson’s career as a professional barrel race, pairing her with the bloodline that would eventually take her on a Cinderella journey to the NFR and multiple world titles. “I’m never as smart as I appear to be,” laughs Peterson, “It’s always been coincidence or luck.”
Humble statements aside, those close to Peterson realize she knows her horseflesh. A recent mother when she purchased Bob, Peterson knew nothing about futurities, so she ran the gelding at a $50 local jackpot for his first outing. People in the barrel industry questioned her choice to forego futurities given her mount’s obvious natural talent. “I had no clue about futurities,” she laments. “But it was probably for the best, because I couldn’t have paid the entries.”
Bob and Peterson were successfully campaigning in the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association and local jackpot races when another Tiny Watch horse entered the landscape. She wasn’t really looking, Peterson contends. She had heard about a ranch dispersal in the neighboring Bijou Basin, so she went.
A horse trader and school bus driver at the time, Peterson liked to buy and sell when a good deal presented itself.
“I saw Bozo and he was cheap,” she says. “Then I saw his papers. There was Tiny Watch on them — I had to have him.
I probably wouldn’t have been as excited about Bozo had it not been for Bob.”
Kristie Peterson’s association with Blue Whizz Bob was part of what attracted her to French Flash Hawk, whose dam was a paternal granddaughter of Tiny Watch.
Bozo’s sire was the great Doc Bar grandson Son Frost and his dam Caseys Charm was by Tiny Circus, making her a paternal granddaughter of Tiny Watch. As team Peterson-Bozo began to gel, Bob went on the market so Peterson could focus her energies on her up-and-coming futurity hopeful that she would ride to over $1.3 million in WPRA career earnings. Ember (Givens) Stewart purchased and ran Bob for a while but turned him out following an accident. When Peterson learned that Bob was off the competition trail, she talked to a local family from the Colorado Springs area that had been hunting for a proven, youth-suitable mount. “They [the Hathcock family] have four girls and he fit every one of them. They used him in high school rodeo for the rest of his career,” she notes. “He was horse of the year one season and made an excellent pole horse also.” Peterson was reunited with the gelding upon his retirement. He and Bozo remained companions until Bob’s death at age 26. When she considers the blessing of owning Bob and four-time world champion barrel horse Bozo, Peterson can’t help but smile. “It’s only been in the last 20 years or so, but we’ve realized that people breed for race horses, they breed for cutting horses, and yes, we can also breed for barrel horses. “Tiny Watch and Tinys Gay gave them a lot of guts,” she says.
“My favorite cross would be Easy Jet with Tiny Watch on the mare’s side — golden.
And if you find a Frenchmans Guy and cross it on an Easy Jet/Tiny Watch mare — I don’t even want any more horses and I’d want it.”
Though she was just an infant when the first Tiny Watch gelding joined her family, Jordon (Peterson) Briggs seems to share her mother’s affinity for the bloodline. “Jordon bought one at Bill Myers’ sale last year. She paid a lot of money for him just because he was out of a Tiny Watch mare and by Frenchmans Guy,” explains Peterson. “It’s something we look for, that’s for sure. “I’ve been sold since that first one.”
A lifelong student of performance bloodlines, Arizona Quarter Horse breeder Mel Potter knew what he was doing when he shelled out $65,000 for a 2-year-old colt named PC Frenchmans Hayday. A son of Sun Frost out of Caseys Charm, daughter of Tiny Circus by Tiny Watch, “Dinero” was preprogrammed for performance greatness. Today, the full brother to Kristie Peterson’s legendary Bozo is the senior stallion at the Potter Ranch with $400,000-plus in lifetime earnings won in barrel racing and team roping.
Sherry Cervi and PC Frenchmans Hay Day.
“I think it really makes a difference having that strong of a mare [Caseys Charm],” says Potter’s daughter, three-time WPRA World Champion Sherry Cervi. “She definitely is a producer. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with having that in their pedigree.” Cervi already had two NFR titles under her belt when she hauled the stallion as a back-up horse in 2005. The pair won third in the average and finished the year ranked fourth in the world with $142,258. That same year, Dinero was named AQHA/PRCA Heeling Horse of the Year. “He was the first Tiny Watch horse I had ridden,” she admits. “He was really gritty. He always gave you 110 percent and was tough. I always said he could be three legged and still try. “He was really athletic and really quick, and as far as a performance horse, I think that’s what you need.”
Dinero is passing along those same traits to his foals. One such golden child is MP Meter My Hay (PC Frenchmans Hayday x Miss Meter Jet), who inherited her sire’s sun-kissed coat and proven talent. In 2010, the little mare known to fans as “Stingray” helped Cervi become the first $2 million barrel racer, surpassing Charmayne James’ previous earnings record of $1,886,568. The duo of Cervi and Stingray won the world title and set a new NFR arena record in round eight with a time of 13.49 seconds. Stingray isn’t the only Tiny Watch descendant in Cervi’s current barrel string. MP A Man With Roses (PC Frenchmans Hayday x Rose Patch), is a familiar streak of yellow on the barrel scene where he has been clocking consistent wins, including setting the South Buckeye Equestrian Center Arena record of 16.646 on a standard pattern during the 2012 PacWest Barrel Jackpot—just shy of breaking the world record.
Despite her proven cavvy of barrel steeds, Cervi admits that even the most well bred horse can get outrun.
“It still happens. The breeding is getting so precise, and there are so many more people breeding for barrel racing, that the competition is getting tougher and tougher every year,” she explains. “That’s what’s great about the sport—everyone’s trying to make it better and make better barrel horses.”
Cervi is quick to add that if it wasn’t for the good horses of yesteryear, those barrel horse breeders wouldn’t have anything to build upon.
“I think some of those horses like Tiny Watch, Tinys Gay, Driftwood and even Jet Deck—they were just good horses and have helped make what we have today.”
For barrel racer Janet Stover, there has always been a look. Marlene McRae’s Dutch had it, Kristie Peterson’s Bozo had it, and Sherry Cervi’s horses have it now, she contends.
Janet Stover’s Gotewin Bo was sired by the Tiny Gay son Assured Pleasure.
“You see those great horses and they have that look to them,” she explains. “They’re just special.”
Stover noted that the horses she most admired in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, all had a familiar bloodline.
“I saw Dutch had Tiny Watch in his pedigree. I knew Bozo had some in his, and Sherry’s good horses went back to him as well.” In 1997, when the opportunity arose to purchase a gelding that mirrored those greats, Stover seized it.
“When I went to see Bo [Gotewin Bo], he had that look,” recalls Stover. And sure enough, that’s what he was, a Tinys Gay.” Bo’s sire was the Tinys Gay son Assured Pleasure and his dam Juan Girl was a paternal granddaughter of the legend Three Bars through her sire The Ole Man. According to Stover, James Ward started the brown gelding as a 3-year-old, but an injury kept him from being ready to move on and compete. Bo ran in a few jackpots before he disappeared from the scene. “His owner trained racehorses, so she was really busy,” Stover clarifies. “She had ridden him maybe three times in a couple years. “When I got him he was pretty heavy, but was just an amazing horse.”
Stover and Bo hit it off immediately. No matter how distracted the horse might have been at times outside the arena, he would zone in on the barrel pattern as soon as he hit the alleyway. “What was amazing about him was I took him to a few places, and then I just started rodeoing on him. He just took to it.” In addition to his natural talent and blazing speed, Bo had an uncanny strength in the turns.
“Bo could go in and leave in two strides. He was a pretty free-running horse,” notes Stover. “You didn’t have to flog him to get somewhere. And, stumble, slip or whatever, he could always stop the clock. “I knew because of this, he had to be one of God’s favorite horses.”
Stover and Bo made their inaugural trip to the NFR in 1998, setting an NFR record in round six with a 13.75 second-run,
besting the 13.80 set in 1994 by Sherry Cervi. The pair finished second in the world, just behind returning champs Kristie Peterson and Bozo.
They then claimed third-place NFR honors in 1999, enjoying the company of Peterson and Bozo and newly crowned champions Sherry Cervi and Jet Royal Speed. The next year, Bo sustained an injury and the team just missed making the Vegas trip. They rebounded in 2001 to earn their rightful slot at the NFR, but it was a bittersweet campaign as 47-year-old Stover collected her first world championship title aboard a borrowed veteran—the one and only Hotshot (Nate Shilabar) — after Bo was sidelined to heal from an injury.
Currently, the salty gelding makes the rounds with the next generation of barrel racers and horses. A friend of Stover’s has a little girl who still campaigns the veteran in junior high rodeos. “He’s 22 years old and had foundered,” admires Stover, “but he’ll still make a winning run.”
When she considers the industry’s perpetual quest for that next special horse, Stover can’t help but reflect upon her storybook career with a 1990 great-grandson of Tiny Watch. “Bo sold me on the bloodline. If I see that in the pedigree, I definitely pay attention.
“I don’t know if there’s a perfect cross. It just seems like you can cross that horse with lots of different bloodlines and you always come out with a special horse.”
The Fame Factor
Bob Burt’s involvement with Tiny Watch horses was all but nonexistent until 1987 when he purchased Sudden Fame and two other mares from the Phillips Ranch dispersal. A stakes winning daughter of Tinys Gay, Sudden Fame, out of a Lake Erie (TB) daughter named Bar Dearie, combined the royal blood of Tiny Watch from her topside with that of War Admiral (TB) on the bottom through his son Lake Erie.
Dash Ta Fame, out of the Tinys Gay mare Sudden Fame, raced and sired his way to equine superstar status.
“I knew Tinys Gay was a world champion and had only been beaten once in his life. He might still be the fastest horse out of the starting gate,” notes Burt. “I knew all that when I went to buy her [Sudden Fame]. At the time, I was more after the Lake Erie. I just felt like from my research every time you got Lake Erie around Dash For Cash, you got a racehorse.” Burt’s theory was put successfully to the test with a breeding to up-and-coming First Down Dash, a son of the immortal Hall of Fame race sire Dash For Cash. “When I got to the big horse [First Down Dash]—the explosions started to happen.” The eagerly awaited result of the fortuitous First Down Dash x Sudden Dame pairing arrived three weeks later than expected, but when the colt finally made his entrance, it was a grand one. The then Vessels Stallion Farm manager Earl Holmes called Burt, informing him that Sudden Fame had just given birth to a world champion.
Burt didn’t believe him. “Holmes told me, ‘Bob, right now I’ve got 300 babies on this farm and when I tell you this, I mean it. This is one fancy little fella.’” The fancy had faded by the time Burt consigned the yearling Dash Ta Fame to the Heritage Place Sale.
A rare photo of the then-unassuming Dash Ta Fame.
“He was kind of a gangly, funny looking horse because he was in a growing stage,” Burt remembers. “I didn’t like the looks of him. “Then, just before the sale, he made an immense change in his style of looking and I decided to pull him.”Several people called asking Burt to reconsider and to put a price tag on the chestnut colt; Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred mega trainer Bob Baffert was one of them.“At that point, I knew I had something special,” says Burt. Dash Ta Fame went on to compile a 13-7-1-3 record and earn $290,812 on the track. Major wins included the Grade 1 Golden State Futurity and El Primero Del Ano Derby, Grade 3 Vandy Flash Handicap and a second-place finish in the Dash For Cash Futurity (G1). And, while he made an indelible mark as a sire of racehorses with more than 80 stakes winners and earners of over $17 million, Dash Ta Fame’s impact as a barrel horse sire has proven to be truly remarkable. “Barrels were pretty young to me at that time,” Burt admits. “When I started getting really interested was when I sold Mike and Annie Rose Fame Fox Kirk [Dash Ta Fame x Momma Soul Kirk x Dr. Kirk]. Then came Smooth Movin Dash [Dash Ta Fame x Smooth Current (TB) x Current Concept (TB)].
“Those two horses changed my perspective. They changed everyone’s perspective.”
In stark contrast to his younger self, Dash Ta Fame photographed in 2010.
People thought Fame Fox Kirk was a fluke, notes Burt. Paired with barrel racing legend Martha Wright, the gelding became one of Dash Ta Fame’s most prolific performers with over $197,000 in earnings, 80 percent of which came from aged events. Multiple futurity champion Smooth Movin Dash racked up more than $74,000 with Ryan Lovendahl aboard.
Many others would follow, including standouts Bellefous (over $106,000), Sir Patrick Blurr (over $100,000), BF Shenanigan (over $94,000), Main Dash Ta Fame (over $77,000), and What Fame (over $67,000).
Dash Ta Fame continues to lead the Equi-Stat rankings as the No. 1 sire of barrel horses, No. 1 broodmare sire of barrel horses, No. 1 sire of rodeo earners, and all-time sire of barrel racing earners with over $8 million, including more than $1.2 million in Barrel Futurities of America competition alone.
“I think the barrel racing comes from the bottom end of the horse [pedigree],” says Burt. “Lake Erie, Tiny Watch and Tinys Gay, that’s where the mix is, I think.
There are a lot of First Down Dashes out there, but there are none that quite turn like these horses.”
Dash Ta Fame and Bob Burt.
Though Dash Ta Fame passed away unexpectedly in 2011, the books are still open on the superstar sire, ensuring the Tiny Watch bloodlines of the past will continue to find their way into the hands of barrel racers for years to come.
“Dash Ta Fame was God’s and for whatever reason he gave me the horse,” Burt shares. “I just hope I did him justice.”
Jennifer Zehnder is an avid equine enthusiast and freelance writer based in Oklahoma.
Arguably one of the most recognized names in the western performance horse industry, the legacy of Sun Frost endures to this day through his offspring, including our stud Royal Quik Frenchman, whose dam (Pcfrenchmanslisbet) is an own daughter.Some of Sun Frost’s greatest progeny include PC Frenchmans Hayday (Dinero) and French Flash Hawk (Bozo). Pcfrenchmanslisbet is the ONLY full sister to Bozo and Dinero, meaning one of the most successful crosses in rodeo is up front and center in Splash’s pedigree.
The Legacy of “Splash”
Royal Quik Frenchman aka “Splash” has a pedigree full of Legendary Lines but he also got his start with a legendary breeder (see article below).
Splash was born the spring following the death of his legendary grandmother (Casey’s Charm) and sold that fall (2004) as a weanling to Nichole Shumate in Florida for $20,000.
By Bev Pechan
The great broodmare and dam of champions, Casey’s Charm, died at age 25, November 23, 2003. Remembered by many as the dam of Kristie Peterson’s barrel whiz ” Bozo,” Casey’s Charm produced a total of 14 foals – many of which made a name for themselves, their owners and the Loiseau family breeding program: one that has selectively concentrated on maintaining a top broodmare band with the goal of raising outstanding performance horses.
Casey’s Charm, whose maternal genes earned nearly $3 million in barrels, arena and sales, was a 1978 blaze-faced chestnut mare, who stood only about 14.2, said Lis (Loiseau) Hollmann, who was caring for the mare at the time of her death and had swapped ownership with her mother, Frances Loiseau, a couple of times. She was sired by the stallion Tiny Circus, campaigned by Tim McQuay in the Twin Cities area. Her dam, Casey’s LadyLove, was by Casey’s Poco, and it was this mare that began the Loiseau dynasty of quarter horses. All of the horses in the Loiseau program are descendants of Casey’s LadyLove.
What attracted Frances Loiseau to the appendix two-year-old at a Minnesota auction in the first place? “I liked her color … she had a nice head and a big rear end, even at that age,” Frances Loiseau said. She and her husband, Jim, had inspected the filly before the sale, but he wasn’t sitting with her when the youngster came into the ring. Frances bid, and won Casey’s LadyLove for a little over $700 – a high price for an unproven animal in 1963. When Jim returned to the bleachers, Frances recalled, she told him she had purchased the filly. “Good for you,” he said. Casey’s LadyLove
was rich in Poco Bueno blood, and was a “sweet, gentle mare,” Frances said. Her daughter, Barbara, would also race her. “If she ran last, she could pick up the slack – she never got hot,” Frances said of the mare’s calm nature. Her breeder, Virgil Ningen, raised top western pleasure horses – including a full sister, Our Goldie, who was an AQHA Supreme Halter Mare.
“Mom thought she (Casey’s LadyLove) was the most beautiful mare she ever saw,” daughter Lis said. “She had incredible speed” … “she was open one year after eight or ten colts and we rodeoed on her. All summer we goat-tied, [we] headed on her … she was a flag horse. She loved to work cattle,” she said.
“Casey’s LadyLove’s daughters were good producers,” Lis said. Frenchman’s Lady produced Frenchman’s Guy, owned by Bill and Deb Myers of St. Onge, South Dakota. The palomino stallion, whose get have won nearly half a million dollars to date, was the nation’s number one Barrel Futurity Sire in 2001 and stood number five in the nation in 2002 as a top sire of barrel horses.
Tiny Circus was successfully shown in the region, and was a son of Tiny Watch by Anchor Watch (TB), and out of Circus Bars, who traced to Clabber. “He was a race horse and a Supreme Champion, both women recalled. “He was a rangy, longer horse,” Frances noted. From the mating of Casey’s LadyLove to Tiny Circus came Casey’s Charm, born the year after Jim Loiseau passed away.
Frances would continue on with their dream of raising good performances horses, but she decided early on to concentrate on doing this through the best mare program she could put together. After my husband died, I never considered having a stallion around the place,” she said. “Mares are a lot easier to handle … and there were good stallions within 200 miles.”
A friendship with the late Pat Cowan became a hand-shake partnership in breeding and selling outstanding prospects. The Laughing Boy AA cross to the Loiseau mares was a good niche, and the Sun Frost cross with Casey’s Charm resulted in a couple of chapters in horse history: French Flash Frost, a 1986 sorrel gelding, has won over $50,000 in team roping and barrels, and his 1987 full brother French Flash Hawk – or “Bozo” – brought the world to attention when the speedy sorrel and Kristie Peterson rode to four WPRA World Championships and two Reserve WPRA World Championships – and then garnered the title of AQHA/PRCA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year five times!
Frances credits Kristie with bringing Bozo full circle. “We’ve been very lucky. The horses have to have the ability,” she said, “but it takes the right person to bring it out.” Frances also said that though she is often credited with being the owner of Bozo at his birth, the honor actually belongs to Lis. Lis and her husband, John, bought Casey’s Charm as a four-year-old from her mother in 1984. In 1990, they gave the mare back to Frances as a Christmas gift, but the Hollmans brought her and other mares to their Hot Springs ranch in the mid-1990s.
Casey’s Charm was a mare that didn’t really care for people (she was always a broodmare), Lis said, but in later years, she would consent to bring her newest baby up to introduce it to you. “She was the boss-mare,” Lis said. “All her colts had that edge that she had as a young horse,” she said. She was a “fabulous mother.”
Lis recalled that Casey’s Charm’s first few foals had an allergy to her milk – including Bozo. Surprisingly, she would permit humans to handle her baby until it was thriving, and she seemed to know when that time was. “Casey’s Charm was in her ‘aloof’ state,” Lis said, but she would allow us to doctor it. “When it was getting better, she’d get between them and the colt as if to say – ‘I’ll take it from here!'”
Other sons and daughters of Casey’s Charm are: Frenchman’s Dox Dakota, the 2001 WPRA Badlands Circuit Champion, South Dakota State 4H Rodeo Champion and four-time qualifier for the SDRA Finals; Boon Dox Charm, a 1990 mare in barrel competition is now a broodmare; PC Frenchman’s Lisbet, premier brood mare whose 2003 palomino stud colt sold for $75,000 at the Hunt Fall Sale; PC Frenchman ‘s Chris, WPRA/NBHA barrel contender; Frenchman’s Mark, 1994 palomino stallion, standing at stud; Frenchman’s Hayday, 1995 palomino stallion selling for $65,000; PC Frenchman, brought $200,000 at a Cowan sale; Frenchman’s Fabulous, the 1998 palomino who sold as a weanling for $30,000 and again as a five-year-old for $50,000; and Frenchman’s Cabaret, who brought $39,000 as a weanling. Her first foal, Racy Casey Jay, and her 1988 mare, Frenchman’s
Hooligan, the latter owned by Mike and Cindy Loiseau, are deceased, though they have daughters and a stallion from her. Four offspring were not campaigned due to injury.
Of the four still-living daughters of Casey’s Charm, two are in the Loiseau/Hollmann breeding program. Four of her sons are standing at stud. The success of the Loiseau/Hollmann efforts are the result of careful attention to the characteristics of the bloodlines that they select for their goal of raising the best horse possible. ” We use racing bloodlines for speed,” Frances says, “and cross them with cow horse breeding for versatility.”
Besides selling the top horse at the Hunt sale – Firewater Frenchman, the $75,000 weanling who went to Gary Westergren of Lincoln, Nebraska, Lis and John also sold the top mare, Frenchman’s Randy Rae, a 2001 model for $30,000 and the top-selling stallion, Special Frenchman, also a 2001 colt for $22,000. (See the December 2003 issue of Today’s Horse for complete sales information.)
The family earlier was able to buy back See You in Vegas (Frenchman’s Amazin) who originally sold to Canada, and is now part of the broodmare band and in foal.
Frenchman’s Vanila, the speedy barrel futurity champion owned by Rapid City’s Andrea Peterson and ridden by granddaughter, Carissa Shearer, is one example of the royal bloodlines of Frenchman performance-bred mares carrying into succeeding generations. And the modern lines of these mares are serving to bring some of the old foundation breeding back into the mix. Kenny Nichols of Waco, Texas, was the buyer of Frenchman’s Fabulous. The Nichols family owned the immortal sires
Clabber and Driftwood. Kenny told Lis recently that he was thrilled to have this son of Casey’s Charm with his crosses to Clabber through her and her dam, Casey’s LadyLove. When his family had Clabber, they thought they’d never see his equal, Nichols said. But with Frenchman’s Fabulous, … “it’s like bringing it home again,” he said.
“A year ago at this time, a man called me from Brazil,” Lis said. “He was bringing a multiple embryo transfer clinic to the United States for the first time and was selecting 20 mares for the program. He wanted Casey’s Charm.” She was still ovulating, but the family decided against it. Still, “we were
flattered anybody in Brazil had heard of her … he said he had heard Casey’s Charm had ‘cannon bones to dream about.” … “She never took a lame step in her life,” Lis said.
Casey’s Charm takes her well-deserved rest on a favorite hill where she can “see all the way to Nebraska.” Her caretaker, Cathy Mallery, takes a handful of oats to her grave daily, telling Lis that “now she doesn’t have to eat senior anymore.”
And Casey’s Charm made one last concession to her people. As Cathy left the mare’s stall near the end of her 100 human years, she softly whinnied after her, as though to say “Maybe you weren’t so bad after all.”
Nikole J Riesland
Executive Editor/Graphics Manager
Today’s Horse Magazine
PO Box 539
19 Main St
Rapid City, SD 57709Z