Smart Little Lena

Smart Little Lena

smartlittlelena3 Smart Little LenaWhen researching many of the famous AQHA legend stories you will find many future world champions started as a total underdog. No other horse exemplifies that than Smart Little Lena.

Described as a colt as small and scrawny, Smart Little Lena was bred by Hans Chatman of Pilot Point, Texas. Small at birth was an understatement but he was still started under saddle by Chatham at 24 months old. The plan was to enter Smart Little Lena into an upcoming futurity sale. In the meantime the colt was sent for saddle finishing. Smart Little Lena’s true talent was about to be discovered, this was a colt with phenomenal cutting horse talent.

The 1982 Futurity was the stallion’s first test of his cowish abilities. The competition that year was especially amazing and talented. Of the 23 finalist in the 1982 Futurity, 20 were sired by sons of Doc Bar. But the young stallion almost did not make his date with history. Three weeks before the futurity, Smart Little Lena and another colt ingested some blister beetle infested hay. After eating the hay the other colt died but Smart Little Lena pulled through. This under sized colt was about to show the cutting horse world that no one had ever seen the likes of this colt and was about to make his mark.

After his first major win he went on to capture the 1983 Super stakes and tie for the 1983 Derby title, making Smart Little Lena second on the list of all-time money earning horses. He went on to have a phenomenal history in the cutting horse world.

smartlittlelena2 Smart Little LenaNot only was “smarty” an amazing champion, the question of could he pass on his cow-smart sensibility, athleticism and attitude to his offspring was soon answered. During the nine Futurity sales in the 1987 the records show that 31 offspring sold for a total of $567,450. One of his offspring alone sold for $85,000 during the NCHA prospect sale.

Smart Little Lena earned $743,275. As a cutter, number 4 all-time cutter and he still holds the record for the most money earned as a 3 and 4 year old cutter, at $643,275. He was also ranked the #15th reining cow horse winners.

As all of these horse legend stories go, there is always a sad end and a tearful good bye by the public that loved this stallion. The end came to “Smarty” on August 30th, 2010 when he suffered a stroke and was humanely euthanized at his longtime ranch in Aubrey, Texas.

During most of his life Smarty was boarded with Tommy Manion at the Manion ranch. When asked about Smart Little Lena’s place in the cutting horse history manion said, “I think he created an indelible image in our industry. He sired champion reining horses, champion cutting horses, champion working cow horses. And I don’t think anyone will dispute the fact that he’ll go down as the greatest broodmare sire that’s ever been.”

Robbie Jones (Editor)

Jackie Bee

Jackie Bee

jackiebee1 300x296 Jackie BeeBorn in 1962, the gray stallion was by Jimmy Mac Bee by Sonny Day Bee and out of a Jack R mare named Jackie Diane. At maturity he easily stood 15.2 hands tall and weighed 1300 pounds. He was an impressive, well-built stallion.

Jackie Bee’s life as a champion started late in his career. It was not until he was purchased by Duane Walker that the young stallions life really began to happen. Walker was unable to purchase Jackie Bee until he was 5 years old and well past the age for a halter career. This did not deter Howard since his plan involved putting the stallion with some outstanding foundation Quarter horse mares. With the help of this large special stallion Howard was able to take his horse breeding program to the next level. The public loved Jackie Bee and were highly interested in his foals. Howard was able to build an impressive breeding program and he was able to stay in the horse business.

For ten years Jackie Bee colts were a common fixture in the halter ring. It was not too soon that his dynamic colts were also sought after for their performance abilities.

Jackie Bee foaled 1009 foals in his breeding career. The wonderful legacy came to a sad end on October of 1990, when he passed on, the stallion was 28 years old. The Walker’s had the stallion buried in front of the pen that had been his home for most of his life.

jackiebee2a Jackie BeeWalker said of his beloved horse, ”If Jackie Bee had been a man instead of a horse, he’d have been the kind of man you’d like to partner up with; the kind of man you’d be proud to call a friend”.

Jackie Bee was entered in the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2008.

Robbie Jones (Editor)

Two Eyed Jack

hpPic Two Eyed JackTwo Eyed Jack, a sorrel, AQHA stallion was foaled in 1961 and was bred by H. H. Mass. His sire was Two D Two and his mother was Triangle Tookie who produced five other AQHA Champions in her career.

Like other AQHA stories about horses, many times a talented horse has to cross paths with just the right person for the true horse magic to happen. In Two Eyed Jacks life, that special person was the legendary Howard Pitzer of the Pritzer Ranch. Howard bought the royal stallion as a three year old in 1964 to cross with his world class AQHA mares.

Two Eyed Jack stood 15.2 hands tall and weighed 1350 pounds. For the next six years the sorrel stallion was shown extensively, earning 217 halter show points. At the same time he was often involved in performance events including western pleasure, reining, western riding and working cow horse events. He was always used on the ranch to work the ranches cattle. The many event points this stallion was able to accumulate earned him an AQHA Superior Halter Horse Award as well as an AQHA Championship and a Performance Register of Merit.

Even though Two Eyed Jack was a true ranch and performance horse, his main talent was breeding. When you look closely at the numbers, it is easy to see why he proved he was one of the all-time breeding studs in AQHA history. During one season alone he was bred to 434 mares. By the time this stallion was retired he had sired 1416 foals with 119 AQHA Champions. He was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1997. In the same year his beloved owner, Howard Pritzer was also inducted in the AQHA Hall of Fame.

 Two Eyed Jack died on the massive Pritzer Ranch on March 2, 1991. He was buried on the Pritzer Ranch in Ericson, Nebraska.

Robbie Jones

Poco Tivio

poco tivio 300x259 Poco TivioPoco Tivio started life on one of the best AQHA ranches in Texas. He was born in 1947 on the world famous Three D Stock Farm in Arlington, Texas, which was owned by the knowledgeable E. Paul Waggoner. Tivio was the first Poco Bueno foal out of the Waggoner mare, Sheilwin. The mare Sheilwin, who was out of Pretty Boy and she was out of a mare by Blackburn, who was destined to become a maternal grandson of AQHA legends. Poco Tivio was also noted as the first horse to bring the blood lines of King to the Pacific Coast.

Poco Tivio was saddle trained on the Waggoner ranch and was soon also started at cutting. When he was in the cutting arena he was showing the West Coast horseman the best of Texas style cow work. He had an impressive, winning show career started on June 1952 when he was declared the Grand Champion Stallion at the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association Show. It was without doubt when you looked him over he had the qualities to be noticed by any smart, knowing horse judge.

Poco Tivio was proved out before the Waggoners offered the talented stallion for sale.  The Waggoners held a special horse sale in 1950. During this time a string of colts were sold for the average price of $700.  When it came time for Poco Tivio to be sold, the gable finally fell at $5000.

It was not long before all of Poco Tivios talents were realized by the AQHA. The next time this champion horse came up for sale, he changed hands at the price of $15,000. He was reported to be the highest priced cutting horse in the country at the time. Poco Tivio was to change owners a few more times, but each new owner knew how special this stallion was. He was a world class sire of sires but he is best remembered today through his many daughters who have become great producers.

Poco Tivios many achievements are 5th in NCHA Top Ten World Champions in 1951 and 1952. AQHA register of merit. Poco Tivio sired 308 AQHA registered foals.  He was used as a breeding sire till the day he died in 1976 and at nearly 30 years old he stood at 14.2 hands and weighed 1200. He was reported to be slick, fat and good looking till his final days.

Poco Tivio left us with a deep heritage of Texas style working horses that is still important to this day. He proved to history just how much of an influence the Poco Bueno bloodlines would continue to be today. We as horsemen are much better mounted due to this stallions influence.

Robbie Jones

Three Bars

threebars4 Three BarsThree Bars, The Stallion That Changed the AQHA

In the horse world some of the best stories are about underdog horse stories where they may start life with a few exceptions and then nothing but bad luck follows them, but somehow through the adversity they simply rise above. In the AQHA racing history Three Bars was that unassuming horse and he was not even a quarter horse to begin with. And that alone is the first amazing fact about this special thoroughbred stallion that ended up changing the very heart of the AQHA.

Three Bars was a unplanned and unexpected foal that was born out of a mare named Myrtle Dee. The well-bred mare was sold to a duo of friends and it was unknown at the time that the mare was bred. This mare had been exposed to a stallion named Percentage.  Born April of 1940, the owners knew with one look that their newly purchased mare had produced on heck of a colt. The colt was named Three Bars from a slot machine and with this colt, all involved had hit the jackpot.

As a two-year old Three Bars was a powerful runner and had a tremendous surge of power at short distances. But fate was not kind to this young stallion and shortly after turning two he developed a severe leg circulation problem that was never solved and the new owners, saw no future for the stallion. Because this horse was the fastest horse the partnership had ever seen and he was actually almost too fast for the track distances they decided to wait. After several vets looked at the stallions leg, a cure for the colt could not be found. A hard decision had to be made.

Many horses on the race track come to this cross roads in their lives and many race horse owners have to make tough money decisions. Three Bars was basically passed on to the next willing owner with the promise of a $300. Dollar payment should he ever win money on the track again. So Three Bars was sold for that tiny amount because it was assumed that this was all he was worth. He later did return to the race track and the $300. debt for him was eventually paid.

From this point in Three Bars life, it is unclear by all accounts how or even who cured the leg circulation problem that had plagued the stallion. But he ended up back at the track with a leg that was as good as new as a spped that could not be held back.. Three Bars was ready to run again but once again fate was unkind to this champion. Just as his career was about to really take off with several wins, World War II caused all race tracks to be blacked out for the duration of the war. Three bars was taken away from the race track and was stood as a stud horse at a cattle ranch. He was starting his breeding career by being bred to several high quality AQHA mares.

In the 1940’s the AQHA was just becoming popular and the registry was only started in 1940. Three Bars had such a cow horse conformation he was a perfect match for any quarter type mare. He was eventually sought after by a breeder with a vision and in the 1940 he paid 10,000. Dollars for the stallion. His breeding career was about to begin and no one could have guessed where it was all going. By 1946 the racing world was alive again and Three Bars was raced 17 times and won first place eight of those starts for a total winnings of $16,940.

On the track Three Bars was a tremendous powerhouse that came out of the gate first and always did his best to stay there. Even with his soundness issues he gave his whole heart every time he ran. His solid cow horse looks and speed were the saving grace and his rating as a standing popular stallion began in 1945 till 1952. The stud fees varied during these beginning years at 500. Dollars, then went to 1000. Dollars and it was not long before his stud fee was at 5,000. Dollars. From the years of 1963 to the year 1966 the fee to breed to Three Bars was reported at as high as $10,000. This makes the original $10,000. Dollars to buy the stallion look like a very good investment.

Due to the high stud fees that Three Bars was demanding, the mares that were brought to him were some of the best in the country and the best represented ranches in the country. The mares brought to Three Bars were the royalty of the AQHA world. During his life on the ranch in Oklahoma, Three Bars was almost lost at least three times. He was sick from sheep virus on two separate occasions and the vets that looked over him only gave the stallion a 50% chance of making it through the sickness. Three bars was also stolen on one night and was later found bloodied and beaten and fighting with another horse. He was kept under lock and key from that day on.

Three Bars was a ranch horse he was ridden regularly on the ranch in Western tack and was treated like a ranch horse all of his life. He was a stallion with a lot of fire and a ton of personality that never quit. He was a thoroughbred stallion that changed the AQHA like no single stallion ever did. In conformation terms he was a picture perfect example of what western breeders were looking for. He also had the powerful speed, but more than any trait was his ability to pass on all his heart and all his best on to the next generation of foals. Three Bars was a champion till the last moment of his life and he died on March, 1968 in Oklahoma.

threebars2 Three BarsThree Bars ended up siring 29 AQHA champions, 4 AQHA Supreme Champions and 317 racing register of merit earners. He became a member of the AQHA as well as being inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. Today you do not have to look far to find his influence in your AQHA paperwork. He was the architect of the AQHA as we know it today.

Editor: Robbie Jones

Hollywood Gold

hollywood gold3 295x300 Hollywood GoldHollywood Gold,a Dunn stallion. born on a ranch, Hollywood Gold by Gold Rush was bred by Tom L. Barnett Cattle Company and was foaled in 1940. Many called the well built stallion a palomino but those who were around the ranch at the time described him as a AQHA Dunn horse. he was a shorter horse at 14.2 hands and weighed just over 1000 pounds. J.J. Gibson who worked on the 6666s ranch for many years said about Hollywood Gold, “We really didn’t know what we had with Hollywood Gold. We did not realize how special he was until he was gone. Hollywoods eyes were unbelievably big, pretty and soft. Even mares that trace back to him today have those eyes. Hollywood was always good natured. His colts  were the same was and easy to break. He had tremendous stamina and good feet and legs. He passed most of his positive qualities on to his offspring.”

Hollywood Gold was many things, Ranch horse, champion sire, and AQHA Champion.

hollywood gold 200 Hollywood GoldAuthor: Robbie Jones

Dash for Cash

Dash for Cash

dash for cash Dash for Cash Dash for Cash was an amazing and impressive racing career. The stallion was started in 25 races in three years, and crossed the finish line first 21 times with room to spare behind him. Of the starts he did not finish, he finished 2nd place three times. During his racing career he made a total of $507,688. dollars in track earnings. Dash for Cash defined the word AQHA Race Horse. The impact this single horse made on the racing industry started with his first race, until he was euthanized at the 6666s Ranch in Guthrie, Texas in 1996.

In 1976 and 1977 he was elected Racing World Champion. Born in Frisco, Texas in 1973 on the Phillips Ranch, he was out of Rocket Wrangler, a grandson of three Bars. He is currently the number 2 all time leading sire by earnings. He went on and sired an impressive 827 winners. By all known standards Dash for Cash is probably the most important modern race horse sire in the Quarter Horse industry.

Dash for Cash horses were also used as working ranch horses and cutting horses with several off spring earning NCHA Championships.

Dash for Cash’s ashes were buried at the foot of a life-sized bronze statue of his likeness in front of the AQHA Hall of Fame and was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1997.

Dash for Cash was an amazing race horse and a major sire of race horses.

Robbie Jones  (Editor)

Poco Bueno

Poco Bueno

pocobueno1 Poco Bueno

Poco Bueno was foaled on April 10, 1944 and was soon after purchased by Paul Waggoner for the sum of $5,700. which was a huge sum at that time. The stallion already stood 14.3 hands and weighed 1150 pounds. Shortly after the purchase he started his show career and was quickly named grand champion yearling stallion at the Texas Cowboy Reunion Quarter Horse Show. He soon went on to win several other stallion championships throughout the state, and the winning continued.

As a four year old Poco Bueno was then started as a performance and cutting horse and was an immediate hit. He quickly acquired an impressive record and with that, a loyal group of AQHA fans. At the time the AQHA did not keep show records so the decision was made to put him back on the show circuit to get some registered wins on the record. He soon won the title of AQHA Champion, which he earned the same time as one of his daughters, Poco Lena. Poco Bueno had been bred to a mare named Sheilwin and produced the mares Poco Tivio and Poco Lena. This was the beginnings of the Poco Bueno legacy, because Poco Tivio gave us such foals as Peponita, Doc’s Lynx, Doc’s Hotrodder, and Doc’s Percription.

Poco Bueno sired 405 registered foals with 36 becoming AQHA champions. Poco Lena, Poco Mona and Poco Stampede have all been inducted into the NCHA hall of fame. Even today you can find horses with the Poco Bueno influence all over their papers and they show it in the arena.

pocobueno2 Poco Bueno

About The Author

Robbie Jones has been buying and marketing horses online since 1999. Over the years, he has successfully launched several horse sales and video classified sites, including, Google Horse, and the Texas Horse Network, and also owns and operates a well known horse article, AQHA Today and horse sales business working within the Texas and surrounding states. If you would like help selling a horse you have please contact us at the barn, 281-744-2197 to discuss your needs.

Peppy San Badger

Peppy San Badger, Peppy San Badger foaled in 1974 and was bred by Joe Kirk Fulton of Lubbock, Texas. Out of the famous King Ranch stallion, Mr. San Peppy and out of Sugar Badger. This little stallion did not have the best start to his carrer and did not start to shine as a champion until he was three years old.  [youtube][/youtube] . He won the 1977 NCHA Futurity and the 1978 NCHA Derby. In 1980 he was named the NCHA Reserve World Champion. In 1978 he was sold to the King Ranch of Texas, where he was a breeding stallion until his death in 2005. For 19 years Peppy San Badger sired 2,325 AQHA registered foals that have earned more than 7,200 points in all divisions and won more than 25 million dollars. A cutting horse legend and a AQHA Hall of Fame winner. What an amazing carrer.

Bugs Alive in 75

Bugs Alive in 75

bugsalive1 Bugs Alive in 75


Bugs Alive in 75 was foaled April, 1 1973, a AQHA stallion, and out of Top Moon. One of the famous stories about Bugs is the owner named him before he was born with the prospect of future stardom. 2 years later when the time came for the little stallion to live up to his name, he did just that and more. He won an amazing $550,969 dollars on the track at a time when AQHA purses were not very big. By today’s standards it would have been millions in track earnings. He then went on to win the 1975 All American Futurity.

On the track Bugs Alive in 75 was a complete speed demon and even his jockeys were impressed with his ability to give his all at the gate. But even with his drag race starts, the stallion had the stamina to get ahead and stay there. For a stallion that never has run a barrel in his life, Bugs has been a big influence on the Barrel racing community. His offspring were so successful on barrels that Bugs was eventually listed as the number one leading maternal grand sire of winning barrel horses over the last 10 years with no other sire coming close.

Bugs Alive in 75 died following colic surgery on December 15, 1985 at the age of 12. Bugs Alive in 75 was a barrel horse bloodlines at their best, he never quit no matter what.

bugsalive2 Bugs Alive in 75


About The Author

Robbie Jones has been buying and marketing horses online since 1999. Over the years, he has successfully launched several horse sales and video classified sites, including, Google Horse, and the Texas Horse Network, and also owns and operates a well known horse article, AQHA Today and horse sales business, working within the Texas and surrounding states. If you would like help selling a horse you have please contact us at the barn, 281-744-2197 to discuss your needs.