Breeding

Creating Incentives Part 2

Starting a breeding program from the ground up is no simple task, but JB Quarter Horses thinks it has some answers.

This is the last in a two-part series. Need to review Part 1?

Marketing a Product

Even with proven bloodlines, impressive show careers and rodeo money earnings, Dee Braman says she has struggled at times marketing her stallions. Surprisingly, it was the two decorated rope horse stallions that were the most difficult to market.

“Our other stallions were booking full as 4-and 5-year olds,” she says. “but our ‘cow horse’ studs weren’t. I really kept stepping back and saying, ‘What are we doing wrong?’ ” What further confounded Dee, as well as other rope horse breeders, was that marketing strategies that worked in other industries didn’t work for rope horses. The rope horse industry hasn’t quite reached the point to where everyone wants to get in on the ground floor of raising their own colts to ride or sell as prospects.

Learn the ropes on breeding care from equine veterinarian Racqhel Rodeheaver of Fort Collins, Colorado. In AQHA’s FREE Mare Care report, Racqhel explains the process of preparing your mare, targeting a breeding date, ordering semen, inducing a follicle to ovulate, receiving and evaluating semen and much more.

“People in the rope horse industry want them when they’re finished,” she notes. “They don’t have a mare. They don’t want to have a baby. They don’t want anything that they have to feed that they can’t jump on and swing a rope off of.” Dee decided to focus on marketing the all-around athlete. “If you were to come and pick something out at our place, it can go either way,” Dee says. “It will be fast enough to turn three cans, and it will darn sure be fast enough to catch a calf. If you want to heel or head, we’ll have one that will darn sure have the size to do it. I really had to start focusing that direction.” That involved changing people’s perceptions. The horse industry as a whole tends to pigeonhole horses by pedigree. For example, the Bramans found a new market for their stallions when they bred one of their race-bred Oklahoma Fuel mares to the Shining Spark son Night Time Shiner. The resulting foal was their Snaffle Bit Futurity finalist.

Roll It!

Dr. Pat McCue, from Colorado State University, gives advice over the signs of foaling.

“We got a lot of breedings to the little Oklahoma Fuel stud because it opened a lot of people’s eyes,” Dee says.

Helping the Industry

In the barrel racing industry, JB Quarter Horses added incentives for the highest-placing horse by a JB Quarter Horse stallion in some major barrel racing events. “We hope to see that develop in the rope horse industry as its futurities develop,” Dee says. “We want to spread our incentives over from what has already been established in the barrel horse world to the rope horse world to really help make it grow.” In Dee’s opinion, a successful aged-event sector within the rope horse industry would go a long way toward building prospect markets and breeding programs, because outsiders will start viewing rope horses as investments rather than simply a means to an end, i.e. winning the next roping. Offering incentives are a large part of encouraging that investment. “Both of these industries could be tied together so well,” she adds. “It’s just going to take a couple of people to stick together and come up with fresh ideas. And it’s not just about JB Quarter Horses. There’s room for $5,000 studs and $500 studs.”

In AQHA’s FREE Mare Care report, Racqhel explains the process of preparing your mare, targeting a breeding date, ordering semen, inducing a follicle to ovulate, receiving and evaluating semen and much more.

Creating a Market Dee admits she still gets frustrated trying to market her horses, but she hopes that eventually her program will market itself. “We’ve finally got something old enough to get out there and do something,” she says. “They’re just stallions now, and I hope and pray that one of them will make a sire. Until we can prove that they can produce something, they’re just one more stallion standing at one more facility advertised in a magazine.”

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