Like Father, Like Son

Versatile stallions sire offspring that succeed in different arenas.

From The American Quarter horse Journal

Fathers and sons. Sires and offspring. Not all sons follow their fathers’ leads. And not all foals follow their sires into particular arenas. Take Coosa, for example. The well-known halter stallion never worn a saddle. But his get have rounded up 1,681 points under saddle.

Being a versatile sire is just part of being a versatile American Quarter Horse. If you give your horse a chance, he might prove his own sire more versatile than you think. Meet some versatile sires and some of their versatile offspring. Coosa In 1982, the sorrel stallion went to his first AQHA World Championship Show. The weanling placed ninth. The next year, 1983, Coosa was the reserve world champion yearling stallion. Throughout the 1980s, Coosa traveled through the southern United States, picking up halter championships including a reserve world champion title in aged stallions in 1986. Then he retired to the breeding shed, siring halter winners. That all changed when Wayne and Rebecca Halvorson of Guthrie, Oklahoma, bought him.

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“We got him when he was about 12 years old and already established in the halter industry,” Wayne says. “We decided since his pedigree has so much Leo and performance bloodlines, we wanted to promote him as a horse that could perform.” Coosa is by Pretty Impressive and out of I’m A Rosita by Leo Moore. To help promote the idea of Coosa as a performance sire, the Halvorsons offered $1,000 to owners of Coosa horses who turned them into champions. The gamble paid off. Though the Halvorsons no longer have Coosa, he’s still known as a performance sire. “We gave that (money) out five or six times,” Wayne says. “(Coosa’s) sons and daughters had that halter look and were so well-balanced, people would show them in halter and then go ahead and show them in performance and make AQHA champions out of them. People were showing them in pleasure and working hunter and barrels.” And roping. Coday rode the Coosa-sired, gelding Coosa Jule to gather cattle and rope steers. Roger was familiar with Coosa from showing in halter against him, so when Roger’s first-string roping horse, Regers Sheba, got injured, he took a chance on Coosa Jule. Roger didn’t intend for Coosa Jule to be a roping horse. “I bought him to trail ride and do things like that,” he says. “I used to do a lot of halter. He was 3 years old, maybe 4. Everybody ‘aahhs’ at him. He’s really a pretty horse. He’d never break-awayed before he got his first points in it,” Roger says of the horse who was reserve in the nation in amateur breakaway roping points in 2005. “He’s smart like his daddy, Coosa.”

Dash Thru Traffic

In 1991, Debbie Therwhanger and her husband, Charlie, bought a bay yearling, a son of leading racing sire First Down Dash out of Lady Meter Reader by the Thoroughbred stallion Beduino. The colt’s name was Dash Thru Traffic. By the end of the 1992 racing season, everybody knew that name. Dash Thru Traffic was 1992’s racing champion 2-year-old and the winner of the $1 million All American Futurity. Since then, Dash Thru Traffic has sired a lot of speedy horses, including the winners of almost $6 million on the racetrack. Plus one slow horse, Dash Thru Easily, the horse that was second the nation in senior hunter under saddle points in 2005. But the speedy sire and slow son have a lot in common. Here’s Debbie talking about Dash Thru Traffic: “He just floats over the ground. He gets up and has a lot of self-confidence. That’s why my husband bought him in the beginning. Because he is so large, he has a huge stride. They list him as 16.2, but I think he’s taller than that. I’ve always thought that.” And here’s Susan Kaplow of Chappaqua, New York, owner of Dash Thru Easily: “He’s huge. He’s 16.3 hands high. He has a really beautiful trot, a long, flowing trot, and then a fabulous, controlled canter that looked big but didn’t go anywhere. And he was very comfortable (in himself).”

Rugged Lark

The 1981 bay stallion Rugged Lark was known for being versatile, competing in western pleasure, hunter under saddle, trail, western riding, reining, hunter hack, working hunter, pleasure driving and even barrel racing for owner Carol Harris. But the two-time Superhorse was never a cow horse, unlike his son Look Whos Larkin, who has placed or won at the AQHA World Championship Show in working cow horse, tie-down roping, heading, heeling, reining, and performance halter stallions.

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“I think of Rugged Lark as an English horse,” says trainer Rick Rosaschi. “ ‘Larkin’ is a western horse. He’s very elegant.” Larkin, the 1999 World Show Superhorse, came out of retirement in 2005 when Rick’s partner, Bonnie Jo Clay, wanted to show in freestyle reining. The team didn’t win, but as long as the horse was working again, Rick started showing the 1991 bay stallion in roping. Look Whos Larkin has earned 306 heading points, 226.5 heeling, 115.5 reining, 119.5 tie down, 62.5 working cow horse and 7.5 halter points. “He’s not the kind you can get on and spur. You have to communicate with him – just like Rugged Lark,” Larry Bryson (owner) says. The offspring of Coosa, Dash Thru Traffic and Rugged Lark have been able to shine in arenas their fathers never trotted through. The limitless possibilities of the Quarter Horse mean that it’s possible for more horses to do the same.

Does your horse do what his sire did? Or something different?