The Rundown: A Great Granddam

Here's to you, Fillinic, and your induction into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Fillinic and Greg Ward. (Credit: AQHA file photo)

There’s one American Quarter Horse in particular that I feel like I owe a certain allegiance to. Her blood runs through just about every horse I’ve shown, and on the good days, I give her all the credit.

My heart swelled with pride the other day when I heard that Fillinic earned her spot in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. For all that the 1957 chestnut mare has given me, I think most profound might be my appreciation of a great broodmare. 

The daughter of Arizona Junie “won and won and won and won,” remembered her late owner, Greg Ward of Tulare, California.

But that’s not what earned Fillinic her notch as a Hall of Famer. As a broodmare, Fillinic slapped her brand on the reined cow horse industry.

Fillinic’s daughter, Sugarnic, won a number of California Reined Cow Horse Association events, then produced Sugar Remedy, by Doc’s Remedy. Sugar Remedy produced Peppy Remedy, who foaled Reminics Pep, who won $128,500 in National Reined Cow Horse Association earnings.

It’s through Sugarnic that most of my family’s herd traces back to the Ward Ranch’s foundation mare. Nearly 20 years ago, my grandfather purchased Sugari Colonel as a 50th birthday present for my grandmother, Bonnie. Out of Sugarinic, a daughter of Sugarnic, Sugari Colonel is a lot like Fillinic. Super sensitive, a bit flighty, with a knack for out-producing herself, “Sugari,” as we call our broodmare, has kept the Christiansens well-mounted over the last decade. 

“Some said I was probably the only one who could have ridden them, that I was the only one who would put up with the insanity,” Greg once said of Fillinic’s descendants. “You know how they say, ‘Genius borders on insanity?’ Well, that’s kind of where I put them, right there on the edge.”

Yep, Greg, I know what you mean.

Hands down, TC Lena is our family’s pride and joy. Between me, my dad and my brother, we’ve shared a good deal of success with our 13-year-old gelding. And for all of his cow-cuttin’, dirt throwin’, 78-point-earnin’, fence-turnin’ ways, “TC” does come with faults. In terms of fight or flight, TC takes the prey instinct to heart and will fly, even if it’s away from something as unassuming as a ground pole. And he’s got one more vice: He paws. 

“(Fillinic) pawed and pawed until she was standing in a hole you could have buried two or three horses in,” Greg recalled. Sounds like it’s genetic. 

But honestly, in comparison, TC’s siblings are pretty mild-mannered, especially his full siblings, Wright On Sugari and Wright On TC. The other two – Classy Sugari and Ill Be Sugari – seemed to have gotten an extra dose of Fillinic, as well.

Fillinic’s other offspring included Amynic, Springinic, Wininic, Picinic, Quickinic, Anuthernic and Bionic, but her most recognizable was her final colt, Reminic. The 1978 bay stallion, too, has left his mark on the reined cow horse industry.

There’s one last Fillinic foal that I haven’t mentioned, and that one was her namesake: Fillynic.

Earning more than $40,000 in cutting and reined cow horse competition, Fillynic carried on the great dam line with five foals – all fillies. 

Fillynic’s second to last filly was Plain Fillynic, dam to my 6-year-old mare, Lenas Fillynic. 

When we named Lenas Fillynic, or “Nikki” as her friends know her, we did so keeping Fillinic in mind. After all, we owe her so much.

Greg’s words about his great mare are ones that have stuck with me: “I can look down through the barns here, and Fillinic’s in all these horses. She’s responsible for this whole place. The best way to explain how I feel about her is written on her tombstone: ‘A man is lucky to have one great horse in his lifetime. She gave us a lifetime of greatness.’ ”

Thank you, Fillinic, for a barnful and a lifetime of greatness.

Joining Fillinic this year in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame are:

  • Bill Brewer of Amarillo
  • Kenny Hart of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
  • Frank Merrill of Purcell, Oklahoma
  • Guy Ray Rutland of Independence, Kansas
  • Greg Whalen of Clements, California
  • Freckles Playboy
  • Lady Bug’s Moon
  • Miss Olene
  • Poco Tivio