No Better Feeling in the World

Owner-breeder-exhibitor Colton Reid of Mississippi talks breeding decisions, marketing plans and juggling horses with college.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

On March 3, 2015, Colton Reid posted this photo to Instagram, saying, "I'm a pretty proud breeder right now. Only 22 and I received my first AQHA IF Breeder's check! I could careless about the payout, what matters most to me is that I personally bred this guy. If God's willing, I hope to continue to breed many more Dewys!" (Credit: @colt_45reid) Here, Just So You Notice, bred by Colton Reid, is shown by Mirko Mueller for owner Jana Richter of Germany.

At an age when most young adults are hitting in the books in college, Colton Reid is doing that … and more. The 23-year-old from Sumrall, Mississippi, juggles college courses, showing horses, breeding mares and raising foals.

“I bred my first broodmare back in 2010,” says Colton. With a laugh, he adds, “I was 18 at the time and had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

“Luckily, I had some great friends (and mentors) who lent me some marepower: Me A Fancy DD, an own daughter of the late Dynamic Deluxe, was bred to My Final Notice, which resulted in my very first foal, Just So You Notice.”

Just So You Notice, now owned by Jana Richter of Germany, hit the show pen in 2014. Because Colton nominated the 2011 blue roan gelding to the AQHA Incentive Fund, Colton received his first Incentive Fund breeders check this spring. 

When the Incentive Fund check landed in his mailbox, Colton says, “I felt … I felt as if all the money, time and stress I had invested in breeding was worth it. I knew when I saw that check that it represented that I had made it as a breeder: I had raised a foal that was able to compete and win on the AQHA circuit.” 

The breeding game, however, is not for the faint of heart.

“I have gone years without a viable foal on the ground,” Colton says. “Finally, after years of trying, my newest foal was born May 7 this year.”

Colton's 2015 colt by One Hot Krymsun and out of Nice Asset by A Sudden Impulse
 2015 colt by One Hot Krymsun and out of Nice Asset (Credit: Colton Reid)

The new colt, sired by One Hot Krymsun, is out of Colton’s A Sudden Impulse daughter, Nice Asset. He’s also looking ahead to 2016, when his other broodmare, Dipped In Magic, will foal out her baby by VS Code Blue.

When looking for stallions to cross with his mares, the first thing Colton looks for is whether the stallion is nominated to the Incentive Fund

“I will only breed to a stallion nominated into the Incentive Fund because it is a marketing incentive. I want a foal that is marketable to all, and in this day and time, money can be tight at times. If you are an open or amateur rider, each point represents a little bit of return on your showing endeavors at the end of the year. Horse showing is primarily a hobby for competitors, but getting that check at the end of the year feels pretty good.” 

Because genetics is what has Colton hooked on horse breeding – namely the quest to improve the breed with each generation – he hones in on stallions that come from great maternal lines.

“You have to give credit where credit is due, and that’s the dam,” he says. “I also like to see a stallion that can compete out of his junior years; this shows me that he has a good mind and legs to match.” 

Then before he signs a breeding contract, Colton contacts the stallion owner.

I like to hear what they have to say about their stallion. I want to breed my mare to a stallion whose owner is 110 percent committed in the their guy and his offspring.”

Colton’s history with American Quarter Horses runs quite far back (he jokes that he was first exposed to the world’s fastest horse when his mom, pregnant at the time, ran barrels). Yet it wasn’t until he was 16 that Colton caught the horse-show bug.

“I grew up around horses, but they took second place for many years while I was playing baseball. Then one day I decided to get serious about showing, and eventually breeding. My mom’s parents bred and raised American Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds for many years, and my mom and her siblings all grew up showing. Horses are in my blood, so to speak. 

“Each and every horse I have had the pleasure of owning has impacted my life ten-fold,” he attests. “I have met so many people, made so many new friends, and this was all because of American Quarter Horses.

“They have shaped my life for the better; I couldn't imagine not having them around. My horses keep me focused on my ultimate goal, and that’s to be a leading breeder down the road.”

It would seem Colton, a finance major set to graduate December 11, is already on track to one day hit that goal, armed with industry and business know-how, plus a healthy measure of passion.

“When that foal hits the ground – after quite a bit of money, time, effort and a load of stress – I know it was all worth it in the end. Breeding is a gamble, but when it pays off there is no better feeling in the world.”

Colton Reid and his former show horse, Only Include Me
  Colton Reid and Only Include Me