A lifetime of work earned Connie and Robert Sealey a listing among the top halter breeders.
By By Linda Kelly-Miller | February 20, 2017
Red River Horse Club
“Tenacity” is the best word to describe Connie Sealey, who with her late husband, Robert, has worked a lifetime to make dreams come true.
“Since I can remember,” Connie says, “my passion has been horses. In school, I must have read 100 books on horses and thought about them constantly. As an adult, I finally got my first horse, a registered Quarter Horse named Miss Zan King by Zantanon H and out of a granddaughter of Leo and King. I was hooked. My husband, Robert, and I soon became involved with horses and showing.”
They never looked back. As Sealey Performance Horses, they have been breeding Quarter Horses in Trenton, Texas, for about 40 years. In 2008, Connie and Robert were recognized by AQHA as 30-year cumulative breeders.
In April 2016, they were listed among the leading breeders of halter class-winners for 2015.
“We purchased our first broodmares and a stallion named Ole Sir Brian,” Connie says. “We were only small breeders, but we worked hard at it and handled all the workload ourselves. It was so neat seeing these fine Quarter Horses produced by our stock over the years, from the foals to the finished show horses that went on to win for us and for clients.”
Ole Sir Brian was a 1976 bay stallion by Ole Man Norton and out of Samantha Brian by Sir Brian. He was bred by the Graham Buck Estate of Anderson, Texas. His son Sir Brians Song, bred by the Sealeys, now stands at Sealey Performance Horses.
Connie rode that first Quarter Horse, Miss Zan King, in the Cloudline Fox Hunting Club in Hunt County near Greenville, Texas, for years.
Connie’s daughter, Susan, also showed the mare to several 4-H wins and rode her with the hunt club.
“She was a beautiful sorrel with four white stockings and one of the best riding horses with such a smooth gait,” Connie says of the 1966 mare bred by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Jess Hankins of Rocksprings, Texas. “She was not spooky even traveling in the woods or jumping over fences, with the horns sounding off, hounds baying, and overall excitement of the hunt. With looks and temperament, she became the basis of our broodmares. I still have three broodmares carrying on her bloodlines and heritage, producing foals with that wonderful, calm temperament and conformation.”
The Sealey Performance Horses breeding program has bred many AQHA point-earners, as well as horses that won in open shows. Connie and her ranch manager, Debby Wiggins, are currently standing four AQHA stallions: Stylish Way To Zip, a 2007 sorrel son of Radical Rodder; Sir Brians Song; Zipata Zip, a 2003 palomino son of Zips Clue; and Zipata Pedro, a 2009 Zipata Zip son, as well as one Paint stallion, Luckenbach Chico.
For the past 25 years, Connie has been active in the Red River Horse Club, including serving as president. The club has eight shows a year, including AQHA Introductory classes at each.
“It has been a real pleasure to work with the Sealeys over the past 35 years to train and show some of their horses,” says Tray McDonald, a longtime family friend. “My son and daughter showed their own Sealey-bred horses. They were always showing in western pleasure, showmanship and halter at the time and doing well on these horses.
“We went to the Palomino (Horse Breeders of America) World in 2006 with my son, William Dean McDonald, showing a gelding named Seven S Glitter Star.”
William won PHBA western pleasure on him in 2007 at the Fort Worth Livestock Show, and Tray’s daughter, Demi Jo McDonald, showed Im Legally Blonde at the PHBA World in 2008.
“In 2007, all three of us started showing in ranch rodeo events, using Sealey-bred horses,” Tray says. “In the past decade, we have won numerous ranch rodeo buckles in sorting, roping and cutting on these horses. I cannot say enough about their ability and versatility.”
Connie, 78, works for a western tack and horse equipment company five days a week, then spends her time at home cleaning stalls and caring for her horses, as well as answering calls and emails about Red River Horse Club business.
“Working with Connie has been such an inspiration to me,” Mack Wilson, her trainer, says. “She gives me complete freedom and latitude in training and preparing her foals and young horses for halter or performance classes. It has been such a mutual joy to help showcase her breeding program. I am thankful every day to be a part of that program.”
Connie says clients and friends along the way have contributed to her growing program.
“I am still enjoying the pleasure today of seeing the horses produced each year and then witnessing what they can accomplish,” she says. “Some of my horses are making a name for themselves. I wake up every day thankful for my blessings of working with these horses and horse people. I hope to continue this for a long time to come.”