Casey's Ladylove

Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017

A dynasty of barrel racers began in a sale barn in Minnesota when James and Frances Loiseau bought a 1961 buckskin mare for their children to ride.

Casey’s Ladylove was intended as a weekend show mount for the Loiseaus’ oldest daughter, Barb. Casey’s Ladylove trotted and loped around sweetly for those shows, even winning a western pleasure class, and she excelled in speed events. But when Barb got into a match race with her brother, Charles, who was riding a horse by Wyoming Mike, “Casey” won handily. That race opened some eyes.

James and Frances called an AQHA inspector to look over the mare. AQHA status achieved, the Loiseaus were off to the races – literally.

“After that, my parents decided to breed Casey to a running-horse stallion and then she started to produce racehorses,” Lis says. “Her first four foals were by Laughing Boy. They went on to run on the track.”

Both colts and fillies did well, but the Loiseaus would only part ways with the colts. The fillies became broodmares in South Dakota. Casey’s first foal was born in 1965, a filly by Laughing Boy who was named Frenchman’s Bars.

“My mother said the name ‘Loiseau’ was difficult for people to announce,” Lis remembers. “She started to name them ‘Frenchman’s Something’ because she could put ‘Frenchman’s’ and a four letter word behind it, and no one else was using it.”

Frenchman’s Bars was the first of five of Casey’s foals to start on the track. Her 1968 daughter, Frenchman’s Fox, was the first 2-year-old to run AAA in the state of South Dakota.      

But in her heart, Casey’s Ladylove herself remained a kids’ horse. In 1983, when she was 22, the family weaned the foals and moved the mares to a ranch about 100 miles away from where the babies were.

Casey’s good nature with children was the same throughout life, and it was one of the qualities the family came to expect from her foals.

“Casey’s Ladylove was a pretty good-size mare,” Lis says. “She had a beautiful hip and straight legs, short cannon bones and big feet. She had a beautiful head. She passed that on to her daughters. We see it now four and five generations out. She passed on that temperament.”

Casey's Ladylove was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017.