Q-Racing Blog: A Stellar Family

Small breeders live the dream with the help of history.

Q-Racing Journal

Champions Heza Dasha Fire and Ima Fearless Hero hail from a prolific family.

Recently named World Champion Heza Dasha Fire and his half-brother, 2015 champion 2-year-old gelding Ima Fearless Hero, hail from the small breeding operation of Don and Kathy Meneely and their son Shawn’s S-Quarter K Quarter Horses in Kennewick, Washington. It shows how a small breeder from a place that is far from American Quarter Horse racing’s hotbeds can succeed at the highest level.

It boosts the eternal optimism of small breeders everywhere. The Meneely’s S-Quarter K Quarter Horses was also named 2015 champion breeder. 

The story of Heza Dasha Fire, Ima Fearless Hero and their dam Dasha Freda, all owned by the Meneelys, has a deeper level. That level is the profound influence over the past 45 years of brothers Robert and Bruce Gentry.

The Walk Thru Fire-sired Heza Dasha Fire and the Valiant Hero-sired Ima Fearless Hero were bred by the Meneelys. Dasha Freda was bought by the Meneelys as a yearling from the Gentry operation. The Gentry’s bred Dasha Freda and her first three dams. This is a fabulous family and a testament to the Gentry Brothers. Bruce died in 2000 and Robert died in 2013. The breeding program they built is being carried on by Robert’s son and daughter, Kirk Gentry and Robbi Force.

Heza Dasha Fire, also the 2014 champion 2-year-old gelding, has earned $1,689,388 in 2014 and 2015 while Ima Fearless Hero banked $982,699 last year. Jose Flores trains each horse, Cruz Mendez rides each horse and each horse has made all of his starts at Los Alamitos.

Their dam, the Mr Jess Perry daughter Dasha Freda, also made each of her 16 starts at Los Alamitos and scored a win in the California Derby Challenge (G3) and was a close second in the La Primera Del Ano Derby (G2).

Dasha Freda is out of one of the Gentry’s prime producers, Fearless Freda. The Dash For Cash daughter was a two-time Grade 1 stakes winner and then stepped up as a broodmare. She produced champion aged stallion Fredricksburg and champion aged mare Fredaville. They are each full sibings to Dasha Freda. It is one of the many examples of crossing Dash For Cash mares on Mr Jess Perry. The Four Sixes Ranch acquired Mr Jess Perry with this cross in mind and it has worked wonderfully.

Fearless Freda’s dam Such An Easy Effort, a daughter of Special Effort, won six stakes. She raced to Grade 1 wins in the Denim N Diamonds Futurity, La Primera Del Ano Derby and the QHBC Distaff Classic on her way to earning $496,127. She also produced Go Man Go Handicap (G1) and Dash For Cash Futurity (G1) winner Deelish, a champion 2-year-old filly and champion aged mare.

Such An Easy Effort’s dam Easy Kiss, a daughter of Easy Jet, won six races and earned $101,022. She also produced La Primera Del Ano Derby (G1) fourth-place finisher Mito Kiss.

Easy Kiss’ Cute Kiss, a daughter of Go Man Go, was purchased by the Gentry Brothers and finished third in the 1970 La Pitahaya Derby at L.I.F.E. Downs. Cute Kiss’ dam Cute Trick was a five-time stakes winner by Be Sure Now (TB). Her most important win came in the 1956 PCQHRA Futurity and was that year’s champion 2-year filly.

The Gentrys also bred champion aged stallion Cash Legacy and Grade 1 winners Zipuino and Zip Dash. Many of their stakes winners raced before stakes were graded.

The 2015 World Champion Heza Dasha Fire and champion 2-year-old gelding Ima Fearless Hero are examples of carefully planned breeding for generations. Once again, class tells.

When the Meneelys bought Dasha Freda, they were not at the Heritage Place Yearling Sale. James McArthur picked her out and purchased her for them. When Dasha Freda arrived at the Washington ranch, Kathy Meneely told her husband Don, “We’ve got weanlings bigger than her!” The little filly is looming large now.

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