u.s. national champion senior stallion
P I S TA L
Locked and Loaded
ho could help but stare at this magnificent animal? As they circled him, most of the five judges maintained their usual poker faces, but occasionally one or two would lapse into expressions of curiosity and even wonderment, as they gazed at the brilliant, sleek chestnut stallion standing before them. But this was a horse that stared right back, almost as if he were the judge in this arena. It seemed as if their inspection took longer than usual. But as they stared, marked their cards, and checked their scores two or three times, LD Pistal (Magnum Psyche x Halana) looked each one square in the eye as if to say, “Yes, it’s me again. Go ahead and take a good long look. Go ahead. Make my day.” In the end they did just that. This is how the scene played out as Pistal, with his partner David Boggs, became a two-time Senior Champion Stallion at the 2008 U.S. Nationals in Tulsa. It’s the
jJ by nancy ryan
same feat the pair accomplished in 2006 in Louisville and it capped off a tremendous career in the top showrings of North America. Pistal was named Canadian National Champion Junior Colt in 2004 and the Canadian Reserve Champion Futurity Colt in 2003. The big chestnut was Senior Champion Stallion at the Buckeye in 2006 and 2008 and also earned a Reserve Championship in Scottsdale in 2006 and 2003. And it is no wonder. He is the very image of his royal halter horse pedigree. Sired by the international champion stallion Magnum Psyche and out of the Canadian National Champion Mare Halana (Hal Gibby x Hickorys Natasha), LD Pistal was purchased earlier in 2008 by Felix Cantu for the Arabian herd at the world-famous Rancho Las Potrancas in Mexico City. Pistal represents a new beginning for Felix, according to longtime friend and business partner Johnny Downing. “He recently took a break from the Arabians
to take over his one of the first father’s business horses Jeff Sloan in Mexico City. chose to make a But right after the re-entry into the show at Scottsdale Arabian horse this year, David world. “The approached me Sloan family was and told me involved with Pistal was for Arabian horses sale.” Johnny back in the ’80s. alerted Felix to We got out of the the opportunity. industry in the “I had always ’90s and I had personally been watching loved Pistal. I the Arabian think every real horse business horseman in our into the early ld pistal and david boggs at the 2008 u.s. nationals. business has loved 2000s with the him. He is just a idea of making a ‘horseman’s horse’ — his structure, his legs. I looked at him move back into the industry,” Jeff says. That’s when the Pistal and called Felix and basically over the phone, he said, ‘OK, Partnership took shape; it included Jeff ’s brother Rich Sloan, buy the horse!’” Frank and Carol Hennessey, and Al and Ruth Glancy. Johnny says Felix’s original plan to take Pistal to Mexico “I believe that Pistal is as good as a stallion gets,” says changed in midstream. “He is still here in the United States Jeff. “We even purchased a beautiful filly, Aria Esperanza (LD and we will have him at the Midwest facility in Scottsdale Pistal x LD Capadre), bred by Allen and Marian Corrow, to during the show this year, so people can see him. We will showcase Pistal as a sire. We wanted to give this horse every stand him at stud, and although the original plan was to take chance to be all that he can be, and when you experience him to Mexico, we thought he looked great and after he won Pistal … when you get to know Pistal, you want to be part of the Buckeye, we decided to show him at Nationals. it all because he is such a charismatic, showy, and wonderful “I always had confidence that he could win again,” horse to be around.” explains Johnny. “David had probably even more confidence “I think Pistal is the horse that rekindled Felix’s interest,” than I did. David is so positive. For me personally it was continues Johnny. “He had toned down his Arabian herd very exciting. Felix was not there. He was on business so he to about 20 Arabian horses. He has *Van Ali Dancer (x NV couldn’t come, so I was there on Felix’s behalf. When the Gypsy Dancer), an Ali Jamaal son, and he has used him on his scores came up, and he was so far ahead of one of our main mares, and now he is just looking forward to using Pistal.” competitors, I was well, let’s just say very, very excited. I David Boggs’s relationship with Pistal is less professional thought, ‘Wow, this is great!’” than it is personal. “Pistal’s breeders, Allen and Marian A huge crowd — Pistal’s human family — rushed Corrow, were some of the original Minnesota breeders with into the arena for my parents, Don and the victory photo, Shorty Boggs,” he says. *Padron Padrons Psyche including Jeff Sloan “So the families are very Kilika Magnum Psyche and other members of close. Papa started in the *Sasaki the LD Pistal Partners, business in the 1950s A Fancy Miracle *Medina Azahara LLC, who owned and the Corrows were LD Pistal and campaigned the maybe ten years behind *Hal Gazal stallion after his 2004 us.” So it felt natural for Hal Gibby G-Amaka Canadian Nationals David to be showing Halana Tah Zaman win. In a case similar Pistal to the height of Hickorys Natasha Arabest Narranne to Felix’s, Pistal was his career. “I remember 3
j is just an incredibly well-balanced and correct horse, and I just thought he was wonderful, showed extremely well, and I couldn’t find anything not to like about him.” The obstacles Pistal faced in his Championship class came in the form of a who’s who in the Arabian industry — three other stallions and top handlers with too numerous to mention national and international championships between them: 2008 U.S. National Reserve Champion Dakharo (*Dakar El Jamaal x FOF Kharolina), handled by Michael Byatt; 2008 Canadian National Champion Major Jamaal (*Soho Carol x *Maya El Jamaal), with Greg Gallún; and Odyssey SC (Versace x Latoura Echo), a two-time Champion Futurity Colt and Canadian National Reserve Champion Stallion, with Jeff Schall. “The overall quality of the class was excellent, and the horses Pistal beat were absolutely excellent,” Terry says. “I felt the four top horses in Pistal’s class were all National Champion caliber.” Rick agrees. “I thought it was a really quality class and had so much depth. The aged class this year was a heavy-hitting class. There were four national champion horses in some form or another in halter. All of them were credentialed. That was a pretty awesome class.” What is in store for Pistal now? “He’ll breed mares and enjoy his life. No time for the showring right now,” explains Johnny. Still a young stallion, Pistal has several wonderful foals to his credit already, and many are just entering the showring. LD Pistal is a stallion whose time has come, and now the whole world knows the secret and what a few, at the start, believed in.
seeing him when he was a tiny foal. Their farm is just three minutes from us. So it’s really part of the program that Al and Marian shared with *Padron and Magnum, so it’s a family affair with a lot of significance.” David also showed Pistal’s dam, the bay beauty Halana to her Canadian National Championship as a four-yearold in 1990. “I see a lot of his dam in him. Magnum sires beautiful eyes, but his dam has eyes as big as tennis balls.” David sold Halana’s sire, the dark and dashing Hal Gibby, to Brazilian breeder Nagib Audi, and Hal Gibby was later shown to a Brazilian National Championship. David believes Pistal is one of the all-time great show horses in terms of drive and heart. “LD Pistal’s ability and desire to show can only be equaled by *Padron,” David says. “He trumps his sire Magnum and his grandsire Padrons Psyche, and even rivals his great-grandsire *Padron. If you could bottle what he has — his desire and ability and charisma — well, he really is phenomenal. But as spirited as he is in the arena, he is that much and more, and kind outside the showring. He loves children and you could ride him with a lead over his back.” “Pistal, for most people who haven’t been around him,” says Johnny, “is the kindest stallion, whether he is in the paddock, in cross ties, or in his stall. He is just a kind, gentle soul. But the minute you take the cooler off and put the show halter on, he is ready to show. The horse has an incredible attitude and mind for showing. He is really amazing.” And just listen to what those who judged him at Nationals this year say. “I think LD Pistal looked as good as I have ever seen him look,” says Terry Holmes. “He was in exceptional condition, was presented very well, and the overall picture was overwhelming. And Rick Moser says, “There are probably three or four great horses in the world, and Pistal is one of them. Pistal
ld pistal with johnny downing.