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2 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


4 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017






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6 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


8 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


10 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

Caleb Findley, Stallion Manager at Delta Equine Center in Vinton, Louisiana by Barbara Newtown Delta Equine Center in Vinton, Louisiana, is a labor of love for the extended Findley family. Founded by Dr. Larry Findley, Sr., in 1983, Delta now offers a wide choice of veterinary services: equine surgical and medical suites, mobile vet setup, equine MRI, hyperbaric chamber, sales prep, reproduction techniques, stallion and mare care, and a small animal hospital with a dog-and-cat-size MRI. Caleb Findley, grandson of Dr. Findley, Sr., explains the family ties to Delta: “My grandfather specializes in surgery, lameness’s, and reproduction. He has four sons. My dad, Dr. Larry Findley, Jr., is the eldest, and is a small and large animal vet who follows the thoroughbred circuit. I am one of ten children. My sister Kaylee Findley does the lab work and my sister Kieran Findley is the receptionist. My uncle Troy is a racetrack vet and he follows the Quarter Horses from meet to meet. My uncle Craig manages our practice and my uncle Brad runs the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.” Dr. Phillip Appleton, a large and small animal vet, is also a big part of Team Delta, even though he isn’t a Findley. Caleb, part of the third generation, is just starting his career as Stallion Manager. Although Caleb is only 26, he has been preparing for a position at Delta Equine since he could walk. “After school I’d come to the clinic. In middle and high school, I’d go

to Delta Downs with my dad, and in high school I worked with my dad and my grandpa as a tech.” Caleb played some conventional high school sports, but horses had always been his main interest. “I remember going to horse races as a little kid and going to watch my uncle Troy rope calves. Just living in Louisiana, it seemed like everybody had something to do with horses! When I really got into calf roping and team roping, I gave up baseball and football. A lot of my inspiration came from my uncle, but also from my grandpa. He calf roped and rode cutting horses.” At McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Caleb studied the pre-vet curriculum with an emphasis on equine science. However, about the time he would have been applying to vet school, the stallion manager position at Delta Equine opened up. Caleb realized that even if he’d been a vet, he would have wanted to concentrate on equine reproduction. The pieces began to fall into place: the chance to work alongside his grandfather, his father, and his uncles at Delta Equine was something Caleb didn’t want to pass up. Caleb also knew that he could do the job: “I’d been around the owners and the trainers and their horses since I was little and I knew I’d be good at it.” He talked the decision over with his wife, his grandfather and his father, and he took charge of the Delta Equine breeding operation at the beginning of 2016. Delta Equine is a large facility: five buildings house the equine and small animal clinics, storage for feed and equipment, the reproduction facility, and ample stabling. (Total acreage is over 70. Delta Equine hires someone to cut and sell the hay, because the clinic and repro horses are fed alfalfa brought in from points west.) Caleb oversees 12 stallion stalls, 74 mare stalls, and 16 paddocks. The clinic has 50 stalls for patients, but, as Caleb explains, it usually isn’t full, and Caleb puts mares there, too, as well as in the paddocks. All in all, Delta Equine’s reproduction business can handle as many as 110 mares waiting to be bred, not only to the 12 stallions boarded at Delta, but also to stallions whose chilled or frozen semen is being shipped in. So far, 2017 has seen an increased number of mares at the farm and 12 stallions, double the number of stallions that stood at Delta in 2016. At breeding time, some of the visiting mares have already foaled out, but many give birth at Delta. Caleb keeps an eye on the mares during his work hours (from 6 or 7 in the morning to 6 or 7 at night). He has a barn crew of 8 or 9 busy cleaning stalls,

and they keep checking the mares, too. At night, the mares are checked every 30 minutes. If a mare starts to deliver, the person on duty notifies one of the on-call veterinarians: Dr. Findley, Sr., Dr. Appleton, Dr. Hannah Richard, or Dr. Sara Bercier. Newborns get first-class treatment. For example, Delta Equine is one of the few facilities in the nation offering a hyperbaric chamber for horses. Used most often to treat infections and inflammation, the high-pressure, oxygen-rich therapy is also useful for helping “dummy” foals. (Neonatal maladjustment syndrome, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, makes a foal act “slow” after birth—the baby may fail to nurse and/or seem uncoordinated.) The stallions at Delta are Quarter Horse stallions, bred for the track. Their bloodlines boast top quality like Mr Jess Perry, First Down Dash, and Corona Cartel. Most of the mares that come to be bred are Quarter Horses, with a few Thoroughbreds from time to time. The Thoroughbred mares that are mated to Quarter Horse stallions will produce foals that can be registered as Appendix Quarter Horses and are welcome in Quarter Horse races. “Live cover,” a requirement for producing Thoroughbred-registered offspring, is rarely done at Delta. The Quarter Horse registry allows artificial insemination using fresh, chilled, or frozen semen. Caleb prefers A.I. to live cover; mares and stallions (and handlers) are less likely to get hurt. Delta stallions are trained to mount the “phantom” or “dummy” mare. Caleb says, “Most of our stallions are well-behaved in the collection room. I’ve got some stallions that don’t even need a tease mare. As soon as you walk them into the room, they know what’s going on. It’s all business.” “We are well equipped to handle repro problems,” Caleb says. “We are part of Select Breeder Services, which is an affiliate program which sets protocols for freezing semen. It’s a quality control process: semen is analyzed not only by me, but also by an affiliate laboratory. This process ensures that clients are getting the best product when they decide to freeze semen for insurance purposes.” After decades of research and practice, methods for freezing, storing, and thawing equine semen now produce results that are almost as reliable as using chilled semen, but breeders must follow the guidelines to get mares reliably in foal.

Continued on page 52...

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Fire Damages SACS Western Store in Gonzales, Louisiana by The Equine Report Staff Writer

SACS Feed and Western Store, a 49-year-old family business in Gonzales, LA, was damaged by a fire that erupted Sunday evening, February 12. Flames shot out of the roof. A driver called the Fire Department, located only two blocks away. Gay Robert, daughter of founder and owner Gayle Braud, credits the fast response with containing the fire damage to about the front 20 feet of the building on the right side. By Wednesday, February 15th, according to manager Joey Templet, SACS hopes to be offering feed, hay, and outside equipment for sale. Check the SACS website, http:// , for status on other products and the re-opening date. SACS Feed and Western Store has been an asset to the livestock and equine industries in South Louisiana. The store also promotes the involvement of young people by supporting activities like 4-H and rodeo. Customers rely on SACS for everything from feed to tack to the latest styles in cowboy hats and jeans. Assistant Fire Chief Preston Landry stated that the building sustained approximately $100,000 in damage. Inventory was lost as well.

12 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

2017 Event Schedule February 2017 Friday, February 10 Finally Friday Barrel Race Saturday, February 11 NBHA Barrel Race Saturday, February 18 Team Roping March 2017 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday March 10-12 Vintage Market Days Friday, March 17 Finally Friday Barrel Race Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19 Bunny Barrel Blast Barrel Race Friday and Saturday, March 24-25 Cross Brand Youth Rodeo

Friday, March 31 Deep South Dog Agility Show April 2017 Saturday, and Sunday April 1-2 Deep South Dog Agility Show Friday, April 7 Blood Drive Saturday, April 8 Cattle Show Wednesday, April 12 4-H Achievement Day Thursday, April 13 AG Wonders Day Friday 21, April 21 Finally Friday Saturday, April 22 NBHA Barrel Race

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


14 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


16 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Update on the Maternal Grandsire Effect

Jenny L. Sones, DVM, PhD, DACT Assistant Professor of Theriogenology (Reproductive Medicine) Equine Health Studies Program Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences Louisiana State University, Veterinary Teaching Hospital Baton Rouge, LA Figure 2. Terlingua, notable daughter of Secretariat. She was a record breaking stakes winner herself, but she was also the dame of two-time leading North American sire, Storm Cat. (https:// thevaulthorseracing.wordpress. com/2011/06/04/following-terlingua/) In recent years, veterinary scientists have begun to shed light on the genetic For many years horsemen and women have witnessed a phenomenon known mechanisms that lead to the Maternal as the Maternal Grandsire Effect. The most notable example of this being Grandsire Effect. Important studies in Secretariat (Figure 1), one of the greatest Thoroughbred racehorses of our the 1960s revealed that the stallion’s role time. While Secretariat was one of the most impressive athletes of modern in breeding does not stop at conception, but continues to ensure pregnancy times, his offspring did not race to his competitive level. maintenance in the mare. Scientists measured equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), the placenta-derived hormone of pregnancy maintenance in the horse, in horse x horse and donkey x donkey pregnancies. While eCG is high in horse x horse pregnancies, it is low in donkey x donkey pregnancies. Interestingly, crossing a mare and a jack (male donkey) results in low eCG, but when a jenny (female donkey) is crossed to a stallion eCG is high, similar to that seen in horse x horse pregnancies. This crucial finding pointed those in the field to investigate the role of the stallion’s genetics in pregnancy success.

Figure 1. Secretariat, one of the most impressive athletes of modern times and his daughters were exceptional broodmares. (Anthony Alonso, http://www. However, his daughters were exceptional broodmares, one notable daughter being Terlingua (Figure 2). Not only was she a record breaking stakes winner herself, but she was also the dame of two-time leading North American sire, Storm Cat.

Equine geneticists combined these previous findings with the novel discovery of offspring genes in which expression is exclusively derived from maternally (dam) or paternally (sire) inherited genes, but not both. These genes, known as imprinted genes, are present in the placenta. Nearly 50 years after the eCG experiments, scientists uncovered that nearly 100% of imprinted genes in the placenta are paternally expressed, i.e. a result of the sire’s DNA sequence being passed down. Therefore, the stallion plays a central role not only in conception, but also in the maintenance of pregnancy through placental gene expression and thus health of the foal. In the last 10 years, leading scientists have also determined the “speed gene” that is believed to contribute to racing success in Thoroughbred horses. With the rapid pace of science and technology, the breeding industry will likely add parental genetics to determine the best crosses for creating the ideal racehorse that carries the “speed gene” from the sire or dam. The Maternal Grandsire Effect has been proven to be beyond an observation, instead becoming the prelude to a scientific breakthrough that has longstanding implications for horse breeding and beyond.

18 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

New Foal? What should you do? 10 Tips on Foal Care Dr. Frank M. Andrews | LVMA Equine Committee Professor and Director Equine Health Studies Program |Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences School of Veterinary Medicine | Louisiana State University

1. Vaccinate the mare 30 days before foaling with a product containing tetanus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus. The normal gestation length for mares averages 335-345 days from the breeding date. 2. Foals should take 15 to 30 minutes from the time the mare starts pushing. The normal foal presentation is similar to a diving position: both front feet should come first, with one foot slightly in front of the other and the soles facing down. The nose should be on top of the front limbs and the neck, shoulders, abdomen and hindquarters should then follow. If the foal presents in any other fashion (no head, only one foot, soles facing upward or tail first), then a veterinarian should be called immediately. Improperly positioned foals are a true emergency and require immediate attention if the foal is to have a chance of survival. 3. Once the foal is on the ground allow the mare and foal may lay there for 5 to 10 minutes. The umbilicus should stay attached so that the foal can get extra blood. Allow the mare and foal to bond before you enter the stall. The foal should stand within 1 hour and start nursing within 2 hours. Within 3 hours the foal should pass meconium (first feces) and urinate (the foal should generate a good urine stream). 4. The foal should nurse every 30 to 40 minutes and should be bright and interested in the surrounding environment. If the foal is lethargic, slow, or wanders around the stall without nursing, this may indicate a “dummy foal” and you should call your veterinarian. 5. Call your veterinarian once the mare and foal are stable tell him/her that you have a newborn foal and describe the foal’s behavior. Keep a record of the foaling activity, including length of time it took the mare to foal, and the timing of events above. Communicate this to your veterinarian. Make an appointment so that your veterinarian can check the foal and the placenta (don’t throw the placenta away) within 12 to 24 hours. 6. During the veterinary visit, blood will be drawn to check to see if the foal got adequate colostrum (first milk) and enough antibodies. The Snap® test is the preferred test for this. 7. Cleaning and dipping the navel in chlorhexidine (or a weak iodine) solution 2 to 3 times daily for the first 3-5 days of life is essential. Don’t use strong tincture of iodine (7%) as it will cauterize the navel and may lead to an abscess later. Check to make sure that the navel is dry and urine is not leaking out of the navel, a condition called “patent urachus”! If this should occur, call your veterinarian immediately. 8. The foal should suckle approximately 20 to 30 times daily and it should latch on to the tit and drink without interruption. If the foal nurses for a few seconds and then goes into the back of the stall or becomes colicky, then the foal may have gastric ulcers and will need to be evaluated by your veterinarian and treated. 9. Nibbling on hay and grain occurs at approximately 1-3 weeks of age. Your foal should be curious about the stall or paddock and frisky (at times). At approximately 1 month you can start the foal on creep-feeding. Consult foal creep-feeding instructions on the feed bag. 10. Turnout and exercise is important for foals and mares after foaling. Observe the mare and foal during the 1st turnout, to avoid injury and problems with dogs, wildlife or other horses. Observe your foal frequently during the first month of life and keep your veterinarian up to date on the foal’s progress. Enjoy your newborn foal and congratulations!

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


20 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

Equine Health

by Neely

Neely Walker, PhD: LSU Ag Center | Equine Extension Specialist

Preparing Stallions for Breeding Season A breeding soundness exam is a useful tool that stallion owners and managers can use to evaluate the reproductive status of their stallion. The objective of a breeding soundness exam (BSE) is to determine if a stallion has the mental and physical ability to produce viable offspring without spreading infectious disease. While this type of evaluation is critical to determine the number of mares a stallion can successfully cover in a given year, most often this step is overlooked until there is a problem. While the specifics of a BSE may vary between veterinarians, each evaluation should include: • Reproductive History- needs to be complete in order to avoid inaccuracies. The following information should be collected; age, present numbers of mares covered including their pregnancy rate, foaling rate, or infection. Data from previous evaluations, lameness, illness, fertility issues, current medications, health status, and intended method of breeding. • Physical Exam- while a breeding soundness exam mainly focuses on the reproductive health of stallions, the general health of the animal should not be overlooked. It is important to positively identify the stallion to prevent legal complications, then focus on the body condition score of the animal. Attention should be paid to any abnormality (physical or genetic) that may inhibit the animal’s ability to mate successfully without passing on negative heritable conditions, including lameness or back pain. • Reproductive Genitalia Exam- an evaluation on the reproductive anatomy is also important. The stallion’s penis, sheath, testes and epididymis should be anatomically correct, functional and free from injury or disease. Size, shape and consistency of the testes and epididymis should be noted. A veterinarian may choose to use a set of calipers or an ultrasound to determine the overall volume of each testicle, which is a valuable measurement that helps determine the stallion’s daily sperm output. • Sexual Behavior- some stallions may have an aversion to displaying natural breeding behavior based on previous training. For example, stallions that are used as performance animals and show are expected to behave and not display breeding behavior. The training used to teach them to control this natural behavior may create difficulties in the breeding shed. During a breeding soundness exam, a stallion should

have immediate interest and interaction with a mare in heat, should obtain an erection within 2 minutes, display a readiness to mount within 5-10 seconds following erection, and should ejaculate on first mount. The total breeding time should not take longer than 5 minutes. A young stallion or a one who does not display normal breeding behavior may need additional training by an experienced handler. • Semen Evaluation- specialized equipment is used to evaluate the volume, concentration, motility and morphology of a semen sample. The color and consistency of the sample along with contents such as debris, urine, or blood. This evaluation determines the number of viable sperm cells available which indicates the number of mares a stallion can breed per collection. In special circumstances additional testing to rule out any reproductive dysfunction may be needed. While a breeding soundness exam can give stallion owners an indication of potential reproductive soundness, it does not measure fertility. In order to “pass” a breeding soundness exam, a stallion’s second ejaculate, that is collected one hour after the first must contain at least “1 billion progressively motile, morphologically normal spermatozoa.” Advanced breeding technologies exist to help extend the breeding career of stallions. Therefore, managing your stallion’s overall health and reproductive soundness with your veterinarian can extend its overall career and impact on the equine industry. References: 1. Squires, E. 2015. A Stallion Breeding Soundness Exam. SRS Breeders Blog. 2. Samper, J.C. 2009. Equine Breeding Management and Artificial Insemination. 2nd Edition 3 Bedford-Guaus, S.J. 2014. Breeding Soundness Examiniation of Stallions. The Merck Veterinary Manual.

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Place your bets for the A. McBeath Scholarship! by Laura Sumrall Muntean

What’s in a name? A legacy in the horse world was left on this earth when Andrew McBeath was taken far too soon from those around him this past fall, but his name will live on through the A. McBeath Scholarship. With a love and passion for all things horse show, Andrew made a name for himself to be followed with joy and laughter, but above all passion for the horse industry. He loved all of his experiences in the horse show world, and those experiences better prepared him for what was to come in the real world. As an avid participant in the youth programs, he held offices in both MQHYA and AQHYA, as a Region 9 Director and on to be the Vice President for AQHYA. After completing college and beginning a family, Andrew was ready to be back involved heavily in the horse show industry. He took the time to manage a few horse shows and share experiences with the youth kids in hopes of preparing them for their own future endeavors. Always a part of the Dixie National and the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association, Andrew found himself making a strong effort to be as involved as possible and was to be the MQHA President this year when life took a turn. In honor of Andrew and his hard work and dedication with the youth division, the MQHA Youth will be matching the first $10,000 received for the scholarship to help reach the goal. With a love of the freestyle reining, Andrew could be found every year as a part of a skit as well as helping put on the show that brings in thousands of people every year. This year’s freestyle will be held on February 17, and the Race for the Roses Arena Race and Calcutta will take place during intermission to help bring in money for the A. McBeath Scholarship. The scholarship committee has set a goal of $25,000 in order to have it named in Andrew’s honor through AQHA, and there are many ways to be involved or donate to the scholarship. With a goal set for $25,000 and hopeful to exceed, scholarship recipients will receive $500. However if the scholarship surpasses the goal in donations, the recipients will receive a larger scholarship each year. The scholarship will be awarded each year to a youth participant within Region 9 who has displayed leadership abilities. Ways to be involved: Hospitality Room A hospitality room is available in the Equine Center for anyone looking for a snack and coffee, get some rest on the couches, or just enjoy the live feed from the coliseum during the Dixie National. Delta Telephone and Franklin Telephone have donated the area to anyone in need of a little Southern hospitality. All sponsors get in free, and any other participants, family, or friends may join by purchasing a $100 wristband at the door.

Race for the Roses and Calcutta The Race for the Roses and Calcutta will be the entertainment during intermission of the Freestyle Reining on Friday, February 17th. Riders have paid $100 to enter, and their horses require a $500 sponsor. All proceeds will go to the A. McBeath Scholarship. Riders include Christy Harris, Chele McGauly, Neely Brown, Billy McBeath, David Hutton, Brooks Derryberry, Sara Steen Holt, Jamie Laird, Ty Cornelius, Tom McBeath, and Tim Kimura. The riders will each have a jar to be filled with donations, and whoever brings in the most money will receive a 10-foot lead at the Race for the Roses! So be sure to drop a few coins in your favorite rider’s jar. Jars can be found at the horse show office and at the live auction before the horse sale. The Calcutta will also be going on. Place your bet on your favorite horse! Fifty percent of the proceeds from the Calcutta will go back to the scholarship, and the remaining fifty percent will be divided between the first and second place horses. Place your bets, and come support our horses during the Freestyle Reining! All expenses for the fundraiser are being covered by the MQHYA. Thank you to all who have sponsored a horse and rider, or who have donated your time and efforts towards this scholarship. During the race, Andrew’s brother Billy McBeath will be wearing his brother’s number on his silks. And in true Andrew fashion, he plans on bringing home the win for the family.

All donations are tax deductible

Contact the A. McBeath Scholarship for further information at

Silent Auction The Silent Auction will take place during the Equestrians with Disabilities Horse Show in the Equine Center on February 6th, 7th, and 8th. All proceeds will go to the A. McBeath Scholarship. Live Auction The Live Auction will be held before the Horse Sale on Saturday February 18 in the sale pen at the Trade Mart building. Mary Bess Woodruff donated two mini donkeys to be auctioned off at the horse sale. Many other items will also be available. The proceeds from the first miniature donkey will go to the A. McBeath Scholarship, and the second miniature donkey’s proceeds will go to the Mississippi Children’s Cancer Clinic.

22 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


24 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


26 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

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Change is the New Normal for 2017! by Dave Foster

We have made it to the shortest month of the year, so what is in store for us in agriculture? For starters we have a new President, Donald Trump and a new Secretary of Agriculture, 2 term Georgia Governor, Sonny Perdue. This year will be interesting! We will experience change and there will be plenty of “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” to point out problems. Be that as it may, we still live in the best country of the world with farmers and ranchers ready to go to work. As I have stated before, the year 2016 was a learning experience with many lessons that were hard to accept. However, as a result we are prepared to face the challenges of 2017 and take advantage of the opportunities that lay ahead. Our cattle numbers in Louisiana continue to confuse me. The USDA Cattle Inventory 2016 showed less total cattle, but higher beef replacement heifers. Cattle marketed through Louisiana’s seven auction markets were 7.5% lower in 2016 and Superior Video numbers were off by 34%. The 2017 Cattle Inventory was released the end of January, so we can see the new numbers. If you are in the cow/calf business in Louisiana now is the time to contact your marketing agent (auction market, video rep, order buyer) to get posted on the market. My prediction is that 2017 will not be a “normal” year, weather excluded. We are already behind in rye grass growth and grazing to date has been limited, however, we are not alone. Wheat pasture grazing started the season with a bang only to be hammered in January by freezing temperatures and ice. Some stockers reduced their stocking rate by selling cattle early, which lends itself to good demand for stockers in April and May. For our fall calves in Louisiana, look at June and July markets for an increase in demand for calves under 600 lbs to go to grass in the Kansas Flint Hills and mid-west states. The replacement female market continues to hold its own which bodes well for replacement heifer and cow sales this spring. The year 2017 is not the year to “fall asleep”. Be alert, think outside the box and most importantly be flexible and receptive to change. CPL hosted an information seminar titled “Dirt Rich or Dirt Poor” in early February. Hopefully the attendees took this information home to share with their neighbors. CPL will have similar events in 2017. Go to our website, or call 888-528-6999 for information or questions regarding the cattle industry. Enjoy the King Cakes this month.

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


28 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

Q & A with Steven DeVille, Stallion Manager by Barbara Newtown

Steven DeVille is the Stallion Manager at Acadiana Equine Hospital at Copper Crowne and at LACER, the Louisiana Center for Equine Reproduction. The facilities are both in Opelousas, Louisiana, and are only a couple of miles apart. The businesses started separately, but now they are merged together under the guidance of Dr. Eddie Cramer and Dr. James “Sonny” Corley. The stallions live at Copper Crowne and most of the mares live at LACER. In the springtime Steven DeVille hustles back and forth between the two locations, either carrying fresh Quarter Horse semen to mares at LACER for artificial insemination, or hauling Thoroughbred mares to Copper Crowne for live cover with Thoroughbred stallions. (The Thoroughbred breed only allows live cover. Quarter Horses may be bred by live cover or by A.I.) In the summer Steven spends time at LACER prepping yearlings for sales. And every day he checks on the well-being of the Copper Crowne stallions. Steven also advises owners about which stallions would probably blend well with their mares, based on analysis of conformation and pedigrees. Steven, how did you get started in the breeding business? My dad is Dr. Phillip DeVille, of DeVille Veterinary Clinic in Abbeville, Louisiana. His specialty is equine reproduction. He used to manage the reproduction at Robicheaux Ranch and Hart Farms. Lately he’s mainly focused on Robicheaux Ranch and a bunch of smaller farms. I’ve grown up going to barns with my dad and getting to know Quarter Horse breeders all over the state. I’ve been lucky to get my foot in the door because of the opportunity to meet everybody. I’m only 25, but I feel like I’ve been in this business for as long as some of the elders in the game! Yes, I’ve been around horses a long time. There are pictures of me at ages 2 and 3 on a horse all by myself. I worked at Robicheaux Ranch as a kid in the summertime up through my high school years. While attending college at McNeese State University studying Equine Science, I worked three years for Dr. Larry Findley at Delta Equine in Vinton. Dr. Findley started introducing me to not only the veterinary side and the hospital side, but also a lot to the

reproductive side. Once I came to work at Copper Crowne with Dr. Cramer, he started sending me to more classes and showing me “hands-on” things. Tell me how you prepare and transport the semen for A.I. We collect the stallions at Copper Crowne and there I analyze the semen. We get a total sperm count for the whole collection, and that tells me how many mares I can service at one time. I determine whether there’s enough for the number of mares I have booked. We ship semen to other cities or states, too. I extend the semen, four parts extender to one part semen, divide it equally into syringes, put them into boxes with ice packs, and mail it or take it down the road to LACER. We use A.I. to breed our warmbloods. I prefer it—I think it’s safer for the mare and the stallion than live cover. Correct. Sometimes the mare might not be willing to take a stallion. Also, sometimes a mare or stallion might have fertility issues. A.I. sometimes allows a pregnancy to happen that might not be possible with live cover. When you insert the pipette into the uterus of the mare, do you try to direct the semen towards the side that has the ripe follicle? When we do regular A.I. with a large volume dose, we simply infuse the semen into the uterus, and there’s enough semen to travel up both horns and find the egg. Now, when we centrifuge the collected semen, it’s a lower volume and more concentrated; then we will direct it up a certain horn, depending on which side the follicle is on. Do you always use a breeding mount when you collect a stallion? [Breeding mount, dummy, and phantom are

terms for the same thing: a support for the stallion’s weight during breeding. The mare in heat, either the mare to be infused with semen or a “teaser” mare, stands alongside or in front of the mount. The stallion is encouraged to rise up onto the mount. A handler directs the stallion’s penis into the warmed and lubricated “artificial vagina.”] Most of the time I use a mount. Most of my stallions are trained to jump the dummy. However, there have been times where stallions have been pasture bred previously and they are accustomed to being on top of a mare. I will artificially collect those stallions, but I use the mare as a dummy instead of an actual phantom. And I had a stallion that had issues with his front feet and couldn’t get on top of a mare or a dummy, so I had to “ground collect” him. Tell me about the Quarter Horse stallion Jess Cuervo. He’s a younger stallion. His sire is Corona Cartel, whose line lately has proven to be a very hot line of stallions. His dam, by Mr Jess Perry, has produced two or three other stakes horses. Jess Cuervo retired sound, has had no surgeries whatsoever, and is a very correct, well-balanced, and sensible horse. Everything about him screams “Big Time Stallion Potential.” I understand that everybody in the stallion business wants to give their stallion a chance, but there’s something unique about this horse. He has that little edge to him that just makes you take notice. Jess Cuervo is a freshman sire, which means his first group of babies will race this year. Last year this same group went to the sales, and Jess Cuervo was Louisiana’s number one leading first-year sales sire. Compared to all the stallions in the state, he was fourth overall, with an $18,000 average on his foals. The three stallions that topped him were Game Patriot, Heza Fast Dash, and Jess Louisiana Blue.

Continued on page 39...

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Q & A with Tyler Waguespack, 2016 World Champion Steer Wrestler by Mike Milazzo Tyler Waguespack of Gonzales, Louisiana, first qualified for the National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling in 2015. This year he went all the way and won the World Championship. Tyler is grateful to his dad, Michael, who taught him the value of hard work. He also thanks Arthur Smith, who started teaching him how to rope calves when he was only ten, and Troy Aucoin, who worked with Tyler during his high school years. The Finals are held in the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Tyler says that the arena is small and the start is really fast. “You have to have your horse moving off of the corner of the box before the gates open. It’s kind of a weird feeling, because you are running at a barrier. It’s hard to make yourself ride, hoping that the gate is going to open!” Tyler worked hard on his starts to get ready for the 2015 competition and ended up sixth in the average. This year all the stars aligned: hard work, good steers, thorough mental and physical preparation, great teachers, super horses, and supportive friends. Tyler, congratulations! Let’s talk about how you got to the National Finals Rodeo. This year I competed in about 70 or 80 rodeos—I’m not sure of the exact number. I traveled with Clayton Hass and Ty Erickson. We had some outstanding horses in the rig, and that was a tremendous key to our success. We had a great season: we all started in the top five, and by the end of the year we were still in the top five. We started off with a bang and still finished strong. Ty went into the finals in first, I went in at third, and Clayton went in at fifth. Going into the finals, I had just over $85,000. Take us step-by-step through the finals. It started off great. Clayton and I split the first round with a 3.8. That gets your confidence rolling, when you start off at the top. But it really messes with you when you start off slow like my buddy Ty. He’s a great bulldogger, one of the top in the world, but unfortunately he missed his first steer. That drops your confidence level. He worked hard to get out of that hole and he had a really great week, but I know that if he’d won that first go-round he

would have been neck and neck with us the whole time. In my second round, I had a steer that wasn’t quite as good as my first one, but I was still able to win fifth place. I was the only one to place on that steer the whole week! I came back and won the third go-round (with J. D. Struxness), which kept gas on the fire. I placed in every round except the eighth and the tenth. I split the sixth with Billy Bugenig and Riley Duvall, with a 3.6. In the eighth, my steer stepped hard left. Great horsepower helped me get by that steer. The horse was able to swap leads and come back to the steer and give us a good go. In the tenth round, all I had to do was throw the steer down, so we backed off the barrier a little bit, ran the steer to the middle of the pen, caught him, laid him over, and won the World Championship! My time was 4.4. I was actually only one hole out of placing. Tyler, it looks like all you guys at the finals have a great relationship—anybody will help anybody. Yes, sir. I had a lot of support from everybody. That’s what I like about the steer wrestlers at the NFR. We are good buddles. In steer wrestling, we respect a good run. No matter if you do it, your buddy does it, or the guys you’re competing against do it, a good run deserves a round of applause. If somebody makes a good run, they deserve the credit and a “Great job!” for the run they made. Everybody is pushing everybody to do better and you just feed off of one another. When did you realize you were going to be the World Champion? Well, there’s never a point where you just know that you’re going to win. You can kind of see the odds falling your way when someone has a tough run. You don’t necessarily have to win every night, but you can stay near the top if you continue to

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have good runs. By the last couple of rounds, I and Clayton and Matt Reeves were the only ones to have a clear chance at the title. Matt had some tough luck in the ninth, which allowed me to have a pretty good gap. I knew if I won the average, no one could catch me. It helps you to be a little more relaxed when you know you just have to catch this one steer. But— the night before—that’s probably that’s the hardest steer to think about catching! When you caught that tenth-round steer, you must have been flying high. It’s amazing to know that all of your hard work has finally paid off. It’s something I’ve worked for ever since I’ve been little. We run steers every day. I can’t find anybody who practices harder. If I do find him, I want to see if I can’t beat him! I’ll do whatever it takes to put in enough effort to do it. So, in the ten rounds, how much did you win? $213,000. And then what did you win for the average? The paycheck for winning first in the average was a little over $67,000. Tell me about this fine Dodge pickup truck I’m looking at. The RAM Top Gun Award Truck goes to the person at the finals that wins more money than anyone else, regardless of which event you’re in. And you also won… A Polaris Ranger, a saddle, a gold buckle, and, I guess, a lot of respect from a lot of people.

Congratulations to Tyler Waguespack, World Champion, on a great year.

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Lulu’s Story

The saving of a horse by the girl who loves her. by Kathy Packman

Lulu was certainly not one of the drop-dead gorgeous horses that we see photos of plastered all over social media. An Oldenberg/Appaloosa cross, her Appaloosa side came out glaringly, not only in her coat pattern and mottled skin, but also in the classic scrubby Appaloosa mane and tail, a throwback to the origins of the breed. She was once described as “interestinglooking” by one of our kids at camp, which may have been the most complementary comment on her looks that she had ever received. But the first time trainer Gwen Swanbom set eyes on the young mare, she saw beyond her looks and noticed her athleticism and the potential that she possesssed. Four years ago, fourteen-year-old Carliss Sampognaro began riding the then six-year-old mare and quickly came to share Gwen’s faith

Novice Championsips at the Holly Hill Horse Trials. In 2016, they moved up to novice, earning enough points by summer’s end to become SEDA Junior Novice Champion at schooling horse trials and SEDA Junior Novice Reserve Champion at recognized horse trials for the year.

Then, in late summer of 2016, everything changed. About a week after coming home from a show, Lulu appeared to have a fungal infection on her right front leg. Carliss began treating it, but it began to show some swelling, and she called Dr. Damon Odom. He said it looked like she had developed a bacterial infection and prescribed penicillin. The swelling went down, and she seemed fine until a few days later when they were schooling cross country. Although there was no apparent lameness, Carliss said that something about her gait that day just didn’t feel right. A couple of days later, another mare, Stella, began showing some lameness, which appeared to be the beginning of a hoof abcess. By the next day, Stella was beginning to exhibit more pain, even occasionally lying down in her stall. Being the weekend, we continued to treat it as an abcess, with the plan of calling the vet on Monday if it had not resolved. However, that evening, Stella lay down in her stall and would not get up, so Dr. Odom was called. Upon examination, all of her vital signs appeared in Lulu’s abilities. Thus began a story of love and devotion between a girl normal, but she had begun having some muscle tremors, and her inability and a horse which eventually saved Lulu in a battle for her life which no to rise made him consider the possibility of it being rhababdomyolysis one involved will ever forget. or polysaccharide storage myopathy, or possibly something neurological. Dr. Odom did bloodwork, which appeared normal, and in the meantime It was obvious from the beginning that Carliss and Lulu were a great match. basically treated her for everything, hoping that something would hit the By 2014, they were successfully showing 2’6” jumpers, usually placing mark. Unfortunately, not long after administering the various treatments, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. In 2015, the pair continued showing in 2’6” – 3’ jumpers, she began having seizures, which increased in frequency during the night, and also began their eventing career. Qualifying for the championship and so the decision was made to put her down. Continued on page 34... their first year, they earned an impressive 5th place in the Area V Beginner

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Continued from page 32... Lulu’s Story The saving of a horse by the girl who loves her. by Kathy Packman

With the advent of the seizures, all signs were now pointing to something neurological, with the possibility of West Nile virus being foremost, even though she was current on the vaccination. Later that afternoon, we happened to notice that Lulu was frequently lying down in the pasture, and so we brought her to the barn to check her out, and noted that her gait was slightly abnormal in a way that appeared to be neurological. Fearing a second case within hours of the first one, we hurriedly called Dr. Odom. His examination confirmed our suspicions of it appearing to be neurological, but as she was still on her feet and not nearly as critical as Stella, he felt that most of her signs pointed to a possibility of EPM. He drew blood, and instructed us to begin treatment for EPM, but within 30 minutes of his departure from the barn, Lulu went down in her stall and began having muscle tremors exactly as Stella had done. We managed to get her back on her feet, and at this point, the decision was made to immediately take her to LSU where further diagnostic testing procedures would be readily available and critical care could more easily be administered. Prayers were answered, and Lulu survived and was still on her feet at the end of the five-hour trip to Baton Rouge. The history was given of both Stella’s and Lulu’s symptoms

botulism, remembered that Stella and Lulu had been stalled next to each other at the show earlier in the month, and that there had been some old, bug-infested hay in the stalls when they first put the horses in. By the time they noticed it and removed it, the horses had both taken a few bites of the hay. When asked about testing for botulism, Connie and Carliss were told that it would be very inaccurate, as it had been too long since any possible exposure. When Connie inquired about giving Lulu the botulism antitoxin as a precaution, she was told that they did not think it necessary, and, in fact, by this time they were leaning more toward believing it was something to the veterinarians at the LSU clinic by both musclo-skeletal in origin. And Gwen and Dr. Odom, and they began treating her although we who had witnessed Stella’s seizures for the neurological symptoms with intravenous and watched Lulu’s progression of symptoms DMSO, and also began testing for any possible heartily disagreed, the clinicians discontinued cause of the symptoms, initially agreeing with the neurological treatments and proceeded to do Dr. Odom that the most likely cause was West bone scans and a muscle biopsy, none of which Nile. showed anything remarkable, and on Sunday, one week after arriving at LSU, they sent her The weekend that all of this was happening, home, still without a firm diagnosis. She had lost Carliss happened to be on a trip to check out about 200 pounds, but the muscle tremors had Auburn University as a possible college choice, abated, and she had begun eating better. Then on but upon returning, quickly made plans to head Thursday, part 2 of the nightmare began. to Baton Rouge along with her mother, Connie, to be near her beloved horse. Over the next few Early Thursday morning, the first person at the days, Lulu made some slight improvement, in barn noticed that Lulu was down and couldn’t that the muscle tremors seem to rise, and she appeared to have facial were somewhat reduced paralysis on the right side. Sara immediately and she remained on called Gwen up to the barn, and upon checking her feet, but she was Lulu, Gwen quickly called Carliss and Dr. Odom. not eating well and still As soon as enough help arrived, tow straps were appeared to be far from put around her and the bucket on the tractor was normal. Test results used to lift her to her feet. As she was unable began to come back, to completely support herself, a temporary sling ruling out West Nile, was made from a bulk feed sack, and she was EHV, and EPM, and supported from a beam in our covered arena. Dr. by Wednesday, to our Odom began administering fluids, intravenous great relief, anything DMSO, and antibiotics. Throughout the next communicable had hours, “team Lulu”, an amazing group of barn been crossed off the friends who volunteered countless hours and list. Carliss had begun weathered many sleepless nights, continued to to do her own internet work. She was alternately allowed to lie down research into Lulu’s and rest for periods of time, and then lifted by symptoms, and upon the tractor and supported for a time. reading about the Continued on page 38... neurological effects of

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Continued from page 34... Lulu’s Story The saving of a horse by the girl who loves her. by Kathy Packman By late afternoon, it was apparent that a decision would have to be made, and Carliss would have to be the one to make that decision. Given that her symptoms now more closely matched those of botulism, the only alternatives appeared to be putting her down or administering the antitoxin, which would have to be obtained from LSU and somehow gotten to Dubach before it was too late. At this point, Lulu had been lying completely prone on her side on the ground for a while, seeming too tired to even lift her head, and things were not looking very good. Knowing that they were all physically and emotionally exhausted, Gwen suggested that they pray for an answer. Just as Gwen ended the prayer by asking for a sign to show them what they needed to do, Lulu raised her head and looked at them all as if to say that she was not done yet. Carliss immediately made the decision to do whatever it took to get her the botulism antitoxin. Connie called LSU, and arrangements were made to have the antitoxin brought from Baton Rouge by courier service, and Lulu received her first dose of the botulism antitoxin at 3 a.m. on Friday morning. Throughout the night, “team Lulu” alternately got her up and allowed her to rest, turning her over every two hours during her “rest periods” to prevent pneumonia. By mid-morning on Friday, it was obvious that Lulu was improving! She was able to stand on her own for short periods of time, and as the day went on, her standing times increased in length. For the next several days she remained in “intensive care” in the covered arena, with Carliss rarely leaving her side. There were usually two to four people from “team Lulu” present to help at all times, around the clock. Dr. Odom came daily, and sometimes twice a day. She continued to get fluids and antibiotics and DMSO I.V. As she was still unable to rise on her own, the team was still lifting her with the tractor and turning her over during rest times. The feed bag sling was replaced by a tow strap harness made by Carliss’ father, Greg. Gradually over the next days she began to stay up longer and longer, eventually staying on her feet for hours at a time. Then, after one full week of lifting her with the tractor multiple times a day, she finally got up on her own! With this huge step forward, Lulu got to move out of the “intensive care” unit of the covered arena and into a small paddock between our barns. She remained on the antibiotics and DMSO treatments and appeared to be improving daily, eating well and gaining strength over the next week or so. But when we tried to back off of the DMSO treatments, to everyone’s dismay, she began regressing, and once again was unable to rise without the aid of the tractor. It was then that we discovered that, in more progressed cases of botulism, it is recommended that two doses of the antitoxin be given, back-toback. Since it had already been nearly two weeks since the first dose, she would need at least two more doses. So more antitoxin was ordered, and in fact, Lulu received three more doses, back-to-back. All during this time, while everyone else was riding, Carliss could faithfully be found sitting under the pecan tree with Lulu for hours at a time overseeing Lulu’s antitoxin doses or her DMSO treatments, never giving up on her. Thankfully, after these final doses of antitoxin, Lulu began to rapidly progress, and with no further episodes of regression, she began her road to recovery. Although no formal diagnosis was ever made, and we can never be 100% sure of the cause, Lulu has continued to improve. To look at her now, just a few months later, the casual observer would never notice that anything had ever been wrong. She has gained back her weight, and the facial droop is gone. She has been building muscle back through daily sessions on our Equivibe and jogging up hills behind Carliss. Recently Carliss has begun taking her to Branch Farms for hydrotherapy sessions, as well. Back in the mare pasture, she has even regained her old position as alpha mare. Through it all, Lulu is a living testimony to the love, faith, hope, and prayers of a courageous young woman. And Lulu’s story is the story of how the amazing devotion and bond between she and Carliss saved her.

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Continued from page 29... Q & A with Steven DeVille, Stallion Manager by Barbara Newtown

For a freshman stallion to come in and accomplish that, everyone takes notice. Selling well is only part of the game, but the feedback from the trainers that I’ve heard over the last couple of months has been outstanding. The colts are very intelligent—they pick up everything extremely fast. A couple of guys told me that they are really excited to get this season cranked up. They think they have something special in their barns. You hope for the best and hope all the hard work pays off. What accounted for the excitement about the Jess Cuervo yearlings? Was it just the way they looked, or was it the interesting combo of Corona Cartel and a dam by Mr Jess Perry? The yearlings sold so well, and yet there were no progeny race records for people to consult. The owner and I wanted a lot of numbers—lots of foals—but we also realize that quality is better than quantity. We wanted to make sure that we had the best mares we possibly could have. We held him [his stud fee] pretty solid, and because of that it attracted some of the better mares in the state and even outside the state, from Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The mare power that we bred Jess Cuervo to just about equaled the mares that the top three stallions in the state were getting. Everybody came up and told me, “Man, I

could see that was a Jess Cuervo just by the look!” His foals had a certain class about the way they looked and acted. What was Jess Cuervo’s favorite distance? Jess isn’t very large; that’s typical of Corona Cartels. They are solid, though, and well put together. Jess stands roughly at 15.2. Most of the time smaller horses tend to go best between 300 and 350 yards. But Jess is unique in that he likes to go the classic distance of 440, right at a quarter of a mile. There is more money in those races. Will we see some Jess Cuervos at the Mardi Gras trials at Louisiana Downs? Yes, ma’am! Supposedly there’s a handful starting the trials. I do have reports of some other Cuervos that may be starting in some maiden races up there, just to get their minds right and prepped for the Delta Downs meet. Delta is where we’ll see the majority of his foals. I have to ask about the Thoroughbred stallion Songandaprayer. I had to look twice when I saw him on the LACER website. He looks like an event horse to me! Not many Thoroughbreds can be described like Songandaprayer. He’s almost like an all-around Quarter Horse. You could use him in any competition! He’s 16.3, very good boned, nice and wide feet, and very intelligent. He has $40 million in progeny earnings in Thoroughbred racing, but he could fit well anywhere, in Quarter Horse competitions or even your sports,

jumping and dressage, just going by the size and intelligence of his babies. What was his best distance? He was a sprinter—six to seven furlongs. They ran him in the Kentucky Derby and even to this day he still holds the record for the fastest opening half mile. One mile equals eight furlongs, so by the time he got to the mile, the rest of the field was just cranking up! He never had a true chance in the race, but the owners couldn’t pass up the prestige. And the fact that he has the fastest opening half mile in 130 years of running the Kentucky Derby—well, that’s a true testament to his speed. Breeders of sprinting Thoroughbreds will know that fact forever, and so will some Quarter Horse breeders. Songandaprayer can do a one-turn or a twoturn route—he can adjust to whatever situation he comes to. I notice that four of the five Quarter Horse stallions you stand at Copper Crowne have Mr Jess Perry close up on either the top or the bottom of their pedigrees. Mr Jess Perry has proved himself to be a very substantial part of the Quarter Horse industry. He started in Louisiana and has become a national icon. He’s just added so much. It’s always an advantage to put Jess Perry in your breeding operation. Thank you, Steven!

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Preparing your Stallion for the Breeding Season: A Veterinarian’s Perspective It is not uncommon for stallion owners to think that because their stallion is young or has previously had good pregnancy rates that he will repeat his performance the subsequent breeding season.

Changes in fertility can happen quickly and without warning, regardless of the age or care. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the reproductive potential of your stallion. This is referred to as a Breeding Soundness Examination (BSE). Not performing a BSE prior to the breeding season can have deleterious serious consequences, such as when the mares bred to him are found open, i.e. not in foal. Therefore, to prevent economic loss and waste of precious time, we recommend that BSE be done on your stallion every year. The BSE involves a complete and systematic examination of the stallion, starting with a general physical exam and palpation of his external genitalia. The shape, consistency, size, and mobility of testes within the scrotal sac are evaluated. His libido or reaction to the presence of a mare in heat are also observed and recorded. Semen Analyses - A very important part of the BSE is the evaluation of a semen sample, which is collected with the use of an artificial vagina (AV). The American College of Theriogenology along with the Society for Theriogenology (Theriogenology being the branch of specialty veterinary medicine concerned with the study and clinical practice of animal reproduction) has established guidelines to analyze several semen parameters used to assess the reproductive potential of stallions. Stallions are then classified either as satisfactory, questionable, or unsatisfactory prospective breeders based on the characteristics and quality of their semen in relation to the number of mares booked for that stallion for natural cover or artificial insemination. Generally speaking, there are four main parameters to evaluate in a semen sample: Volume, Motility, Concentration and Morphology None of these parameters by itself is more important that the other ones. Each one of them must be evaluated and recorded. The goal is to calculate what the total number of motile, morphologically normal sperm was present in that particular sample. Volume: A particularly high volume in the ejaculate sample does not imply “lots of sperm” or good quality nor on the other hand, a low volume of an ejaculate necessarily means the stallion produced “a poor sample” . Motility: Sperm motility is evaluated carefully with a microscope (preferably using phase contrast); a small droplet of semen is placed onto a warm glass slide and covered with a small plastic or glass coverslip. “Cold shock” is a common type of mishandling that invariably lower sperm motility. The use of semen diluents called semen extenders can be used to protect the semen during the semen analyses procedures. Concentration: this analysis calculates the number of sperm present in each milliliter of semen. Several automated equipment are commercially available to calculate sperm concentrations in horse semen. Morphology: The shape or morphology of sperm present in the sample is evaluated by mixing a small semen sample with specific stains to make dried smears, and use (bright field) microscopy to evaluate and record the shape of at least 100 sperm. That would give the percentage of morphologically normal sperm in that particular semen sample.

It is expected that stallions of normal fertility will have at least 60% of sperm that morphologically normal. Fertility may be impaired in stallion high percentage of abnormal sperm. Examples of abnormal sperm are: swollen or knobbed heads, coiled or broken tails, detached heads, proximal/distal droplets, etc. Again, remember that none of the parameters by itself is more important that the other ones; each one of them must be obtained and evaluated, then combined to determine the overall quality of a particular semen sample. Based on their semen quality, appropriate breeding management can be implemented for stallions with questionable or even unsatisfactory semen parameters that would give them a chance to achieve adequate fertility and relatively successful breeding seasons. Advances in the knowledge of sperm biology and in assisted reproduction technology allow for efficient, practical, and safe use of stallions. Breeding management strategies can be designed based on the intended use of the stallion, for example, is the stallion going to be available for live cover, artificial insemination with chilled or frozen semen? Each of these uses requires specific approaches to maximize fertility of stallions with questionable or poor semen quality. For example, for stallions that will be on a cooled transported semen breeding program – very common in the Quarter Horse breeding industry – a longevity testing of the sperm under cooling conditions for 24-72 hours is highly advised. This type of evaluation involves preparing a number of aliquots of freshly collected semen and testing them with different semen extender with different antibiotics added, and store the samples at 4-5 degrees Celsius. Sperm motility of semen samples are then evaluated at , 0, 24, 48 and 72 hour time points; it is expected that semen samples retain at least a 50% progressive motility at 24 hours and at least a 20% by 72 hours under cooled storage. Stallions that meet these criteria are good candidates to be used in a breeding program with cooled transported semen. In summary, a stallion breeding soundness exam should be done every year. Stallions with significant changes on their semen quality may require specific breeding management to optimize their potential for fertility during the breeding season. Improved semen testing methods are available to your veterinarian, allowing best and specific breeding practices to be devised and implemented. Ultimately, you and your clients will benefit from the information provided by routine, annual stallion breeding soundness exams. Victor Medina, Med. Vet.| Theriogenology Service | School of Veterinary Medicine | Louisiana State University

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The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017



The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

JOCKEY ROBBY ALBARADO JOINS ELITE RANKS WITH CAREER WIN 5,000 NEW ORLEANS (January 22, 2017) – Jockey Robby Albarado joined an elite group on Sunday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots when earning his 5,000th career victory. The 43-year-old Lafayette, Louisiana, native became only the 33rd rider to reach the milestone when guiding Oak Tree Stables’ Scott Gelner-trained Vivacious V. V. to victory in the day’s first race. Albarado began riding professionally at age 16 in June of 1990 and has ridden the likes of top horses Not This Time, Captain Steve, Orientate, Court Vision, Stellar Jayne, Banshee Breeze and – of course – two Horses of the Year in Mineshaft and Curlin. He is also the seventh-leading active jockey in earnings, with his mounts earning in excess of $205 million. In that category, he is 13th all-time. “It’s amazing. I feel like it’s a combination of owners and trainers, family and friends’ support to get to this point – I didn’t do it alone,” Albarado said. “It’s fitting to get it here where I started out. I won three races the whole winter my first meet here. I stuck it out and now I’m here on 5,000 wins. It’s pretty special to do it here at Fair Grounds.” A father of four who is married to Paige Albarado of Fair Grounds Horsemen’s Relations, Albarado has won 201 graded stakes, including 35 Grade I events. His top victories have been the Grade I Preakness Stakes and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Curlin in 2007, as well as the Group I Dubai World Cup aboard that that two-time Horse of the Year the following season. Additionally, Albarado has hit the board in the Grade I Kentucky Derby three times (2006, 2007 and 2013) and Grade I Belmont Stakes three times (2007, 2008 and 2014). About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 11 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. The 145th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 104th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 2016 through April 2017. More information can be found online at

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017



The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Continued from page 11...

Caleb Findley, Stallion Manager at Delta Equine Center in Vinton, Louisiana by Barbara Newtown

Caleb adds that Delta has all the equipment necessary to analyze and take steps to improve results with stallions that might not be so fertile and with mares that have breeding problems. “We stay up-to-date on all the latest studies and technology,” he says. In winter and spring at Delta Equine, Caleb starts the day in the palpation room. A veterinarian inserts his arm into a mare’s rectum and feels each ovary, checking for a ripe follicle. Or the vet can evaluate the follicle by inserting an ultrasound probe into the rectum. Optimal time for breeding can be figured in hours. “99% of the time my grandpa does the rectal palpations,” says Caleb. “If he’s not available, it’s Dr. Appleton or Dr. Troy. We might examine 20 to 40 mares each morning. The palpation room has three stocks, so I can line up three mares at a time, and I have a crew of guys catching the mares and bringing them up from the stalls or the paddocks. As the mares come in, I read their collars, find their records, and tell my grandpa what the mare’s been doing and what we are looking for. He palpates them, tells me the situation, I record the results, and Ms. Barbara, the breeding secretary, enters that information into the computer.” Dr. Findley, Sr., likes dealing with repro problems. Caleb says that his grandfather is an optimist who believes that Delta can get anything in foal. “It’s fulfilling when an owner brings a mare to you and says that they’ve been trying to breed her for two years and she’s never caught, and they want us to try and get her in foal. It takes time and dedication.” Caleb says the most rewarding part of his job as breeding manager is finding out, during those morning palpations, that a problem mare is in foal. “It’s a victory,” he says. Pregnancy is a victory, but keeping a mare pregnant still takes vigilance. Caleb prefers to keep mares at Delta until the 25th day, when the ultrasound shows a heartbeat. Caleb tests progesterone levels at 14 days, when a vesicle is visible on ultrasound and a mare is declared pregnant. If progesterone is low, the mare can be given progestin, a synthetic hormone, to keep the pregnancy going. “If she loses it before there’s a heartbeat at 25 days, we still have time to rebreed the mare, depending on the time of year.” Caleb points out that owners and trainers want foals to be born as soon after January 1st as possible, in order to maximize the growing time before the first season of racing. Caleb is committed to continuing education. He has taken short courses in equine reproduction at LSU, Texas A & M, and Colorado State University. The LSU course was an introduction to the field: mare cycles, mare and stallion anatomy, semen collecting and analysis, and managing a breeding barn. At Texas A & M Caleb was introduced to state-of-the-art stallion and mare reproductive studies. The Colorado program was the longest and most comprehensive. Caleb says that his own breeding barn management owes a lot to the Colorado State procedures, but “it’s always good to not be close-minded. You should be open to letting someone show you a different way. You might pick up something that may be better.” These days Caleb doesn’t have time to ride, but he owns a couple of broodmares with his grandfather and his uncles. Caleb likes Tres Seis mares, but, as he says, “I don’t have one yet, because they are hard to come by for a decent price!” Caleb has his own Findley family. He and his wife have a daughter who just turned 2—and a little boy who will be here at the end of March. His wife, he says, didn’t grow up around horses, but she did show goats through high school. “She has some interest in horses because it’s my life. But she has her own profession— she’s a labor and delivery nurse.” Caleb says that his grandfather, Dr. Larry Findley, Sr., has been his inspiration and his mentor. “He’s taught me a lot, and he’s sent me in the right direction to learn more. He’s built up a plethora of connections and knowledge. If I have a question, he’s the first one I go to.” “At Delta Equine,” says Caleb, “we take pride in what we do and we try to be the best.”


The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017



The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

FREAKONTHELEAD PULLS MASSIVE UPSET IN THE $100,000 PELICAN STAKES AT DELTA DOWNS - WILDCAST WISH PROVES MUCH THE BEST IN THE FREMONT STAKES VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted a pair of stakes races on Saturday night and the results were vastly different in each event. The result of the $100,000 Pelican Stakes was a shocker as 70-1 longshot Freakonthelead pulled a jaw-dropping upset before Wildcat Wish scored a much more formful victory in the $70,000 Fremont Stakes at odds of 5-2. Freakonthelead was sent off as the longest shot on the tote board in the Pelican under jockey Timothy Thornton, who kept his mount close to the lead in the seven-furlong affair. The early pace was set by Bending Saint, who covered the opening quarter-mile in 24.42 seconds, the half in 49.70, and three-quarters in 1:14.41. As the field of nine reached the upper-stretch, Freakonthelead took the lead but was under pressure all the way to the finish line where he was a half-length to the good of both Underpressure and Magic Vow, who would up in a dead heat for the place position. Freakonthelead covered the distance in the 3-year-old race for Louisiana-breds in a time of 1:27.46. The race was contested over a fast track. The win by Freakonthelead, who is owned by Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC (Carrol Castille) and trained by Steven Flint, was the second of his career. He had just broken his maiden in his most recent start which came on December 7. The winner’s paycheck of $60,000 raised his bankroll to $103,320. Freakonthelead is a 3-year-old chestnut runner by Run Production, out of the Always a Classic mare Always on Top. He was bred in the Bayou State by Carrol J. Castille. Fans who took a flyer on Freakonthelead were rewarded with massive payoffs of $143 to win, $21.60 to place and $10 to show. Underpressure, the 6-5 favorite, paid $2.20 to place and $2.40 to show. Magic Vow was worth $2.60 to place and $3 to show. The Fremont Stakes win by Wildcat Wish came with a similar trip to Freakonthelead as he pressed the early pace before taking a big lead in the stretch and reporting home with a six-length victory over race favorite Mageez. It was Wildcat Wish’s second stakes score of the meet as he also won the Sam’s Town Stakes on Jackpot Day, November 19. Wildcat Wish was ridden to victory by Luis Negron, who accepted the mount from trainer Efron Loza, Jr. The Florida-bred son of Wildcat Heir is owned by St. George Stable, LLC (German Larrea). Wildcat Wish has now won five of 18 lifetime starts and earned a total of $232,455. Delta Downs will begin another week of live racing on Wednesday night with a 10-race program that is scheduled to get underway at 5:40 pm CT. For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at Fans can also get information about through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing. Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Gray Ranch – The Heart of Louisiana by Barbara Newtown

I’m sitting with Kent and Becky LeDoux in the farmhouse that is the base of operations for M-Heart Corporation’s Gray Ranch, near Vinton, in southwest Louisiana. The home, built in 1860, has tall ceilings, six bedrooms, and generous porches. Kent is the ranch manager. “We have three full-time cowboys and two more who are almost fulltime,” says Kent. Early in the history of Gray Ranch, 12 to 15 cowboys were needed to run the place. A full-time cook made meals for the crew and served them on the big back porch. The lush pastures stretch to the horizon. The view is classic Louisiana: very flat, very green, and dotted with Brahman-cross cattle, Quarter Horses, and oil wells.

Ranch horses and cattle were in danger of dying of thirst, even as they sloshed chest-deep through the drowned pastures as they tried to get to the little hillocks that rise here and there a few feet above the general elevation.

Matilda Gray. When Bill’s sister died in 1971, the ranch operations were incorporated as M-Heart Corporation. The beautiful M-Heart brand, an “M” over an upside-down heart, had been used on Gray Ranch cattle for many years.

The National Guard came to the rescue. CH-47 Chinook helicopters dumped water into troughs and round bales onto dry spots. Kent LeDoux, interviewed by Staff Sergeant Stephanie J. Cross, said, “Without the help from the National Guard and the donated hay from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, these cattle could not have survived. They are isolated into small areas and need fresh water and hay desperately.” The Gray Ranch herd was saved.

Bill’s daughter “Little Matilda” married Harry Stream. They had The ranch, says Kent, is part of the three children, but only one lived: Stream family, and they love the Harold H. Stream III, who is still place. Continued on page 58... going strong, and whose nickname is Spook, because he was born on Halloween Eve. Spook Stream has

Kent helps me imagine the size of the ranch. “Start by I-10 near Vinton, Louisiana, travel due south to the Intracoastal Waterway, and keep going until you get to the Gulf of Mexico,” says Kent. “That’s Gray Ranch.” If you want to ride to the Gulf from the houses and barns on the northern side, be prepared to sit in the saddle for about 30 miles. Despite the distance, the ranch manager’s farmhouse sits only The working ranch that would eleven feet above sea level. become Gray Ranch was purchased by John Geddings “Ged” Gray in In 2008, Hurricane Ike pushed 1896. He had five children, but salt water almost all the way to the only one son, Bill, had a child. Bill house. Water wells were spoiled. named his daughter after his sister


The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

two children. Kent says, “Spook Stream and his son Gray are very forward-thinking, progressive businessmen. They have an innate love for this ranch. And Matilda Stream, Spook’s mother, is still going strong at 92, and still heads up M Heart Corporation.”

Collecting the Stallion from the Ground by George Newtown

Our Oldenburg stallion Balanchine knows that, whenever Dr. Bobby Hewlett locks eyes with him at stall #1 in our shed row, they are about to enjoy one of those special days. Knowledgeable visitors joke that the stallion has a thing for the doc’s baseball cap. Whatever it is, at that moment Balanchine is quick to get love on his mind. It doesn’t bother him that once again he won’t be invited to “know” (in the Biblical sense) one of his mares. And as far as the mares can make out, their baby daddy is a veterinarian in a ball cap.

he trumpets his impatience. Alex jerks the chain of the lead shank to keep the stallion straight and Bobby (in his steel-toed boots—so as to protect his feet against the rapid dance of the hind legs) approaches the near side of the large black horse and slips the AV smoothly over the now fully erect phallus. Ever the jokester, Bobby may shout encouragement to the big horse, but it’s clear that his urging is unnecessary, as the ejaculation usually begins in seconds and concludes within a minute.

First Dr. Bobby must palpate the mare in heat to see if she is ready to breed. He slips a long plastic sleeve over his arm, slathers it with lubricant, and pushes his hand into the mare’s anus. After removing handfuls of manure, he cups the ovaries one after the other through the rectal wall and gently rolls them to feel where a follicle may be about to erupt. In days gone by veterinarians made crude measurements (“three fingers and hard” or “five and soft”), and could usually predict, within a day, the time of ovulation. Today much of the guesswork disappears on account of Dr. Bobby’s expensive ultrasound machine, which measures follicles in millimeters rather than in the width of fingers.

At the end of his orgasm Balanchine often looks like he might swoon, but Bobby deftly avoids the staggering horse as he removes the boot. I take the mare back to her earlier station, Bobbie escapes through the stall door with the boot, and Alex removes the chain from over the stallion’s nose. Bobby carefully unscrews the lid of the now-half-full baby bottle, removes the dripping filter (“It’s mostly gel,” he says—so as to assure us that no future Olympic champions are drooling into the sand), and hands the bottle with its milky contents to Barbara. She protects the freshly collected semen from sunlight (which can quickly kill sperm) by cradling it in her cleavage until the doc is ready to use it.

Once Bobby has determined that now is the time to breed, he and his assistant Max unload the collecting equipment—the rubber boot (or artificial vagina [AV]), its separable navy blue padded cover, the tube of lube, the baby bottle, the box of filters. While they unpack these items I call Barbara at the house and ask her to bring out a thermos of 120-degree water—to fill the reservoir around the AV and create a temperature of about 110 degrees for the sensation the stallion likes best.

He wraps the mare’s tail and washes her external organs. Meanwhile we draw a syringe-full of the cloudy liquid from the baby bottle. Then, with his arm in a sterile sleeve, the doc separates the lips of the vulva, eases his hand inside, and threads the end of a two foot glass pipette through the vagina and the cervix, deep into the uterus. He inserts the syringe into the visible end of the pipette and presses the plunger.

Dr. Bobby presses a filter into the neck of the baby bottle and then screws the bottle into the lower end of the AV, where it will dangle as gravity assists the ejaculate through the filter during the collection. Once Barbara arrives with the thermos, Bobby and Alex take turns (the pump is unforgivingly stiff) pumping the hot liquid through a rubber tube into the AV reservoir. As it starts to overflow, they remove the tube and quickly screw on the small metal cap—the apparatus resembles the valve stem of a tire—to hold the water in the reservoir. Then they wrap the insulating cloth cover around the boot and attach the Velcro to hold it in place.

Once he has removed the rigid tube and briefly massaged the cervix, we breathe again, happy that the mare has not wrenched his arm out of its socket or shattered his kneecap. He unwinds the tail wrap, gives the mare a shot to bring on ovulation, and the hoping begins. Three hundred forty-five days later, after consuming a winter’s worth of round bales, a ton of sweet feed, and a gallon of supplements, the mare will emerge from her eleven-month fog of hormones to watch the foal take his first raggedy breaths and wobbly steps.

I put a halter on Balanchine and loop a chain over his nose for greater control. Alex takes the lead shank and I walk further down the shed row to halter the mare. The doc uses cotton swabbing, mild soap, and a cup or two of the remaining hot water to wash off the smegma (crusty yellow flakes or oily black goo, depending on moisture content in the sheath) from the stallion’s now-erect penis. As soon as the cleansing materials come in contact with his sensitive member, Balanchine dances the tarantella.

The noted 20th century Italian breeder Tesio (producer of the phenomenal Thoroughbred sires Nearco and Ribot) insisted that truly world-beating foals result only from a “love match” when the stallion and the mare can barely contain themselves during their reproductive passion. Maybe our from-the-ground collection by the veterinarian in his baseball cap creates less aggressive offspring, but we’re not complaining about the “amateur temperaments” our foals routinely inherit from Balanchine. He hasn’t complained about his role in the process either. And as long as Dr. Bobby remembers to wear his steeltoed boots he keeps smiling too.

“We’re ready for the mare, George,” Dr. Bobby calls. I lead her from the nether end of the shed row into stall #2, where she and Balanchine can touch noses through the wire mesh that separates them. As she approaches,

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Continued from page 56...

Gray Ranch-The Heart of Louisiana by Barbara Newtown

Remount program. When the Waterway was built, the horse herd ended up on the south side, and the Gray family decided that it would be easier just to buy ranch horses. The original herd became wild and was culled in 1980. Spook Stream is a horseman. He became interested in cutting and learned training and showing techniques from Buster Welch. Spook and Kent have re-energized the Gray Ranch tradition of breeding ranch horses. All Gray Ranch horses bear the “TLC” brand and are descendants of Colonel Freckles, Doc’s Starlight, and Taris Catalyst. Cutting and reining talent is strong. “Our horses have a performance career from age 2 to about age 4,” says Kent. “Then they go to work on the ranch.” Kent is proud that Gray Ranch is an American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Breeder. The AQHA’s guidelines for becoming a Ranching Heritage Breeder highlight the importance of the working ranch horse in Quarter Horse history:

Near the historic farmhouse is a hunting lodge where guests can relax or can set out into the thousands of acres available for hunting and exploring. Under the guidance of the Stream family and Kent LeDoux, Gray Ranch specializes in Brahman-cross cattle that can withstand the Louisiana coastal heat. The 2,000 mother cows calve in the spring. The cowboys and Kent round up the cattle in the fall, wean the calves, decide which animals to cull, and send steers to auction. The herd requires about 100 bulls. The cattle spend the winter at the northern end of the ranch and the summer down at Johnson Bayou. When the Intracoastal Waterway was built in 1933, the ranch was split in half. To this day the Gray Ranch cowboys swim their horses across the Waterway, which is 125 feet wide and 12 feet deep. “We have a boat out in the canal to keep the horses from getting carried too far by the current,” Kent says. The original Gray Ranch cattle herd was so accustomed to splashing and swimming through the marshland that the appearance of the Waterway in 1933 didn’t faze them. Kent says that dealing with water must have been in their DNA. However, the “new” herd of Brahma crosses can’t handle the long swim. “We have to truck them across or use a barge. It’s expensive and time-consuming.” Gray Ranch has always had horses. In the early years Ged Gray participated in the U. S. Army

AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders should embody the longevity, integrity and honesty of the ranching tradition. AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders are those that breed and raise the ranch-type horse, which remains at the core of the American Quarter Horse Association and epitomizes the breed’s versatility. To be recognized as a “Ranching Heritage Breeder,” breeders should meet the following criteria: • The ranch must be a member of the American Quarter Horse Association. • Ranch remudas must consist of registered American Quarter Horses.

• The ranch must own a minimum of five AQHAregistered mares used to produce ranch horses. • The ranch must maintain a remuda for the specific purpose of operating a working cattle ranch. • The ranch must have received, at minimum, an AQHA 10-year Breeder award.

• The ranch must apply to and be approved by the AQHA Ranching Council.

• The ranch must pay a $10 annual fee to maintain status as a Ranching Heritage Breeder. Gray Ranch has begun holding Quarter Horse production sales, where buyers can bid on real ranch horses that have superb pedigrees, that have cow sense, that can withstand heat and humidity, and that, as a bonus, know how to swim. Kent says, “We have the sales right here at Gray Ranch, and we’ve had

58 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

unbelievable turnout. We sold over 600 lunches! We want it to be an experience for folks. It’s a lot of work, but the auctions have been very well received.” Gray Ranch was once the site of the most productive oil field in the world: the Vinton or Ged field. The first oil well near Vinton was drilled not long after the 1901 “Lucas Gusher” erupted on Spindletop Hill, south of Beaumont, Texas, but impressive production at Vinton didn’t begin until 1910. Ged Gray donated a portion of his ranch, not far from the farmhouse, for housing for oil field workers. The town, named Ged, of course, was a true boomtown: in 1920 3,000 people lived in Ged. Nothing remains of the bustling town today, except some decaying foundations; nevertheless, Gray Ranch boasts oil wells that are still pumping after more than a century. Over the past 125 years the Stream family has managed its resources well; today the Streams own other oil and gas leases and agricultural land and timber throughout Louisiana. Stream Wetland Services and Stream Property Management are other parts of the Stream Companies. Kent and Becky LeDoux raised their son Scotty at Gray Ranch. Becky homeschooled him, which gave Scotty lots of time to ride out with his father and turn into a useful ranch hand. Scotty today is a fine cowboy and rodeo competitor. Scotty’s daughter Karsyn is coming along in the Gray Ranch tradition as well. Kent says that the Stream family has been wonderful to work for: “Becky and I have lived at Gray Ranch for 43 years!”

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Trey Ellis: Training Two Great Fillies by Barbara Newtown

Trey Ellis likes fillies. He trains more fillies than colts these days, and he says the girls haven’t been a problem, especially with medications that keep hormones regulated. For fillies interested in equal opportunity, Quarter Horse racing is the place to be: fillies and colts usually race against each other for the same money throughout the year. “To be honest with you, fillies have won me most of the big races against the boys. They’ve been good to me,” Trey says. Toastin With Coronas (Coronas Leaving You x Princess Toast, by Toast to Dash) and First Corona Down (Coronas Leaving You x Bammies Jewel, by First Down Jewel) are the three-year-old stars in Trey’s barn. They are big, stout, pretty fillies, and they’re easy to deal with. Trey says, “They’ve got no issues; they aren’t crazy. They’ve stayed sound. They do everything right, they have a lot of heart, and they have a lot of talent.” Trey says that the good horses almost know they are good: they don’t make many mistakes, they’re Trey Ellis: Morning Workout poised and mature, and they know what to do. In Quarter Horse racing, that means doing everything right, right from the gate. “That will win you a lot of races, right there!” The two fillies, according to Trey, are almost identical. They run the same distances, and they seem to finish close to each other when they run together. When First Corona Down won the Louisiana Champions Day Derby, Toastin With Coronas came in third. The fillies don’t have many firsts in the big races, but they are consistent and in the money. “They’ve been exceptional in their two-year-old and three-year-old years. It’s been exciting, having them compete against each other.” The fillies run for the same owner, Gene Cox of Cox Veterinary Labs, who bred both of them, and who owns a part of Hart Farms, where the sire Coronas Leaving You stands. For the last Louisiana Breeders Futurity, Trey qualified four two-year-olds, and three of them were by Coronas Leaving You. Trey is proud to work with Gene Cox. “I want to thank Gene and his people that support me. He’s really my main guy: he’s got everything that we need in this business. Truck, horse trailer—he’ll supply it!” Trey also thanks his helpers Abraham and Romero: “Since we have to travel so much and be at different tracks at the same time, it’s really a big relief to have two guys that I can trust. It’s a team effort.” John Hamilton has ridden both fillies for Trey, as well as most of Trey’s horses. But even John Hamilton is human; he can only ride one horse at a time. In the Louisiana Champions Day Derby, John rode Toastin With Coronas and Alfonso Lujan took over First Corona Down, his first ride ever on that filly. John told Alfonso how to ride her, Alfonso did just what John said, and First Corona Down zoomed to the win. Now that the two equine stars have completed their Derby year, Gene Cox has decided to retire them to the broodmare band. Trey would love to keep training them, but he understands that they are changing careers at a high point and they are retiring sound. Even in retirement they will continue their competition: Gene plans to breed them to the same sire and keep them in Louisiana. Trey says that there are a lot of good people in the Quarter Horse racing industry, and he has been fortunate that they’ve trusted him and given him opportunities. His business seems to double every year. Trey says, “It’s been a good ride and I hope we can keep it going. I like to be consistent—and keep winning!” Trey has an eye on the future. He says, “My four-year-old son hangs pretty tight with me around the horses and the barn. Maybe one day we’ll do it together.”

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60 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Lanny Keith: High on TF Racee Runaway by Barbara Newtown

Lanny Keith of Triangle K Racing in Leesburg, Texas, brought his winning there are four Louisiana futurities, and if you run the trials and make the ways to Louisiana: his latest star, TF Racee Runaway, won the Louisiana futurities, that’s 8 races, quite a few for a two-year-old. Quarter Horse Breeders Association Futurity on November 19, 2016, at Evangeline Downs. “When the year starts, everyone thinks their horse is a futurity horse. 400 or 500 start the year, and by the end you’ll probably have fifteen or twenty The 16-hand bay gelding is by Sir Runaway Dash and out of Racee that have a shot to win the big race.” Lanny says you want to run a horse Rainbows, by Streakin La Jolla. The horse is owned for its owners, but it’s hard to keep a young horse by Tate Farms. Lanny says, “They’re pretty good size sound throughout a year of hard racing. breeders in Louisiana, and they’ve won a futurity or two before, but this race is the biggest state-bred futurity. Lanny swears by “keeping up with the leg work.” They bred, raised, and own this horse, and it’s a pretty For the maturation process to function correctly, the big accomplishment for them.” After the race, Steve horse needs regular exercise. And the legs need icing, Tate said, “My dad and I have worked our whole lives sweating, and whatever else a trainer swears by to for a win like this.” He praised jockey John Hamilton, keep his equine talent sound. The important thing is who rode TF Racee Runaway all season. to build up legs so that they can take the pressure of running. Every year Lanny Keith looks over the Tate Farms yearlings and tries to pick potential winners. He spied TF Racee Runaway is a good gate horse, but he needs TF Racee Runaway and declared, “If you want to win some room to reach full speed. As the futurity season the Breeders, we will win it with this horse right here!” progresses, the horses run 300, 330, 350, and, finally, He says that prediction made him look “real smart,” but 400 yards, for the Evangeline futurity. TF finishes he was just playing around, making some wild guesses. strong and the extra track gave him just what he Nevertheless, TF was just the sort of colt that could needed to win. Lanny has high hopes for TF’s derby grow up to win the biggest futurity in the state. “You TF Racee Runaway Photo: Coady Photograph year: the Louisiana derbies are 400 yards. need a colt with some size and a lot of length to cover the distance. He’s got good bone. And when I saw him as a yearling, he TF has great barn manners. “He’s laid back. He’s content in his stall, and was a big, good-looking baby,” Lanny says. if you take him out to hand walk him, he does everything you want him to do. He’s a good, calm horse.” The Quarter Horse futurity season in Louisiana starts in January at Louisiana Downs. It’s a challenge to keep a two-year-old healthy and Lanny says that it is a dream come true to win the Louisiana Quarter Horse sane all the way to the meet at Evangeline in November and December. Breeders Association Futurity. “It’s like winning the lottery! But it’s also Big horses and late bloomers usually do better at the end of their two-year- a big accomplishment that’s very hard to do. And it’s extremely hard to old year. According to Lanny, TF Racee Runaway “ran competitive all ever do it twice. You just have to appreciate that you did it, and if you year and then picked just the right time to peak!” Lanny points out that don’t ever do it again, at least you can say you did it one time.”

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The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Time for a Tetanus Shot? by Dr. Kelly Hudspeth, DVM

Most people are familiar with a tetanus shot. If you step on a nail or get bit by a dog, you need a tetanus shot. If you have had one in the past 8 to 10 years, you are probably protected.  This is not the case for horses. The tetanus booster does not protect them that long. At the most a tetanus shot in horses may protect 2 years.   The most common way a horses gets tetanus in through a puncture wound. They actually go bare footed, even if they wear shoes, all the time. Nothing protects the bottom of the foot. Tetanus is a bacteria that thrives in an environment with no air. It is an anaerobic bacteria. That is why a puncture wound is so dangerous if the horse is not protected by a tetanus vaccination (tetanus toxoid)   I personally vaccinate my horses once a year and boost them if an injury occurs over six months from their last vaccination. Prevention is a lot cheaper and more effective than treatment. Most horses infected with tetanus are usually euthanized. Treatment is high dose penicillin and tetanus antitoxin not toxoid. Toxins are produced in the body that cause paralysis or stiffness of the muscles in the body. Eventual respiratory arrest will occur and the horse will die from the disease. Some signs of tetanus in horses are pretty easy to pick up on. A stiff, saw horse type stance is one of the signs to look for in your horse. Also the third eyelid comes across the eye in most cases. The tail is usually held out from the body.

64 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

Q & A with Sarah Rose McDonald, 2015/2016 NFR Qualifier in Barrel Racing by Mike Milazzo

Sarah Rose McDonald of New Brunswick, Georgia, lost her barrel racing partner Bling (Fame Fling N Bling) in January. She posted the following tribute to the mare on Facebook: This is very difficult and my heart is so broken while I write this... Yesterday Bling had an extreme case of muscle tying up which sent her kidneys into shock and caused them to fail. I rushed to her and got to love on her right after she passed. I never thought I would get that phone call or that she would have been taken so early in life, but His plans are bigger than ours. Not that this makes any of it easier but maybe one day I will look back and see why. He blessed me with Bling, always opened doors, and kept us safe on our journey. Bling was the most magical horse. Her color was one in a million and it changed with the seasons. She made all my dreams come true and won the hearts of many. We gave 110% and performed off of each other’s energy. She loved competing in front of the big crowds as much as I loved being on her back. She fought hard with that huge heart of hers and pulled runs out when our backs were against the wall. She was a champion!  Most of all, she was my best friend.  She taught me so many lessons and picked me up countless times. There is not a day I won’t think of her and I will carry her in my heart forever. Sweet Bling, I smile when I think of all the ways you have blessed me and others! What a huge blessing you were and always will be to my family and me!  I promise I will give your babies the best chance and life they can have! I see you in all of them and that is so special.  Thank you for the best rides of my life and the feeling of being on your back will forever be in my soul. I’m so thankful for the memories we have and the time we got to spend together. Rest in peace, sweet girl. I hope to ride you again one day.  I love you, Bling.  Mike Milazzo interviewed Sarah just before Bling passed away. Sara, how did you start riding? We lived on a family farm that had dairy cows, and my dad and uncle and whole family rode, so I kind of grew into it. I was always at the barn. From the time I was 3 or 4 my mom would ride with me every day.

I started competing at point shows with events like poles, cones, Texas barrels, arena races, and clover leaf barrel patterns, on my mom’s and my sister’s pleasure horse Angel. Almost every weekend my parents would take me to whatever show was going on. The different events helped me with my balance. Angel and I learned all of the events together. She was very laid back, which was good, but then I started wanting to go faster—and she wouldn’t! I went on to the next level of horse. My parents always made sure I stepped up to better horses. I started competing in the National Barrel Horse Association district shows. When I was 9 I lost my really good horse. I started riding JC Highly Motivated, a gelding that my uncle had gotten through a trade deal. “Jerry” was pretty good, and by the time I was 13 we were winning a lot. I give Jerry a lot of credit. I was very small, and he would get out of control and run around the field! I had to learn how to control him. My uncle trains all of our horses and he has taught me the things that he does in training. In 2005 I won the NBHA World Championship. Did you ever high school rodeo? No, I didn’t. I didn’t rodeo until my 2014 rookie year for the PRCA. There’s not much rodeo where I am— it’s strictly barrel racing. People I went to school with didn’t even understand why I wanted to go to a horse show every weekend. Tell me about that 2014 rookie year. I didn’t start my rookie year until June. My horse did very well and I won rookie of the year at the last rodeo of the season. I was just out of making the NFR. In 2015, when you first qualified for the NFR, how many rodeos do you think you hauled to? Around 50. I started 2015 at Fort Worth and I won everything there. I had an awesome winter and had the finals already made, but we continued to have a great year. At the 2015 NFR I won three go-rounds, about $130,000 in one week, and finished third in the world.

I rode Bling all of 2015. She’s a petite horse, about 15 hands, but she’s very quick footed. That’s where she makes up for her size. How was 2016? I had a rough winter… my horse Bling was injured. I rode some of Callie DuPerier’s horses (she was the 2015 World Champion Barrel Racer). The main one I rode was Foxys Driftin Jewel. I went out to California in the spring, and I would say that’s where our season kicked off. I won Clovis and got back up in the standings to the top 15. I must have gone to more than 80 rodeos, though. It was a lot harder than 2015, but still a good year. I rode Bling at the NFR. Going into the finals I had around $89,000. At the finals I won around $70,000. I went in at 8th, finished 7th in the average, and finished 10th in the world. After such a rough winter, you could not have told me that I would be making the finals. I was happy to work hard for the summer and make it! Is there any advice you have for young girls who are getting into barrel racing and wondering if they can get to the NFR? You can’t expect to ride your horse every now and then and just go win. You have to practice and work hard at getting your horse under control. You have to ride every day at home and spend hours riding multiple horses, putting in your time with them. Make it work and don’t give up when things get tough! I’m on the road pretty much all year. It’s December and I haven’t been home since February! Do you have young horses you’re bringing along? We did embryo transfers out of Bling. I’m riding two of them now. I’m pretty confident in them, but, you know, seasoning horses takes a really long time. We’ve had Bling since she was a yearling. We raised her and my uncle trained her. It just makes it more special to raise your own horse, rather than just hop on one. Thank you, Sarah.

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


66 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


68 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

LQHBA Insider

By Martha Claussen

NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR LOUISIANA Entertainment Futurity at Louisiana Downs. The son of American Runaway, trained by Josue Ponce, won the Grade 1, Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park and competed in trials for the All American Futurity and Texas Classic Futurity as well. Accredited Louisianabred Gamey Tee Cos was also a finalist for 2-year-old colt honors.

Last month, the AQHA hosted its annual Racing Champions Awards at Heritage Place in Oklahoma City. The competition was fierce this year, but we are very proud of the number of Louisiana horses, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys who were nominated for the year-ending awards. In almost all categories, Louisiana connections were prominent in 2016. Distance Champion New Mexico stakes winner, Coronas Boy, was crowned distance champion, but three Louisiana stakes competitors were on the final ballot. Tommy Bullard’s homebred Fire On The Fly made two successful appearances at Louisiana Downs in the beginning of 2016. The noted gray distance specialist won both the Marathon Stakes on January 9 and an 870-yard allowance one month later under jockey Donell Blake. Oscar Rhone’s accredited Louisiana-bred B and G Fast Dash was also a finalist with five starts in Louisiana. Trained by Kenny Roberts, the gelded son of Heza Fast Dash won both the Live Oak Stakes at Delta Downs and the Faubourg St. John at Fair Grounds. Yaima Grillo’s Game Own, also an accredited Louisianabred, who competed in four Louisiana stakes in 2016, also made the ballot. Two-Year-Old Colt Rainbow Futurity winner A Revenant won this category, but a big player in this division was Bobby Cox’s homebred, Duponte, who began his year with a victory in the $267,700 Harrah’s

Two-Year-Old Filly Coronas First Diva, winner of the Oklahoma Futurity, got the nod in this very competitive division. Vanessa Bartoo’s Watergirl B, bred in Louisiana by C. Edward Taylor and trained by John Stinebaugh, was a deserving nominee based on her commanding victory in the $690,295 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) last July at Delta Downs. Lassie Futurity winner Louisiana Jewels, was also on this ballot. Bred by Jerry West, the daughter of Jess Louisiana Blue won three of her six starts in 2016 for Harlow Stables LLC and conditioner, Michael Taylor. Both fillies are accredited Louisiana-breds. Two-Year-Old Gelding Imperial Eagle, winner of the $3 million All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs, took top honors, but several Louisiana-breds were nominated. Richard Dale Domingue’s homebred, Rdd Lajollanfastdash won the $273,954 Mardi Gras Futurity (G2) at Louisiana Downs as well as the $323,488 LQHBA Sale Futurity on September 3 at Fair Grounds. Trained by Jose Sanchez, the accredited Louisiana-bred son of Heza Fast Dash won six of his eight starts last year, and was ranked sixth in wins nationally. Tate Farms’ Tf Racee Runaway was also nominated and saved his best running for the end of the year, capturing the $1 million LQHBA Breeders Futurity at Evangeline Downs. Lanny Keith trained the Sir Runaway Dash gelding, also an accredited Louisiana-bred, who bankrolled $511,263 in nine starts. Three-Year-Old Colt This title went to Moonin The Eagle,

winner of the Grade 1, Remington Park Invitational got the votes in this category. Last year’s Champion Aged Stallion, Open Me A Corona was also nominated. Bred by Natalie Montgomery, DVM, the 6-year-old accredited Louisiana-bred won four stakes in 2016, including a repeat title in the $100,000 Louisiana Day Champions Classic at Fair Grounds. Owned by Charles Forbes and Tommy Hays and trained by Bobby Martinez, Open Me a Corona will stand at Delta Equine Center in 2017. Joel Galindo’s Scoopies Leaving You was another accredited Louisiana-bred on this ballot. The intrepid sprinter, bred by Gerald Libersat, competed in each of the four Louisiana racetracks in 2016 with a record of four wins, two seconds and four thirds for trainer Kevin Broussard. Tf Cajun Cartel, bred by Steve Tate, was also nominated. The Corona Cartel colt competed in several graded stakes, with a victory in the Grade 2, Bob Moore Memorial Stakes at Remington Park.

share of his winning in Texas, New Mexico, Florida and Oklahoma, the hard-working Utah native did run in Louisiana in 2016, and will likely be more active in 2017. Kearl completed last year leading in both wins and money earned.

Aged Mare Sass Me Blue who captured the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels at Los Alamitos was the honoree for Aged Mare. Accredited Louisiana-bred Oak Hill Streak, was also a finalist. Bred by Arnold Trahan for owner Vanessa Bartoo, the Heza Fast Dash mare won three consecutive stakes in 2016, topping the $100,000 mark in earnings. She is trained by John Stinebaugh.

The 37-year-old Alvarez led all North American Quarter Horse jockeys in wins. He won 122 races, and was one of just four men to eclipse 100 wins in 2016. Damian Martinez, also based in Louisiana, won 103 races and Los Alamitos jockeys Cesar De Alba and Jesus Ayala completed the year with 101 victories.

Champion Breeder Bobby D. Cox was honored as champion breeder. He campaigned several graded stakes winners, but his top earner was Duponte, who began his 2-year-old campaign at Louisiana Downs. The majority of the breeders nominated in 2016 were from New Mexico and California, but Grant Farms, LLC of Pineville, Louisiana, was a finalist. They bred 35 winners, who earned $646,187 throughout 2016. Champion Trainer While Judd Kearl did the lion’s

Several Louisiana conditioners made the final ballot, including Trey Ellis, Adrian Huitron, Orlando Orozco, Kenneth Roberts, Sr., Carlos Saldivar, Brian Stroud and Michael Taylor. Champion Jockey This award went to Esgar Ramirez, who topped all rider in earnings and boasted a rare All American Derby and Futurity victory over Labor Day weekend at Ruidoso Downs. However, kudos to several of the Louisiana-based jockeys, who made the ballot. They included David Alvarez, John Hamilton, Alfonso Lujan and Damian Martinez.

We send hearty congratulations to each of the Louisiana horses and the dedicated breeders, owners, trainers and jockeys women for their outstanding achievements in 2016. As they say in Hollywood, “it’s an honor just to be nominated.” We are proud of each one of the horses and connections for this well-deserved national recognition. Wishing you all the best in 2017! The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


70 The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017

The Louisiana Equine Report Stallion Issue • February | March 2017


Louisiana Equine Report : Office: 225-363.6773

Mike @ 225.229.8979 | Email: |

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2017 The Equine Report Stallion Issue

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