Starting a breeding program from the ground up is no simple task, but JB Quarter Horses thinks it has some answers.
A successful breeding program takes more than great stallions and mares. Before talented offspring can put a program on the map, breeders must spend time and money promoting and marketing their horses, all the while praying that foals get into the right hands.
Joe and Dee Lynn Braman of JB Quarter Horses in Refugio, Texas, know what it takes to win championships. Their stallions are top performers in the show pen and rodeo arena. Their mares are proven producers of barrel horses, racehorses, snaffle bit horses and rope horses. They raised the $100,000 2008 Barrel Futurities of America Super Stakes Champion Miss JB 055 and 2007 Snaffle Bit Futurity Limited Open Finalist Mr JB 0412. The only missing piece is the great performing foals by their stallions.
The Bramans know that a large part of a successful program is getting foals into the right hands. And for Dee, that means thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing and promoting their horses.
“For years, everyone thought, ‘Let’s get a stallion and get rich quick,’ ” she laughs. “These studs cost so much. You think about your average horse – what you have to feed it and do to keep it going – and then make sure it is constantly showing. It’s advertising and marketing, doing things to make sure that every client’s investment holds true.
Learn from the experts with AQHA’s Horse Reproduction report. This valuable resource will help you take care of your mare and be better prepared for the big day when your foal enters the world.
Assembling the Battery
Wanting a multiple-event athlete, the Bramans chose the Oklahoma Fuel bloodline, which had produced great barrel and rope horses, with the most notable being Charles Pogue’s legendary six-time AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Heading Horse of the Year Oklahoma Top Hat. The first stallion the couple bought was Two Timen Fuel, a 1999 son of Oklahoma Fuel out of Slide N By by Hesa Sugar.
“We bought him as a coming 2-year-old,” Dee says. “He was going to be my (barrel) futurity colt. My husband ended up falling in love with him, and he made a really nice rope horse.”
Her replacement barrel horse was Dallas Fuel, a 2000 stallion by Oklahoma Fuel and out of Dallas Cate by Cates’s Jet.
They ended up with their most lauded stallion, One Hot Jose, by accident when they were looking for a backup rodeo horse for Joe. “Jose” caught Dee’s eye at AQHA Professional Horseman Bobby Lewis’ place. The 1999 son of Hollywood Heat belonged to a client, but Bobby had raised him out of Uno Holly, a Jose Uno mare he had shown successfully.
“We weren’t even sure we were going to keep him a stud because that wasn’t what we were looking for,” Dee says. “We were looking for something that Joe could haul down the road, but nothing bothered Jose.”
Since Jose already had so many points, the Bramans decided to keep showing him. He earned AQHA high-point titles in all-around, tie-down roping and heading, and finished second in the year-end standings in heeling. The two-time AQHA Superhorse contender has 1,021 points in AQHA competition.
With her husband well-mounted, Dee decided she wanted a Fire Water Flit mare that she could run barrels on at the rodeos and use in her broodmare band. What she ended up with was another stallion, Chasin Firewater, a 2001 son of Fire Water Flit out of the Bugs Alive In 75 mare Has The Touch. Dee was still unsure about leaving “Chasin” a stallion, especially with so many sons of Fire Water Flit on the market. Chasin’s resemblance to his maternal grandsire is ultimately what kept him a stallion.
“It made him a little unique when you’re standing him against that many other stallions,” she says.
Don’t miss highlights from the Battle in the Saddle match roping: Fred Whitfield vs Hunter Herrin in a tie-down roping showdown.
The Bramans went through several stallions before finding Hot Corona, a 2002 son of Corona Cartel out of Dashing Idea by Dash For Cash. Making “Corona” more appealing were his Dash For Cash maternal lines.
“Corona’s dam was a really great-producing daughter of Dash For Cash,” she says. “We know that those lines were trusted in every aspect of the industry, especially the barrel horse industry because of First Down Dash and Dash Ta Fame.”
Getting Them Proven
The Bramans set out to get their horses proven in the show pen and rodeo arena. It wasn’t unusual for one of their stallions to go from working at a Quarter Horse show in the morning to turning in a rodeo-winning run that night and being back in the show pen the following morning.
There’s nothing more rewarding than a healthy new foal. But it takes work to get there. Learn more in AQHA’s Horse Reproduction report.
While their stallions’ horse show accolades are easily verified, it’s more challenging at the rodeos and jackpot ropings. Dee makes sure she has a record of all their horses’ earnings by copying checks, getting receipts for cash awards at rodeos and jackpots, and photographs with awards like trailers and saddles.
“We have all of that in their folders,” she said. “We have to protect ourselves. If someone asks me what a horse’s earnings are, I have proof of it. I feel that will help every industry grow if you keep records like that.”
Stay tuned next week to read more about the Braman’s equine marketing program.