The Gallop Report

It’s a Small World

November 30, 2011

Meet some members of our Quarter Horse community in the December America’s Horse.

Ralph Shebester at the head of Bugs Alive In 75. Journal photo.

I remember, as a kid, thumbing through The American Quarter Horse Journal and being awestruck by the trainers and horses I saw there. Shebester Stallion Station, with its beautiful interstate-frontage paddocks, was the stuff of more dreams for me  — it was, as the sign out front proclaimed, home to Bugs Alive In 75, winner of the 1975 All American Futurity.

One day, worn down by my begging, my parents stopped in at the Wynnewood, Oklahoma, farm and asked if we could meet the famous stallion. Someone — maybe the farm manager? — ushered us right in. Talk about a dream come true.

Now, lo many years later, it was my privilege to write a story about some barrel-horse breeders in Oklahoma who were using the “Bugs Alive” bloodline in their program. One of their foals, Yeah Hes Firen, was named the co-barrel horse of the year by AQHA and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Phyllis Wells and her husband, Tommy, had been in the business since the 1960s.

As we talked about their history, Tommy revealed that he had been manager of Shebester Stallion Station and was, most likely, the courteous gentleman who gave us the grand tour. Cue the music to “It’s a Small World After All …”

Read more about our encounter — and the Wellses’ breeding program — in the December issue of America’s Horse magazine, which goes exclusively to AQHA members.

Of course, we also profiled all of the AQHA-PRCA horses of the year. One of them — a luminary from both the rodeo and show arenas — graces the America’s Horse cover. Eighteen-year-old Eightys Sport, a two-time AQHA world champion and previous horse of the year, is this year’s tie-down roping honoree. The winners hail from Texas, Oklahoma, Washington, Colorado and Arizona. Get acquainted with them as a great lead-in to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, where many of them will compete beginning December 1.

Another great article in the December America’s Horse comes from horseman and clinician Joe Wolter, who has advice on how to catch the correct lead when the conventional wisdom fails. Joe sees students overthinking their cues, instead of thinking like a horse — which is really the key to success.

Also in the magazine:

  • An invitation to the 2012 AQHA convention in March
  • An introduction to two endurance-riding American Quarter Horses who are still going strong
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the movie “Seven Days in Utopia,” which had Robert Duvall taking the reins on an American Quarter Horse stallion owned by L.A. Waters Quarter Horses
  • And, as always, lots of great tips and AQHA news that will help you enjoy your American Quarter Horses even more.

Not a member? We can fix that for you. Join AQHA and start receiving America’s Horse as one of your member benefits. You’ll also enjoy great corporate partner discounts from companies like Ford, John Deere and more. And you’ll be joining forces with the world’s largest breed association, helping promote what we think is the world’s best breed!

Happy riding (and reading)!

Holly Clanahan

Holly Clanahan
Editor, America's Horse magazine