Horse Breeding

Lady Bug’s Moon

May 31, 2013

He lit the track on fire and later became a horse-breeding hero. Now, he’s in the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

Lady Bug’s Moon was the closest any horse ever came to winning the “Tres Coronas” until Special Effort came along. Courtesy of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

From the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum

Lady Bug’s Moon was one of the 10 horses and men to be inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in March during the Hall of Fame banquet, part of the 2013 AQHA Convention in Houston, Texas.

To learn more about this Hall of Fame worthy stallion read on.

If the ultimate mark of an American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame horse is the stamp he or she left on the breed, then Lady Bug’s Moon is an ultimate Hall of Famer.

The stallion entered the Hall of Fame in March 2013, 18 years after his death but less than three months since the crowning of the 2012 racing champions, all but three of them – nine out of 12 – his descendants.

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Among those to make their mark in 2012 are world champion and All American Futurity winner One Dashing Eagle, and AQHA-Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association barrel racing horse of the year Perculatin.

This is a classic example of the adage that blood tells. Bred and owned by Marvin and Lela Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma, Lady Bug’s Moon was by American Quarter Horse Hall of Famer Top Moon and was foaled in 1966 out of one of the breed’s all-time great blue hens, the Sergeant mare FL Lady Bug, also a Hall of Famer.

Lady Bug’s Moon had a great temperament,” says Lela Barnes’ brother A.F. Stanley. “He never made a mistake on the track, and one reason his bloodline has been so dominant in barrel racing was because he passed on his temperament through his daughters. His greatest asset was his ability to produce.”

Trained for the track first by Marvin Barnes and later by J.B. Montgomery, Lady Bug’s Moon won the first leg of the Ruidoso Downs triple crown, the Kansas Futurity, and then finished second in the other two, by a head in the Rainbow Futurity and a nose in the All American Futurity, the closest any horse ever came to winning the “Tres Coronas” until Special Effort came along. Lady Bug’s Moon was also third in the Oklahoma Futurity that season and returned the next to win the Rainbow Derby. Retired at the end of his sophomore season, Lady Bug’s Moon left the track with a 23-11-5-3 record and $191,536.

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At stud, where he was represented by champion Chicory Moon, the stallion from 15 crops got 770 starters, including 491 winners, 40 stakes winners and the earners of $4,031,691. Lady Bug’s Moon also sired Shawne Bug, a leading sire of barrel racing horses.

The fifth-ranked broodmare sire at the time of his death in 1995, the stallion sired the producers of the earners of more than $13.2 million. They are led by champion and 1982 All American Futurity winner Mr Master Bug, who was the all-time leading money-earning stallion until that mark was broken by One Dashing Eagle. And when Mr Master Bug won the All American, the second-place finisher was Miss Squaw Hand, whose dam was a daughter of Lady Bug’s Moon that made Marvin Barnes the first breeder/owner to run 1-2 in Quarter Horse racing’s marquee event.

In sum, good blood.

“It’s still going today,” says Fred Stanley, whose father in partnership with B.F. Phillips Jr. bred the breed’s all-time leading sire and whose family stood Lady Bug’s Moon at their Lady Bug Stallion Station in Madill, Oklahoma. “That blood is responsible for First Down Dash, whose grandma is a daughter of Lady Bug’s Moon. Unlike his father, who was 16 hands with a slight Thoroughbred appearance, First Down Dash took after the Lady Bug, Leo, Jet Deck and Vandy lines of his mama. That’s what makes up First Down Dash’s bottom side. The studs dominating the industry today wouldn’t exist if not for Lady Bug’s Moon.”

Those stallions include seven of the top leading sires of 2012 and eight of the top-10 leading freshman sires.

Lady Bug’s Moon, welcome to the Hall of Fame. Visit his memorabilia and that of the other inductees in Amarillo, Texas at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum.

The world’s largest single-breed monthly publication, The American Quarter Horse Journal has served the industry as the most valued resource for critical news, timely information and insightful articles for more than 60 years. The Journal brings readers the stories, articles, statistics and information they depend on for success in their horse business or hobby.

AQHA Member Benefit Spotlight

With an AQHA membership, you’ll get amazing member benefits, including free admission into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum. With free access into the Hall of Fame & Museum, you can walk through the history of the American Quarter Horse and learn about the great horses and people who have shaped the association, like Lady Bug’s Moon and more.

AQHA Video

Watch this video and hear from owner/trainer Jose De La Torre, owner Jorge Carmona of San Gregorio Racing Stables, and jockey Ramon Sanchez after One Dashing Eagle’s victory in the 2012 All American Futurity.