At the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Snaffle Bit Futurity in 2012, it was a Cinderella story when this little-known stallion from the rangeland of South Dakota quietly and confidently won the Hackamore division. Never before had a horse from the northern plains won at the Snaffle Bit.
He was sound throughout his career until he came up lame at the beginning of the 2021 breeding season. The equine experts at Colorado State University discovered a severe stifle tear, which made it impossible for him to live-cover mares or be collected using standard methods. He returned to Long Pines a few weeks later and spent the rest of his life in a small prairieland pasture. He routinely played in the pasture, showing no pain, until shortly before he was euthanized.
It’s bittersweet for owner Deb Brown. “Even though we knew this day was coming, it’s rough not seeing him when I look out the window. Jayhawk just loved competing, and then being a range stallion. Thankfully, he gave us great foals, including two that are now stud prospects,” she said.
“There's a lot of good things about any of his colts,” according to Sterling Brown, who prepares all Long Pines foals for their future, whether they go on to cow horse, barrel, roping or ranching. “After you’ve ridden one, you’ve ridden them all. You're gonna have a lot of go, you’re going to be able to do what you want on his colts. Bone, muscle, athleticism, try. Every one of them is an athlete.”
“You know, if you've got a really good stallion he'll mark his colts and he's going to be pretty much predominant in the genetics no matter what you cross him to. But, in order to find out if your stallion is any good, you’ve got to cross him on a variety of mares. And that's what we did with Bettin Yer Smart. He has really proven to me that he can cross on most any mare and you get a decent outcome. He's crossed on busy, busy mares. We’ve crossed him on some Sun Frost mares. He just really puts a mark on them, especially with a great mind,” Deb adds.
A product of the Lindy Burch breeding program for the Oxbow Ranch, he is a grandson of Lindy’s great mare, Bet Yer Blue Boons, winner of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Show. Lindy bred her world champion to Peptoboonsmal, and the result was Bet Yer Boons, who Lindy bred to Smart Little Lena, and Bettin Yer Smart’s destiny was set.
The same year as his Snaffle Bit Futurity hackamore title, Bettin Yer Smart won Reserve Open Hackamore Champion at the NRCHA World Show. In fact, he has winnings in all NRCHA divisions (snaffle, hackamore, two-rein and bridle) and qualified for the World Show in all but snaffle.
In the AQHA, he was 2011 High Point Open Junior Working Cow Horse, earning 36.5 AQHA points plus a Register of Merit in Open Performance. Bettin Yer Smart won close to $40,000 in reined cow horse and cutting competitions, and he is among an honored few to be named an NRCHA Supreme Working Cow Horse.
His training and showing was under Justin Lawrence, Alzada, MT. “This horse has more trainability and try than any other one I’ve had, day in and day out,” says Lawrence. He chose to compete on Bettin Yer Smart in three of his invitations to the World’s Greatest Horseman. Lawrence and his wife, Kelcie, purchased Bettin Yer Smart as a yearling. He was bought soon afterwards by Deb, with hopes that he would become the Long Pines Land and Livestock premier stallion. And he most certainly did.
Bettin Yer Smart was retired from competition to run the Long Pines’ rangeland in the remote northwest corner of South Dakota with his broodmares. He was ridden about a dozen times to help with ranch jobs until July 2020, when he returned to Justin Lawrence for a short 6-week tune up.
Like in 2012, Bettin Yer Smart quietly and confidently entered the arena at the SD Reined Cow Horse Association (SDRCHA) Dakota Bridle Spectacular.
After 5 years away from the show pen, he reminded everyone why he was a national champion. This time, Bettin Yer Smart had two offspring from his first foal crop competing, ridden by 15-year-old Dallie Lawrence. Smart Vaca Reina, a 2016 palomino mare, won the Limited Open Hackamore. Smokin The Jay, a 2016 sorrel gelding, was one-half point from earning money in the Stallion Stakes Limited Open. Both horses have new owners with intentions to compete in everything from team roping to barrels and cow horse.