The surest bet to getting an outstanding foal is to choose a stallion that was a consistent winner with longevity, backed with the sort of pedigree that compliments your mare’s. This is how to achieve a “golden cross.”
For reined cow horses, who need skills for herd, fence and reining, there’s more to consider, and finding a stallion that brings the total package can be a bit harder. But it also has an upside: so many people are looking at the top reined cow horse bloodlines for their competition and ranch horse because of this huge amount of versatility. This has opened a whole new market. For example, bloodlines from Peptoboonsmal, Smart Little Lena, High Brow Cat, Peppy San Badger, Dual Rey and Shining Spark are popular among the top rodeo horses, especially the past five years.
For example, the Long Pines Land and Livestock program is starting to get a lot of attention from the reined cow horse community, but also versatility, roping, youth rodeo, barrel racing and ranching. Owners Deb Brown and Larry Licking, along with Deb’s son Sterling Brown, have been behind the scenes carefully building a championship program on the Northern Plains. The remote ranch is in the far northwest corner of South Dakota, along the Montana border. The ranch’s address is Buffalo, SD, about 25 miles away.
At the Snaffle Bit Futurity in 2012, it was a Cinderella story when the little-known Bettin Yer Smart quietly and confidently won the futurity’s Open Hackamore competition. This red roan stallion with the big moves, stops and personality is owned by Long Pines Land and Livestock, and trained by Justin Lawrence of Alzada, MT. Never before had a horse from the Northern Plains won at the Snaffle Bit.
Bettin Yer Smart is by Smart Little Lena. His dam is Bet Yer Boons, who has more than $75,000 in earnings, by Peptoboonsmal out of Bet Yer Blue Boons, who is a world cutting champion, Breyer horse model and the all-time leading dam of cutting money-earners.
After three more years of success, such as NRCHA Open Hackamore Reserve Champion and AQHA Jr. Working Cow Horse National High Point and NRCHA Supreme Horse, 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 of this year, 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 South Dakota Reined Cow Horse Association (SDRCHA) Dakota Bridle Spectacular. After five years away from the show pen, he reminded everyone why he's a national champion. This 13-year old stallion, retired for five years, with six weeks of training and up against the “new toughs” from five states, won third in the Open Bridle class and earned the fourth highest score in the Dakota Bridle Spectacular.
Unlike 2012, this time Bettin Yer Smart had two offspring from his first foal crop competing. Foals by Bettin Yer Smart are getting a lot of attention, especially as his first crop from 2016 are proving themselves. It’s especially impressive because only four mares were exposed, and all had foals. Half have already shown success in the arena.
At the SDRCHA event, Smart Vaca Reina, a 2016 palomino mare, won the Limited Open Hackamore. Smokin The Jay, a 2016 sorrel gelding with two championships already, was one-half point from earning money in the Stallion Stakes Limited Open. Both of these 4-year-olds have NRCHA earnings from other shows. At the SDRCHA event, they were ridden by 15-year-old Dallie Lawrence. Soon after, Smokin the Jay (Bettin Yer Smart x Smokin Hickory Girl) was purchased by a successful team roper in Colorado. Smart Vaca Reina is catching the eye of speed event competitors.
Owners Deb Brown and Larry Licking are offering Bettin Yer Smart to outside mares for 2021. He will stand at Colorado State University. You can find out more at BettinYerSmart.com.
First Published on PacificCoastJournal.com Dec. 14, 2020
Special to Pacific Coast Journal from Long Pines Land & Livestock