Shining Spark was the first NRCHA All-Time Leading Sire and held this title for 17 years until the year he died. That year, he was number two. He became an NRHA $4 Million Sire in 2013. He is one of the Top 10 all time sires of reining money earners and the 2021 number 4 paternal grandsire of reining money earners.
The palomino excelled in the reining arena, but his offspring took more than their share of earnings in the reined cow horse pen. Notably, Shining Spark’s daughters have set the stallion apart as the leading broodmare sire in the NRCHA.
He was Inducted NRCHA Hall of Fame April 1 2022, and NRHA Hall of Fame in 2011. He sired 2 AQHA Superhorses . Both his sire and dam were Superhorses.
At his death, owner and breeder, Carol Rose, commented, “He lived a legendary life and had a tremendous impact. He was always a wise, kind gentleman.” His offspring are often described in the same way.
His influence on the entire horse industry, and certainly Long Pines Land and Livestock, will be felt for generations.
Sired by American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Senior Cutting Reserve World Champion Genuine Doc, a son of Doc Bar, and out of Diamonds Sparkle, an AQHA Hall of Famer, Shining Spark was foaled January 18, 1989, and made his mark as the star of Carol Rose Quarter Horses.
Diamonds Sparkle’s major accomplishment tends to be forgotten. She began her show career as a champion yearling halter horse then western pleasure and reining. Before long, Diamond’s Sparkle made her mark in the roping pen. This incredible mare was the 1979 AQHA Superhorse (heading, heeling and senior reining) and the all-time leading producer of AQHA world champions. She is in both the NRHA and AQHA Hall of Fames.
Genuine Doc is an all-time leading sire of both reining and cutting horses as well as an AQHA Superhorse sire, and the sire of countless AQHA and NRHA world champions. He was also owned by Carol Rose.
From the beginning, Shining Spark made a name for himself in the showring. He took sixth place out of 408 entries at the 1992 NRHA Futurity under trainer Bob Loomis then 1993 Reserve Champion at the Lazy E Classic.
In 1993, Tim McQuay and Shining Spark won the junior reining competition at the AQHA World Show with a record score of 227.5. When he finished competing at the 1993 World Show, the announcer remarked, “Everything he does he does because he likes to do it.” The team won the 1994 NRHA Derby Open with a 230.5.
“He had moves,” said Rose. “He was a phenomenal horse with a phenomenal mind.”
He retired with more than $62,000 in earnings. Retired from the showring, that is. His career in the breeding barn was just beginning.
As Shining Spark's career was being mapped out, Carol Rose almost didn't stand him at stud because, at that time, palominos weren't desired. While he had all the characteristics of a top reined cow horse, that was still a West Coast event. Carol thought he had too much to offer so strategically took him to the reining pen for national exposure. For a video of this story, go to the NRCHA site.
Shining Spark’ progeny include both winning stallions and mares. His offspring dominate both reining and reined cow horse, but they also take the spotlight in roping events. At the 2005 AQHA World Show alone, his offspring picked up four World Championships.
Leading his progeny in earnings are NRHA Open Futurity Champion Shining N Sassy ($259,262), AQHA Superhorse Shine By The Bay ($178,699) and world champion A Shiner Named Sioux ($161,891).
He has sired 1,316 registered American Quarter Horse foals that have earned 37,546 AQHA points and more than $10.2 million in performance earnings. His offspring includes 811 performers, 594 point earners and 718 money earners for a total of 224 superior awards, 48 world champions, 37 reserve world champions, and 508 ROM awards.
Along with his progeny’s success in the show ring, Shining Spark is a top broodmare sire, with his daughters’ foals earning more than $24.1 million.
QData lists him as the No. 1 All Time Leading Reined Cow Horse Maternal Grandsire, the No. 1 NRCHA All Time Leading Maternal Grandsire, and the No. 2 All Time Leading Reining Maternal Grandsire. He is the sire of six of the Top 10 All Time Leading Dams of Reined Cow Horse Money Earners.
“He’s made to perform, and he passes that on to his babies along with his great mind,” said Rose.
The genetics passed down from Shining Spark have made significant impact on the Long Pines horse line.
Spark Plug Cat, a 1998 AQHA bay mare, brought her strong work ethic and stellar bloodlines, to Long Pines in 2006. The daughter of Shining Spark is out of NRHA money earner Catalyst Lady Di. It didn’t take her long to become Deb’s preferred ranch horse.
Spark Plug Cat gave Long Pines 7 foals before her retirement at age 23: Frexseptional by Sir Fred Von Freckle, Judges Chambers by Judgemental, and 5 foals: Betting Limits, Bet Ya Shine, Inside Bet, Yer Destiny Calls, and 2021 foal called “Diesel” – all by Long Pines’ NRCHA Champion Bettin Yer Smart.
Shiners Spumanti is a 1997 mare that checks every box for a Long Pines broodmare and is an own daughter of Shining Spark. She was an NRCHA Non-Pro champion. Like her sire, she is gorgeous palomino with excellent conformation, intelligence, speed, and cow sense. Her foals have impressive show records. Chexy Little Sister has NRCHA earnings well over $10,000, more than $5000 at the AQHA Worlds. Digger She Sparkles was twice a AQHA World Show qualifier and won more than $10,000 in NRCHA. Shiners Diggen ($8,224 in earnings) qualified for the AQHA World Show 4 times in Working Cow Horse. Betting The Limit, Dry White Wine and Yer Platinum are up and coming offspring by Bettin Yer Smart.
Shining Spark daughter Miss Shiney Cat produced Shiney Vaca Reina, a 2007 AQHA mare and Long Pines favorite. Another Palomino, Shiney Vaca Reina is known as one of the kindest, most resilient and compassionate mares in the Long Pines band. She has produced the 2016 AQHA Palomino mare Smart Vaca Reina, who made her reined cow horse debut in Fall 2019, becoming a NRCHA money-earner at her first show. In 2020, she came into her own, winning the SDRCHA Road to Texas Limited Open Hackamore.
“His life exceeded expectations, his career and versatility were unmatched,” Rose said at his death.