The time to choose a stallion for the 2021 breeding season is quickly running out. By now, mare owners should have established objectives for each mare’s cross to narrow down the choices, such as:
The surest bet to getting an outstanding foal that meets your criteria is to choose a stallion that was a consistent winner with longevity, backed by the sort of pedigree that compliments your mare, to achieve a “golden cross.” But there are a lot of great stallions.
“In addition to understanding what the stallion’s own bloodlines bring to the table, I scrutinize his offspring to help me assess how the cross is going to work. That’s a key factor I used when choosing our Bettin Yer Smart,” says Deb Brown, who owns Long Pines Land and Livestock with her husband, Larry Licking.
Long Pines purchased Bettin Yer Smart as a 3-year-old from Justin Lawrence, who got him from the Lindy Burch program. The stallion went on to win the Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Hackamore, NRCHA World Open Hackamore Reserve Champion, national winnings in every aspect of reined cow horse, plus the prestigious NRCHA Supreme Horse Award.
Bettin Yer Smart is an own son of Smart Little Lena, who had lifetime earnings of $743,275. But even more impressive is that his offspring have earnings approaching $43 million. “Always weigh both top and bottom of the pedigree,” advises Deb. “When we saw his dam was Bet Yer Boons, the daughter of Bet Yer Blue Boons by Peptoboonsmal, this looked like the perfect pedigree for the foundation of our cow horse line.”
Bet Yer Blue Boons is a NCHA World Champion and Hall of Famer, and the dam of a phenomenal 24 money-earners with earnings of almost $1.3 million. This includes Bet Hesa Cat (NCHA Open World Champion; LTE $267,465), Stylish Bet (LTE $219,949), Bet She’s Smooth (LTE $179,139), Bets CD (LTE $129,130), Bet on Me (LTE $102,877) and Bet Yer Boons (LTE $73,281), dam of Bettin Yer Smart.
Bet Yer Boons had 17 AQHA foals of which an incredible 13 are money-earners with a total of $539,675, including Bet This Cats Smart (LTE $123,080), and three full siblings to Bettin Yer Smart: Little Royal Blue (LTE $49,355), Little Red Bet (LTE $37,196, offspring earnings in excess of $220,000) and Smart Lena Boon (offspring earnings in excess of $240,000 and grandsire of performers with more than $364,000).
Today, the Long Pines program is starting to get a lot of attention for prospects ranging from reined cow horse, versatility, roping, rodeo, and barrel racing to ranching. Deb and Larry, along with Deb’s son, Sterling, have been behind the scenes carefully building a championship program on the Northern Plains, with prospects by Bettin Yer Smart out of a wide variety of broodmares. The remote ranch is in the far northwest corner of South Dakota, along the Montana border.
Foals out of Bettin Yer Smart are making their mark, 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. Smart Vaca Reina, a palomino mare, won the 2020 SDRCHA Road to Texas Limited Open Hackamore. At the 2020 Black Hills Stock Show, Smokin The Jay, a sorrel gelding, was the NRCHA Open Hackamore Reserve Champion, AQHA Circuit Reining Reserve Champion, and took first place in both the Open Versatility Ranch Horse ranch riding and halter. He then went on to win the CRCHA Drought Buster NRCHA Intermediate Open Hackamore.
Both were sold in 2020, the mare for ranching and barrel racing, and the gelding for heeling.
“Once you ride a Bettin Yer Smart colt, you pretty much know how they are all going to ride,” says Sterling, who puts the initial groundwork on all the ranch foals and starts many of them riding. Some move into reined cow horse/versatility training with Justin Lawrence, while others stay with Sterling in a ranching and pre-roping program.
“We purposely bred Bettin Yer Smart to a variety of mares to get a feel for what traits will come through the strongest and most consistently, says Deb. “We are definitely getting top athletes with cow sense, but I am just as impressed with their commonsense. A couple of the mares were pretty hot with plenty of attitude, but the foals tend to have more of a solid temperament like Bettin Yer Smart.”
Larry has his eye on crossing running horses with Bettin Yer Smart. “I just can’t imagine a better cross for barrel horses,” he says. Last year, Long Pines purchased Luna Island, a thoroughbred mare with almost $80,000 in track earnings.
It could be the success the horses have on the ranch that is fundamental. “Our ranch horses have to do everything that arena horses do but in big pastures without groomed footing. I figure if they’re a good ranch horse for us they can do most anything,” says Sterling.
It seems that others are liking what they see from Bettin Yer Smart offspring. Long Pines sold out of riding prospects except for one, which Sterling hopes to hang on to through calving season. “The ropers are really coming to us and took five of our prospects in just a few weeks, attracted by their fast starts, hard stops, cow sense, trainability and try,” says Deb.
Bettin Yer Smart is standing to a limited number of outside mares at Colorado State University for $1,400 in 2021. You can find out more at BettinYerSmart.com. Foals are eligible for NRCHA Stallion Stakes (born after 2019), SDRCHA Stallion Stakes and AQHA Ranching Heritage.
First appeared as a special to Pacific Coast Journal (2021) from Long Pines Land & Livestock.