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Headley Quarter Horses and Pait Show Horses Join Forces

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Sparking a new chapter for both barns, the stallions of Headley Quarter Horses head to Aiken, South Carolina.

By Delores Kuhlwein

The champion stallion lineup for Headley Quarter Horses has established a distinguished foothold in the horse industry over the past several years, with Rumerz, Heartz On Fire, and Best Kept Secrete. Champions in their own right, the stallions have also enhanced the lines of the halter horse industry as sires of winning offspring.

Rumerz, a 2013 Black AQHA Stallion (Secretz x Kids Keeping Cool), full sibling Heartz On Fire, a 2015 Bay AQHA Stallion (Secretz x Kids Keeping Cool), and Best Kept Secrete, a 2015 Chestnut AQHA Stallion (Heza Secret Agent x Hush Dont Tell), have now all headed to South Carolina to the experienced hands of Jeffrey and Bronwyn Pait.

Rumerz, a 2013 Black AQHA stallion by Secretz and out of Kids Keeping Cool. 

In fact, they’re onsite at Pait Show Horses as of Wednesday, explains Kathy Headley, as part of a well-developed plan to acclimate and settle the stallions, along with several of their prized mares, and Southern Equine Services of Aiken, South Carolina, will handle the reproductive services.

To say both parties involved feel excited about this project is an understatement.

Not only will this move provide exposure of “the boys” to a whole new group of people, explains Steve Headley, but working with Jeffrey and Bronwyn Pait feels like family. “We have known him for some time now, and he’s very professional and positive. We’ve used him for years to catch lead our horses, he’s shown offspring by our other studs, and our families are a good match. Someone said to us, ‘It’s good people meeting good people,’ which is nice when people say that about you.”

Heartz On Fire is a 2015 bay AQHA stallion and a full sibling to Rumerz. 

Even more impressive, when they approached the Paits about the partnership, Sarah Headley explains, the Paits did their homework. “They took it very seriously, taking the time to research it and talk about it to make sure they were ready to take it on. We’re also excited to be able to go to shows like the Gold and Gulf Coast Shows and some of the bigger circuits to promote our horses. We really respect them, and it just feels right,” she says.

Likewise, Jeffrey Pait explains, they’re looking forward to working with the stallions and his longtime friends, a wonderful family he respects.  “It’s exciting around here right now – the Headleys have been great for the horse industry, and since breeding is the backbone of our industry, we appreciate the opportunity with the Headleys and their great horses.”

Jeffrey adds that he happened to see Rumerz at twelve hours old, never realizing what the future might hold. “I was looking at horses for Gerri Leigh Pratt, and I saw Rumerz and thought he was spectacular then; I never dreamed I’d have the opportunity to breed him.”  He also saw Heartz On Fire at just a few months old and was able to judge Best Kept Secrete at the Breeders Halter Futurity in Iowa, and was impressed by both, he explains. “It’s quite an honor to stand them. They are outstanding stallions and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

A Bright Future

Best Kept Secrete is a 2015 Chestnut AQHA Stallion by Heza Secret Agent and out of Hush Dont Tell. 

The Headleys extend their thanks and appreciation for the hard work and professionalism of Don Griffey, Melanie Griffey, and Paul Goodman of Griffey Equine for all they’ve done for the boys as they enter this new chapter with the Paits.

Jeffrey will be foaling out several babies for the Headleys, then helping them promote the horses to get them into show homes or into the Headley’s program.

One of the horses already in Jeffrey’s show string, Rumerz Voodoo, was raised by the Headleys. She’s a 2019 Chestnut AQHA mare by Rumerz and out of Exquisite Secret, by The Top Secret.  “Mera” was circuit champion at the 2023/2024 Gold and Gulf Coast shows, and Sarah will be showing her with Jeffrey this year at The Big A, Congress and the AQHA World Show.

The barn name of Mera was chosen by their grandson, Cole Headley, Kathy reveals. “He was very into Aquaman at the time, and she was born on his birthday, so we let him decide on the name.”

Long-term As A Focus

Cool Rumerz, aka “Duke,” and 10YO Chase Rudd qualified for youth world at their first show together.

That nod to family comprises what Headley Quarter Horses stand for – family and longevity, explains Steve. The family is known for their big picture thinking “for the long-term of the American Quarter Horse – specifically for Halter, but we also raise show horses for the Ranch events,” he says, as they’ve been outcrossing to expand their foundation and offer more choices to exhibitors for that discipline.

Their vested interest is clear when one views their field full of retirees at home, as they know the value of the horse to the human – both physically and mentally.  Take Cool Rumerz, for example, a horse they raised by Rumerz and out of Cool View (Kid Coolsified). The three-year-old gelding was recently purchased for ten-year-old West Virginia youth exhibitor Chase Rudd, a connection that John Shepard was instrumental in making. The first time Chase showed the gelding at The 2024 Virginia Maiden/Spring Breakout AQHA show, they were 6X Grand Champion Youth Halter Gelding.

Exhibitors can look forward to seeing more of Rumerz Voodoo (Mera) in Amateur by Sarah and Open by Jeffery. 

The best part for the Headleys is what they’ve learned about the team since the purchase. “When you hear that his dad comes home and finds Chase out in the field, just spending time with him while he’s grazing, those stories – like our horses – mean something to us,” Kathy says. “Those are the kinds of stories we love, and when we can get our horses into those kinds of homes, it gives our hearts a little boost.”

Like everything the Headleys have done, they’ve done it well, including nominating the boys to all the major futurities, and so their offspring is eligible for a myriad of futurities and opportunities to win money. For more information and for updated breeding contracts, contact Jeffrey Pait at Pait Show Horses: 973-862-7654,

Congratulations on this amazing new partnership!



Photos credit: KC Montgomery Photography and Cody Parmenter Photography

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