By: Brittany Bevis
The horse industry has been abuzz with excitement since early May when Simons Show Horses relayed the news that they would be holding a complete dispersal sale following the closing of the breeding portion of their business. The upcoming sale, July 12-15, will give the public a unique opportunity to purchase a piece of a family legacy that has influenced, not only the Paint Horse breed, but the entire horse industry as a whole.
To be offered in the sale were two stallions- Original Cowboy and Havin A Record Year. However, horse trainer, Jeff Burley, and his friend and client, Dakota Cotner, simply couldn’t wait that long for the opportunity to own such a special animal.
“I reached out to Andrea about a month ago, because we didn’t even know if Original Cowboy was going to be included in the sale or not,” Jeff says. “I own Double Up Investment, and he’s getting older, so it was time to start thinking about finding a replacement.”
“My friend, Dakota, has a foal by him, and I have several other customers who have horses by Original Cowboy. We’ve always loved this horse. We thought it would be a great business opportunity.”
Original Cowboy is the 2010 seal brown APHA/AQHA multiple World Champion sire by Lazy Loper and out of Good Tobe An Asset (Investment Asset X Dee Dee Did). David Maisonnette will continue to manage the international breeding side of the program for Original Cowboy, while Jeff will take over management here in the states. “We raised Original Cowboy, and he has been central to our breeding program for the past few years,” Andrea says. “We will continue to promote his offspring for years to come. He’s been a dream come true, especially after losing Zippo. He has so much personality, and his progeny are extremely talented and trainable.”
What made this stallion so appealing to Jeff and Dakota was his double registration with AQHA and APHA and the ability he has to cross on mares that specialize in many different disciplines.
“I watched him when he showed at the Congress, and there’s always been something about him that I liked,” Jeff says. “He’s definitely bred to death, being a son of Lazy Loper, which is one of the industry’s leading sires right now. The versatility he’s throwing in his babies is excellent. He has Hunt Seat horses and Western horses. Because I do all-around competition, that gives me the opportunity to have his babies in the barn and to continue to promote them. I think he’s one of the up and coming stallions for all-around horses, and this will open up a whole new avenue for him.”
But lineage and versatility isn’t everything. A well-rounded stallion delivers the entire package, complete with stunning looks and a trainable mind. “Not only is he slow legged and great hocked, he’s putting a great mind on his babies,” Jeff says. “I have a three-year-old, that a very novice rider is showing, and it’s the best minded thing I have in the barn.”
“I was at a Paint Horse show three weeks ago, and he was the talk of the horse show. Everyone thinks he is the next up and coming stallion.”
With two toddlers at home, Dakota had no plans to get into the breeding business. However, when she heard about the Simons’ upcoming sale, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to inquire about the stallion. “I’ve loved this horse since the first time I looked at him. I actually have a three-year-old mare by him. Back in 2014, when I was looking at breeding my mare, Louie’s foals had just hit the ground, so he wasn’t really on my radar. Then, Jeff pointed him out to me, and the cross just made complete sense.”
While at the APHA Youth World that year, Dakota was able to visit “Louie” at Simons Show Horses to see him in person. “He was such a sweetheart. It was obvious his mind was exactly what you want to see in a stallion.” So, Dakota crossed her Special Invitation mare with Louie to produce her now three-year-old, So Good Tobe Original.
“I’m so excited and thankful that my family is behind me all the way and that I get to work with Jeff in this new venture. He’s a talented trainer, a great businessman, and just a good person. He’s a lot of what the industry needs. Also, I’m so thankful to the Simons for giving us this opportunity, and I want to make them proud with the stallion they’ve bred.”
Currently, the plan is that Louie will head to his new home following the APHA Youth World Show this year. Preparations are already being made for the 2019 breeding season. Jeff confirms that all re-breeds will be honored for Original Cowboy. “I want to continue to take care of those mare owners, who have already trusted Andrea and her breeding business with Louie.”
As far as what’s in store for Louie’s future outside of the breeding shed, the public will just have to wait and see…
“That’s still up in the air,” Jeff says. “We have talked about showing him again, and it’s not out of the question. That’s one of those things where we will just have to wait and see!”
An online catalog for the Simons Show Horses Dispersal Sale will be released on June 15th, so stay tuned to the official media outlet for the sale, EquineChronicle.com, for more information as it becomes available.