Stallion Showcase 2023: Bebo Quarter Horses winning saddles and world titles
Maybe Bruce Bebo’s lifelong obsession began when his mother, Carol Bebo, while pregnant with him, was dumped off a horse.
Or maybe it’s in his blood.
Bebo Quarter Horses has been the lifetime work of Bruce Bebo and his parents, Spud and Carol.
For more than a half-century, Bruce’s parents, and then Bruce, have raised quality AQHA horses for a variety of disciplines.
Spud and Carol, co-owners of the Redfield Sale Barn, bred and raised horses. Their kids, including Bruce, showed them.
By the age of thirteen, Bruce was training customer horses, and he’s never quit.
From cutting to reining to halter and western pleasure, Bebo horses have been bred and raised for it, and have done it all.
One of the first stallions Bruce started with was Tuff Order. A 1979 stallion, the Bebos, including Bruce and his parents, showed him, making him an AQHA champion in the halter, western pleasure and roping events. Bob Johnson trained him for roping, and he and Bruce would go to shows, where Bruce did the western pleasure and halter with Tuff Order while Bob did the roping.
Another stallion Bruce recalls is Mr April Conclusion. Purchased at the World Show in Oklahoma City in the 1990s, he was bred to a Howard Pitzer mare, Jeanie Red Baron. Mr April Conclusion sired one colt then got sick and died.
But that colt, Cluenation, born in 1994, “was gorgeous and fancy,” Bruce said, and went on to win the Center of the Nation Futurity in Rapid City, the South Dakota Futurity. The horse finished as reserve world champion yearling stallion at the World Show, with 21 in his class.
Bebo also remembers another stallion that was influential in Bebo Quarter Horses.
Plain Scotch Bar was a 1991 stallion owned by Thomson Quarter Horses. Bruce campaigned him, with the horse winning superior western pleasure. Standing at the Bebo place, they bred to him, one year breeding as many as 50 mares.
Bruce started him; in six weeks he took him to the Black Hills Summer Circuit in Rapid City and won the circuit championship in the two-year-old snaffle bit and western pleasure. That same year, the stallion accumulated 55 points to finish with a superior in western pleasure.
Aces Are Hot is one of Bebo Quarter Horses’ current stallions. The 16-hand black is the third generation raised on the place. An all-around performance horse, Bruce said the 6-year-old is bred for western, western pleasure, horsemanship, trail, “all the all-around things you’d do with a horse.”
Mares that will foal this year include Shez Hot For Chocolate and Missys Smokin Gun.
Shez Hot for Chocolate is bred to VS Code Blue, one of the top five pleasure and all-around horses in the AQHA show world, Bruce said. This isn’t the first time they’ve bred the pair; about five years ago, their foal went on to be a five-time world champion, VS Goodall And Blue.
Missys Smokin Gun, who is Play Gun and Dual Peppy bred, is bred to Metallics MVP, a red roan stallion whose lifetime earnings are nearly $300,000.
At one time, Bruce bred between 60 and 70 mares a year, between their own and customers’ horses. “We’d always have mares from a five-state region come to our place,” he said. At his peak, he was raising 20 to 25 foals and training 10 each year. They’ve slowed down a bit. This spring, they’ll have four foals.
Last year, Bebo Quarter Horses, Bruce, Stacey, and Cooper, who was half-owner of the horse, had the top selling horse at the 2022 Black Hills Stock Show.
Im A Nasty Habit, a 2020 cutting-bred black stallion whose sire is Hashtag and dam is PG Olenas Hickory, sold for $62,000. Nasty, who was nominated to the Ft. Worth Sweepstakes Futurity, is homozygous black and 5-panel negative. He was purchased in Texas as an investment for resale. Hashtag’s offspring have been high sellers at the Ft. Worth futurity cutting sale, and the sire has won $500,000 in the NCHA.
It had been Bruce’s goal to have the top selling horse at the BHSS.
“I told my wife and son I wanted to leave the Stock Show being one of the top sale horses of the sale, and that’s what we projected last year. We thought the black horse would do that.”
Bruce knows what the clientele at the BHSS want: horses with cow-sense. “I could take a world champion halter horse to the stock show, and I might as well stay home. That’s not what they’re wanting. People there are looking for cow horses. That’s what’s most popular there.”
Bebo Quarter Horses has taken two or three horses each year to the Stock Show. “The Black Hills Stock Show has done an awesome job promoting the horses they have. We’ve had very good luck there. They do an awesome job.”
When he and Stacey’s kids–Cooper, Jacklyn, Cheyenne and Stuart–were young, they spent several days each year at the BHSS. The kids loved it, Bruce said. “They have kids now, and they still talk about how much fun they had.”
The horse market is high now, but expenses are up, too, Bruce points out, with so many things that go into having a horse: a pickup and trailer, hay, feed, insurance, and more. “Nothing’s free,” he said. “The horse market is up, and even grade horses are bringing a lot.”
If the horse is “trained and honest, and people can ride him, and he’s sound and sane, he’ll bring good money.”
But the constant is being truthful, Bruce believes. “Honesty is the way to go. If you want a repeat customer, you have to be that way. In any business, honesty will take care of you.”
The couple has raised horses for different disciplines throughout their equine career, but focus more on all-around horses now.
“You can’t buy a horse for every event,” he said. “You have to have a horse that does it all.”
They’ve sold horses all over the 50 states, and people have had success with them.
“People show them, and win saddles and world champion titles, and that means a lot to me, that we’re producing a horse they can go and win on.”