Stallion Showcase 2023: Schaack Family Performance Horses Named SDQHA Producers of the Year
Sometimes, success comes because God places the right people and the right horses in one’s path at the right time. At least, that’s how Tim Schaack describes the success of his burgeoning performance horse program, which recently earned the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association Producer of the Year Award.
“Whiskey has basically changed our lives,” says Tim Schaack. Everybody that has one of his babies wants another one, and that probably excites me more than anything.” Their buckskin stallion, Whoze Your Daddy (Whiskey), is a big reason Schaack Family Performance Horses is being recognized.
When Tim Schaack and his wife, Paula, saw Whiskey for the first time at Frenchmans Quarter Horses in Hot Springs, South Dakota, they knew instantly that he was the stallion prospect they were looking for. Sired by Paddys Irish Whiskey and out of Frenchmans Violet by Frenchmans Guy, their future stallion would come from across the lot to greet them at the gate, even as a weanling. It was an easy enough decision to purchase him, but it was also a huge step to take financially. “I toiled quite a bit. Every time I thought about not buying him, I had a bellyache,” Tim Schaack says. They returned to see the colt five or six times, sometimes taking friends for their opinion, and each time solidified their decision. Schaacks are very grateful to John and Lis (Loiseau) Hollman, who own Frenchmans Quarter Horses, for helping them purchase him. “They went above and beyond to make it happen for us. We’d have never been able to own that horse if it wasn’t for those people. They’ll always be special to us for that reason,” Tim says.
When Whoze Your Daddy was a 2-year-old, they showcased him on Stallion Row at the Black Hills Stock Show and they have had a steady stream of outside mares ever since. Now 10 years old, Whiskey breeds 15-20 of Schaack’s mares and 25-40 outside mares each year, standing at Colorado State University.
For Schaack, Whiskey is the ideal sire: good-minded, athletic, and he “stamps” every one of his babies. Their broodmares vary in size, but Schaack says that when he gathers the mares and their babies at weaning time, it is difficult to know which foal is out of which mare. The “true trait” of Whiskey’s parentage is that he marks each of his babies with his pretty head, big hips, large girth, and kind eyes. Many clients breed to the stud because of his looks, but Schaack says he is also an incredible athlete.
Schaack has spent a lifetime training horses, being mentored by Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman. Tim said there were many colts he rode where he recognized greatness underneath, but had to ride through some “bad stuff” to get to it. Now, he raises colts that want to get along from day one, he says, making the training process much simpler.
Growing up in Henry, South Dakota, Schaack and his dad raised a few colts. From the age of 11, Schaack started colts and trained horses and so found his calling. Marrying Carrie in 1989 and welcoming their sons Tel and Treg shortly after, Schaack tried various ways of balancing his passion for training horses with supporting his young family. First, by selling insurance, then seeking various barns to lease around South Dakota. Finally, he had the opportunity to merge stability and colt training when he was offered a colt riding job at the historic Haythorn Ranch in 2001. Their third son, Tres was born in 2002.
Tragically, Carrie was killed in a car accident the following year. Tim continued training, showing for Haythorns, and raising his sons until making the decision to buy his own place in 2007. Edgemont, South Dakota would become the home in which Schaack could fulfill his lifelong dreams of running cattle and raising his own quality Quarter Horses.
Not long after moving back to South Dakota, Tim met Paula. She and her two kids, Whitney and Josh, joined the Schaacks. According to Tim, Paula is the “glue” that holds everything together. From housework to moving cows to doing paperwork, “she does more than probably most women should have to do,” he says.
Their four sons each have unique equine interests: Josh ranches in Edgemont with his family; Tel trains futurity rope horses, specializing in heeling; Treg aspires to make the National Finals Rodeo in tie-down roping; and Tres trains futurity barrel horses. This variety of disciplines in the family is the inspiration for creating the ultimate all-around offspring by Whoze Your Daddy. Tim likes producing colts that have a lot of cow, speed, agility, and willingness. So far, they are having great success, with his babies showing well in ranch horse versatility, barrel racing, roping, and ranching.
When Schaacks first began marketing Whiskey’s colts and fillies, they didn’t sell anything they hadn’t ridden. “We’ve ridden enough of them now that I know they’re all going to be pretty darn good-minded,” he says. They are beginning to sell weanlings and yearlings more often. Whoze Your Daddy is paid into local futurities including 5-State, Gridiron, Cornhusker, Colorado Classic, Future Fortunes, and is also bought into the Royal Crown.
“When Jim Hunt told us that we had got this award, we were both kind of stunned. We surely didn’t expect it,” he says. Schaacks thank Larry Larson for his early support and marketing for their program, and Sammi Johnson (SJ Equine Productions) for all her hard work. “She’s one of the greatest equine photographers in the horse industry today. She’s been on our team since the beginning. Without her, our program wouldn’t be where it is today,” Schaack says.
Ultimately, he says he has God to thank for their program, down to the blessings of good people, good horses, and good timing.
You can learn more about Schaack Family Performance Horses at whozeyourdaddy.com.