Simon Ranch adds Thoroughbred to stallion lineup
March 12, 2014
Racehorses that sold for a cool million as mere babies don't often end up on working cattle ranches in Western South Dakota. Destined for greatness, their typical career track takes them to America's premier racetracks and then, hopefully to cushy life at a breeding farm in Kentucky. They don't often end up in South Dakota unless visionary Quarter Horse breeders have something better in mind.
Jerry and Lynda Simon's ranch near Mud Butte, S.D., has been raising horses since Jerry's grandfather brought the first herd in 1915. Throughout the years, the ranch has produced remounts for the U.S. Cavalry, polo ponies for the state capital's polo team and at one time was one of the nation's leading breeders of Percheron draft horses. At all times over the last century, the ranch also produced the horses that earn their keep as the working stock for the hundreds of cattle that roam over the wind-swept landscape. Jerry and his kin know what makes a good ranch horse.
"I started breeding my own horses when I was just 15," says Jerry. "My family has been in the horse business forever and we know what it takes to make a good one. And right now, we think it might be high time for the ranch horse business to try a new track."
Jerry and Lynda feel that new "track" means an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Temp. A foal of 2007 that was sired by a stallion (Mr. Greeley) that commanded a stud fee of $150,000 and out of a mare that was a full sister to a Kentucky Oaks winner (Sardula), he sold for a million dollars as a yearling in the premiere Keeneland Thoroughbred auction. After that, he went on to race with Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert in Southern California. Retired this past fall after earning over $130,000, it was no surprise he was heading to a breeding farm somewhere, but few people would have guessed South Dakota.
"We believe in the principle of hybrid vigor," explains Jerry. "It works for plants, it works for cattle and we know it works for horses too. The Quarter Horse breed was founded by crossing Kentucky Thoroughbred stallions on local range mares, thus creating a great outcross. And old timer once told me that the only thing wrong with having a Thoroughbred close up in a Quarter Horse's pedigree was when it wasn't there, and we agree."
And so Jerry and Lynda purchased Temp through a brokered deal brought around by the Newell, S.D., Thoroughbred breeding and training facility, Horse Creek Thoroughbreds. With the nearly perfect conformation that created his sensational auction price as a yearling and a speedy race record to boot, they knew they had the right horse for the job the second they set eyes on him.
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"We had been looking for the right Thoroughbred stallion for awhile," says Lynda of their stallion search. "We wanted something to add speed, height and the Thoroughbred determination to our ranch stock. Our hope is to produce a horse every bit as good working cattle in the pasture as he is running barrels in the arena and we think Temp will do that for us."
As a half-brother to a stallion that has already launched a successful career as a sprint sire in South Africa, Windrush, and from a pedigree that has produced racehorses that have succeeded at the top level all over the world, there seems little doubt that Temp will bring talent to his foals. The Simons plan to cross Temp not just on their cow and ranch-bred mares but to offer him to the public to cover Thoroughbred mares for the racing market as well.
"He is a horse that is pretty on the eyes and has a great disposition too," says Jerry of his new stallion. "It is rare that with a horse that is smart, trainable and well put together that you don't get something good from that. We have confidence that he is going to a breed-changing sire for the Quarter Horse and we couldn't be more proud to be doing it from our family ranch here in South Dakota."
Temp will be standing for the 2014 season at Jerry and Lynda Simon's Moreau River Quarter Horses in Mud Butte, South Dakota for a fee of $1,250. Shipped semen is available. Temp's 2015 foals from Moreau River are also available in utero. For more information contact Jerry Simon at 605-280-0356 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find them on the web at http://www.moreauriverqh.com F
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