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  • Writer's pictureTim Johnson Cutting Horse

Are you really considering everything when choosing a Stallion to breed to this year?

ncha cutting horse breeding, cutting stallion, ncha stallion

Every year that time comes around when we find ourselves deciding which stallions we will breed our mares to. There’s so much to think about when it comes to choosing an eligible bachelor for our mares. We like to challenge ourselves and think outside of the usual criteria of performance, conformation, disposition and style. Factors such as who owns the stallion, whether the stallion is actively promoted or has a high-powered ranch behind him all weigh in on our decision. We carefully consider all these different factors in the hopes that when it comes time, we will have a talented, but also relevant, young horse to sell, or show and promote ourselves.


If you’re thinking about performance and athletic ability, you’re on the right track, but consider some other factors when choosing a stallion. While the obvious money earned, or championships won is important, we like to also think about who owns the stallion, how much is he promoted, and who’s talking about him? With so many talented stallions out there, you have the ability now to contemplate other factors besides performance. These are important to think about because two or three years from now, you might be trying to sell your foal, or promote them yourself, and if half the work is done for you and their sire has been promoted properly, you are adding more value to your own product. Challenge yourself this year to weigh in some of these more uncustomary factors.

cutting horse breeding, ncha cutting horse stallion


As much as we’d love to be able to breed to any stallion we want, that’s not our reality, and maybe it isn’t yours either. So within a budget parameter, here are four great choices we would consider this year:


DUAL REY - Dual Pep x Nurse Rey

Need we say more? He needs no introduction - he’s produced over $40 million dollars and counting. He outcrosses on everything High Brow Cat, Peptoboonsmal or Smart Little Lena. If our chequebooks allowed it, we’d be breeding to Dual Rey this year. Athletic, smart and cowy, when crossed on a great mare, it’s hard to mess this one up. These babies have so much value by being a true son or daughter of Dual Rey that you can safely bet that you're making a smart investment by breeding to this stallion.

$5,000 -$10,000

SMOOTH AS A CAT - High Brow Cat x She’s Pretty Smooth

Smooth As A Cat’s accolades go on. As High Brow Cat’s all time leading siring son, NCHA Horse of the Year, you can’t beat his record. He’s a personal favorite of ours because his offspring have such distinct traits that we love. His babies are so cowy and athletic, it can be a great cross if you have to add some dynamic athleticism to your more limited mare, especially one with a lack of desire or “cowy-ness,. This stallion’s offspring have some serious longevity, you won’t burn these horses out early, they will be cutting forever! Not only does Smooth As A Cat offspring have all the performance qualities we’re looking for, they have such unique, playful personalities and we love having them in the barn. This breeding is a lot of value, and on the right cross, can be pretty phenomenal.

$2,500 - $5,000

DUAL SMART REY- Dual Rey x The Smart Look

The sire of almost $4 million NCHA offspring dollars, this stallion is great value at a $3,000 breeding fee. Dual Smart Rey has it all in his pedigree, his sire is one of the best of the best, and his dam is one of the most renowned producers the industry has seen. We love the Dual Smart Rey's that have come through our barn. The sire himself was fantastic, but it’s all about offspring and strong genetics with this one. His genes really carry through to his offspring and have produced some amazing horses - an NCHA Open Futurity Champion, and NCHA Non Pro Futurity Champion. This breeding offers a lot of bang for your buck and represents a great cross for a Smart Little Lena or High Brow Cat mare.

Under $2,500

SIGALA REY- Dual Rey x Uno Tassa Mia

Yet another Dual Rey on our list, what can we say, we love the try and spirit of these horses. At only $1,600 for 2019, Sigala Rey is a great deal and safe investment. He’s already had an NCHA Open Futurity finalist and Semi Finalist in his first and second foal crop. His offspring are super cowy, and they’ve got a very unique way of moving their front end that really intrigues us. This sire is showing some real promise with only five performance-aged offspring already earning in excess of $120,000 in two short show seasons. With an obscure bottom side, this sire is relatively open for most crosses, we are betting you can breed him to almost any mare you own. Try him on mares with High Brow Cat or Peptoboonsmal lines.

NCHA cutting horse foal, breeding


Deciding what to cross your special mare on can be challenging. Doing some research on magic crosses, or seeing what’s out there working in the industry can really help and make you feel more secure in your decision. We’ve done some of the work for you here. Based on our research and what we look for in an athlete, here are our cross suggestions for 2019 for your mares.


We’re all about the bottom side with this great stallion. His dam Autumn Boon has produced some of this generation’s greatest horses – I’m Counting Checks, Absolutely Stunning, and of course, Once In A Blue Boon. You want this mare on your foal’s papers. Once In A Blu Boon himself was an amazing athlete who did all the crawling around, laying down that we love about cutting these days. Trained and shown by James Payne, this horse won in excess of $300,000 and had an incredible career. His offspring are already making waves in the show pen, he sired the Reserve NCHA Open Futurity Champion this year and has some really special offspring that we’re looking forward to watching. This stallion has a great team behind him, and we think he’ll have a very successful career as a stallion.

If you’ve got a DUAL REY mare - LIGHT N LENA

This stallion has produced $1.7 million and his breeding fee remains at an affordable $1,500. He has produced some great show horses that are still out there earning money, even in their older years. This is something different that everyone won’t have and is a proven producer already so you don’t have to worry about taking too much of a chance. Gray's Starlight has some amazing grandsons and daughters, you can’t go wrong breeding to a stallion with him on their papers. Light N Lena had some good size and bone and he throws some beautiful babies. We would try this one in a heartbeat, especially on a Dual Rey mare.

If you’ve got a HIGH BROW CAT mare - BOON TOO SUEN

Boon Too Suen offspring have already produced almost $2 million and you can get still get a breeding to this stud for $3,500. This stallion is really special when he’s crossed on High Brow Cat mares – a true magic cross that has already produced $1.5 million with the average earning almost $60,000 each. Hard to go wrong with those statistics. Boon Too Suen is all about the bottom side, you can’t beat his dam, Meradas Little Sue, she was an amazing producer and a 3-time NCHA Open World Champion. Her offspring are some of the best out there showing today. Like we said, if you've got a High Brow Cat mare that can cross on Boon Too Suen, we would be trying it this year for sure!

If you’ve got a PEPTOBOONSMAL mare - HIGH BROW CD

With a new home, and back on the market for breeding, High Brow CD is the talk of the town right now after selling for $401,000 this year at the Western Bloodstock sale at the NCHA Futurity. Already the producer of more than $8 million dollars, he brings respectable value for his $3,000 breeding fee. We love this cross because they’ve already produced almost $1.3 million and there’s a few very standout horses (think Cat Sheree and What About Blue – two horses that have already won over $400,000 between them) who make us want to breed our Peptoboonsmal mares to him. If you want longevity and powerful strength in a foal, this looks like a magic cross to us.

If you’ve got a DUAL PEP mare - SMOOTH AS A CAT

We’ve already mentioned this guy, but this really is his magic cross. This cross has already produced almost $2.5 million with the average offspring earning $25,000. This sire’s offspring are cowy, athletic and compliment the legendary genes Dual Pep passed down. Dual Pep’s grandbabies are some of the best (think Sister CD or Don’t Look Twice). Crossing these two, you’ll have a classic cow horse with desire, plus all the athleticism and dynamic modern style Smooth As A Cat brings to the table.


We've covered our 2019 choices for the stallions who are proven producers and have many performance aged foals out there showing. Let’s not forget all of the up-and-comers - freshmen sires who may even still be showing and adding to their lifetime earnings. These stallions have foals on the ground but don’t yet have any performance-aged offspring to judge their producing ability. If you can get breedings to some of these early while they are more inexpensive, you can have one of the first foal crops and catch a wave that will hopefully take off. Another consideration about some of these more modern stallions is the marketing efforts and teams behind them. We’re seeing these younger stallions becoming "trendy", and gaining large followings based on their performance. If you can be a part of some of these communities by having one of the foals, that will give your horse all that much more exposure, and hopefully value, later on. The breeding industry is changing, it’s not only about performance and producing now, breeders are starting to consider marketing efforts and the effect social media can have on the consumers in the cutting community.

Metallic Cat sons in particular are some of the more trending and sought after freshmen stallions of 2019. Sannman, Stevie Rey Von, Hashtags, Metallic Rebel, the list goes on for Metallic Cat sons, all of these guys are standout athletes and have had storybook careers, the choice is yours on these. These lines cross best on Dual Rey mares historically if they themselves aren't out of a Dual Rey mare, but we’re all about trying something new. These might be something to consider if you’ve got a Gray's Starlight, Smart Little Lena, or Freckles Playboy mare. These stallions are marketed to the nines, and they have an amazing community of followers – Hashtags is a great example. You can’t open a cutting horse, or even Quarter Horse publication or website without seeing his name. The people behind this amazing athlete really made him go “viral” in 2018 and because of this, the anticipation for his first foal crops is intense. Being a part of this exciting time with Hashtags could be very valuable to your breeding program. We're challenging you, and ourselves, this year to think about some of these freshmen sires not only because of their performance careers, but also because of their trending nature in the industry.

There’s so many incredible freshmen sires to name, these are a few of the many that we’re keeping an eye on to consider for our mares:

Reyzin the Cash - Dual Rey x Spooky’s Cash - LTE: $276,000

The Animal - Cat Ichi x My Little Abra - LTE: $222,000 and still showing

Dual Reyish - Hottish x A Little Reylena - LTE: $356,000 and still showing

PG Heavily Armed - Playgun x Not Quite an Acre - LTE: $263,000

Lil Catbaloo - High Brow Cat x Sweet Lil Boo - LTE: $230,000

We're looking forward to breeding our mares this year and really have so much fun researching and trying to get lucky on one of those magic crosses. We also love to challenge ourselves to thinking outside-the-box and consider some of those more abnormal factors outside of performance and career. We encourage you to do the same and really have fun with it this year! Please leave a comment and let us know who you're breeding your mare too this year.

7,251 views4 comments


Nov 02, 2021

I have a Metallic Cat x Playboys Molly Mac mare. What would be the best magic cross for her? Can you switch a mare versus stallion with equal success?


Feb 23, 2021

Any recommendations for 2021? I have a spots hot mare out of aHBC mare and a smooth as a cat mare out of a peptoboonsmall mare. Would love to hear your suggestion.

thank you


Mar 05, 2019

Great info! Got a Smooth As A Cat foal coming this spring from my own daughter of Smart Little Lena! Can't wait!


Nancy Breland Burrington
Nancy Breland Burrington
Mar 04, 2019

Love your post Tim...Sis just got beed back to Cecil and she is out of a Grays starlight mare. Fingers crossed to see if contact wad made in 14 more days. Lol

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