Reiner September 2011 : Page 110

SIRE West Coast Whiz FAMILY FORTUNE: WEST COAST WHIZ IS THE LATEST IN A LONG-LINE OF NRHA MILLION DOLLAR SIRES BY GAVIN EHRINGER DOLLAR T RAINERS DREAM OF WINNING BIG EVENTS ; breeders dream of producing genera-tions of major-event winners. On both counts the legendary competi-tor, trainer, breeder, and Hall of Fame inductee Bob Loomis has surpassed his wildest dreams. This past July, the Loomis-bred and raised stallion West Coast Whiz joined his grandsire, Topsail Cody, and his sire, Topsail Whiz, in the exclusive club of NRHA Million Dollar Sires. If that wasn't enough, an-other Loomis-bred stallion, Conquistador Whiz (Top-sail Whiz x Sugarita Chex) reached the Million Dollar Sire mark in April. That makes these two talented sons of Topsail Whiz the only sires in NRHA history hon-ored as third-generation millionaires. The story of West Coast Whiz began with his grand-sire, Hall of Famer and Million Dollar Sire Topsail Cody, the 1980 NRHA Futurity Champion and 1981 AQHA World Champion in Junior Reining. Loomis was work-ing at Hall of Famer C.T. “Tom” Fuller’s Willow Brook Farm in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, home to the NRHA Hall of Fame stallion Joe Cody. Loomis greatly admired the horse and his progeny, especially Topsail Cody. Loomis also greatly admired Tom and Susan McBeath’s mare Jeanie Whiz Bar (Cee Red x Jeanie Whiz). Jeanie Whiz Bar crossed on Topsail Cody produced Topsail Whiz—and the rest is history. Topsail Whiz went on to an illustrious career in both the arena and the breeding barn. He racked up $49,865 in NRHA earnings, cracking his first win at the 1990 Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity with Loomis. The pair went on to place third at the 1990 NRHA Futurity. The following year, Topsail Whiz was a top-five finisher at the NRHA Derby and winner of the NRHA Lazy E Classic. Topsail Whiz passed on his trainability, his willing-ness, and his deep-stopping athleticism to a multitude of offspring. In August 2010, Topsail Whiz’s get sur-passed seven million dollars in NRHA career earnings, giving him top honors among all sires as NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-Earning Sire. Of his notable progeny, West Coast Whiz was closest to Loomis’ heart and home, living with the trainer throughout his entire life. “West Coast” was also the one who best exemplified the NRHA Hall of Famer’s breeding philosophies. Loomis’ influence came through on the maternal side and was the result of his belief that the dam needed to be as good in the show pen and on the production side as the sire. The tipoff to his maternal lineage is in his name West Coast. Among the greatest performance horse sires of the 1950s was the stallion King Fritz, who was raised in Oregon and stood in California. King Fritz, a grandson of King who traces to Poco Bueno on the maternal side, was an exceptionally ath-letic horse who claimed the 1962 AQHA Open Cham-pionship, earning points in reining, cow horse, western riding, western pleasure and halter. He was owned by the Watkins, who used a checkmark as their brand, giv-ing rise to the name “Chex” that was bestowed upon King Fritz’s first foal crop. Over time, the cross of King Fritz and the Watkins’ mares would become legendary in working cow horse events, especially under trainer Les Vogt, who bought the stallion and a band of mares from the Watkins. “King Fritz was a phenomenal sire,” recalled Vogt in a book by photographer David Stoecklein. “When people MILLION

Million Dollar Sire

Gavin Ehringer

Family fortune: West Coast Whiz is the latest in a long-line of NRHA Million Dollar Sires.

TRAINERS DREAM OF WINNING BIG EVENTS; breeders dream of producing generations of major-event winners. On both counts the legendary competitor, trainer, breeder, and Hall of Fame inductee Bob Loomis has surpassed his wildest dreams.

This past July, the Loomis-bred and raised stallion West Coast Whiz joined his grandsire, Topsail Cody, and his sire, Topsail Whiz, in the exclusive club of NRHA Million Dollar Sires. If that wasn't enough, another Loomis-bred stallion, Conquistador Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Sugarita Chex) reached the Million Dollar Sire mark in April. That makes these two talented sons of Topsail Whiz the only sires in NRHA history honored as third-generation millionaires.

The story of West Coast Whiz began with his grandsire, Hall of Famer and Million Dollar Sire Topsail Cody, the 1980 NRHA Futurity Champion and 1981 AQHA World Champion in Junior Reining. Loomis was working at Hall of Famer C.T. "Tom" Fuller's Willow Brook Farm in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, home to the NRHA Hall of Fame stallion Joe Cody. Loomis greatly admired the horse and his progeny, especially Topsail Cody. Loomis also greatly admired Tom and Susan McBeath's mare Jeanie Whiz Bar (Cee Red x Jeanie Whiz). Jeanie Whiz Bar crossed on Topsail Cody produced Topsail Whiz–and the rest is history.

Topsail Whiz went on to an illustrious career in both the arena and the breeding barn. He racked up $49,865 in NRHA earnings, cracking his first win at the 1990 Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity with Loomis. The pair went on to place third at the 1990 NRHA Futurity. The following year, Topsail Whiz was a top-five finisher at the NRHA Derby and winner of the NRHA Lazy E Classic.

Topsail Whiz passed on his trainability, his willingness, and his deep-stopping athleticism to a multitude of offspring. In August 2010, Topsail Whiz's get surpassed seven million dollars in NRHA career earnings, giving him top honors among all sires as NRHA's All- Time Leading Money-Earning Sire.

Of his notable progeny, West Coast Whiz was closest to Loomis' heart and home, living with the trainer throughout his entire life. "West Coast" was also the one who best exemplified the NRHA Hall of Famer's breeding philosophies. Loomis' influence came through on the maternal side and was the result of his belief that the dam needed to be as good in the show pen and on the production side as the sire.

The tipoff to his maternal lineage is in his name West Coast. Among the greatest performance horse sires of the 1950s was the stallion King Fritz, who was raised in Oregon and stood in California.

King Fritz, a grandson of King who traces to Poco Bueno on the maternal side, was an exceptionally athletic horse who claimed the 1962 AQHA Open Championship, earning points in reining, cow horse, western riding, western pleasure and halter. He was owned by the Watkins, who used a checkmark as their brand, giving rise to the name "Chex" that was bestowed upon King Fritz's first foal crop. Over time, the cross of King Fritz and the Watkins' mares would become legendary in working cow horse events, especially under trainer Les Vogt, who bought the stallion and a band of mares from the Watkins.

"King Fritz was a phenomenal sire," recalled Vogt in a book by photographer David Stoecklein. "When people found out we owned him, they started sending me some of his older colts to ride and they were so talented. I'd load up three horses and go to a show and win first, second, and third."

Loomis, who helped Vogt transition into reining competition, built much of his breeding program around King Fritz mares, and it was from this lineage that he acquired the dam of West Coast Whiz.

"Some of the best broodmares I've owned were by King Fritz," recalls Loomis. "He was a California horse, a working cow horse and sire of working cow horses from that part of the country. I remember going to the snaffle bit events, and King Fritz horses just won everything. His offspring would run so hard and stop so deep."

One of his favorites was a bay mare he acquired, My Moon Stone Chex (King Fritz x Rocky Moon), foaled in 1973.

"When I bought My Moon Stone Chex, she was being shown successfully by pros and amateurs. She was a granddaughter of Rocky Knox, a champion on the West Coast. All of his daughters were huge producers," he said. "When I bought her, she'd already had two foals by Smart Little Lena. One was Smart N Sassy owned by Frank Merrill. He won on her, and his wife and kids did too. They won more than $100,000."

My Moon Stone Chex would produce a number of horses for Loomis and all were major NRHA and AQHA winners. But in 1996, he got the horse he felt was a keeper–a bay colt by Topsail Whiz. In a tip to King Fritz and his West Coast fame, he named the colt West Coast Whiz.

"West Coast was my favorite of all the colts. He was the prettiest, and special from the beginning," recalled the breeder.

Loomis trained the colt throughout his second year and described the process of shaping the horse's reining foundation as "effortless." In the lead up to the 1999 NRHA Futurity, the horse claimed top honors at the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity. But the trainer was busy managing his lucrative breeding business with Topsail Whiz, and entrusted the horse's show career to Million Dollar Rider Duane Latimer, who was working for him at that time. Latimer took West Coast to a top-five finish at the NRHA Futurity, and then went on to finish as back-to-back reserve champion at the 2000 and 2001 NRHA Derby. En route to earning more than $126,865 in his NRHA career, the stallion also claimed the reserve championship title in Junior Reining at the AQHA World Championship Show and another reserve championship at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. The victories helped elevate him to the number one earner among four- and five-year-old reining horses.

"He was a very powerful horse," said Latimer of West Coast Whiz. "He was a really good circler and really good turner."

Loomis rode the horse twice in his show career, including a win in the open reining at Ardmore, Oklahoma. Of West Coast Whiz, he said: "He was a great horse from the truly great old line of stock horses."

Loomis stood the stallion alongside his famous sire at his facility in Marietta, Oklahoma. Quickly, the horse proved the strength of his bloodline, becoming a stallion of great stature.

To date West Coast Whiz's top money-earner has been Western Whiz who racked up $128,173, and was the top gelding at the 2006 NRHA Futurity, where he was also an open finalist under Hall of Fame inductee and Four Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida.

Another notable offspring is West Coast Mizzen, who carried Million Dollar Rider Mandy McCutcheon to the winner's podium at the 2009 Cinch NRHA Non Pro Futurity in the level 4 division. All told the mare, has earned $48,695 to date in her career.

Despite his massive success as a sire of winning reining horses, West Coast Whiz lived under the long shadow of his famous sire.

"If I would have had just West Coast Whiz . . ." said Loomis wistfully. "What he accomplished as a breeding stallion is nothing compared to what he could have accomplished. Playing second fiddle to Topsail Whiz probably kept him from becoming a million dollar sire years ago.

"He was nice to train, nice to be around. Anybody could ride him. I loved Topsail Whiz, but I thought a lot of West Coast Whiz too. It's just hard to share the pie when you have two great horses."

At the age of 13, West Coast Whiz was humanely put down on December 8, 2008 following complications caused by white line disease in his hooves. Adding to Loomis' sadness, Topsail Whiz passed away on December 28, 2008 after surgery to repair spinal damage.

Despite the tragic losses, Loomis continues to perpetuate the bloodlines that stretch back to his early days through a band of broodmares that includes offspring of both Topsail Whiz and West Coast Whiz.

"I have handled horses from the Joe Cody family for years and years," he said. "They've been very good to me." Very good indeed.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Gavin Ehringer has written about and photographed equestrians for more than 18 years. His byline has appeared in every major breed journal and general interest western horse publication in North America. He is the author of six non-fiction books and is working on his seventh title, Coming To The Fire: The Unnatural History of Dogs, Cats, Horses & Cows.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/article/Million+Dollar+Sire/813417/79054/article.html.

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