Reiner December 2011 : Page 146

DOLL AR Rowdy Y ankee BY KAREN SHEDLAUSKAS SIRE MILLION H OLLYWOOD JAC 86 WAS THE FIRST NRHA Million Dollar Sire in 1993. Eighteen years later, Rowdy Yankee, owned by Rowdy Partners, has become the twenty-second Million Dol-lar Sire. At 17 years old, Rowdy Yankee, has quietly been siring an impressive list of winners that have pushed him into this elite club. A 1994 bay stallion, Rowdy Yankee first established himself as a performer by winning the 1997 NRHA Non Pro Futurity and embarked on a show career that spanned nine years. Sired by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena out of Nita Chex by Ready Chex, Rowdy Yan-kee was a winner in both the open and non pro divi-sions. His first foals hit the ground in 1999 and from that first crop of 10 foals, seven of them showed at the 2002 NRHA Futurity and eight became money earn-ers. His sire record still resembles that early high per-centage of money earners with 170 foals old enough to ride and 108 money-earners to date. trains his own show horses and found Rowdy Yankee to be special. “Rowdy’s best quality was his mind,” Crawford said about the stallion. “I haven’t ridden one before or since that is as good-minded. You didn’t need to drill on him, he just tried every time. He didn’t take a lot of warm-up, in fact, as a three-year-old I didn’t stop him in the main arena until the night before the first go. And a lot of his colts are just like that.” As a three-year-old, Rowdy Yankee was undefeated in the show pen; winning the North Central Reining Horse Association Futurity, The Tradition Futurity and the NRHA Non Pro Futurity. Rowdy and Craw-ford continued their winning ways in 1998 by win-ning the Gordyville Breeders Cup and Open To The World Non Pro derbies and placing fifth and fourth, respectively, in the open division. Next they topped the National Reining Breeder’s Classic (NRBC) Non Pro Derby and wrapped up the show season by win-ning the $5,000-added Saddlesmith non pro class at the NRHA Futurity & Championship Show. In 1999, Crawford set his sights on the Saddlesmith Series non pro championship title and won three of the series’ Open Horse: Non Pro Rider Keith Crawford, Howell, Michigan, has bred and trained his own reining horses for years. He would sell what he could and what didn’t sell, he showed. “Funny thing is I could hardly get anyone to come and look at horses in Michigan,” he said about not selling “Rowdy” as a prospect. “I didn’t not try to sell I just couldn’t get anyone to come up this way.” Crawford, a professional Standardbred Harness Racing driver, Rowdy Yankee’s Top Money-Earners: Hollywood Yankee Kid Big League Yankee Strike Em Out Hes At Bat Yankee Bambino $95,951 $74,807 $58,493 $52,665 $44,885

Million Dollar Sire

Karen Shedlauskas

Rowdy Yankee

HOLLYWOOD JAC 86 WAS THE FIRST NRHA Million Dollar Sire in 1993. Eighteen years later, Rowdy Yankee, owned by Rowdy Partners, has become the twenty-second Million Dollar Sire. At 17 years old, Rowdy Yankee, has quietly been siring an impressive list of winners that have pushed him into this elite club. A 1994 bay stallion, Rowdy Yankee first established himself as a performer by winning the 1997 NRHA Non Pro Futurity and embarked on a show career that spanned nine years. Sired by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena out of Nita Chex by Ready Chex, Rowdy Yankee was a winner in both the open and non pro divisions. His first foals hit the ground in 1999 and from that first crop of 10 foals, seven of them showed at the 2002 NRHA Futurity and eight became money earners. His sire record still resembles that early high percentage of money earners with 170 foals old enough to ride and 108 money-earners to date.

Open Horse: Non Pro Rider

Keith Crawford, Howell, Michigan, has bred and trained his own reining horses for years. He would sell what he could and what didn't sell, he showed. "Funny thing is I could hardly get anyone to come and look at horses in Michigan," he said about not selling "Rowdy" as a prospect. "I didn't not try to sell I just couldn't get anyone to come up this way." Crawford, a professional Standardbred Harness Racing driver, trains his own show horses and found Rowdy Yankee to be special. "Rowdy's best quality was his mind," Crawford said about the stallion. "I haven't ridden one before or since that is as good-minded. You didn't need to drill on him, he just tried every time. He didn't take a lot of warm-up, in fact, as a three-year-old I didn't stop him in the main arena until the night before the first go. And a lot of his colts are just like that."

As a three-year-old, Rowdy Yankee was undefeated in the show pen; winning the North Central Reining Horse Association Futurity, The Tradition Futurity and the NRHA Non Pro Futurity. Rowdy and Crawford continued their winning ways in 1998 by winning the Gordyville Breeders Cup and Open To The World Non Pro derbies and placing fifth and fourth, respectively, in the open division. Next they topped the National Reining Breeder's Classic (NRBC) Non Pro Derby and wrapped up the show season by winning the $5,000-added Saddlesmith non pro class at the NRHA Futurity & Championship Show. In 1999, Crawford set his sights on the Saddlesmith Series non pro championship title and won three of the series' competitions including the $5,000-added non pro class at the NRHA Futurity & Championship Show, which helped them bring home the title. Although he began his breeding career in 1998, Rowdy Yankee retired to the breeding shed in 2000. Due to the harsh Michigan winters, and hoping to attract a different group of mares, Crawford entrusted his prized stallion to NRHA Professional Mike Boyle and his wife Barbi, who were located in California at the time. "But he still wasn't attracting the quality of mares I thought he deserved," Crawford said. "Just like Richie Greenberg experienced 25 years earlier with Hollywood Jac 86, everybody considered him (Rowdy) a sire of non pro horses. Until Richie got Tim McQuay riding some of his foals, he battled the same thing with Hollywood Jac. In Rowdy's case, he was an open horse with a non pro as a rider." So Crawford looked around for an open rider that could help Rowdy get taken seriously as an open horse. "I wanted to have him shown in the USET (now USEF) events and Shawn (Flarida) was really into it at the time. Rowdy was 12 and many people had never seen him show, so I thought it would work out well."

Crawford legged the stallion up in the fall of 2005 andshowed him in a small non pro class in Jackson, Ohio, to see how he felt before he sent him off to Flarida. "He never missed a beat," Crawford remembered. "We marked a 75.5 and he showed perfectly." 2006 was a World Equestrian Games (WEG) year and Flarida was looking for a horse over the age of six that would fit him for the WEG qualifiers.

"He was such a nice horse to be around," Flarida said about Rowdy Yankee. "He could really, really stop and turn so fast. I really enjoyed showing him." They placed third in their first outing together at the USEF open qualifier at the Gordyville Breeders Cup and then went on to win the $25,000-added open class and CRI-A open at the 2006 NRBC. They easily qualified for the USA Team Selection Finals but ultimately an unfortunate bobble kept them from earning a spot on the 2006 USA WEG team. Clearly, Rowdy Yankee cut it as an open horse too. He retired from the show pen with more than $84,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings.

Show Time

As his own show career was coming to a close, Rowdy Yankee's foals were starting to hit their stride as non pro and open horses in the show pen. With $95,951 in NRHA earnings, his number one money earner is Hollywood Yankee Kid, out of Sunshine Yellow Kid by NRHA Futurity Champion Brennas Kid. The 2001 stallion, now owned by Heike Mario Karner, slid on to the reiner radar screen in 2005 when he earned the NRBC open reserve championship with NRHA Professional Brent Naylor in the saddle. He was purchased by Katarina Dorminy in 2007 and shown by NRHA Professional Jordan Larson to win the 2007 Shadow Oak Plantation Derby in Clemson, South Carolina. German NRHA Professional Grischa Ludwig rode the talented stallion in the 2007 FEI World Reining Masters CRI-A at the Futurity & NAAC Championship Show and the stallion then made his way to Germany. Ludwig showed the stallion for the next two years throughout Europe. Hollywood Yankee Kid is still showing with NRHA Professional Rudi Kronsteiner in the saddle. Kronsteiner recently rode him to a score of 229 to win the Equita Lyon NRHA Open trophy, unofficially making Rudi Kronsteiner the NRHA's first European Million Dollar Rider.

The number two money-earner is Big League Yankee, out of Cody Cee Cutter by Million Dollar Sire Topsail Cody, and now owned by Melonie Montgomery Ahlgren. The 2000 gelding boasts $74,807 and he is still showing. He began his show career by taking NRHA Professional Randy Paul to the 2003 Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Associatino (RMRHA) Stallion Stakes Futurity open championship and finished the year as an NRHA Futurity open finalist. As a four-year-old, Big League Yankee was purchased by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Rosanne Sternberg and he started to collect paychecks on multiple continents as he was shown in the open and non pro divisions domestically as well as internationally. He has shown in almost every NRHA division from rookie to open, sometimes in the same day.

Number three on Rowdy Yankee's top earners list is Strike Em Out, a stallion out of Pines Black Ant by Great Pine. Now owned by Tom and Leslie Lange, the black stallion was bred, raised, and trained by Crawford. "He probably reminded me most of Rowdy," he said about Strike Em Out. "Not so much as a three-year-old, but he turned into a great show horse as a fouryear-old." Crawford rode him to a seventh place finish in the 2003 NRHA Non Pro Futurity, a non pro finals berth at the 2004 NRBC and they were finalists in the 2004 and 2005 NRHA Derby. Crawford sold him in the fall of 2005 and the stallion continued to win in everything from the open to the rookie classes. He is still showing and has earnings of $58,493.

The Next Generation

Rowdy Yankee was purchased by Andre DeBellefeuille and Francois Gauthier (Rowdy Partners) in October 2007. "I was so busy racing," Crawford explained about his decision to sell. "I just didn't have the time to put into a breeding program. Breeding a lot of mares is time consuming. Rowdy was at a point in his career when he was the most valuable and I felt it was the right time and the right thing to do. Rowdy Yankee moved to Sunny Pines Farm and Breeding Services where he is managed by Josiane Gauthier. Since moving to North Carolina, Rowdy Yankee has bred more mares than at any other point in his breeding career and Josiane is very impressed with the quality of foals he is siring.

"He is such an amazing horse," she said about Rowdy Yankee. "He is kind and sweet. In fact, I put my kids on him and he takes such good care of them." As for the decision to buy Rowdy, Gauthier said it was a simple decision that has proven very wise. "Where we are located on the East Coast there are a lot 'Boggies' (Boggies Flashy Jac) and sons of his. We needed something to cross on these thicker, older type horses and Rowdy looked like the perfect choice. He was bigger, leaner and has helped refine these horses for us.

Rowdy's offspring have earned more than $1,013,235, making him an NRHA Million Dollar Sire. Rowdy bred his largest group of mares in 2008, which is the first year he stood at Sunny Pines. Those colts are now two, and Gauthier is very excited about these prospects. "They are so easy to train and really don't want any trouble," she said. "They all want to stop and turn. I can't wait to start showing them next year." Does that sound familiar? It should, because those were the very same words Keith Crawford used to describe a young Rowdy Yankee.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/article/Million+Dollar+Sire/903019/90403/article.html.

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