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☛ NCHA Super Stakes Sale 4-20-16







By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 20, 2016

Six of the top seven horses in the NCHA Super Stakes Sale were consigned by the Sunrise Ranch – topped by Miss Reycine, selling with an embryo by Metallic Cat.

If I were writing a press release for the 2016 NCHA Super Stakes Sale, held Saturday, April 16, in the Watt Arena of the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Texas, during the Finals night of the NCHA Open and Non-Pro Super Stakes, it would be upbeat! As it was last year, the sale was produced by Jeremy and Candace Barwick’s Western Bloodstock Sale Co., and auctioneered by Steve Friskup.



According to the sale results published on Western Bloodstock’s web site, the sale average this year was up from 2015:  $10,551 to $19,584 this year. The median price of the horses was also up from $9,250 in 2015 to $11,750 this year. The high-selling horse was up from Metallic Flo, a 2012 daughter of Metallic Cat, consigned by Alan Chappell, being the higher-selling horse bringing $60,000 in 2015. This year, the high-selling horse, Miss Reycine, brought a whopping $170,000! (No buyers were reported last year or this year following the sale; however, a check with AQHA shows that Metallic Flo sold on sale day, April 18, 2015, to W. Cody Erwin, Vancouver, Wash. On Sept. 16, 2015, she resold to Diane P. Rubino Ferrara, San Jose, Calif., and according to NCHA records, currently has $46,499.61 in NCHA dollars.)


This year John Walker’s Sunrise Ranch, Fayetteville, Ark., consigned eight top-bred cutting horses to the sale and it was announced prior to the sale, they would all change hands. When the sale was over, the eight head netted $379,000 for a whopping $47,375 average and a $31,500 median.


Six of the top seven horses in the sale were consigned by the Sunrise Ranch – topped by Miss Reycine, a 2002 daughter of Dual Rey out of Smart Pudden by Smart Little Lena, with $134,894 in lifetime earnings. She was the NCHA No. 2 Leading Producer in 2013 and currently has offspring earning $412,000, including the NCHA Non-Pro Horse of the Year, Reyzin, the earner of $359,542. She sold with an embryo conceived June 13, 2015 by Metallic Cat. The remaining two consignments by Sunrise Ranch were yearlings, bringing $9,000 and $7,000.


One Super Cat was the highest-selling horse NOT consigned by the Sunrise Ranch. The 2012 red roan gelding by One Time Pepto, consigned by John and Hope Mitchell that was in the Non-Pro Finals that evening, brought a final bid of $48,000. He was not demonstrated on cattle during the sale and is shown by Gary Bellenfant.

The highest-selling horse not consigned by Sunrise Ranch was One Super Cat, a 2012 red roan gelding by One Time Pepto out of Sarahs Super Cat by High Brow Cat, consigned by John and Hope Mitchell.  The pretty gelding did not work cattle in the sale as he was showing in that evening’s Non-Pro Finals with Hope in the saddle, and it was announced that ownership of the horse would not take place until after the Finals. The gelding brought a final bid of $48,000.


With 76 of the 105 head selling last year, there was a net of 72 percent of the horses selling. With 38 of the 48 horses selling this year, the percentage of horses selling was up to 79 percent.

Click for chart ranked high-selling to low-selling horses>>

Click for chart ranked by sellers>>



Consistent with the current downturn of the nation’s economy, taking with it the horse sale industry, the number of horses consigned, going through the sale ring and being sold this year, was down drastically from 2015. A total of 218 horses were consigned in 2015, while only 53 were consigned in 2016 – down 76 percent. A total of 48 went through the sale ring this year, compared to 105 in 2015 – down 54 percent from last year.



But the sale company made the best of a bad situation by getting the Sunrise Ranch horses consigned. Without the eight Sunrise Ranch horses, the net sales this year would have totaled $365,200, for an average of $12,173, rather than the $19,584 that it was. And the median would have only been $10,600, rather than the $11,750 that it was.



Mainly due to the sale of Miss Reycine for $170,000, broodmares topped the average, with 8 head averaging $40,963, placing second in the median with $13,600. (Median is halfway between the highest- and lowest-selling horse.)  In fact four of the top-selling broodmares were consigned by Sunrise Ranch and besides Miss Reycine included Cats Ruby, $55,000; Playin Tag, $50,000 and Genuine Gold Cat, $25,000.


The largest section of horses selling were “money-earning” horses and the 16 that sold, placed second in the average with $16,413, but first in the $13,850 median. The high-selling money-earning horse was One Super Cat, a 4-year-old red roan gelding by One Time Pepto out of Sarahs Super Cat by High Brow Cat, consigned by John and Hope Mitchell and bringing a $48,000 final bid. The gelding was not shown on cattle, as he had advanced to the Non-Pro Finals of the Super Stakes that evening.


Third in the average and fourth in the median were two yearlings and an embryo, with all three consigned by the Sunrise Ranch. The three averaged $14,000 for a $9,000 median. The embryo, sired by Metallic Cat out of Miss Reycine by Dual Rey, was selling without return to Metallic Cat if something should happen to the colt.


Fourth in the average and third in the median were 3- and 4-year olds without earnings, with eight selling for an $11,625 average and $11,250 median. The high-selling 3 year old was Stylena Cat, a red roan daughter of Metallic Cat out of Smart Stylena by Docs Stylish Oak. The filly, sold by Clay Johnson, brought a final bid of $20,000.


The high-selling 4-year-old was Nurse Smoothie, a sorrel daughter of Smooth As A Cat out of Nurse Nellie by Dual Pep, consigned by Linda and Lloyd Wolf Sr. She brought a final bid of $15,000.


Finishing fifth in both the average and the median were three 2-year-olds, with Bingabang Bingaboon, a daughter of Boon A Little out of Sweat Wood by Doctor Wood, consigned by Gina Stopher bringing $6,200.  The three averaged $5,467 for a $5,200 median.

Click for chart ranked by age of horses sold>>

Click for chart of all horses going through the ring>>

Click for a copy of the Super Stakes Sale catalog>>



While the sale was going on, I had several individuals ask who the Sunrise Ranch was … and these weren’t newcomers to the industry. The Sunrise Ranch LLC of Fayetteville, Ark., has been around for years. It was originally owned by Willard and Pat Walker who were involved in the cutting horse and cattle industry years ago. Their son, John Walker now runs the ranch, including cattle and horses, with the help of Chad Vanlandingham, who keeps his ear to the health of the industry.


According to an article written by Jan Cottingham of the Arkansas Business in July 2, 2012, Willard Walker was the first manager of Sam Walton’s Five & Dime Store in Fayetteville and later managed a Wal-Mart Store in Springdale. Then, when the company went public in 1970, Walker had great faith in his friend Sam Walton’s business acumen and took out bank loans to buy as much stock as he could. As a result, he retired from Wal-Mart as a very wealthy man.


Three Wal-Mart stores were incorporated in the 1960s. Wal-Mart Inc. was incorporated on May 14, 1962 and opened for business in July 1962. Directors included Sam M. Walton, Bentonville, Ark., President; James L. Walton, Versailles, Mo.; Helen R. Walton, Bentonville, Ark., and Don Whitaker, Rogers, Ark.


On April 23, 1964, Wal-Mart of Springdale, Inc. opened for business In October 1964. Directors included Sam M. Walton, President; James L. Walton, Helen R. Walton, Robert L. Bogle, Bentonville, Ark., and it was then that Willard Walker, Springdale, Ark., entered the picture as a Director. As a stockholder, he owned 40 shares or 6 percent of the company.


Wal-Mart of Harrison, Inc., incorporated on June 11, 1964 and opened for business in August 1964. Directors included Sam Walton, President; Helen Walton, James L. Walton, C. C. Baum, Fayetteville, Ark., Robert L. Bogle, Bentonville, Ark., Don Whitaker, Rogers, Ark., and Willard Walker, who owned 50 shares or 8.3 percent of that Wal-Mart.



After the Walkers began reaping the financial benefits of investing in Wal-Mart, they decided to give back by establishing the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation in 1986, investing in human lives by philanthropically providing for healthcare and education.


That year they gave $100,000 to a $5 million capital campaign for the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at the University of Arkansas (UA) for Medical Sciences. In April 1999, the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation gave $4 million to John Brown University in Siloam Springs for a community center and classrooms. The center was to house the Donald G. Soderquist Center for Business Leadership & Ethics. In October 2000, the Walker Charitable Foundation gave $7 million to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville for a building to house teachers’ education and communications program.


In July 2001, the Walker Foundation gave $3 million for a cardiovascular center at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville and in August, it gave $3 million to the UA for a new health center. They also donated $1.1 million to UAMs to endow a chair in orthopedic surgery.


In May 2002, the Walkers pledged $6 million to the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye INSTITUTE AT THE university of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. UAMS announced that it would rename the Arkansas Center for Eye Research within the Institute, the Pat & Willard Walker Eye Research Center.


In April 2003, two months after Willard Walker’s death, the Walker family donated $8 million for a graduate school building at the UA’s business college and the building became the Willard J. Walker Hall.  In 2004, the Foundation announced a $21.5 million donation to UAMS to go toward its eye institute, Alzheimer’s disease research and the school’s psychiatry program. Much of the money, $15 million, paid for a five-floor expansion of the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute and the expansion was called the Pat Walker Tower. The Foundation also gave $2 million to build the Circle of Life Hospice and Palliative Care Complex at Har-Ber Meadows in Springdale and it became the Willard and Pat Walker Family Center.


In 2012, the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation gave $1.5 million for a student education center at the UAMS’ Northwest Arkansas campus, bringing to at least $48 million in donations that the Walkers gave to UAMs.



All the while, the Walton family was also busy donating millions of dollars. Sam Walton started the Walton Family Foundation in Bentonville with $1,000. In 2007, the year that Sam Walton’s widow, Helen, died, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported: “Since 1998, the Walton family has contributed more than $359 million to the state’s flagship university through the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and private family gifts.


The Walton family had started the Wal-Mart Foundation and by 2012, Wal-Mart money stood behind at least five of the 25 largest nonprofit organizations in the state – $2.2 billion in assets and a billion-dollar-plus art museum. According to the Foundation Center of New York, The Walton Family Foundation, Arkansas’ largest nonprofit by asset size, was No. 50 on the center’s ranking of largest U.S. foundations by asset size, only behind Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, when ranked by total giving. Over the years, they have donated billions, including large amounts donated to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.


Alice Walton, well known in the cutting horse industry, is the only daughter of Sam and Helen Walton, who in 1994-1995, and along with her family helped raise $15 million to begin work on the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill. The Walton family pledged the purchase of $5 million in bonds. The $109 million, 2,185-acre airport opened in 1998 and the terminal was named the Alice L. Walton Terminal Building.


In May 2005, Alice paid an estimated $35 million for Asher B. Durand’s painting “Kindred Spirits,” and the Walton Family Foundation announced that the piece would be displayed in an art museum planned for Bentonville. A few weeks later, Walton officially announced plans for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, described as a $5 million project projected to open in 2009. The value of the building and its artwork eventually soared past the $1.2 billion mark and Crystal Bridges opened in November 2011.  Unfortunately, last year, Alice sold her cutting horses, saying she needed to spend more time with the Museum.



In 2012, John Walker purchased Spots Hot, the winner of the 2004 NCHA Open Futurity, from Wesley Galyean, Claremore, Okla. The 2001 stallion sired by Chula Dual out of Sweet Shorty Lena by Shorty Lena, had $529,435 in lifetime earnings and was trained and shown by Wesley.  By the time the stallion retired he had seven major event championships, six major event reserve championships and was a finalist 22 times, earning $529,471.


In his first few years of siring offspring, he had an NCHA Open Futurity finalist in all three of his first foal crops. His offspring have won more than $2.8 million, including Hottish, earning $301,843. Spots Hot currently stands at ESMS On the Brazos, Weatherford, Texas.


Those that know John, say he is a wonderful, humble and friendly man … and obviously, also very charitable. With that being said, we now know why John Walker and the Sunrise Ranch LLC have such well-bred cutting horses that sell for such high dollars! The ranch is definitely the “Good,” in “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.”





















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