Smoke Time Tuck

The progeny of the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s leading dam are making their mama proud.

By Tara Christiansen and Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal
May 13, 2013

Smart Time Tucker and Lyn Anderson, photo courtesy of NRCHA

Smoke Time Tuck’s youngest offspring in the pen, Smart Time Tucker, is also earning accolades. The 5-year-old by Somebody Smart won the open novice horse championship at the recent Hackamore Classic with Lyn Anderson in the saddle. (Photo courtesy of NRCHA)

Most mares are proud to boast one successful offspring. Smoke Time Tuck, however, claims a barn full of champions.

The late 1985 sorrel mare was never shown in AQHA competition and only twice in NRCHA competition. But owner Skip Brown of Eagle Point, Oregon, knew that every time he bred the mare, he was producing a potential winner, and he picked her crosses carefully.

At the 2012 NRCHA Celebration of Champions, two of Smoke Time Tuck’s foals earned championships. Smart Time Tuck (by Senor Lil Bruder) won the non-pro bridle division, with owner Murray Thompson of Atwater, California; and Tuckers Smart Cat (by WR This Cats Smart) won the open hackamore division, with trainer Lyn Anderson in the saddle for owners Dave and Barbara Archer of Clovis, California.

Not many mares can strike twice in the same show, but Smoke Time Tuck can, and she has done it more than once. She’s the No. 1 mare in NRCHA, with offspring earnings of $487,588.45, according to NRCHA records on May 9, 2013.

Smoke Time Tuck died shortly before the 2013 Celebration of Champions, so she didn’t live to see Tuckers Smart Cat win the open hackamore title for the second year in a row. Continuing his roll, Tuckers Smart Cat struck again in May at the 2013 NRCHA Hackamore Classic in Pueblo, Colorado, winning the open two-rein circuit championship with Lyn in the saddle.

And Smoke Time Tuck’s youngest offspring in the pen is also earning accolades. Smart Time Tucker, a 5-year-old by Somebody Smart, won the open novice horse championship at the recent Hackamore Classic.

“He's still a little immature, but he feels good in the hackamore. That's why I entered him in the open and novice (divisions)," Lyn says of Smart Time Tucker, whom she showed to the win for owners Dave and Barbara Archer. "The novice is a really good place for a horse that is just a little bit behind or not quite up to the open standard. A horse like him would stay home if he didn't have some place to show where he could be competitive.”

But Smart Time Tucker still held his own in the open division. In addition to his open novice horse championship in Pueblo, the 5-year-old also tied for 11th place in the Hackamore Class open.

“That mare has really produced,” Skip brags of Smoke Time Tuck. “She crosses with everything.”

Smart Time Tuck is one high-earning example. The 1997 bay gelding by Senors Lil Brudder started his winning ways as a 5-year-old, when he claimed the 2002 NRCHA open hackamore title with Lyn. In 2003, he won the NRCHA open bridle world and national titles, and in 2004, he was the NRCHA open bridle national champion and the reserve world champion in open bridle. “Zip’s” NRCHA earnings exceed $140,000; his biggest payday was $6,659 for the open hackamore win at the 2002 NRCHA Hackamore Classic.

The great mare Smoke Time Tuck is a homebred for Skip’s Bar Eleven Quarter Horses. Her dam, Ima Smoke, was a nice horse as well, and Skip bought her as a broodmare for his stallion Doc Tom Tucker, early in his career. Smoke Time Tuck was the 1985 version of that cross, one Skip made 10 times.

“I was showing horses in Washington and the owners won the non-pro on (Ima Smoke),” Skip remembers. “I really liked her and bought her.”

Ima Smoke, a 1977 sorrel mare, was by Mr Fools Smoke and out of Sayeko by Sage Skipper. She was bred by Julius Carli of Elk Grove, California. Sayeko is a granddaughter of American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame stallion Skipper W, while Mr Fools Smoke traces through his maternal grandsire Royal King to the Hall of Fame stallion King. Mr Fools Smoke was by Mr Gun Smoke, a cutter who earned $8,476 through the National Cutting Horse Association in the ’70s, before the big purses of today.

Doc Tom Tucker was a 1972 bay stallion by Doc Bar and out of Tonette Tivio by Poco Tivio. Doc Tom Tucker was bred by Charles Zuger of Waitsburg, Washington, and is known as a leading sire of reined cow horses.

Clearly, Smoke Time Tuck didn’t come from nowhere. She has built her own reputation as well, and when her 2007 colt by WR This Cats Smart went up for sale, the bidding was brisk for Tuckers Smart Cat, a yearling at the time.

“We’ve had almost everything out of that mare we can possibly get, starting with Smart Time Tuck years ago,” Lyn says, “so we went to (the Snaffle Bit Futurity sale) with the purpose of buying (Tuckers Smart Cat). We got lucky enough to get him. Jay McLaughlin was bidding against us, but we got him. He never lets me forget that.”

After surviving the bidding war for the Archers’ prize, the next step was getting Tuckers Smart Cat ready for competition, Lyn says.

“It’s typical of that mare that they’re immature when they’re younger, but this horse is the cowiest I’ve ever ridden in my life from Day 1,” Lyn says of the 6-year-old gelding. “As a 2-year-old, it was amazing what he could do.”

In 2010, Lyn took him to the Snaffle Bit Futurity for the 3-year-old competition. He made the finals but didn’t perform well enough to win. By the time he hit his 4-year-old year, though, Tuckers Smart Cat knew how to win.

“He is a different horse,” Lyn says. “He’s got a lot of energy. You’ve darn sure gotta work. He’s very busy-minded, trying to think and out-think stuff. Sometimes I think he’s smarter than I am, which is sometimes good and sometimes not so good. It’s really good on a cow, because he takes over. I don’t do anything.”

Lyn attributes that kind of cowiness, athleticism and intelligence to Smoke Time Tuck.

"The number of foals she has had that have been money earners is just amazing, with only breeding one time a year,” Lyn says. “I owe a lot to that mare.”

Look for more on Skip Brown and Doc Tom Tucker in the July 2013 American Quarter Horse Journal. Are you a subscriber? If not, it’s a great time to renew to make sure you don’t miss this story about a legendary horse and a legendary cowboy.