by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
AQHA Professional Horseman Kathy Smallwood of Pilot Point, Texas, shows Fearles Defiance for owner John Tan of Dallas. (Journal photo)
Breeder John Tan of Dallas capped his show season with a gold trophy November 21 when Fearles Defiance claimed the win in weanling geldings with AQHA Professional Horseman Kathy Smallwood of Pilot Point, Texas, at the shank.
“This was really unexpected,” John said in his exclusive Journal interview at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. “We were very excited because you never know – there are so many good horses out there – and it was wonderful. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
Fearles Defiance is a 2013 sorrel gelding by Fearles and out of Lil Miss Fancy by Acoolest.
“I bred him,” John said. “I had his grandma, and then I bred his mom and I bred him, so it’s been really exciting, because we’re into breeding horses and this has been a real pleasure in terms of having all these horses that we bred doing so well.”
Lil Miss Fancy is a 2009 chestnut mare out of Fancy Me A Cool Kid by Im Kiddin, the mare that started John and his family breeding halter horses.
“The mare I started off with was a filly that I got from Sandy Ellis (of Neenah, Wisconsin),” John said. “And that mare has produced two world champions and her third baby is the mom of this gelding, so all three of her babies have all had or been associated with world champions. I have to thank Sandy and Mike for letting me have that mare and for how well she has done.”
John thought Lil Miss Fancy would cross well with Fearles.
“The mare – she’s a pretty pretty mare, and the sire is a big horse with a lot of muscling,” she said. “He’s done very well in terms of breeding babies, and we’re into the babies and seeing how they do. To me, that’s the most exciting part. We thought it would be a complement to the horse.”
Fearles Defiance took first place on three judges’ cards and was third on two judges’ cards for the win.
“We have a very small operation,” John said. “We only have a couple of babies, and we try to show them all. But he was one of those we had very high hopes for because he was always looking so good and you never know. There are so many things that affect these things. I have to say that Kathy Smallwood is my trainer and has been my only trainer. She’s been wonderful, and more than anyone else, she really understands the babies and really knows how to work with them. I think that is so critical in terms of getting these horses ready for the show.”
Horses are a family hobby for the Tans, John said.
“In amateur, my brother James showed another horse that we bred named Righteous Endeavour,” John said. “He was third in the 2-year-old gelding class. His daughter Lexi also shows my horses in youth and she did very well with a world champion in youth this year in yearling mares with a mare called Oh So Righteous. Then I have to thank my wife, Khanah, because she really is not a horse person and she always tolerates this thing, so it has been wonderful having everyone support it.”
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