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Haythorn Ranch Futurity

The 2013 Haythorn Ranch Figure Four Finale Sale opens with the Ninth Annual Waldo Haythorn Futurity.

By Christine Hamilton
The American Quarter Horse Journal
August 31, 2013

2013 Haythorn Ranch Futurity winner and reserve Brad Wilson (right) with owner Mike St. Clair (left) and Craig Haythorn (center).

Craig Haythorn (center) with 2013 Waldo Haythorn Futurity winning rider Brad Wilson (right). Owner Mike St. Clair's (left) fillies Four Wood 15 (right) and Four Chex 27 took the top two spots.

On a hot August 30 at the historic Haythorn Land & Cattle Co. in Arthur, Nebraska, riders and owners gathered 16 3-year-olds to compete in the Ninth Annual Waldo Haythorn Futurity, open to 2010 foals purchased at the 2010 ranch sale. The competition featured four judged portions – reining, cow work, roping and conformation. (See Journal photos below.)

Mike and Kim St. Clair of Kahoka, Missouri, had two horses ridden by rancher and horseman Brad Wilson of Arthur, Nebraska – Four Wood 15 (Slush Wood-Four Tip by Figure Four Three) and Four Chex 27 (Figure Four Chex-Figure Four 327 by Continental Fly). Brad and the fillies took the top two spots in the overall competition, winning the reining with Four Wood 15 and the cow work with Four Chex 27.

The St. Clairs will take the now proven mares home to add to their St. Clair Farms broodmare band. They have approximately 50 mares and six stallions and hold a production sale every other year selling “everything from weanlings to 7-year-old geldings that have been hauled and shown and jackpotted on.” Mike is also vice president of operations for Amsted Rail.

“We just love these (Haythorn) horses,” Mike told The American Quarter Horse Journal. Founded in 1884, in 1992 the Haythorn ranch breeding program was the first to be recognized with the AQHA Best Remuda award; the ranch is also an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder.

Mike’s stallion, Four Bonnie Bay, is a Haythorn-bred, (Figure Four Chex-Bay Bonnie Raindrop by Eddie Eighty), that Mike bought as a weanling. The stallion finished third in the junior heeling and fourth in the junior heading at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show and was a Superhorse contender. He finished the year the open All-Around High-Point horse and high-point junior horse, ridden by AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates of Pueblo, Colorado.

“This is real horse country… This is where get horses broke,” Mike said. He keeps 17-18 horses with Brad year-round, to use on his Nebraska Sandhills country ranch.

“Brad rides 35 to 40 miles a day. … I mean these colts don’t just play in an arena,” Mike explained. “Three weeks ago he called me and … he was up north where they call ‘The Fry,’ and he sorted 300 cows on these two fillies in deep sand. These fillies, they know how to work.”

He added: “Brad has been riding for our brand now for probably four years, and does just a phenomenal job.”

First Sale Session

The futurity opened the Haythorn “Figure Four Finale” Sale. A historic event in the ranch’s 129-year history, the 2013 sale marks the end of the ranch’s production sales that have been held every fourth year, 1979-2010. The ranch has kept approximately 60 mares and will continue to offer stock off the ranch, online and at select ranching sales.

The first session began August 30 at 1:30 with just over 100 catalogued mares, 2013 foals and a handful of 2- and 3-year-old fillies. High seller for the day was a 2013 blue roan colt by White Four Ike (by White Lightning Ike) and out of Four Gray Quail by Figure Four Chex that sold for $8,700. (First day sale average was unavailable at press time.)

“I am well pleased,” rancher Craig Haythorn said after the dust settled on the first session.

The second session is August 31, with 72 ranch geldings catalogued, in addition to six stallions, one prospect and five proven herd and performance sires:

2008 Ranch Horse Association of America AQHA Horse of the Year PG Shogun (Playgun-Miss Sho Bunny by Shogun San, Pieper Ranch-bred, Oklahoma); Slush Wood (Drifts Chip-Raspberry Slush by Eddie Eighty, Haythorn homebred); Nu Cash Cow (Nu Cash-Miss Busy Body by Tuf N Busy, bred by Jodi Luft, Washington); Four Figure Fritz (Figure Four Fritz-Four Goodness Sake by Eddie Preeta, Haythorn homebred); and Four Gill (White Lightning Ike-Blue Belle Gill by Blue Blanton, bred by Will Gill & Sons, California), a full brother to Blue Light Ike.

Sale preview begins at the ranch at 9:00 a.m.; auction begins at 1:30 p.m.