Journal at the World

August 29, 2013

Price of a Painting

Select exhibitor Nance McManus used her creative talents to trade for her ranch pleasure horse.

By Jody Reynolds
The American Quarter Horse Journal

Nance McManus traded a custom painting for a breeding to Royal Chic Olena.

When you really want a new horse, you sometimes have to think outside the box.

Select exhibitor Nance McManus of Tijeras, New Mexico, used her creative talents to fuel her horse passion.

“I’m a painter, and I paint horses,” Nance explained. “I did a painting of Royal Chic Olena one time and I thought that Marion Hunter, who manages the Curran Farm, might like to have it. I thought it would look good in her office.

“I sent her the image and said, ‘How would you like to trade this painting for a breeding to your fabulous stud, Royal Chic Olena?” she continued. “She said, ‘That sounds great, Nance! Doesn’t your mare have her ROM?’ "

Nance explained that her mare, Hot Lil Slipper, did in fact have her performance Register of Merit. That made her a qualifying fit for a breeding to the prolific reining stallion.

A deal was struck, and AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle was called in to make the arrangements to breed Royal Chic Olena to Nance’s The Hot Express mare.

“So, I have a really great horse – Lils Royal Chic Web – that’s been to the open (AQHA) World Show last year, and I brought him to the (Adequan) Select World this year,” she said.

Nance rode Lils Royal Chic Web, the 2005 sorrel gelding who cost her a painting, in the 2013 Adequan Select World Championship Show ranch pleasure prelims August 26. Ranch pleasure is brand-new to the Adequan Select World this year. She and “Drummer” didn’t make the finals, but Nance was pleased with their accomplishment.

Ranch pleasure is the best class!” she said. “The competitors are all great friends. We’re always helping each other out, which I think is real special. It’s just a fun class. Anyone can get into this class. I’m so thrilled AQHA has decided to offer this class.”

Nance is an art instructor and works in pastels and monotypes. She is famous for painting birds, inspired by husband Sid Price’s work as a bird trainer and animal behaviorist.

She laughed about the idea of working on another piece of art to trade for her next horse.

“Four horses is a lot, and I’m good with what we’ve got now!” she said. In addition to ranch pleasure, Nance also participates in AQHA Trail Challenge events and the AQHA Horseback Riding Program.

“Thanks to AQHA for giving us ranch pleasure,” she said. “It’s so much fun. Come ride with us, because you’ll have more fun riding ranch pleasure. That’s why you have horses, so you do more and better things. You think outside the box all the time.”