“I have to take a mare over to Fred’s this afternoon. I’ll get back to you.”
Conscientious health care is apparent for the half-dozen Quarter Horse mares set to foal this spring at Teagarden Quarter Horses.
“Dr. Fred Gardiner has handled the breeding and followed our mares through gestation and foaling for many years. He’s the best there is,” John Teagarden declared.
At their ranch near LaCygne in Linn County, Teagarden and his wife Candy produce Quarter Horses demanded throughout the country.
“While several horses excel in barrel racing, all of our horses have good dispositions with proven all-around ability,” Teagarden insisted.
A most conscientious student of horse breeding, Teagarden has judged horses across the Midwest. Now, pedigrees and lineage of Quarter Horses since the breed’s beginning flow freely in Teagarden’s every conversation.
Indicative of performance ability, a horse’s pedigree is just one ingredient in success, according to the horseman.
Recognizing a horse must be structurally sound with working conformation, Teagarden acknowledged importance of temperament and handling.
“It’s nearly impossible to get the best performance out of a horse that’s difficult to get along with,” he affirmed. “We breed for kind dispositions and start working with our foals within minutes after they’re born. They never forget that positive first experience.”
Today’s breeding dates to the 1980s with two distinct foundation Quarter Horse mare lines. “Our horses are all out of daughters and granddaughters of those first good mares,” he noted.
“Several mares were purchased as two-year-olds from Francis Bliss at Longton,” Teagarden said. “The King, Leo and Te-N-Te bred mares were 4-H projects for our daughters Dana and Amy.”
The second mare line comes from Boston Jenny Lee, product of Don Fritzler’s breeding program at Hansen. She was purchased by the Teagardens as a three-year-old in 1986 for their youngest daughter Leigh.
Boston Jenny Lee was sired by Bar Y Sandy, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) champion. The mare was out of a daughter of Boston Mac, triple-A (AAA) race winner that was also a top halter horse.
“Both of these studs have a reputation for siring good minded performance horses,” Teagarden said.
“Leigh was 10-years-old when she and Jenny qualified for the Kansas State Fair 4-H Show in five events in 1987,” Teagarden remembered.
When the Teagardens’ daughters went off to college, their horse projects were put into production.
Jim and Sandy Lowe of Louisburg purchased Rare Jet Extremes as a four-year-old in 1998 and were standing him at stud. The AAA+ race horse retired sound to become an outstanding rope horse and barrel racing champion.
“Rare Jet Extremes was an attractive, good disposition horse and passed those traits on,” Teagarden said. “We bred our mares to Rare Jet Extremes for about ten years and kept a number of his daughters.” The stallion died last year.
“Our broodmare band is primarily daughters and granddaughters of Rare Jet Extremes. He worked real well on our Francis Bliss and Don Fritzler foundation bred mare lines,” Teagarden verified.
Quarter Horse breeding opportunities expanded with advent of shipping cooled semen in the mid-2000s. Teagarden Quarter Horses stepped right up with Dr. Gardner’s proficiency in scientific logistics of getting mares in foal.
“We selected what we considered the top barrel horse producers in the country to breed to our mares,” Teagarden said.
A number of foals have been sired by Firewaterontherocks, a son of Fire Water Flit. “He’s sired winners of more than a million dollars including National Finals Rodeo qualifiers,” Teagarden said.
Proven performers and producers Judge Cash by Dash For Cash and Slick By Design by Designer Red have also been used in recent years.
Mares with foals go to Dr. Gardiner’s veterinary facility at Garnett for cooled semen breeding. Once confirmed in foal, they go back to pasture with minimal handling of colts until weaning.
Teagarden Quarter Horses are on the market from weaning age forward. “We sell some younger horses, but there’s more demand for started two- and three-year-olds,” he said.
Through the years, Sam Gallaher, Welda; Cal Noyans, Melvern; Todd Wright, Ottawa, and now-retired Larry Spillman, Louisburg, have put the first 45-60 rides on Teagarden’s started prospects.
With their barrel racing influence, the horses have become proven winners. “We’ve sold horses into a number of states,” Teagarden said. “They have won and are continuing to win for their owners.”
Still, these are versatile horses. “Several ranches including our daughter Amy and her husband Matt Perrier at Dalebanks Angus Ranch, Eureka, along with their four children use these horses,” Teagarden credited.
“Brothers and sisters to their horses won barrel races for Tami Hoch, Kansas; Michelle Bogdonas, Illinois; and Danielle McCraw, North Carolina.
“I’m very pleased that similarly bred horses are working in the barrel arena, in working ranch situations or as safe, willing mounts for young riders,” Teagarden said.