When the gavel dropped at $1.3 million on Hip No. 5003 during the Center Ranch Dispersal held on December 9, 2021, at Western Bloodstock’s NCHA Futurity Sales, Solo Select Horses, LLC, and Kaleb Terlip became joint owners of high seller Woody Be Tuff. The end of Woody Be Tuff’s successful tenure as senior sire at Center Ranch marks a new chapter for the 2001 sorrel stallion. The move may bode well for mare owners seeking an outcross sire—one that is heavily invested in a wide array of incentive programs to boot.
“We’d been looking for a stud for the past two or three years,” said Melanie Smith of Solo Select Horses, LLC. “We have several junior sires, but as far as a senior sire with offspring earnings across multiple events Woody Be Tuff checked all the boxes.”
An earner of $351,062 in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), Woody Be Tuff has sired $7.6 million (QData, 1/7/22) in earners across multiple disciplines. Sired by Nitas Wood and out of Tuffs Junie by Tuff Lena, Woody Be Tuff is not only a proven performer and leading sire of Western performance horses, but his genetics make him an interesting outcross on popular maternal bloodlines.
How Might Barrel Racing & Roping Markets Be Impacted?
With his move from the program at Center Ranch, which was heavily invested in producing cutters, Smith believes that Woody Be Tuff’s unique genetics, mentality and conformation traits will benefit the roping and barrel markets. Masters in the art of breeding and marketing top equine talent, the folks at Whitesboro, Texas-based Solo Select Horses have big plans for Woody Be Tuff to advance his already significant hoof print in the performance horse industry. For Smith, whose equine career began when she worked for Crumpler Brothers Cutting Horses as a teen, her acquisition of the leading sire brings her full circle since the Crumplers bred and trained Woody Be Tuff.
“At Crumpler Brothers I’d start the horses that didn’t work for the cutting pen on the barrels and run them and sell them,” she said. “I rode a lot of the Woody Be Tuff bloodline there, so having a chance to own and promote him is a dream come true.”
With a career in which she has gained experience in all corners of the horse business, Smith says she expects Solo Select’s newest stallion to continue amassing offspring earnings far beyond the cutting pen, particularly considering that she enrolled Woody Be Tuff in the Ruby Buckle, Riata Buckle and Royal Crown incentives straight away.
“Incentives get more important each year and I’m heavily invested in them with three spots in the Ruby Buckle and one spot in the Pink Buckle. The incentives provide added value,” said Smith. “There’s been quite a bit of money won on Woody Be Tuff’s offspring in the roping events, the cow horse and cutting, and interestingly, I filled my WPRA permit on a half-brother to him. We know there’s great potential for him as a rope horse and barrel horse sire.”
Smith’s vision for the future includes crossing Woody Be Tuff on more speed bred mares, a move which she believes will only serve to further prove his versatility as a sire.
“We’ve got quite a few mares here that we will breed via ICSI,” said Smith. “Kaleb and his daughter Kylar have some Frenchmans Guy and Dash Ta Fame mares to breed as well. We’re planning to breed a variety of mares. We’ve got a couple of First Down Dash daughters that have produced half a million plus on the racetrack, as well as a couple of Tres Seis daughters.”
In addition to the aforementioned proven barrel racing bloodlines, Smith says Solo Select is proud to own several mares that came out of Jud Little’s program via the ranch’s dispersal several years ago that will be familiar to the barrel racing market.
“We’ve got a First Down Dash out of NFR qualifier Sign Of Passion (Vital Sign x Passion Statement x Reckless Dash) who earned $100,000-plus,” said Smith. “We think Woody Be Tuff will be a great cross on a lot of the running bred mares.”
Another of the speed lines coming out of Little’s program that Solo Select anticipates pairing with Woody Be Tuff is the 4-time National Finals Rodeo steer wrestling mount Little Extra Credit (Cash Not Credit x Jets Misty Moon x Jet Of Honor) that earned $250,000 with KC Jones jumping steers and his wife Gayle running barrels.
The speed/cow cross is popular with many barrel racers, and Woody Be Tuff provides another option. Exposure to the barrel racing market may also help propel Woody Be Tuff up the leading sire ranks outside of cutting, where he has been dominant as a $6.2 million sire in that discipline alone, and the cow horse world in which he attained National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) million-dollar sire status in 2021. Woody Be Tuff is one of 11 stallions to have sired an NCHA Open Futurity Champion (CR Tuff Hearted Cat 1-2 split, 2012) and NRCHA Open Futurity Champion (Zak 34, 2021).
“For the cow horse, those horses have to be able to run and stop. They have to have quick speed,” commented Smith. “His size is another appealing trait. He’s 15 hands. We think he’ll be a great cross on a lot of the race bred mares to go to the cow horse or to the barrel racing arena.”
The explosive growth of roping futurities and incentives in the past several years has spawned a market for roping prospects that aren’t “flunk outs” from other disciplines.
“Woody Be Tuff is unique in that he’s a total outcross on the Metallic Cat mares, the Peptoboonsmal, High Brow Cat, and Dual Rey daughters. There is almost nothing you can’t breed to him. A lot of the trainers say he crosses great on those hotter type of mares. He crosses great on Dual Rey mares.”
Smith shared via the ranch’s social media channels that Woody Be Tuff has already booked the likes of 2019 Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association World Champion Tie-Down Roper Haven Meged’s mount “Beyoncé,” registered as Casanovas Cowgirl (Smart Little Pepinic x Flip Nick x Flips Red Oak), as well as an NCHA Open Futurity Champion, and some Grade 1/AAA race winners.
According to Smith, Woody Be Tuff offspring have gained a reputation for possessing the solid mentality needed to excel in a variety of performance disciplines.
“His offspring have had proven success in the cutting and reined cow horse futurities as well as the 2-year-old futurity sales and I believe a lot of that can be attributed to the fact that his offspring seem to be physically a little stronger type of horses,” said Smith.
Woody Be Tuff will continue to stand at the Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma, for the 2022 breeding season. “They take such great care of the stallions at Lazy E,” Smith said, “It made sense to let him stay there.”