Write down October 5, 2023 in your notebooks to remember, because that’s the day Danny Ray decided to come back to the barrel racing industry after three years nearly out of the game when he purchased Blackkout for $875,000 at the Pink Buckle Stallion Select Owners sale in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
Ray dispersed the VF herd of stallions, mares and prospects in 2020 in a massive sale and cut back to just 20 mares in his barn. From that 20, 10 were in the Pink Buckle sale on October 5. However, after a conversation with an old friend in the intoxicating atmosphere of the Pink Buckle setup on sale day, Ray just couldn’t stay away from the game any longer.
“When I got here, that itch got to me,” Ray said. “Chad (Beus) came up to me and says, ‘We want you back in the Pink Buckle. You bring us good horses, your horses win, you’re good for us.’ It was so humbling to hear that from him.”
On paper, Ray was intrigued by Blackkout, but it was when he was him in the sale preview under saddle with Miles Baker that he realized how impressive the 2021 stallion by Winners Version and out of NFR qualifying mare, RC Back in Black truly appeared.
“I looked at both of the stallions (in the sale) with Pink Buckle spots,” Ray said. “But the black horse got all over me. When I watched him demo, he seemed like a freak of nature to me. People are asking, ‘Why pick him?’ I can’t explain it. A horse either gets on me or they don’t, and this one got on me. He’s got so much ability and such a future ahead of him.”
The moment was undoubtedly full-circle for Ray when he came back in the Pink Buckle program.
“Last year, I sold the top seller for $850,000 with a Pink Buckle spot,” Ray said. “I got in the very first slot when they started it, and bought three of them. They just keep becoming more and more valuable. But this time around, I’m not going to do as much of the work. I’m going to let (Chad Beus) stand him, do the collecting and breeding. I am trying to slow down, still. I’ll delagate my work and let others help me get where I want to go.”
Buyer Info: Victory Farms is the No. 2 all-time leading breeder in barrel racing history, boasting over $6.7 million in recorded earnings solely with VF-bred horses.
Ray’s raised many of the greats in the industry—From On The Money Red and the dynasty that followed, to the rise of Eddie Stinson. Now with the addition of Blackkout’s unique breeding, Ray’s ready to bring a fresh mixture of blood back to the futurity, open and rodeo spheres.
“He’s a total outcross on all the mares,” Ray said. “You can breed your Dash Ta Fame’s, your Fire Water Flit’s, your Frenchman Guy’s, all of them. That’s so hard to find in our industry because there’s a lot of horses lined up with three or your bloodlines. Between that, a Pink Buckle spot, his color and confirmation—this sucker’s gonna win, and we’re going to get him there.”
Sire Info: Highpoint Barrel Horses’ Winners Version is a $6 million sire. A crossover from the racing industry, he earned nearly $400,000 on his own and has sired barrel racing earners of over $260,000 and boasts a speed index of 103.
Dam Info: RC Back In Black boasts over $100,000 in QData earnings— and that number is lacking much of her missed rodeo earnings.
It’s no surprise that the stallion represents a unique set of genetics—he was consigned by Solo Select Horses—that online auction empire that has stormed the industry. Owners Ty and Melanie Smith have already made strong marks in the cow horse and roping industries, and they’ve been quietly working into the barrel sector over the past few years.
“The barrel racing industry understands the need for exceptional maternal genetics, and that is what I’ve dedicated my career to at Solo Select,” Melanie said. “To hear that Danny already has top-of-the-line mares selected to breed to Blackkout, that’s exactly what we could have hoped for in selling him.”
The stallion was in training with Miles Baker and 26-time world champion, Trevor Brazile, over at the Relentless Remuda prior to the Pink Buckle sale.
“We partnered with Trevor and Miles because we take our slogan ‘The Very Best’ seriously,” Melanie said. “And this colt absolutely exemplifies that—from the black-type on his pedigree to the way he moves in the arena, he’s top to bottom the total package.”
Seller Info: Melanie Smith founded Solo Select Horses in November 2018 with the goal of connecting great horses with eager buyers. Two years later, she saw a need for an online sales platform that would modernize the horse-buying process. In 2020 she launched The Select Online Sale, which rapidly became the Leader in Online Sale Platforms, and the second-largest grossing Western performance horse sale company in North America. Solo Select now offers full-service reproduction services, mare management, sales fitting, and more
Looking for more of the gritty details on the Blakkout sale? Click here for the full report from Solo Select Horses.