Some people are born and raised around horses while others, like Rebeca Martin of Rancho de Suenos, are privileged to begin working with them a little later in life. Like many, she was drawn to horses when she was a little girl. Rebeca said, "We were never raised around horses. I saved my 25 cents an hour babysitting to go to Arts riding stables every 6 months or so, to ride (walk) nose to tail with others. But I loved it! The squeak of the saddle was exhilarating!" When she reached her forties she was fortunate enough to begin working with and showing horses.
Rebeca began to taste victory when she started showing her first stallion, Cee A Chocolate Chic (Chocolate Chic Olena x Cody Cee Cutter) aka Reggie. In a single year the two of them won 37 Championships and 17 Reserve Championships along with several saddles and trophies. He also helped her achieve the NRHA World Top 10 twice. She said, “I will be breeding him as well soon. He is a true soldier and has unbridled talent with the temperament of a gelding! I’ve had him 11 years now! He’s my Bud.”
After she began to have success with Cee A Chocolate Chic she knew it was time for another good horse she could show. She decided her next horse would be a colt by Wimpys Little Step (Nu Chex To Cash x Leolita Step). It just so happened that at the facility where she was riding there was a mare named Sunset Whiz (West Coast Whiz x Chexers Lena) who was in foal to Wimpys Little Step and she said, “If it’s a palomino colt, it’s mine!”
That foal became her stallion, Show Me The Buckles (Pictured above with Rebeca and to the right as a foal; Wimpys Little Step x Sunset Whiz). Rebeca said, “When he was born I took one look at him and knew he was special. He came out built like a full grown horse! So much muscle and amazing confirmation! Then his personality came out and he had the mind of a champion, very relaxed but quick to learn. And strong!” As he matured he showed great promise and proved he could run with the big boys at the 2011 NRHA Futurity when he became Co-Reserve Champion. That year Rebeca was also awarded for being 9th in the NRHA Top 20 Owners. At the time Rebeca still wasn’t in the “breeding business” as she had decided to delay his breeding career because she wanted to show him more. However, the idea of becoming a breeder started to take hold and she created a business plan, just in case it came to fruition.
It wasn’t until after the 2014 NRBC that she decided it was time to retire him from the show ring as the 5th highest offspring earner of Wimpys Little Step. Rebeca said, “He was very sound after being ridden at such a high level that I decided to quit while I was ahead and I also missed him very much! So I brought him home still, not sure if I was going to breed. Then I started getting breeding calls, and was happy to oblige!”
Rebeca knew since she was new to the breeding industry that she would need help to get the right start. So she called Pioneer Equine Hospital (PEH), an SBS Affiliate Laboratory, located in Oakdale, CA. She said, “Their reputation for excellence is known far and wide. I got in touch with Kamaria Kuhn. With her help and the help of Dr. Kevin Hyde, Show Me The Buckles was successfully collected and frozen to the high standards of SBS. I knew that SBS is very trusted around the world and wanted to go with the best. I now have several foals due next spring in Germany, Italy and France!” Rebeca went on to say,
“SBS ensures that only quality semen is shipped and every step is done in a supervised, professional manor. Their lab is filled with the most up to date equipment for the best accuracy when determining quality of semen.”
She has frozen semen for domestic use as well as for her clients in Canada and the European Union. She will also be sending semen to Australia for the 2016 breeding season. The convenience of frozen semen being available when the mare is ready to be bred is appealing to her and she wants to provide that convenience to her clients.
That first year she bred a hand full of mares. Those resulting offspring will be going into training this year. His book of mares has grown steadily over the past few years and according to Rebeca he stamps his offspring with a beautiful body and a sweet mind. She said, “I’d like to see Buckles’ babies (one of his fillies pictured above left) shown and qualified for the NRHA Futurity. No one knows the outcome but just getting there will be incredible! With the way they are built, their willing dispositions and amazing strength (for their age) I am hoping, with the help of a good trainer, they will do well! It’s the same dream as for all breeders, I suppose! And of course, time will tell but I hope he passes his four-foot mane to his babies!”
Rebeca also said, “In addition to the fundamentals of why I use SBS, I would like to add that the care of Buckles when he is there is amazing. The staff treats him as they would their own. I can see that he is very happy there and that does my heart well when I am missing him and know I don’t need to be concerned. They are always very friendly and helpful with anything I need! I will continue to use SBS in the future and am very happy with my choice, as a breeder and as an owner.”
Though Rebeca may not have envisioned herself as a stallion owner and breeder she couldn’t love it more. She has found she is good with the babies and when she is with them the rest of the world melts away. She loves spending time with her broodmares as well. She said, “It fills my heart to be a breeder.”
Currently, she also has two stud colts (pictured above right), Magnums Lil Hercules (Magnum Chic Dream x Great Black Cody) and Tidal To The Mercedes (Cromed Out Mercedes x Starlights Tidal Wave), that are in training with Mike McEntire. Both colts are out of her own mares. It will be an exciting year for Rebeca and Mike McEntire with these two beginning their show careers and the first three Show Me The Buckles foals beginning their training.
Photos provided by Rebeca Martin