Though the National Cutting Horse Association’s 2014 Summer Spectacular Sale was full of young, talented cutting prospects, one consignment in particular lent an air of maturity to the atmosphere. Color Me Smart, the industry’s leading Paint sire of cutting horses, proudly marched into the ring in all of his 23-year-old glory and found new ownership with a group of passionate, Paint-loving horsewomen.
A 1991 bay tobiano stallion, Color Me Smart is a legend in Paint cutting circles. An NCHA $3 million sire, Color Me Smart is the only Paint to have reached that honor to date.
Sired by the great Smart Little Lena (QH)—a sire whose own foals have earned more than $36 million in NCHA to date—Color Me Smart is out of Doxs Painted Lady. Bred by Sue Dunn of Azle, Texas, Color Me Smart earned $9,717 in NCHA himself along with a 1997 APHA world championship in Senior Cutting.
| Color Me Smart, pictured with his new
owner, the Iconic Color partnership,
comprised of Michelle Sly (left), Linda
Werner (center) and Ann Jones (right).Image by Moon Walker Photography
As a sire, Color Me Smart really left his mark. He has more than 800 APHA-registered foals to date—in NCHA, 215 foals have earned $3,171,710; they’ve also earned 23 APHA world championships and 17 APHA reserve world championships. Among his top earners are J R Playboy By Color, J R Colord Rambo, Special Order Paint, JR Colord Prom, JR Red Diablo, Ruby Tuesdays Color, Budasa LIttle Smart, A Special Color and J R Smart Smokin.
Consigned by ESMS on the Brazos of Weatherford, Texas—the stallion’s most recent owner—Color Me Smart was purchased by Linda Werner, Michelle Sly and Ann Jones through a partnership they have branded “Iconic Color.” The three friends have long been fans of Color Me Smart and contributors to APHA through their ownership and competition of performance-bred Paint Horses—they hold several world and reserve world championship titles among them—so the acquisition of 23-year-old “Color” made sense. It also represented a long-held dream, Linda says.
“I have had this passion of wanting to own Color, and I’ve been working on it for 14 years. It’s been a dream,” she said. “I tried to purchase him years ago, and was not able to. Two and a half years ago, I made a promise to him that someday, some way, I would own him. If you believe in your dreams, they can come true.”
In town for the NCHA Summer Spectacular, Linda didn’t know Color had been consigned to the sale. Fate, it seems, compelled Linda to page through the catalog.
“Something kept drawing me to look at the consignments for the Western Bloodstock Sale,” she said. “I pushed it off for a few days, and finally it was like it grabbed me and said ‘you have to look.’ So I looked and saw he was consigned, and that’s when I called these gals. He’s got his forever home, his forever owners, and he will never be sold again.”
Color has been relocated to Linda’s Painted Valley Ranch in Black Forest, Colorado, where he will enjoy a semi-retirement along with breeding duties. Still fertile, Color will be bred to the partners’ mares as well as outside mares, and he’ll also be collected for frozen semen.
“We’re going to start stockpiling what we can, and hopefully we’ll have him with us for many years,” Linda said.
Most important for the partners is the opportunity to perpetuate Color’s legacy in the cutting and Paint Horse industries.
“He is one of the most unrecognized contributors to the sport of cutting,” Michelle said. “Our job is to bring that full circle and put him on the map like he needs to be.
“We’re all very committed to perpetuating the Paints in the performance classes. Now, we have the opportunity to fulfill that dream with Color. We love APHA; we love the World Shows; and we love the venues where APHA brings us together. It’s such a friendly community, and we all want to connect. Color connects the dots for us by giving us the opportunity to increase the number of performance-bred Paint Horses you will see at these and other venues.”
More information about Color will soon be available on the Iconic Color website, and watch for Color’s Facebook page, coming soon.
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.