Our Condolences – Chocolate Chic Olena 1993-2022

National Reining Horse Association Million Dollar Sire Chocolate Chic Olena was laid to rest on January 22.

NRHA Million Dollar Sire Chocolate Chic Olena. Photo by Cam Essick.

The 29-year-old stallion, by Smart Chic Olena out of Jae Bar Felcia, left his mark on the industry. With his owner Carter M Smith, he finished third at the 1996 NRHA Futurity, then the pair came back the following year to win the NRHA Derby and Super Stakes. NRHA Professional Darren Stancik and NRHA Seven Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani also piloted the stallion to numerous titles. Those included an American Quarter Horse Association World Championship in Senior Reining, and four AQHA Reserve World Championships in Amateur and Junior Reining.

Chocolate Chic Olena’s offspring passed the million-dollar mark in earnings in 2017, with his highest money-earner, Chic Magnet, accounting for more than $139,000.

Chocolate Chic Olena’s highest money earners include:

  • Chic Magnetic (out of Shiners Crystal) $139,507.25
  • Ghirardelli Chic (out of Full Sail Sue) $75,313.57
  • Mr Chocoholic (out of Lady Bee Great) $65,889.98
  • Mistresses Milky Way (out of Shiners Mistress) $62,615.91
  • Smart Coco Chic (out of Star Dust Dun It ) $45,785.77

On January 29, Smith posted on social media, saying,

One week ago, Chocolate Chic Olena was laid to rest at the age of 29. I’ve been trying to find the words all week to express what this horse means to me. He was my heart horse…. My once in a lifetime horse. He was my first real reining horse and he set the bar very high. He had a huge heart and the athletic ability and mind to match. Max, I hope you are up in heaven with Darren. He will be happy to see you.

Thank you, Tish, Jeremy, Luca, and Andrea Fappani, for taking care of Max for almost two decades. He was able to live out retirement being treated like the King he was.

Chocolate Chic Olena meant a lot to so many people. I want to thank everyone that helped us along the way. XOXO

The NRHA family sends our sincerest condolences to Carter and all of Chocolate Chic Olena’s connections.

Our Condolences – Clark Bradley

The reining and equine industry lost an incredible horseman on January 18. Clark Bradley, Ohio, was a two-time NRHA Open Futurity Champion, winning those coveted titles in 1968 and 1974. He was inducted to NRHA’s Hall of Fame in 1994.

Two Time NRHA Open Futurity Champion Clark Bradley

Clark also served as President of NRHA, as President of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association and as a National Director for the American Quarter Horse Association.

The accomplished horseman collected numerous All-American Quarter Horse Congress wins in western pleasure, reining, roping and cutting, and was an AQHA, NRHA and NSBA judge.

Bradley was an instructor at the University of Findlay for 26 years, and became an active coach with the University’s western equestrian team in 1996. He has helped coached several national championship teams and two reserve national championship squads.

The NRHA family sends our sincerest condolences to Clark’s loved ones and friends.

Full Obituary:

Clark Rickard Bradley

July 30, 1945 – January 18, 2022

Clark passed away at his home in Newark, Ohio, where he and his wife of 25 years, Bonnie Bradley, had recently moved.

Clark was born in Hilliard, Ohio to Bailey “Stretch” Bradley and Betty Rickard Bradley. He graduated from Hilliard High School and from the Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, completing boot camp training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC.

He spent his life dedicated to the training of horses, showing horses, teaching, judging and mentoring future horse trainers.

For over 30 years Clark was an instructor in the University of Findlay Western Equestrian Studies Program and was Assistant IHSA Coach, winning multiple IHSA National Championships. He represented AQHA, NRHA and NSBA as he judged horse shows all over the world. He judged the AQHA World Championship Show 4 times and the NRHA Derby 3 times. He conducted horse training clinics throughout the US and Canada as well as youth and adult horsemanship and reining schools for over 40 years.

Clark was honored by the horse industry as the 2001 AQHA Professional Horseman of the Year, NRHA Hall of Fame in 1994, All American Quarter Horse Congress Hall of Fame in 2008, the recipient of the Southern Belle Living the Mission Award in 2013 and in 2015 was presented the AQHA Most Valuable Professional by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association.

Clark served the NRHA as President, member of multiple committees, was on the board of Directors for over 25 years and a NRHA Futurity Live Webcast commentator. He won the NRHA Reining Futurity 2 times. He served the OQHA with 2 terms as President, Director for over 40 years and became an Honorary Director in 1988. AQHA was a large part of Clark’s professional life. He served on the Show and Contest Committees for 31 years and was past Chairman for the Show Committee and the Show Council. He was a member of the Professional Horsemen Council and Chairman for the Animal Welfare Committee.

Over the course of Clark’s career, he and his clients showed horses to wins in NRHA, the All American Quarter Horse Congress and AQHA from reining to cutting to ranch riding and many other disciplines. Clark was highlighted in several publications through the years such as the AQHA Journal, NRHA Reiner, Western Horsemen, OQHA News, Quarter Horse News, Performance Horse and University of Findlay Publications.

Clark is survived by his wife, Bonnie, son CR Bradley of Collinsville, Texas (wife Rose), stepdaughter Brianna Stone of Newark, Ohio (husband David), grandsons Cooper, Tanner and Austin. Sisters, Coralie Davis of Tyler, Texas, Mary Bradley of Granbury, Texas, Marilyn Kay Crowson of Louisville, Mississippi, and brother Bill Bradley of Mt Vernon, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers, the family is honoring Clark’s request that donations be made to the AQHA Professional Horsemen Endowment. Gifts can be made securely online or be mailed to:

American Quarter Horse Foundation

Professional Horsemen Endowment

Memory of Clark Bradley

PO Box 32111

Amarillo, TX 79120

Celebration of Life for Clark Bradley

Tuesday, April 5, 2022 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Ohio Quarter Horse Association

6325 Quarter Horse Drive

Columbus, Ohio 43229

Cinder Lakes Ranch Expands Support of Reining with NRHA Corporate Partnership

Cinder Lakes Ranch has long been a supporter of not only reining, but the western performance horse industry as a whole. The facility, which focuses on reproduction and horse sale services, has been a National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner in the past. In late 2021, Cinder Lakes Ranch once again joined NRHA’s Corporate Partner family.

“It is an honor for NRHA to join with Cinder Lakes Ranch on a corporate partnership level, once again! Thank you to Rick and Jade for continuing to support NRHA in service and sponsorship,” noted Sammi Miller, NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications.

Cinder Lakes Ranch, located in Whitesboro, Texas, is owned by Rick Ford and ran by Rick and his wife, Jade. “Our primary focus is stallions, and we are a full-service management company. We export all over the world, and cover every continent. I think the only major country we haven’t shipped to is China,” Ford explained. “We also do mare management, sale fitting, and just try to be full service for our clients.”

In fact, Cinder Lakes Ranch shipped more than 750 shipments of frozen and just under 3,000 shipments of cooled semen in 2021. “It’s kind of funny, we had a meeting with FedEx recently and have an in-person account manager that came to visit.” He laughed, and added, “Apparently we bumped up to a higher shipping bracket.”

Rick has been involved with horses his whole life, beginning with 4H. “I guess I’m kind of old school with how I got into it. My first trainer was Darren Stancik when I was a youth. I kind of wanted to do something a little more, and then my parents actually got the breeding part of it going. When we moved to Texas, I took that over,” he recalled.

The Cinder Lakes Ranch business model has evolved over the years. “In the beginning, when we were first a Corporate Partner, we were more of a private operation. Now that we’ve come back, we’re more of a commercial operation. That has allowed us to better service our customers,” Ford explained.

Cinder Lakes Ranch stands several heavy-hitting stallions from the reining, cow horse, and barrel racing industry, headlined by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz, whose NRHA lifetime earnings exceed $346,000. Joining Spooks Gotta Whiz in the lineup are ARC Gunna Sparkya, PS Mega Shine Chic, Snip O Lution, Wimpys Littlecolonel, Hey Joe, Jacs Electric Spark, Reysin On The Rocks, Spatatino, What A Wave, and Shiners Voodoo. Other stallions in the lineup are A Dash Ta Streak, A Streak Of Fling, Al Cappone, Barue, Bullseye Bullion, Heavenly Firewater, Jets Smashin Cash, JKL Raynin Firewater, JL Dash Ta Heaven, and Tres Fortunes.

Learn more about Cinder Lakes Ranch, its services, and stallion line up at CinderLakesRanch.com.

Using the Eligibility Tool on NRHA ReinerSuite™

Gone are the days of long, extenuating lists of member ineligibility lists thanks to an online, member portal: National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) ReinerSuite™. All it takes is an email address, NRHA member number, and PIN for reiners to gain access to their eligibility and that of their equine partners.

To check eligibility, members need to have an account with ReinerSuite. Click here for the three easy steps to registering with the online portal.

How to check eligibility on ReinerSuite:

  1. Log into your account
  2. On the main, Dashboard, page, the “Eligibility Tool” will be at the very top (pictured above). If you’re on a mobile device, scroll down until you see the tool.
    1. CLASS: Choose what class you would like to check your eligibility for
    2. RIDER: Input your name in the “Rider” search bar
    3. HORSE: You can also search for the eligibility of a horse, but a rider will need to be listed
      1. Pro tip: You don’t have to input a horse name to search for rider eligibility, but you do have to input a rider name to search for horse eligibility
    4. EVENT DATE: Since your eligibility remains the same from Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2021, you don’t need to include the exact event date. BUT you do need to make sure the event date is some time in 2021
    5. ELIGIBILITY AREA: Click the dropdown menu to choose your eligibility area or keep it listed as “WorldWide”
    6. After you’ve checked your information, click “Submit” or hit “Clear” if you need to start over

After hitting “Submit,” you’ll see a screen similar to this with either green or red to indicate the status of your eligibility. One unique feature of this tool is its ability to give you reasons why you might not be eligible for a certain class. If your membership is not active, you may see this listed as a reason, and if that is the only reason, check back after your membership is renewed and you will see that you are eligible for the class.

You might find you are not eligible for the class selected, and if so, hit “Clear” and search your eligibility for a different level. In this case, NRHA Professional “John Doe” is not eligible for Category 2 – Level 3 Intermediate Open Aged Event (2200) because he’s in the Top 35 Pro Riders for the 2020 show season.

“John Doe” is, however, eligible for Category 2 – Level 4 Open Aged Event (2100). After hitting “Clear,” the Eligibility Tool will take you back to the previous screen and will not clear your information so all you have to do is change the class and submit again.

The Eligibility Tool also takes membership status and declarations into consideration when calculating your eligibility. Remember, all memberships (both horse owner and rider) need to be up-to-date before entering the show pen to avoid disqualification and penalty fees when the results are submitted to NRHA.

Our Condolences – Shining Spark 1989-2021

On New Years Eve 2021, Carol Rose announced that National Reining Horse Association Four Million Dollar Sire Shining Spark had been laid to rest on December 27.

NRHA Hall of Famers Carol Rose and Shining Spark. Photo by Cam Essick.

Immediately, condolences and memories began to flood the pages of social media, telling how the palomino stallion, by Genuine Doc out of Diamonds Sparkle, had affected their life.

Shining Spark became the cornerstone of Rose’s breeding program for decades, but before he left his indelible mark in his progeny, he proved his prowess in the reining arena.

He began his career with NRHA Hall of Famer Bob Loomis, who piloted the colt to a sixth-place finish at the 1992 NRHA Futurity, and followed that with a reserve title at the Lazy E Classic in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Then, NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Tim McQuay took the reins, and the duo won the 1993 American Quarter Horse Association Junior Reining Horse World Championship. The next year, they followed that up with the NRHA Derby championship. All totaled, Shining Spark won $62,674 in NRHA and AQHA competition.

McQuay and Shining Spark had incredible chemistry, so when Rose was deciding who to send Shining N Sassy (out of Sassy O Lena), there was no question who would be first choice. The mare, who would become Shining Spark’s highest money earning, and McQuay won the 2008 NRHA Open Futurity Championship.

Shining Spark was not only a Four Million Dollar sire for NRHA, he held the same title for the National Reined Cow Horse Association. His offspring excelled in a variety of disciplines, including reining, reined cow horse, cutting, barrel racing, halter, pole bending, breakaway roping, heading, heeling, ranch sorting, team penning, steer stopping, and more.

Shining Spark will be inducted to NRCHA’s Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.

The passing of Shining Spark December 27 at the age of 32 did signal the end of a charmed life but thanks to modern science a whole new generation of Shining Spark foals have been born or will be born in future years. (Having been born before an AQHA Rule modification which limited the length of time foals of deceased stallions could be registered following the stallion’s death, he is still a viable option for breeding.)

Certainly, his legacy lives and as Carol Rose has often said, “You just never know where the next champion will come from.”  

Shining Spark’s Top Five Money Earners:

  • Shining N Sassy (out of Sassy O Lena) $232,672.33
  • Miss Rey O Shine (out of Miss Rey O Lena) $159,714.73
  • Shine On Line (out of Oaks Little Diamond) $110,660.29
  • Just Gotta Shine (out of Zans Pretty Penny) $104,078.90
  • Sailing Spark (Topsail Maid) $94,282.23