The leading Thoroughbred Stallion Mischief, along with the recent Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Mitole, are set to be bred with Quarter Horse mares. The news, announced on Nov. 20, revealed that Spendthrift Farm and Robicheaux have partnered up after both parties became interested.
According to Mark Toothaker, Spendthrift’s stallion sales manager, Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt approached Spendthrift with the idea. They campaigned the four-time grade 1 winner Mitole.
“Mr. Hughes is always wanting us to think outside the box and come up with some different ideas and some things we can do. This thing just kind of came to a life of its own, really, from Bill Heiligbrodt and Corinne,” Toothaker said. “They had approached us early on that they had some people in the Quarter Horse business — of course, they have a Quarter Horse background, and (Mitole’s trainer) Steve Asmussen does as well.
“They’d been approached by some folks wanting to know if we would make Mitole available to breed to some Quarter Horse mares, that they had some real high-end Quarter Horse mares that would be interested in breeding to him.”
At first, the partners only discussed Mitole, but Into Mischief became involved as the process moved forward.
“He’s been a breed-changing stallion in the Thoroughbred world,” Toothaker said. “Why couldn’t he have tremendous influence on the Quarter Horse world?”
Robicheaux also has some other projects. The two-time leading sire Storm Cat, the 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, and the grade-1 winning son of Storm Cat, Hennessy, have all led to stakes-winning appendix horses from Quarter Horse mares.
The grade-1 winning appendix son of Favorite Trick, Favorite Cartel, is one of the leading sires in the entire Quarter Horse industry. He is currently at Burns Ranch in Menifee, California, and he will stand in 2020 for $12,500.
“We’re searching, and we’re dying for that outcross right now to breed to our mares. Right now, you buy a mare in the Quarter Horse industry, you’re limited who you can breed it to,” Robicheaux said. “They’ve tried some Thoroughbreds, but we’ve never had the caliber that Mr. Hughes at Spendthrift is offering to us Quarter Horse people on the price they’re offering it to us.”
Robicheaux will also breed some of his own inventory with Spenthrift’s stallion.
“I’m excited. It’s got a big buzz around the horse industry — Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred — and I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I couldn’t be more humbled they chose me, and I just want to do a good job. Hopefully, this venture continues for years to come.”
Robicheaux Ranch will be responsible for the contracts for the mares and the collection of artificial insemination for Into Mischief and Mitole. The full book of Thoroughbred mares scheduled for Mitole and Into Mischief in Lexington will go unchanged even with the process.
Into Mischief will be offered at a $10,000 fee for Quarter Horse Mares, and Mitole will go for around $4,000.