Replacing the Irreplaceable

The McWhirters carefully bred for their successor sire and got exactly what they wanted in Part 3 of this series.  Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series to learn about choosing a proven stallion and choosing a young or unproven stallion.

Breeding a Successor
In 1984, a close friend approached Dan and Carol McWhirter about finding an investment stallion. What they found was The Big Investment, a 1980 stallion by The Invester and out of The Country Girl by Lad’s Zero.

“The Big Investment was 16 hands and a striking, absolutely beautiful animal that was a unique mover and could do the hunt seat and the western,” Carol recalls.

But it was his foals that most impressed the McWhirters.

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“We could see from the beginning that he was prepotent,” Carol says. “His colts all looked alike: real pretty headed and great toplines. They looked like cookie cutters.”

They brought the stallion to their Doniphan, Nebraska, farm and began their first venture in the breeding business. But at the end of the second breeding season, The Big Investment died of colic.

It was not only a huge loss to the McWhirters but also to the Quarter Horse industry. Out of 129 foals in five crops, The Big Investment sired 75 performers earning 75 Register of Merit and averaging 64 points each. He also sired 32 AQHA Superior performance horses.

Dan often told people that after the stallion’s death, the couple almost decided to quit the horse business. But they didn’t. Having had what they considered the perfect sire, the McWhirters were determined to find another like The Big Investment.

“When The Big Investment died, we had based our breeding program on him,” Carol says. “You can’t get to what you want until you know what you want. By having The Big Investment first, we knew what we wanted.”

Continue reading this story on America's Horse Daily.

Photo Credit: AQHA World Champion Vital Signs Are Good is a daughter of Zippos Mr Good Bar. Photo by K.C. Montgomery.