Yellow Jersey, The Story Behind The Stallion
After successfully carrying each of six riders to the spotlight, Yellow Jersey is settling in at his new home, McQuay Stables, in time for the 2014 breeding season. Final resting place of Reining horse legends Hollywood Dun It and Gunner, Tim and Colleen McQuay's ranch in Tioga, Texas, has historically been a place where special breeding stallions make their way to the top. Yellow Jersey joins a star line-up of young stallions already producing winners in the sport. Some would say that "Jersey" has big shoes to fill, but as arguably the best minded stallion out there and with the athletic ability to do all of the maneuvers with ease, the McQuays are confident that he is up to the task.
"I fell in love with Jersey the first time I rode him," reports Tim, "He is just so eager to please, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to own him."
McQuay had the chance to rideYellow Jersey at the 2013 Kentucky Reining Cup. With very little time to get the horse in show shape or get acquainted, the pair performed like a true team and came out earning a nice paycheck. McQuay remembers, "If I had had more time to get to know Jersey and for him to get to know me, I would have felt more comfortable about how to ride him. Now that I've shown him once, I know that he's 100% trustworthy!"
Yellow Jersey was ridden by Brent Wright as a three-year-old, placing in the money at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic Futurity, then going on to earn 2007 Open Futurity Finalist honors and 3rd in the Prime Time division. The next year, Stefano Massignan took the reins in Italy for owner Arcese and earned European Futurity Show Open Champion, Italian Maturity Co-Reserve Champion, and Italian Reining Horse Association Derby Finalist honors. 2009 brought NRHA Open Top-Ten Year-End status for the pair, as well as Italian RHA Derby Open Co-Champion, Italian RHA Maturity Reserve Champion titles. In 2010, the pair were World Equestrian Games Individual money earners and World Equestrian Games Team Bronze earners for the Italian team.
One of Yellow Jersey's biggest fans, rider Stefano Massignan states, "I have never ridden a horse that was always so happy to do his job! He was always honest in the showpen and always gives 100%! Yellow Jersey has the best mind of any horse I've known and a big heart. I am sure this fantastic horse will be a great producer."
It was at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky that NRHA $2 Million Rider Andrea Fappani discovered Yellow Jersey. Owner Arcese agreed to allow Andrea to show "Jersey" at the NRHA Futurity $100,000 Shootout, but the horse first had to spend time in quarantine since he came from Italy before the Games. Fappani had only the few rides he could get in at the NRHA Futurity to get to know the horse before competing for the $100,000.
"The first time I sat on him, I could tell he was really good minded. He was always wanting to please, and tried hard at anything I asked him to do. I was even able to put some of my buttons on him before I showed him," Fappani explained about the week leading up to the NRHA Futurity $100,000 Shootout, where the pair marked a 226.5, earning the prestigious win.
After the event, Yellow Jersey was sold to Fappani's client, Bob Thompson, and stayed in training with Fappani for the three months leading up to his next show appearance. Andrea and Jersey won the NRBC Open class, scoring a 227, as well as placing 4th in the 7-Up Challenge and earning Reserve Champion honors in the NRBC CRI.
"He's very pleasant to train, amazingly quiet, and he seems to always adapt. He has really good maneuvers, but most importantly, he is really special minded. I believe his good mind will pass on to his babies. When I rode him he felt like a gelding or a good mare, even though he was being collected in the mean time," Fappani reflects, "Riding Yellow Jersey was a great experience. I fell in love with him."
After the 2011 NRBC, Bob Thompson took Yellow Jersey home and showed him to money earnings at both the 2011 High Roller Reining Classic and the 2011Scottsdale Classic. Limited Open rider Lisa Coulter was next to take the reins, earning 8th in the 2011 FEI World Open Reining Finals. In 2012, Lisa and Jersey were L2 Open Co-Champions and L3 Open Co-Reserve Champions in the Cactus Reining Classic 7-Up Maturity. They were also NRBA Derby 7-Up Open Derby Finalists and High Roller Reining Classic 7-Up Maturity L2 Open Co-Champions, earning 3rd in the L3 and 4th in the Open Division.
After riding Jersey at the Kentucky Reining Cup, Tim felt confident that the horse was truly special and combined with his lineage, he would make a great breeding stallion. The McQuays were thrilled when given the opportunity to purchase the stallion from Bob Thompson and Lisa Coulter, and they look forward to a bright future with him at McQuay Stables.
Next to take the reins was Mandy McCutcheon at the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup. After only a few rides together, the pair scored a 224 and a 225 to earn a spot on the 2014 World Equestrian Games Team USA, along with Kentucky Reining Cup Team Championship honors, Individual Reserve Championship honors, and USEF National Championship Reserve honors, adding $17,650 to Jersey's earnings. This success earned a special place in the hearts of the McQuay and McCutcheon families, as it launched Mandy McCutcheon over the $2 Million earnings mark. Not only is she the first female and the first non pro to earn $2 Million NRHA, but she is also the first female and first non pro to represent Team USA in Reining at the World Equestrian Games!
As a veteran traveler and at ten years of age, Yellow Jersey fared the trip to Normandy, France for the World Equestrian Games with flying colors, bringing home a Team Gold medal for the USA and scoring a 227 in the Individual Medal Final to earn the Individual Bronze. The trip added an additional $10,000 to Jersey's earnings and felt like quite an accomplishment to first time World Equestrian Games competitor Mandy McCutcheon. Mandy reflects on the experience with joy, saying, "There's something really special about the stage created at the World Equestrian Games. I was so honored to be a part of the undefeated Team USA and ride such an incredible horse as Yellow Jersey. I'm so thankful to my parents for giving me this unforgettable opportunity!"
Yellow Jersey is settled in at McQuay Stables and completing the 2015 breeding season, enjoying regular riding and turnout. His daily routine also includes time on the TheraPlate by Ventures Vision, wrapping and blanketing with Back On Track therapeutic products, customized SmartPaks, Niagara Equissage Therapy, Nutrena nutrition from Cargill Feeds, Ultroz treatment as necessary, and a nearly fly-free environment provided by Spalding Fly Predators. Tim and Colleen McQuay would like to thank the many people involved in Jersey's Journey so far at McQuay Stables, as well as the many mare owners who have already bred to Yellow Jersey in his first year here.