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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just perusing and saw this. I actually just read today about the 2018 horses of team ropers and saw that three are grade! Other than those they mostly go back to Doc Bar. I haven't been able to find a similar article for barrel racers.
 

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Grade pickup, steer wrestling, and rope horses are not rare at all. Most, though, are purebred but just weren't ever registered for whatever reason, or are out of an unregistered mare that was too nice not to reproduce but was usually purebred just no papers. You can't ride papers, and some ranches produce fabulous stock that isn't always registered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm actually looking at a 4 year old that has been started as a head horse, and she is grade. But she is sooooo nice. I kept going back and forth because of her lack of papers, but she is just so nice. She's going to make a great barrel prospect and honestly I have no interest in the breeding business so it doesn't really matter in that regard. The only thing that has me hesitant is about is re-sell if something were to happen and I needed to sell her.
 

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Barrel horses do tend to be registered-- but that's a more recent development. 30 years ago when most ladies were running barrels on their husband's rope horses or horses someone gave them because he didn't work out working gates in the feed lot, it wasn't a big deal, but now that people are breeding for barrels, the competitors looking for those bloodlines want registered horses.
 

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Last one that I know of (and there could have been one since then) was Molly Powel running her grade horse Pecan at the 1995 NFR.



Barrel racing has become a very specialized sport with specialized bloodlines. It doesn't mean there aren't grade horses out there that are winning, but most the pro barrel racers are going to "increase their odds" of having a winner by buying one that is bred to win, and taking the time to make sure they stay papered.


Heck, I've got 3 geldings (so no breeding that's going to be going on there, LOL) but I always still prefer papers because I like knowing their exact age, proof of ownership, etc. Plus, I also started going to AQHA shows this year and yeah, papers are required!



So this mare you've been looking at, until she PROVES herself in the barrel pen, then do expect to sell her for less (if you do have to sell her down the road) because she is grade. However, if you've got a proven 1D barrel horse, their price usually doesn't change a lot from grade vs registered, because they've proven their ability. Only thing that may hurt resale there is if a person does want a mare they can eventually breed down the road, then they are going to avoid a grade horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I ended up buying her. I tried her out multiple times, both on trails and in the arena. She was just too nice to pass up. She has had two owners, so I got to meet the folks who bred her. The reason she is not registered is because they thought the mama was bred but the vet said no then she popped out a baby some time later, so they have two studs but no idea which one is papa. For them it was just too big a hassle to figure out so when she was just over two they sold her to the guy I bought her from as a head horse prospect. But he had no interest in breeding so papers weren't an issue for him. Honestly, she is so nice and she reminds me so much of my first real barrel horse that I couldn't not buy her (honestly I'm almost convinced that she is that mare reincarnated). I don't anticipate having to sell her barring some tragedy. And then the guy I bought her off of said he would like to know if I ever do sell her. (He is only selling his two because he is hurt and can't rope for at least six months; he loves his horses enough that he doesn't want them to sit and not be used).

I'm with you on typically preferring papers because of the age verification and the want to know what kind of temperament and skills have been bred into them. And like we both said for re-sale. I think sometimes a grade comes along that is just so nice and decently priced that it makes sense.

How are you liking the AQHA shows?
 

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How are you liking the AQHA shows?

It was a good experience. We went to 3 shows. The first two shows were smaller, but the 3rd one was quite large. My main goal was the ranch horse classes but we did also do other events. My horse did very well; very happy with him. Happy to know we can hold our own with the "big dogs".



But I would still rather load up and haul to a barrel race. :wink: Showing AQHA is expensive! At least with barrels I have a shot at winning some money.



I did also enter the barrels/poles at the AQHA shows, but if I go to any next year, I won't. To me, I have no desire to actually go to the world show in barrels so it's not worth it to me to "waste" a barrel run on his body when there's *maybe* 1 or 2 other people also entered. I'd rather save his runs where money is up for grabs.
 

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Grade pickup, steer wrestling, and rope horses are not rare at all. Most, though, are purebred but just weren't ever registered for whatever reason, or are out of an unregistered mare that was too nice not to reproduce but was usually purebred just no papers. You can't ride papers, and some ranches produce fabulous stock that isn't always registered.
Relatively speaking the obsession with "registered" stock is more recent (I'm over 60 LOL). Best horses we had for working cattle (and hunting on too in my case) were just grade horses. My best working animal was a pure blood QH that could not be registered back in 71 (even with both parents being registered stock) because she was all white, yellow mane / tail, and blue eyes so she AQHA did not accept that she was a QH LOL (today with genetics they've have to accept, as "undesirable", what use to be automatically rejected). Not that anyone cared. She was the best cow working horse in the family. When you're seriously looking at working animals you don't give a hoot-in-hell about some bit of paper with registration information on it. It's about the ability of horse. The rest means nothing.
 

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My only question is this...Where are the PHOTOS?????????????
 

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Papers aren't a necessity but it doesn't always mean they are not bred well.

I've bought horses cheap because they didn't come with papers for some reason or another but they were bred for what I wanted.
 
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