Page 143 - March 2020
P. 143

   The first Graham Paint Futurity was restricted to foals by Raise A Jet and Texas Hero. Champion Paint sire Raise A Jet is a leading sire of nearly $1 million. World Champion sire/2-time World Champion Texas Hero is the #4 all-time leading APHA sire of over $3.3 million.
Raise A Jet
Texas Hero
    The Grahams’ first stakes winner was St Easter in the 1978 Lubbock Downs Spring Futurity
                      LOOKING BACK
       pricey restricted race is limited to foals by Raise A Jet and Texas Hero.
“I believe the future of Paint racing is tied to the tracks,” said Graham. “We took the Graham Paint Futurity to Lone Star to draw the fans because it’s one of the brightest tracks at this time. I’m certain we’ll get more Paint races there and show they’re competitive. I think Remington Park is now the hub of Paint racing, and we owe a lot
of our success to them. Of course, Blue Ribbon Downs has always been important, but, in my opinion, Paint racing would not be what it is today without Remington Park.
“I think it’s important for everyone to real- ize that the Quarter Horses must have parity with the Thoroughbreds in terms of simulcast- ing and race dates. If not, it will be a sad day for both. Quarter Horses and Paints will both feel the effects if TQHA fails in its bid to get their share of simulcasting.
“Paint racing is a growing industry, but we need to help it by getting major breed- ers involved as well as those already in the business. Easy Jet is the foundation of racing Paints. You’ll find Easy Jet if you trace out all of the successful bloodlines. We crossed good Quarter mares back to Easy Jet Too, but we’ve also tried to infuse some new Paint
blood by taking the Paint mares to outstand- ing Quarter studs. We’ve tried Runaway Winner, Chicks Beduino, Streakin Six, and all of the other top sires. So far, all we’ve come up with are solids. The person who comes up with a good Paint runner from something like Dash For Cash’s bloodlines, we’ll hit a home run. We need new Paint sires who can throw the color and the racing talent. That’s not easy to do.”
West Texas Stud, like many other race horse kingdoms of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, is no longer listed in any stallion register. The million dollar farm was granted a new lease on life in December of 1997, when Graham donated it
to Odessa College, which has been the training ground for such rodeo Champions as Ty Murray, Jim Sharp, Shawn McMullin, and Jerome Davis.
“Herbert called me on a Sunday night and asked me if I had a minute to talk,” com- mented Jim Watkins, who is the rodeo coach for Odessa College. “Herbert has always supported the rodeo team from the first
year we’ve started. He’s sponsored buckles and even set up a $25,000 scholarship fund, but I never expected anything like what he proposed that night. He asked me if we’d be interested in going out to West Texas Stud
to look at it and see if we might be able to
use it. I told him I’d be happy to, but I could already tell him I knew we could use it. My little place has room for 20 horses, so we have to be very selective about recruiting timed event students. There just isn’t any room for their horses. Now, we’ll be able to expand our recruiting program tremendously. We’re plan- ning on building three practice arenas, so we can have just about everything from bull rid- ing to goat tying going on at the same time.
“The farm was a real blessing to the program. It will be put to good use. We just finished up our college rodeo and presented Herbert and Ginger with honorary rodeo team jackets.”
The Odessa College rodeo team isn’t the only one Graham supports, however. One would expect Graham to office in a custom designed structure of colored glass and steel decorated with win pictures on every wall. In actuality, Graham Brothers Entertainment is housed in an unobtrusive brick building in an older section of Odessa, Texas. Plaques from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, United Way and various other organizations take the place of legendary stallions and racehorses. The racing Paint industry has, indeed, acquired a Most Valuable Team Player.
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