Page 52 - NM Winter 2023
P. 52

                   Reprinted From The NMHBA Jan/Feb 2006 issue
 The Sparks
“We do this because we like the horses”
New Mexico Horse Breeder
 Gene And Ginnie
Some people are born into horse racing, some get involved deliberately, others find the business by chance – or fate. However it happens, people once bitten by the horse racing bug
never recover.
The Sparks family is a great example of the happy accident route, but
they consider it a blessing.
Gene and Ginnie Sparks and their partners were registered Hereford
breeders – good ones. Their cattle won most every bug show in the nation. Gene owned a feed store in Sonoita, and in the early 1980s, he took a horse in payment of a feed bill.
That did it.
Their son Clay says, “That horse was an old class Quarter Horse gelding named Papas Last Chance. Dad dropped him off at the fairgrounds with Frankie Figueroa and then sold him after the meet. Then, he decided he needed to find a mare, and bought one. Then, he bought another mare that had a filly by her side and was in foal. She’s our foundation mare – Tudor Trinket.”
Clay is the youngest of three children. His brother and sister are 11
and 9 years older. The race horses definitely are his “thing”. By the time
he earned a degree from the University of Arizona’s race track industry program he already had been training a long time. He has had a trainer’s license since 1992 and was based in Arizona until four years ago, when he moved to New Mexico. He is licensed in four states: Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas.

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