Meradas Little Sue with Nancy Pearce and Penny Youngblood. Photo by Constance Jaeggi.
Meradas Little Sue, three-times NCHA World Champion, 1996 NCHA Horse of the Year, and NCHA earner of $670,098, was put to rest on April 21, 2017, twenty-seven years to the day after she was foaled, in 1990. She spent her final years at Circle Y Ranch in Millsap, Tex., under the devoted care of Penny Youngblood and Nancy Pearce, who purchased her in December 2014, at the Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales.
“We were looking at a daughter of Meradas Little Sue … and as I was thumbing through the (sale) catalog, there was Meradas Little Sue, and my heart stopped beating,” said Pearce. “We thought, if nothing ever happens with this mare, reproductively, if we can buy her, she will have a wonderful loving home for the rest of her life. The rest is history.”
Sired by Freckles Merada and out of Docs Hickory Sue, by Doc’s Hickory, Meradas Little Sue was bred by NCHA Hall of Fame Member Kenneth Galyean and shown by his son, Jody Galyean, an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider, to place fifth in the 1993 NCHA Futurity.
Meanwhile, Kobie Wood, who had shown the stallion Cash Quixote Rio as 1990 and 1992 NCHA World Champion for Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, had his eye on Meradas Little Sue and convinced the Heiligbrodts to purchase her in April 1994.
“She was a little mare, but real gritty, with a lot of heart and intensity,” said Wood. “She was one that if you cut for two and a half minutes, she would. A horse that can hold one for two and a half minutes, whether it runs out of air or whatever, is a good horse.”
In 2001, Meradas Little Sue was sold by the Heiligbrodts, also prominent Thoroughbred owners, at the Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales for an all-time cutting horse record of $875,000. “When we bought her, Kobie and I both showed her in the open and non-pro and we advanced to the finals 90 percent of the time, in both of them,” said Corinne Heiligbrodt. “That tells you what kind of horse she is. Dynamite comes in small packages.”
Meradas Little Sue is the dam of 26 NCHA money earners of $1,490,354, with an average of $57,321. Two clones, bred and owned by Circle Y Ranch, were foaled in 2015 – Meradas Little One and Meradas Little Two. Circle Y Ranch is also the home of Im Countin Checks, a current leading sire of NCHA money earners.
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