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Sliding W Scores "Slam Dunk" With Breeding Program by Kevin DeBusk Joe Dan Wooten, of Huntingdon, Tennessee, left his mark on Tennessee high school basketball. He was chosen coach of the year sixteen times, coach of the 1994 Tennessee All-Stars and nominated for National Coach of the Year honors in 1974. Now his goal is his to have the same success in breeding horses. Joe Dan, a retired school teacher, administrator, boys basketball coach and former horse show judge. He's married, with three children and three grand children. Now he dedicates all his time to an AQHA and Paint breeding program that utilizes CAPRILENA and LENA'S TOOT. CAPRILENA is a 1987 AQHA Bay sired by DOC O'LENA and out of SUGAR MINDY and is listed with APHA. LENA'S TOOT is a tri-colored four-year-old APHA stallion by CAPRILENA. "We've been in Huntingdon for twenty-two years and have twenty-four horses," he commented. "It's a combination of Quarter Horses and Paint Horses. Now I have more Paints than Quarters. I started with Paints in 1980 and was the first in this area to have them. "The only thing I have really changed since I started is I have more brood mares. I've had Paint and Quarter Horse stallions forever and breed a lot of outside mares.We also sell a lot of the mares in foal. "This year I've got to make a choice which way I want to go. Do I want to have more mares of my own and breed fewer outside mares or do I want to cut back where I can accommodate everybody that wants to breed to theses horses. "A big part of the broad mares I've raised. Certain bloodlines have done well for me and I've tried to stay with those. "Anytime you've got your DOC BAR breeding and cross it on foundation blood like KING and LEO you're doing well," he said. "The DOC BAR line of horses crosses real good. I've had several grandsons of DOC BAR. I've had a DOCS LINKS and DOCS BONITA BAR and CAPRILENA. "CAPRILENA is by far the best horse I've ever owned. Last year we breed about thirty mares to him and that was a strain on him and me. Next year I plan to breed CAPRILENA to approximately twenty mares. "He originally came from the E and E Ranch, in Texas. The only reason the he's here is they never showed him. They told me he was the best futurity colt they ever raised but about two months before the futurity he backed off a little. "The best thing to do when one does that is to rest them and let them come back down. They didn't think they had time to do that and thumped on him a little harder and end up not showing him. If they had showed him he would have been standing at one of the big stallion stations in Texas and not here. "What I look for in a horse is conformation, bloodline, athletic ability and one of the most important things is disposition. This horse doesn't have a mean bone in his body. I've never seen him back his ears at another horse or anybody. "I don't pull the colts of the mares when I breed them. They run under him and try to nurse. He only looks at the colts and doesn't bit the mares, when breeding. "It's real hard to put everything into one horse and CAPRILINA is the idea horse for me. I've never had one like him and probably won't have another one, he dominates the colts. Most colts have the disposition of their momma but CAPRILINA colts aren't that way." CAPRILINA isn't just for Quarter Horses. "Probably half the mares I breed to CAPRILENA are Paint," he said. "People are trying to get the DOC BAR breeding into the Paint horses. "If you've never owned a DOC BAR there's a little something there that other horses don't have. I've had a lot of them and the magic cross, to me, is DOC BAR/KING. KING breed horses are real easy to get along with and when you cross them with DOC BAR it gives them that extra zip. It's not that nothing else crosses good it's just those work for me." Joe Dan also bred a few horses to LENA'S TOOT this past year."I'm pleased with his babies," he said. "I've got one of them and he's about as good a colt as any one has. This year I plan to breed him to about ten mares." Paint foundation breeding is another key area for producing quality. "I like the VERSARY BARS horses," he said. "I have an old mare that's a granddaughter of VERSARY BARS. I've had her seventeen years and her colts have always been pretty, real athletic and have a lot of sense. I stood a son of VERSARY BARS for several years." These stallions and quality foundation horses allow Joe Dan to specialize in cow bred horses. "I'm looking for something a little different than the average cutter," commented Joe Dan. "I want a horse that has some bone. This is what I've always tried to breed, a horse that will stay sound. The last few years cutters have raised a lot of small fine boned horses that aren't staying sound. They're not able to show and some that are shown in futurities you never hear from again. "This year, at the Memphis Futurity, there were more horses with more bone than the year before. It may not be what people want but the fact is if you've got a horse that is crippled you can't show it. They say they don't want the heavy muscled horses but I think you're going to see more of the larger size horses. "Right now they want a horse fourteen to fourteen two and I want at least fifteen. I want a horse you can use all day. I want him to have a good foot on him and not wear a large shoe. If you look at the mares I have there won't be many fine boned. "What a lot of people thought, over the years, when you said cow bred horse was that was the only thing you could do with the horse. Now they are using them in every kind of event you have. If a horse is intelligent enough to cut a cow it's smart enough to do anything you want. "I've breed some running mares that have gotten a little to hot. What they're trying to do is breed some brains back into them and they are gaining athleticism when they do that. Barrel racing is not like running a quarter mile it's short and sweet. You'll see this a lot in the Pro Rodeo Association. The big name horses they calf rope, barrel race and head and heal off of have DOC BAR." With the growing demand for versatility Joe Dan has noticed a change in the Paint industry. "There is a larger percent growth in the Paint industry than anything," he said. "At one time all people were looking for was color. They didn't care about breeding as long as it was colored but that has changed. Now you need a horse that looks like something and has breeding. "I see the role changing. The reason is the modern day Paint horse that looks like a Quarter Horse and performs like a Quarter Horse will have the largest majority of AQHA blood in it. Some Paints will be three quarters AQHA and one quarter Paint. If you look at papers they're almost all AQHA. I've got one mare that if you go back to her grandparents everyone of them were AQHA horses. Her daddy came out with too much white to be registered to the Quarter Horse Association so that mare is essentially all AQHA. A modern day Paint is a colored Quarter Horse." With A.I. and embryo transfer becoming popular in the horse industry does Joe Dan sees his breeding program changing? "I see where the horse business is changing," he said. "As far as I'm concerned I don't see me changing. If I were a young man I it probably would be the way I'd have to go to stay competitive. At the point in life where I am right now I want to do it where it's fun and you get into all of that and it might be more head aches than I want." Quality stallions and mares alone aren't what keeps his business going, it's reputation. "Life is like a stair step," he said. "You never step back down. I like people to say I'm an honest man, who is fair. I want to treat people the same when they come here whether they have money or not. In the country you have to have repeat business and the only way you can do that is by being honest. "I sell horses over the phone and I want them to better than I described when people see them. People wouldn't do that if I lied. Reputation is everything." "What I do is for fun. When I coached my last basketball game I said I would never do anything again that there was a score at the end of. I'm very much a competitor and I like to win. Anything I do from now on there won't be a score. Every days a vacation because this is what I enjoy."
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