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Smart Sailing Tango Takes Home Grand Champion Stallion Honor

In Smart Sailing Tango’s competition debut, the three-year-old Quarter Horse stallion won the Grand Champion Stallion title at the South Kentucky Ranch Horse Association Keystone Circuit Shootout during the last weekend in January.

“Tango” placed first in three-year-old stallion halter and returned to the arena to face the first- and second-place winners of the yearling, two-year-old, and four-year-old and older stallion halter classes. Ranch horse conformation classes are judged on form to function: correctness of physical structure in terms of what’s required of the horse in everyday ranch work.

Owners Don and Laurie Bode of Essig Farms in Noblesville, Indiana, have the horse in training with Bill and Linda Black at Cross 9 Ranch in Spiceland, Indiana, and also stand him at stud there.

“This is one of the most willing horses we have ever had an opportunity to ride. This horse takes every task with great enthusiasm and has as much fun with his work as we do,” said Bill Black.

Smart Sailing Tango’s sire, Smart Sailing Dun It, is nominated for the American Ranch Horse Association Stallion Stakes, automatically making Tango eligible for the Three-Year-Old Ranch Horse Challenge to be held at the ARHA World Show in June. In the Challenge, horses will compete in ranch cutting, ranch roping, and ranch riding. Cash, prizes, and recognition are awarded to the top-placing three-year-olds and their riders and owners as well as the top-ranking stallions and their owners.

Bill and Linda Black have owned and operated Cross 9 Ranch, 40 minutes east of Indianapolis in Spiceland, Indiana, for 15 years. The method of teaching and training employed by the Blacks—the language of the horse—is universal and effective throughout the spectrum of equestrian sport. Both Bill and Linda are American Ranch Horse Association judges. Visit them online at http://www.cross9.com.

Photo: Smart Sailing Tango. Photo credit: Courtesy of Cross 9 Ranch


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