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Poco Bueno 1944-1969 1944; Brown; King x Miss Taylor Stallion Show Record Hall of Fame, '90 AQHA Inductee AQHA Champion, '53 ROM Performance, '57 Halter Point Earner Performance Point Earner Total Points Earned: 45; Halter Points: 37; Perf Points: 8; Stallion Offspring Record Hall of Fame Offspring, AQHA & NCHA Superior Halter Offspring Superior Performance Offspring AQHA Champion Offspring ROM Performance Offspring NCHA Money-earners Halter Point Earners Performance Point Earners AQHA Offspring Record Total Points Earned: 7,297.5; Reg Foals: 405; Number Shown: 215; Point Earners: 190; Halter Points Earned: 3,546; Halter Point Earners: 165; Superior Halter Awards: 21; Performance Points Earned: 3,751.5; Performance Point Earners: 124; Performance ROMS: 87; Superior Performance Awards: 13; AQHA Champions: 36; Total Superior Awards: 34; Total ROM's: 87; High Point Wins: 8; Leading Sire List AQHA Performance List: #26 All-time leading sire of perf ROM qualifiers - 84; #3 All-time leading sire of Open AQHA Champions - 36; #8 All-time leading broodmare sire of AQHA Champions - 23 Other Information Breeder: Jess Hankins, Arcadia, CA; Owner: Paul E. Waggoner, Vernon, TX Outstanding Offspring Muy Bueno Young, 6 HLT & 103 performance points;, '60 O Superior CUT Poco Bay, 39 HLT & 14 performance points;, '61 O AQHA Champ. Poco Bob, 51 HLT& 125 perf points; '61 4th NCHA O World Champion, '56 O AQHA Champ.; Superior HLT & CUT Poco Bow, 102 HLT & 85.5 performance points;, '61 O AQHA Champ.; Superior HLT & WP Poco Bow Tie, 45 HLT & 16.5 performance points;, '63 O AQHA Champ. Poco Champ, 54 HLT & 26 performance points;, '55 O AQHA Champ.; '56 O Superior HLT Poco Chata, 55 HLT & .5 performance points;, '60 O Superior HLT Poco Dell, 35 HLT & 15 performance points;, '57 O AQHA Champ. Poco Dias, 46 HLT & 33 performance points;, '63 O AQHA Champ. Poco Discount, 15 HLT & 38 performance points;, '64 O AQHA Champ. Poco Doll, 96 HLT & 17 performance points;, '55 O Superior HLT; '57 O AQHA Champ. Poco Enterprise, 20 HLT & 26 performance points;, '64 O AQHA Champ. Poco Gata, 15 HLT & 22 performance points;, '68 O AQHA Champ. Poco Hero, 8 HLT & 56.5 performance points;, '64 O Superior RN Poco Imprint, 22 HLT & 45.5 performance points;, '63 O AQHA Champ. Poco Jan, 103 HLT points;, '58 O Superior HLT Poco Jessie, 19 HLT & 89 performance points;, '63 O AQHA Champ.; '66 Superior CUT Poco Jet, 1 HLT & 76 performance points;, '56 O Superior RN Poco Lena, 174 HLT & 671 Perf. Pts; '54, '55, '59, '60 & '61 2nd NCHA O World Champion, '53 AQHA Champ.; Superior CUT & HLT; '91 AQHA Hall Of Fame Horse Poco Lola, 93 HLT & 8.5 performance points;, '60 O Superior HLT Poco Lon, 65 HLT & 4 performance points;, '61 O Superior HLT Poco Lynn, 83 HLT & 20 performance points;, '57 O AQHA Champ.; '58 O Superior HLT; '58 O HI PT HLT Poco Maria, 19 HLT & 9 performance points;, '55 O AQHA Champ. Poco Mccue, 12 HLT & 53 performance points;, '65 O Superior CUT Poco Merit, 75 HLT & 16.5 performance points;, '62 O Superior HLT; '67 O AQHA Champ. Poco Miss Denero, 118 HLT & 12.5 performance points;, '67 O AQHA Champ.; '67 Q Superior HLT Poco Mona, 47 HLT & 283 performance points; $49,654.98 NCHA, '55 AQHA Champ.; '55 Superior CUT; COA, Bronze, Silver, NCHA Hall of Fame Poco Nadine, 106 HLT & 14 performance points;, '58 O Superior HLT; '58 O AQHA Champ. Poco Nifty Lady, 36 HLT & 21.5 performance points;, '67 O AQHA Champ. Poco Ojos, 157 HLT & 16 performance points;, '60 O Superior HLT; '62 O AQHA Champ. Poco Pamlet, 31 HLT & 13.5 performance points;, '66 O AQHA Champ. Poco Panzarita, 74 HLT & 23.5 performance points;, '64 O AQHA Champ.; '64 O Superior HLT Poco Paul Dee, 41 HLT & 22 performance points;, '66 O AQHA Champ. Poco Pico, 14 HLT & 38 performance points;, '62 O AQHA Champ. Poco Pine, 135 HLT & 17 performance points;, '59 O Superior HLT; '60 O AQHA Champ. Poco Plato, 2 HLT & 58 performance points;, '65 O Superior CUT Poco Rico, 56 HLT & 3.5 performance points;, '63 O Superior HLT Poco Robin, 25 HLT & 60 performance points;, '61 O AQHA Champ.; '62 O Superior CUT Poco Sail, 118 HLT points;, '59 O Superior HLT Poco Speedy, 12 HLT & 42.5 performance points;, '57 O AQHA Champ. Poco Stampede, 104 HLT & 379 perf pts; '59 NCHA World Champ; '58 2nd NCHA O World Champ, '55 O AQHA Champ.; Superior CUT & HLT; HI PT CUT Poco Tianna, 41 HLT & 16 performance points;, '58 O AQHA Champ. Poco Tip, 16 HLT & 77 performance points;, '62 O AQHA Champ.; '66 O Superior CUT Poco Tivio, 12 HLT & 19 performance points; '51 & '52 5th NCHA O World Champion, '52 O AQHA Champ. Poco Today, 16 HLT & 31 performance points;, '65 O AQHA Champ. Poco Willy, 47 HLT & 14 performance points;, '58 O AQHA Champ. Pretty Boy Pokey, 89 HLT & 50 performance points;, '53 O AQHA Champ.; '54 O HI PT CR; '58 O Superior HLT Pretty Pokey, 9 HLT & 69 performance points;, '60 O HI PT WCH Foaled April 10, 1944. He was purchased by E. Paul Waggoner in 1945 for $5,700 and he stood 14.3 hands and weighed 1,150 pounds. His show career started when he was named champion yearling stallion at the Texas Cowboy Reunion Quarter Horse Show in Stamford. He was grand champion stallion in the '40's at Denver's National Western Stock Show, the Southwestern Exposition and Fat Stock Show in Fort Worth, State Fair of Texas in Dallas and the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City. As a 4-year-old, in 1948, Poco Bueno started his performance career as a cutting horse, and his amazing ability helped him to quickly acquire an impressive record - and a legion of fans. After AQHA started keeping show records in 1951, Waggoner sent Poco Bueno back out to earn the title of AQHA Champion, which he earned at the same time as his daughter, Poco Lena. Perhaps one of the most successful matings of Poco Bueno was that with a plain headed mare named Sheilwin. This produced the mares Poco Tivio and Poco Lena. Poco Lena was described as having the head of a princess and the rump of a washer woman. She was a legendary cutting horse and has been inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. Poco Tivio also contributed to the breed by giving us the foals Peponita, Doc's Lynx, Doc's Hotrodder, and Doc's Prescription. Poco Bueno sired 405 registered foals. Thirty-six became AQHA Champions. Poco Lena, Poco Mona, and Poco Stampede have all been inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame. Put Poco Bueno in a cutting arena and he became a blur of lighting-fast speed. He and his sire, King P-234, were destined to become one of the industry's most famous father/son teams.
(STORY) There probably is nowhere in equine history, where a father/son team are as well known and famous as that of King and Poco Bueno. Very few people will say where the fame of the father left off, and the fame of the son began, but almost all horsemen, with a knowledge of the working lines, agree that the two of them left a mark on the American Quarter Horse that will never be repeated. Poco Bueno was bred by the same Jess Hankins who had purchased and made famous King, and again his knowledge of quarter horses would lead to the mating of King with the mare known as Miss Taylor, who descended from Little Joe and Hickory Bill, a son of the immortal Peter McCue. Although Jess Hankins made the mistake of selling Poco Bueno as a long yearling, his bad luck was offset by the good luck of E. Paul Waggoner, who owned the famous Waggoner Ranch, in Vernon, Texas, and raised a lot of eyebrows when he paid the then high price of $5,700, for the young colt. When he was four years old, Poco Bueno started his career as a cutting horse, and never looked back, as he went on to be arguably the most famous cutting horse and cutting horse sire in quarter horse history. Along with his growing fame as a cutting horse, another name would become almost as famous as his, and that was Pine Johnson, the man who rode him almost exclusively as a cutting performer. Poco Bueno was retired from active competition at a young age because of the large number of mares in his breeding book. Rumor has it that at one time his standard fee was $5000, and it is a matter of record that he was the first quarter horse to be insured for $100,000. The old horse died in 1969, after siring 405 foals which were registered, and was buried standing upright on the Waggoner Ranch, where he had spent most of his adult life. Some of his most famous sons were Poco Bob, Poco Stampede, Poco Pine, Poco Tivio, and Poco Champ, plus many others who carried on his tradition of being both an athlete and a sire of performance horses.
Poco Lena 1949; Bay; Poco Bueno x Sheilwin Mare Show Record Hall of Fame, AQHA & NCHA Top Ten World Show, '53 4th NCHA World Champion; '54 2nd NCHA World Champion; '55 2nd NCHA World Champion; '56 4th NCHA World Champion; '57 5th NCHA World Champion; '58 5th NCHA World Champion; '59 2nd NCHA World Champion; '60 2nd NCHA World Champion; Superior Halter, Open Superior Performance, O CUT AQHA Champion, Open NCHA money-earner, COA, Bronze, Silver Total Points Earned: 845; Halter Points: 174; Perf Points: 671; NCHA Earnings: $99,820; Mare Offspring Record Hall of Fame Offspring, AQHA & NCHA Reserve World Champion Offspring Superior Performance Offspring ROM Performance Offspring NCHA Money-earners AQHA Offspring Record Total Points Earned: 98; Reg Foals: 2; Number Shown: 2; Performance Points Earned: 98; Performance Point Earners: 2; Performance ROMS: 1; Superior Performance Awards: 1; Total Superior Awards: 1; Total ROM's: 1; AQHA Offspr NCHA LTE: $107,140 Other Information '53 4th NCHA World Champion '54 2nd NCHA World Champion '55 2nd NCHA World Champion '56 4th NCHA World Champion '57 5th NCHA World Champion '58 5th NCHA World Champion '59 2nd NCHA World Champion '59 1st High Pt O CUT '60 High Pt O CUT '61 2nd NCHA World Champion '61 High Pt O CUT; '62 4th NCHA World Champion Outstanding Offspring Doc O'Lena, 2 Perf Pts, '71 3rd NCHA CUT Horse Derby; NCHA LTE: $21,991.93; '97 AQHA Hall of Fame Horse Dry Doc, '74 Res. World Champion O SR CUT; '75 O Superior CUT; '75 3rd World Show O Sr CUT; '76 2nd NCHA Finals Non-Pro, '78 5th NCHA World Champion; '78 2nd NCHA Finals Non-Pro; NCHA LTE: $85,148.16, COA, Bronze, Silver, NCHA Hall of Fame;
POCO LENA (STORY) The Princess By Bruce Beckmann Every once in a while, a horse comes along that is so beautifully conformed and so talented, yet so tragic, that it tugs at the hearts of even the most rough and tumble horsemen. Such was the case of Poco Lena. By the renowned Poco Bueno out of Sheilwin (see "Legends," January 1990 QHJ), the mare was bred at the Three D Stock Farm in Arlington, Texas. As a long yearling, she was placed in a group of 27 Poco Bueno foals that E. Paul Waggoner's ranch was offering for sale, but ranch manager Pine Johnson said, "She was too Thoroughbred looking - and everybody passed her by." Retained by the ranch, she was broken to saddle at 14 months by Andy Hensley. After accepting the weight of a rider, Johnson started her on cattle. "She was like a mischievous child," Johnson once said. "She couldn't stand still. She wasn't just nervous, but ambitious. She wanted to move - she had to move. The mare seemed to be saying, 'Just let me get into the center of that herd, and I'll show you what I can do." At 26 months, Poco Lena got her chance, and in her first official cutting at Stamford, Texas, she placed second. Johnson rode her later that year at the Texas State Fair, where the pair won the junior cutting. At Odessa,Texas, she won her class at halter. Throughout 1952, while the mare matured, Johnson sharpened her cutting skills and kept showing - and winning - in cutting and halter competition at some of the larger shows. The bay mare, which the Three Ds couldn't sell as a yearling, was now turning heads. One horseman whose head was turned was Don Dodge of Merced, California. Several years earlier, Dodge had bought Poco Tivio, the full-brother to Poco Lena, and had seen the younger sister at the Three Ds. As he relates today, "I saw Poco Lena when she was being broke at the Waggoner place. I saw her work one time there, and also saw her show at Dallas. She had tremendous action and a lot of interest in a cow." Early in 1953, Dodge negotiated to buy Poco Lena from the Three Ds, and took delivery of her at Denver. That year, he hauled her to 14 AQHA shows, and in those shows alone, she earned Superiors in cutting and halter, as well as an AQHA Championship. Additionally, Dodge showed Poco Lena in National Cutting Horse Association contests in 1953, earning a total of $5,354 - good enough for fourth place in the NCHA world standings. At the time, however, he was concentrating his efforts on another horse, Snipper W, which he'd bought from the Three Ds. With the gelding, he won the 1953 NCHA world championship. The next year, Dodge focused on Poco Lena as his hope for a second world championship. Standing a scant 15 hands and weighing 1,200 pounds, Poco Lena was rather big for a cutter, but with uncommon speed and agility in her favor, she won more than her share of AQHA and NCHA cuttings. The trick with training and showing her, Dodge remembered, was keeping the "edge" off of her. "She was a very nervous mare. She had a lot of try, and she took a lot of riding to settle her down so she would hang tough. With her, you didn't want to overdo things, because she was so strong and so tough, and had so much sting." Dodge often called on her to use those abilities. "In those days, you only had one turnback rider," Dodge explained. "You had to go and get cattle yourself, instead of having turnback men work your cattle for you. Nowadays, you have two herd holders who bunch the cows away from the fence - which makes it easier to make a cut - and two turnback men to hold a cow in the center. They make a big deal today about holding a cow in the center, but the only cow that will be held in the center is one that wants to be held. I don't care how many turnback men you have, if the cow wants back in that herd, she'll go. With only one turnback, it's even harder to hold a cow, unless you have a good horse." And Poco Lena was a good one. Willard Porter, former editor of The Quarter Horse Journal, provided this account of the sheer artistry of her performances. "Into a crowd of cattle she would go - eager, ready, expectant. And when she got after them, eyeball to eyeball, the clods would fly and, more often than not, the critters would be the first to weaken. She simply was too much for livestock. She may well have been the most 'watched' cutting horse of all time. Everybody loved her because she had a head like a princess and a rump like a washer woman. She was a queen and a commoner all at the same time." In 1954, the queen almost won a crown - Poco Lena and Dodge finished second in the NCHA world standings, with $9,981 in earnings. They pushed harder in 1955, and by the time the big Cow Place cutting came along they were ahead of Milt Bennett and Nooky by $27. Then, misfortune came. "She was in the lead after the first go," Dodge recalled, "when she colicked on some straw bedding. We had a doctor at Davis (University of California at Davis) operate on her. They didn't know if they could save her or not. There was a mass near her sternum that finally broke up. After that, she was fine." Poco Lena finished 1955 as NCHA's reserve world champion for the second consecutive year. After several months rest, she returned to the cutting pen with Dodge at Odessa. He showed her only sparingly in '56, but the pair still managed a fourth-place finish in the NCHA world standings. The mare was getting older, so he slacked up on her show schedule. He took her to only three AQHA shows in '57, and fewer NCHA cuttings, but the pair still managed a fifth-place finish in the NCHA world standings, a feat they would repeat in 1958. Picking up the Pace That year, B.A. Skipper of Longview, Texas, - the rider who placed fourth in the NCHA standings aboard Poco Mona in 1957 - began asking Dodge if he would consider selling Poco Lena. Enriched by oil money, and a fancier of fine cutting horses, Skipper was bound and determined to own cutting's most famous mare. Early in 1959, he got his wish. With Skipper calling the shots, Poco Lena's show schedule picked up. In 1958, Dodge had shown the mare in nine AQHA shows - in '59, Skipper hauled the 10-year-old to 40 AQHA shows in addition to NCHA cuttings. But Skipper's tactics got results, as Poco Lena won the AQHA Honor Roll in 1959 and finished reserve in the NCHA world standings. The following year, Skipper showed Poco Lena in 50 AQHA shows and a number of NCHA cuttings. For the second consecutive year, Poco Lena won the AQHA Honor Roll and finished runner-up in NCHA's world standings. By May 1961, the 12-year-old Poco Lena had earned 174 AQHA halter points and more than 500 cutting points. Skipper, however, wasn't interested in halter. Cutting was his game, and after May, Poco Lena was shown exclusively in that event. She made 57 AQHA shows that year, striking again with a third consecutive AQHA high-point cutting title and a third consecutive second-place finish in NCHA's standings, with more than $12,000 in earnings. But the road was taking its toll on the princess. She foundered badly, but recovered well enough to show. By mid-1962, she was back in the hunt for AQHA's high-point and NCHA's world championship. In late September, she was nearing $100,000 in NCHA earnings and had logged some 670 points in AQHA cuttings. Then, tragedy struck Skipper and Poco Lena. After winning a cutting aboard Poco Lena at Douglas, Arizona, September 30, Skipper hired a driver to take the mare back to Texas while he flew back in his private plane. October 1, Skipper's plane disappeared in East Texas. Four days later, searchers found the crash site and Skipper's body. In the confusion of those four days, the driver Skipper hired vanished, and during that time, Poco Lena stood in the trailer. By the time she was discovered, she was severely foundered and would never cut again. Dodge heard about the incident and told Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Jensen in California about it. The Jensens, who were standing a promising young stallion named Doc Bar, decided to buy Poco Lena. Ranch manager Charlie Ward, who married the Jensens' daughter, Stephanie, said, "When she got here, she was in such bad shape that they considered putting her down." Two veterinarians came to Poco Lena's rescue and began treating her laminitis. The mare, who was once the strongest cutter in the game, spent her days resting carefully in the Jensens' front yard, as it was the softest spot available for her crippled feet. For three years, she grazed among the shade trees and slowly returned to favorable health. In 1966, she was bred to Doc Bar, and the mating worked. She foaled a stout bay colt, who was named Doc O'Lena. She rebred quickly to Doc Bar, and in 1968, the 19-year-old delivered another sturdy bay colt named Dry Doc. But the second foaling was not without consequence. "She went downhill after foaling Dry Doc," Ward recalled. "It was just too much for her." After weaning Dry Doc in fall 1968, at age 19, Poco Lena was humanely put down. In the intervening years since Poco Lena was put to sleep at the Jensens' ranch, a number of occurrences have taken place that further attested to the mare's greatness. First came Doc O'Lena's triumph in the 1970 NCHA Futurity, followed by Dry Doc's sweep of all go-rounds of the Futurity in '71. Granddaughter Lenaette, by Doc O'Lena, swept the 1975 NCHA Futurity, and seven years later, Smart Little Lena, also by Doc O'Lena, became NCHA's all-time leading money earner and the first horse to win NCHA's triple crown. In the ensuing years, the get of Doc O'Lena and Dry Doc have earned millions in NCHA's cutting pens, as well as AQHA World Championships. The get of both stallions have also sired horses whose own offspring have earned millions. Smart Little Lena is the all-time leading sire of cutting horses. Recognizing Greatness As for Poco Lena, she became the first horse inducted into NCHA's Hall of Fame. Dodge admitted to comparing all other inductees with the great mare. "I rode Peponita, Peppy San, Fizzabar and Snipper W (all Hall of Famers)," he said. "But, she was the best one of all." As irresolvable as such arguments are, however, there are certain facts about Poco Lena that seem more and more beyond question. There are the 671 cutting points, and more importantly, the manner in which she earned them. Then there are 174 halter points. She won nearly $100,000 in NCHA earnings, during years when less than $15,000, more often than not, won a world championship. There are three consecutive AQHA Honor Roll cutting titles, beginning in Poco Lena's 10th year, and five NCHA reserve world championships, ending in her 12th. And, the delivery of two of cutting's greatest performers, who have left a legacy of cutting horses that have earned millions and countless championships. But perhaps the most undeniable fact came from Dodge himself. As he simply stated, "Horses like her - well, they don't come along very often."