Against all odds, Gay Bars Silver made it. The first two years of his life were a roller coaster; of course, he never got the memo so he just kept moving forward day-by-day. Here are some of the hurdles Gay Bars Silver, “Silver” had to muddle through, just to be born:
1. His sire: Gay Bars Jess was 24; sperm was rated poor. “Silver” was his very last foal.
2. His dam: Silver Roxie was 18; had skipped a year and slipped her last pregnancy.
3. Vet determined only a 50/50 chance of conception.
4. His dam needed daily “progesterone” in order for her to stay in foal.
5. Gay Bars Silver was born at 319 days, dam was void of any milk.
Despite these hurdles Gay Bars Silver foaled on Mother’s Day May 14, 2000. A mere year later was when Mr. Kincaid decided he didn’t want his wife or kids and abandoned his family. Those were desperate times. There was not enough money for food much less taking care of horses, so Liz sold some horses then tried to give away the rest. Mrs. Kincaid tried to GIVE yearling Silver away…. Then another miracle happened, Melissa Powell graciously took Gay Bars Silver into her care and Liz was able to keep him. Melissa kept Silver for over a year, but in her care he grew into a lovely two-year-old ready for training. Melissa was brilliant with horses; they came away confidant and with an easy handle to them. Silver was first sent to a reining trainer, but was highly encouraged to try cutting. Mrs. Kincaid knew nothing about cutting.
Silver landed with Mike Combs, a cutting trainer who worked with Silver for several months and marveled at his ability to “get” things and understand what was asked of him. You didn’t need to show him more than once; he had a ‘want to’ mentality to please. Silver was sent to Mike in July, by this time the rest of the two year olds had been in training working the flag and/or on cattle for many months. Silver was no less than six months behind in any kind of cattle work. One year later Mike mentioned Silver should be entered into the Appaloosa Cutting Horse Association cutting futurity. Most people would find it a fool’s errand to put a three-year-old stallion, with a total of sixteen months training on cattle, into a Cutting Futurity. With “realistically” low expectations, Gay Bars Silver competed in the Futurity anyway—and won. His total score was 429 with his highest score being a 73!!
There were still mountains to climb and some difficulties actually came from other stallion owners. One told Liz to geld Silver (that figures doesn’t it?) Foreign interests called about Silver, as it turns out, they were told to call by American stallion owners that had to compete against Silver (were they scared?) But, Gay Bars Silver was never gelded and he was never sold, he stayed with Liz Kincaid his entire life. Liz saw to it first hand that he had a great life. Silver deserved it, he earned it and his pedigree demanded it.
Liz endlessly asked Silver to prove that his Futurity Championship wasn’t a one-time wonder and he did with ease. Silver’s show wins are as follows: These do not include his Area 9 NCHA and ACHA competitions.
• ApCHA Open 3 yr old Futurity World Champion
• ApHC Jr. Cutting Reserve National Champion
• ApHC Jr. Cutting World Champion
• ApCHA Derby World Champion
• ApHC Novice NP National Champion
• ApHC Jr. Cutting World Champion
At four, Silver was sent to the breeding shed. Liz knew Silver could sire cutters, but could/would he be a sire of versatility? She considered that a very important asset in a stallion. With the first foal crop in 2005, Liz decided to keep Gunna Go N Gitem, a beautiful gelding out of an ApHC National Champion reining mare. Silver was a Champion cutting horse, but to be worth keeping as a stallion he needed to be a Champion sire; a sire of versatility would be icing on the cake. Gunna Go N Gitem was sent to Clint Haverty for reining training. For Silver to break into the reining pen would be a big deal… especially since he was the come out of no where champion at his cutting Futurity. Winners win, but can they sire winners? Liz was determined to prove that this particular winner could; not only in cutting, but other classes, many many other classes. It started with Gunna Go N Gitem entering the ApRHA 2008 Open Reining Futurity and winning over $6700 in cash. And it didn’t stop there.
From the very first foal crop to show in 2008 through today, Gay Bars Silver has sired a champion or reserve champion in some event. Silver did exactly what Liz thought he could do. Silver babies have made appearances at open roping events and open barrel races, team pennings and even mounted shooting. They are treasured as trail horses and trusted mounts for the grandkids. As of this writing, Silver has sired 9 halter point earners (124.5 total), 10 earning their ROMS in various events (20 ROMS total) and 9 Bronze Medallion winners, 14 Bronzes total. According to Equistat, Silver foals have earned over $45,330. The money listed on Equistat does not include the more than $6000 won by a team penning gelding by Gay Bars Silver; Silver Struck Gold. Gay Bars Silver has sired halter winners, cutters, reiners, WCH, ropers, team penners, mounted shooting, Hunter In Hand, English, all the Ranch Classes, Boxing, speed events and many other equine genres.
In 2017 Gay Bars Silver was humanely laid to rest at his own plot in Boyd, Texas. Silver had suffered a ligament injury at the age of four but continued to cut till he was six. When the injury was discovered, the vet was in shock that the stallion was even able to walk. Silver had literally been giving his all, on three legs. The vet explained that the horse had to have been in excruciating pain; Silver had a heart that big, if we asked him he was going to do his dead level best to deliver. Silver was retired from the cutting pen immediately, taken home to TOP Appaloosas where he could keep an eye on his mares and live an easy life. Liz hand bred Silver to the mares that came to him, most times, all by herself, Silver was that easy to get along with. She still smiles when remembering, yet another competitor, who said Silver, was going to kill her. Silver was a true gentleman who responded instantly to any command given by his handlers and Liz handled him for the last 11 years of his life by herself.
Gay Bars Silver has sons and daughters in Germany and Australia thanks to frozen semen and still has plenty of frozen semen available in the United States. The little yellow horse with a blanket, Gay Bars Silver, brought great joy, happiness and pride to Liz. He never knew what predicaments he was in, he never blinked an eye, he would just keep on keeping on and take whatever life had to hand him. Liz learned a lot from that great stallion. Never give up for one and always, ALWAYS try your best… She can see him in most every one of his foals. She is proud that Gay Bars Silver helped to bring such great athletes to the breed she loves, the Appaloosa. She remembers long ago an old timer telling her, “…the mark of a great stallion, was not that he could win hundreds of awards, but that he could sire as good or better than himself.” Silver certainly hit that mark, with the ease and grace of a true Champion. Gay Bars Silver was and will always be one of the biggest blessings in her life.
Gay Bars Silver is a two time Hall Of Famer and deservedly so. He is in the Appaloosa Cutting Horse Association Hall Of Fame and also in the very prestigious Appaloosa Hall Of Fame. There are people who buy a Silver baby then come back for more. Some folks have sold out of their horses, but will keep the one Silver baby because they are too good to sell. Silver didn’t always pass on his color but he most always passed on his big heart and athletic try that is the hallmark of his pedigree. Everything was against this horse, starting with his very conception, born to a lady who didn’t really know what “cutting” was then to have to endlessly prove himself in the show ring then as a sire. And Silver did it all with ease, day-by-day like the Champion he was born to be. ~