Kerry Bradac took one look at Open For Suggestion, a 2007 red roan stallion by Openrange and out of Fancy China, and thought to herself “I have to have him.”
“I fell in love with him as an individual the moment I laid eyes on him,” Bradac said. “When I saw his foals, I was sold.”
That’s saying a lot since Bradac is no rookie when it comes to owning breeding horses. She purchased an AQHA mare by the name of Jodie Fivette from the Leroy Chase Estate in California in 1997 and hauled her to the Schroeder Ranch to breed to Blazing Hot. The following year, Hot Diggity Joe was born and over the next decade he earned 499 AQHA points, a Congress Championship as well as multiple AQHA Top 5 finishes and Superior awards.
Bradac launched his breeding career in 2000 and to date his foals have earned over 1,880 AQHA points and logged over $20,000 in National Snaffle Bit Association earnings.
So, when Bradac saw “something special” in Open For Suggestion in 2013, she just knew he would be a successful breeding horse.
He had already proven himself in the show arena, placing fifth in the 2009 Congress Masters Western Pleasure and 10th in the 3-Year-Old Open Western Pleasure at the Reichert Celebration the following year and recording over $10,000 in earnings.
But Bradac was more impressed with how he was stamping his foals.
“The biggest thing he puts on his babies is a hind end and strong topline,” she said. “He also adds a lot of substance and bone to his foals.”
Open For Suggestion has not disappointed her. From his very first foal crop, Sexy Suggestions, a 2012 chestnut stallion out of BC Truly Impressive, was a finalist in both the Limited and Open divisions of the Coughlin 2-Year-Old Western Pleasure at the 2014 Congress.
In 2015 Brian Cox and Abbrakadabra, a red roan stallion, were Co-Reserve Champions in the Congress Masters Western Pleasure and 11th in the 2-Year-Old Western Pleasure at the AQHA World Show.
Open For Suggestion only sired a total of 11 foals by 2014. In those first two years standing him to the public Bradac attracted the attention of some of the industry’s leaders.
“It has been a whirlwind the past couple of years,” Bradac said. “Not only did we book some of the industry’s best mares, we have worked with and had the support of some of the industry’s most influential and successful breeders, including May Kay Steyskal, BSBR11, Gumz Farms, Haylo Farms, Pittman Ranch and Pryor Ranch to name a few.”
“The largest foal crop by Open For Suggestion are now 2-year-olds,” Bradac said. “The feedback that we have been getting from both professional trainers and non-pros is that they are great minded and very trainable. They also can’t get over how strong they are and how easy it is to carry themselves at the lope.”
Bradac is especially excited about Queen Of Suggestions, a 2015 red roan filly she raised out of RL My Pretty Sudden. She is being prepared and will be shown by Tyler Achtenhagen. In addition, Kenny and Ashley Lakins will be showing Good Girl Gone Wild, Michael Vargo’s 2013 sorrel mare out of BC Truly Impressive, in the Green Western Pleasure.
Bradac will have a total of eight Open For Suggestion foals born at her Bradac Ranch South in Ocala, Florida this year. Four have already arrived and four more are due this month.
She is just as excited about those being born to customers who believed enough in Open For Suggestion to breed their mares to him.
“With every new foal born, so are new hopes and dreams,” she said. “There is nothing more rewarding than watching a foal you have raised go on and be successful in the show pen. The success is wonderful, but seeing their owners doing well and making their own memories is the best feeling in the world.”
This year, Bradac is trying something different. The Equine Medical Center of Ocala is located minutes from her own facility and reproductive specialist Dr. Fred Benker is handling all of the collections.
“I made a very last minute decision to haul in to collect my stallion this breeding season instead of keeping him at the breeding farm,” Bradac said. “So far I am very happy. I like being able to keep my stallion at home and this seems to be working out well. It is time commitment, but I am enjoying working directly with my customers.”
It’s also providing Bradac the opportunity to really get to know her stallion.
“He has a very mischievous personality. He is a definite prankster,” she said. He has never met a pair of bell boots he couldn’t remove and fling over the fence. He is the master at deflating his jolly ball and submerging it in his water bucket. He loves to play. He is such an easy stallion to have around. He is very kind and actually very sensitive. Since he is living on the farm during breeding season, we are leaving him outside as much as we can and he is enjoying being just a horse.”
Open For Suggestion’s 2017 stud fee is $2,650 with considerations given to proven producers and show mares.
“I am one that is not out there pushing breedings. I haven’t had to,” Bradac said. “We have been fortunate enough to breed some of the greatest mares in the industry…Ona Good Impulse, Huntin Tee Time, Ima Cool Robin, Gota Be In Fashion, Blondes Are Hot, Chocolate Only, Radically Fired Up, Huntin A Cowboy, This Ladys Complete, Always Invite Holly, Ima Blonde Investment to name a few.
Bradac is not concerned with how many foals end up on her stallion’s breeding report but puts more focus on how many make it to the show pen.
“I have a horse I believe in whole heartedly, and I am going to do everything I can to protect his value as a breeding horse and the value of his foals,” she said. “We do limit his book to 50-65 outside mares.”
Open For Suggestion has been enrolled in the AQHA Incentive Fund, APHA Breeder’s Trust, NSBA, NSBA BCF, Premier Quarter Sires, Tom Powers, Southern Belle and Iowa Breeder’s.
I am very selective about where we donate our breedings and what programs we support,” Bradac said. “We choose five programs every year…Tom Powers, NSBA, Southern Belle, PQS and the Iowa SSA.”
Bradac always enjoys hearing from mare owners about new foals and plans for the future. Dave Davis, farm manager, is busy getting several yearlings prepared for Longe Line events this year. If you are in the Ocala area, Bradac said Davis would be happy to show them to visitors. Just call him at (352) 209-8563.
Hot Diggity Joe is still standing at stud as well, to a very limited number of mares. His 2017 stud fee is $1,750 and his foals are eligible for the AQHA Incentive Fund and NSBA BCF.
For additional information on Open For Suggestion or Hot Diggity Joe visit www.bradacranchsouth.com. You can also reach Kerry Bradac at (406) 670-2497.