Appaloosa Stallion

Registration:  ApHC #T-199760
Foaled:  1972
Died:     October 31, 1992
Color:    Red roan

High Sign
High Sign, ridden by Jack Hennig
(Photo courtesy of Appaloosa Journal)

High Sign is remembered for his athletic ability, legendary stop and the silky white mane which cloaked his body as he spun his way into the Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame. Trainer Jack Hennig (inducted into the ApHC Hall of Fame in 1999) of Zolfo Springs, Florida, and the 1972 red roan stallion racked up more than 54 World and National titles and 315.5 ApHC points in reining, cutting, judged and timed roping, working cow horse, trail and several other events during their 15-year partnership.

Thomas M. Chastain bred High Sign, who was by High Time and out of Little Naz (AQHA). High Time was a good-looking, blue roan 1961 stallion that stood about 14.3 hands and showed his remarkable ability under the training and showing by Jack Hennig. He was the 1964 ApHC World Champion Reining Horse and with his conformation also won points in halter classes. Hennig showed the colt in various classes such as working cow horse, cutting, trail, reining, and calf roping and remarked that he didn't take him to a rodeo or roping competition where they didn't place.

Brothers Ira and Michael Bregman of Hialeah, Florida, had a cattle operation and were more familiar with Quarter horses, but thought they might go in together and buy some Appaloosas. It was Ira who attended a production sale at the Chastain ranch. However, rather than bringing home several horses, he bought one -- a young stallion named High Sign. The trip back home for Ira was probably one of mixed emotions as he worried about what his brother would say about their investment being placed on one horse.

Apparently Ira survived the explanation to his brother, Michael, and went to work breaking the sturdy, two-year-colt. High Sign proved to be a willing and able learner and even with many years of riding experience, Ira soon realized that he needed someone who could continue the young horse's education. The Bregmans sent him to Rick Vee, a local professional trainer, where the horse's natural abilities were further cultivated. For a couple of years, Rick and High Sign won several reining events and pleasure classes. Rick had done a good job with the young horse, but the brothers decided they needed a trainer who could help High Sign realize his potential. This led them to Jack Hennig, a trainer they knew only by his excellent reputation with reining and roping horses. It wasn't until some time later that they found out about Jack Hennig's connection with High Sign's sire, High Time.

Jack and High Sign proved to be a winning combination when, after little more than a month of training together, the duo won the champion performance horse title at the Dixie Nationals. In 1983, 11-year-old High Sign was named ApHC Versatility Champion. And it was only appropriate that at the 50th ApHC World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that High Sign won his 50th world/national title. During that show he was honored with a special ceremony in which he was presented with roses, a silver bowl, and a magnum of champagne. (I don't know who finally wound up with the champagne.)

High Sign can also lay claim to two Superior Event Horse titles in senior reining and timed calf roping. Their relationship continued to evolve as they represented the breed in open and Appaloosa competition, winning two National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) bronze trophies, back-to-back in 1988 and 1989.

The 1979 AQHA All American Quarter Horse Congress Open Calf Roping Classic brings back special, gratifying memories to Jack. It was a futurity class, open to all breeds. With very few Appaloosas competing at that time, Jack Hennig and High Sign were very easily spotted and more than a few quarter horse folks cast non-approving looks. One hundred twenty-three horses were competing for the $5,000 prize money. Winning over some of the most valuable Quarter horses in the country was a great accomplishment, but even more so by having done it on this highly colored Appaloosa.

Jack described High Sign as a once-in-a-lifetime horse who had a calm and gentle personality. The stallion behaved well in public and never let mares distract him during performances. "At rodeos I'd tie him to the fence just like any gelding," Jack says.

High Sign sired a total of 81 horses that won more than 809 performance points, one performance superior event horse title, two versatility championships and 13 bronze medallions. His offspring continue his legacy winning national and world championships in 1999, while they in turn are siring cow horses and reining horses that will set the standard in 2000 and beyond.

High Sign died due to intestinal problems on October 31, 1992, at the age of 20, just before he and Jack were to give a special reining exhibition at the World Show.

In 1992, High Sign was inducted into the Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame.

Here is an interesting tidbit about High Sign's sire, High Time:
At the first annual Mansfield Comanche Breeders Sale, held at the Will Rogers Coliseum, Fort Worth, Texas, on November 10, 1962, as reported in the January 1963 Appaloosa News,""Lot 14 -- High Time, 1961 stallion by High Spot; consigned by J. V. Miller, Plainview, Texas; sold to Paul Richardson, Dallas, Texas -- $1,550.....Paul Richardson, the buyer of lot 14, High Time a yearling stallion, sold him within a few minutes after the sale was completed for $2,250 or a profit of $700."

Joe Daniels
January 2000

Copyright © 1999-2000 All rights reserved.

{Sources for some of the above information include:
an article by Michelle Berg, published in the Appaloosa Journal, May 1999, Vol 53, No. 5. and,
a horseman from south Florida, known to the Appaloosa and reining world as Mr. Jack Hennig.}

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Some of High Sign's descendants

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