Appaloosa Mare

Registration:  ApHC #T-98301
Foaled:  January 14, 1968
Died:     1998
Color:   Bay roan

Spanish Viento
Spanish Viento
"More Than Just A Pretty Figure"
{Thanks to Johanne Vézina for locating the photo}
(photo credit Appaloosa News)

Bred by Leo Stanton, Spanish Viento was sired by Joker Spanish Fort and out of the Quarter Horse mare, High Wind. Orphaned as a foal, her future was uncertain as she, "... wandered the alleyways of race horse barns at the fairgrounds in Salt Lake City, Utah, bumming grain from the trainers," said Lew Ekland, her owner for most of her life.

Spanish Viento first caught Eklund's attention in 1971 when he saw the 3-year-old filly at a show in Spanish Fork, Utah, where she won grand champion mare as well as the western pleasure and junior reining classes. He made an offer to buy her and eventually got her in November of 1972.

Mr. Eklund continued to show the mare and she became a champion show horse, winning in halter, western pleasure, English pleasure, reining, working cow horse, and cutting, as she always impressed the judges with her balance and athleticism. In the early 1970s, she showed in a regional circuit, featuring all breeds. During one part of the show, Spanish Viento was matched only with other Appaloosas; later in the show, competition was opened up to all breeds. "Within this format, she never lost in reining against the other breeds," Eklund says. "And often she would come away with western pleasure as well. "She was the second Appaloosa to win a bronze with the National Reining Horse Association.

Lew Eklund didn't recall the name of the company, but he sure won't forget its findings from several years ago. "There was this outfit going around measuring horses and using the computations to figure the perfectly balanced horse," he says. Eklund remembers they measured more than 15,000 horses and used these numbers in a book that catalogued the different horses and offered breeders potential matches for future breedings. The company concluded, in print, that one of the two best-balanced horses measured was an Appaloosa mare bred by Leo Stanton and owned by Lew Eklund: Spanish Viento.

Proving that her beauty is "more than skin deep," Spanish Viento went on to produce champions. Like their dam, "They have all been really good stock and reining horses, plus very good-looking athletes," remarked Eklund. Her first foal, Poco Viento (foaled in 1974), was named the highest-pointed Appaloosa at the California Reined Cow Horse Snaffle Bit Futurity in 1977.

Except for two foals, she was bred exclusively to Eklund's stallion, The Executive (ApHC Hall of Fame 1993). In addition to The Cover Girl, one of the first horses campaigned by the Eklunds, My Girl Friday, The Secretary, and The Pinup Girl -- full sisters who -- and their full brother, The Gipper, all won medallions under the saddle of Nebraska trainer Jim Jirkovsky. "I've thought about going to another stallion," Eklund says, "but not very long. Why would I want to mess with success."

"Spanish Viento was such a natural athlete that after she had been retired to the broodmare band for several years, I made a bet the night before a show that we could bring her in from the pasture and win a working cowhorse or reining class. She did it, winning both classes in spite of arriving at the show just in time to jump out of the trailer and go into the class without even warming up," said Eklund.

A quick look at some of the horses in her pedigree reveals that she came by her good looks and performance ability honestly. Both of Spanish Viento's grandsires sport some fairly impressive horses, such as Clabber, Three Bars, Plaudit, Rainy Day, Joe Hancock (sire of Triangle 13), and the old sire Possum (or King) appears twice.

Although retired to pasture, Spanish Viento leaves a legacy carried on by the likes of her grandson, The Status Symbol (out of The Cover Girl), another winner producing winners.

Spanish Viento was inducted in the the Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame in 1992. She passed away in 1998.

Sources for some of the information in this article include Appaloosa Journal articles from the June 1991 and March 1993 editions.

Joe Daniels
January 2000
revised Jan 2002

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