Appaloosa Stallion

Registration:  ApHC #209817
Foaled:  May 8, 1973
Died:    April 6, 1998
Color:   Dun with blanket

The Executive
The Executive - 1993 ApHC Hall of Fame inductee.

The Appaloosa industry was saddened by the loss of another Appaloosa Great Spirit, The Executive, April 6, 1998. Peacefully passing away in his sleep, this Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Famer left a lasting impression on the breed. Forever paired in our minds with Lew Eklund, this outstanding stallion put himself in elite company.

Foaled May 8, 1973, at C. T. Hall's Kersey, Colorado, ranch, the stallion was first named Dial Bright Three. He changed hands six times before being purchased by Eklund from Kay and Bart Stevenson. Eklund, who'd been researching bloodlines in his endeavors to improve his stock, knew the heavily chromed dun colored stallion, by Dial Bright Too and out of Dial Right Time, was just what he was looking for. Eklund sent the stallion to George Minic for fitting and showing, and it was while with Minic that The Executive came to earn a new name.

In a November 1991 Appaloosa Journal interview, Eklund recalled how Dial Bright Three became The Executive. "George said, 'The horse needs a name of his own. If he's good enough to make it on his own, then he deserves to have the credit as a sire and not just as a son of Dial Bright Too...'" Finally settling on The Executive, borrowing the model name from the Eklunds' motor home, they set the stage for success.

In all, The Executive sired 297 foals, his first crop hitting the ground in 1977. Before his passing this spring, he settled two more mares at Goose and Jeri Ballard's Vale, North Carolina, ranch with a mare arriving from Oregon to be bred to him just days earlier. To date, his offspring have earned 54 bronze medallions, one silver medallion, 2,263.5 performance points, 2,963 halter points, seven halter superior events, three performance superior events, six Club championships, four versatility championships, a ROM in racing and one of his get set an all-breed track record in Australia. He became one of only four horses, joining Rock Star, Goer and Roman's Straw Man, to earn the ApHC performance sire certificate.

The Executive's foals have been sold around the world to numerous foreign countries. His more famous get include the likes of Cash Advance, The Cover Girl, Ten-X, My Kinda girl, Casino Royale I, The Mountain Mama, The Pin-Up Girl, Hart to Hart, Quarter Century, Miss Executive, My Girl Friday, Miss Breeze Bar, ExCountry Doctor, The Governess, Mr Mystique, Executive Gold AA, The Reporter, World Preview, Execunique, The Gipper, Champagne & Roses, The Organizer, She's Elegant, My Kissin Cousin, Buttercup Seven, Perfect Example, The Secretary, Gunsmokes Draw, The Real Stuff, The King, The Eighties Lady and The Immigrant. His get have been successful in jumping, halter, side saddle, saddle seat, reining, Western and hunt seat pleasure, roping, barrels, poles and working stock horse classes. Gunsmokes Draw won a National Championship in the American Team Ropers Association. Two Hall of Fame mares, Spanish Viento (producer of six medallion winners), and Miss Apache (producer of five medallion winners), earned their titles by bearing foals exclusively by The Executive.

His own show career was just as impressive. Shown my Minic in 1975, The Executive won every class he entered but one, in which he stood reserve, and became National champion two-year-old stallion. Turning from the show pen to the breeding barn, Eklund began an exclusive breeding program around the stallion. Breeding The Executive to only a few outside mares in the pair's early years, Eklund closed The Executive's books early on to concentrate on specific goals. A strong believer in crossbreeding, Eklund matched The Executive with the bloodlines of Doc Bar, Impressive and Skipa Star -- always careful to preserve athletic ability and good minds. This selection process has proven itself in the consistent production abilities passed on to his sons, daughters, and grand get.

Then, in 1990, when the Eklunds decided to simplify things, they turned to long-time friends Goose and Jeri Ballard. The Ballards, who'd been training horses for the Eklunds for eight years, were flattered, overwhelmed and honored. Understanding Eklund's goals for his stock, the Ballards leased 22 Appaloosas, including The Executive, and continued his well-tailored breeding program.

Over the past few years, The Executive was treated with the respect due an Appaloosa icon. Free to roam his own paddock at will, he enjoyed a constant companion in Miss Marg, dam of My Kinda Girl, until her passing at the ripe old age of 27 -- after bearing her last foal by The Executive. On occasion, the Ballards would ask him to manner a yearling colt or two in his domain, to which he would oblige with patience and wisdom. Those colts would emerge from school with a gentleness and trainability that was The Executive's trademark. He never lost his ability to sense the right time to settle a mare, with very few mares over the years needing to be bred more than once. The Ballard's veterinarian even came to ask, "Let's see what the Exec says about this mare." He continued to sire winners until the end as a daughter of his, Ms Cheyenne Lea, took seven halter grands and one reserve at the Carolina Classic Show in Raleigh, North Carolina, the very weekend before his death. And through it all, The Executive never lost his love and respect for people. Passing while the Eklunds were in North Carolina for their yearly visit to see the foals, he waited for them to be with him at the end as they'd been together since the beginning.

{This article and photograph were originally published in the Appaloosa Journal, June 1998, Vol 52, No. 6, "Great Spirits Hall of Famer The Executive Passes" and is used here by permission.}

Copyright © 1998 Appaloosa Horse Club. All rights reserved.

go to index ApHC Hall of Fame Horses The Executive's Pedigree Comments
or Inquiries

Web Pages by Daniels