"Reprinted with permission from Today's Horse Magazine, 866-70-HORSE"


By Bev Pechan
The great broodmare and dam of champions, Casey’s Charm, died at age 25, November 23, 2003. Remembered by many as the dam of Kristie Peterson’s barrel whiz “ Bozo,” Casey’s Charm produced a total of 14 foals – many of which made a name for themselves, their owners and the Loiseau family breeding program: one that has selectively concentrated on maintaining a top broodmare band with the goal of raising outstanding performance horses.

Casey’s Charm, whose maternal genes earned nearly $3 million in barrels, arena and sales, was a 1978 blaze-faced chestnut mare, who stood only about 14.2, said Lis (Loiseau) Hollmann, who was caring for the mare at the time of her death and had swapped ownership with her mother, Frances Loiseau, a couple of times. She was sired by the stallion Tiny Circus, campaigned by Tim McQuay in the Twin Cities area. Her dam, Casey’s LadyLove, was by Casey’s Poco, and it was this mare that began the Loiseau dynasty of quarter horses. All of the horses in the Loiseau program are descendants of Casey’s LadyLove.

What attracted Frances Loiseau to the appendix two-year-old at a Minnesota auction in the first place? “I liked her color … she had a nice head and a big rear end, even at that age,” Frances Loiseau said. She and her husband, Jim, had inspected the filly before the sale, but he wasn’t sitting with her when the youngster came into the ring. Frances bid, and won Casey’s LadyLove for a little over $700 – a high price for an unproven animal in 1963. When Jim returned to the bleachers, Frances recalled, she told him she had purchased the filly. “Good for you,” he said. Casey’s LadyLove was rich in Poco Bueno blood, and was a “sweet, gentle mare,” Frances said. Her daughter, Barbara, would also race her. “If she ran last, she could pick up the slack – she never got hot,” Frances said of the mare’s calm nature. Her breeder, Virgil Ningen, raised top western pleasure horses – including a full sister, Our Goldie, who was an AQHA Supreme Halter Mare.

“Mom thought she (Casey’s LadyLove) was the most beautiful mare she ever saw,” daughter Lis said. “She had incredible speed” … “she was open one year after eight or ten colts and we rodeoed on her. All summer we goat-tied, [we] headed on her … she was a flag horse. She loved to work cattle,” she said.

“Casey’s LadyLove’s daughters were good producers,“ Lis said. Frenchman’s Lady produced Frenchman’s Guy, owned by Bill and Deb Myers of St. Onge, South Dakota. The palomino stallion, whose get have won nearly half a million dollars to date, was the nation’s number one Barrel Futurity Sire in 2001 and stood number five in the nation in 2002 as a top sire of barrel horses.

Tiny Circus was successfully shown in the region, and was a son of Tiny Watch by Anchor Watch (TB), and out of Circus Bars, who traced to Clabber. “He was a race horse and a Supreme Champion, both women recalled. “He was a rangy, longer horse,“ Frances noted. From the mating of Casey’s LadyLove to Tiny Circus came Casey’s Charm, born the year after Jim Loiseau passed away.
Frances would continue on with their dream of raising good performances horses, but she decided early on to concentrate on doing this through the best mare program she could put together. After my husband died, I never considered having a stallion around the place,” she said. “Mares are a lot easier to handle … and there were good stallions within 200 miles.”

A friendship with the late Pat Cowan became a hand-shake partnership in breeding and selling outstanding prospects. The Laughing Boy AA cross to the Loiseau mares was a good niche, and the Sun Frost cross with Casey’s Charm resulted in a couple of chapters in horse history: French Flash Frost, a 1986 sorrel gelding, has won over $50,000 in team roping and barrels, and his 1987 full brother French Flash Hawk – or “Bozo” – brought the world to attention when the speedy sorrel and Kristie Peterson rode to four WPRA World Championships and two Reserve WPRA World Championships – and then garnered the title of AQHA/PRCA Barrel Racing Horse of the Year five times!

Frances credits Kristie with bringing Bozo full circle. “We’ve been very lucky. The horses have to have the ability,” she said, “but it takes the right person to bring it out.” Frances also said that though she is often credited with being the owner of Bozo at his birth, the honor actually belongs to Lis. Lis and her husband, John, bought Casey’s Charm as a four-year-old from her mother in 1984. In 1990, they gave the mare back to Frances as a Christmas gift, but the Hollmans brought her and other mares to their Hot Springs ranch in the mid-1990s.

Casey’s Charm was a mare that didn’t really care for people (she was always a broodmare), Lis said, but in later years, she would consent to bring her newest baby up to introduce it to you. “She was the boss-mare,” Lis said. “All her colts had that edge that she had as a young horse,” she said. She was a “fabulous mother.”

Lis recalled that Casey’s Charm’s first few foals had an allergy to her milk – including Bozo. Surprisingly, she would permit humans to handle her baby until it was thriving, and she seemed to know when that time was. “Casey’s Charm was in her ‘aloof’ state,” Lis said, but she would allow us to doctor it. “When it was getting better, she’d get between them and the colt as if to say – ‘I’ll
take it from here!’”

Other sons and daughters of Casey’s Charm are: Frenchman’s Dox Dakota, the 2001 WPRA Badlands Circuit Champion, South Dakota State 4H Rodeo Champion and four-time qualifier for the SDRA Finals; Boon Dox Charm, a 1990 mare in barrel competition is now a broodmare; PC Frenchman’s Lisbet, premier brood mare whose 2003 palomino stud colt sold for $75,000 at the Hunt Fall Sale; PC Frenchman ’s Chris, WPRA/NBHA barrel contender; Frenchman’s Mark, 1994 palomino stallion, standing at stud; Frenchman’s Hayday, 1995 palomino stallion selling for $65,000; PC Frenchman, brought $200,000 at a Cowan sale; Frenchman’s Fabulous, the 1998 palomino who sold as a weanling for $30,000 and again as a five-year-old for $50,000; and Frenchman’s Cabaret, who brought $39,000 as a weanling. Her first foal, Racy Casey Jay, and her 1988 mare, Frenchman’s
Hooligan, the latter owned by Mike and Cindy Loiseau, are deceased, though they have daughters and a stallion from her. Four offspring were not campaigned due to injury.

Of the four still-living daughters of Casey’s Charm, two are in the Loiseau/Hollmann breeding program. Four of her sons are standing at stud.  The success of the Loiseau/Hollmann efforts are the result of careful attention to the characteristics of the bloodlines that they select for their goal of raising the best horse possible. “ We use racing bloodlines for speed,” Frances says, “and cross them with cow horse breeding for versatility.”

Besides selling the top horse at the Hunt sale – Firewater Frenchman, the $75,000 weanling who went to Gary Westergren of Lincoln, Nebraska, Lis and John also sold the top mare, Frenchman’s Randy Rae, a 2001 model for $30,000 and the top-selling stallion, Special Frenchman, also a 2001 colt for $22,000. (See the December 2003 issue of Today’s Horse for complete sales information.)
The family earlier was able to buy back See You in Vegas (Frenchman’s Amazin) who originally sold to Canada, and is now part of the broodmare band and in foal.

Frenchman’s Vanila, the speedy barrel futurity champion owned by Rapid City’s Andrea Peterson and ridden by granddaughter, Carissa Shearer, is one example of the royal bloodlines of Frenchman performance-bred mares carrying into succeeding generations.  And the modern lines of these mares are serving to bring some of the old foundation breeding back into the mix. Kenny Nichols of Waco, Texas, was the buyer of Frenchman’s Fabulous. The Nichols family owned the immortal sires
Clabber and Driftwood. Kenny told Lis recently that he was thrilled to have this son of Casey’s Charm with his crosses to Clabber through her and her dam, Casey’s LadyLove. When his family had Clabber, they thought they’d never see his equal, Nichols said. But with Frenchman’s Fabulous, … ”it’s like bringing it home again,” he said. 

“A year ago at this time, a man called me from Brazil,“ Lis said. “He was bringing a multiple embryo transfer clinic to the United States for the first time and was selecting 20 mares for the program. He wanted Casey’s Charm.”  She was still ovulating, but the family decided against it. Still, “we were
flattered anybody in Brazil had heard of her … he said he had heard Casey’s Charm had ‘cannon bones to dream about.“ … “She never took a lame step in her life,” Lis said.

Casey’s Charm takes her well-deserved rest on a favorite hill where she can “see all the way to Nebraska.” Her caretaker, Cathy Mallery, takes a handful of oats to her grave daily, telling Lis that “now she doesn’t have to eat senior anymore.”

And Casey’s Charm made one last concession to her people. As Cathy left the mare’s stall near the end of her 100 human years, she softly whinnied after her, as though to say “Maybe you weren’t so bad after all.”

Nikole J Riesland
Executive Editor/Graphics Manager
Today's Horse Magazine
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