A Second Chance

A Second Chance

May 22, 2023

By Keri Whitney

Jason Eagle is a full-time nurse, working for the Veteran Affairs at a community clinic responsible for providing healthcare to 5000 VA patients. Aside from his career at the VA his true passion and love are for good horses. He's always loved studying pedigrees and figuring out what bloodlines work well together. He's owned and ridden horses his entire life.   

"During the earlier years of college life, I'd purchase a horse I saw potential in," says Jason. "I'd put 4 to 6 months in and sell him, make a little profit, and get another. Towards the end of college, I'd find good horses for my friends, because I couldn't afford them for myself. When I graduated from The University of Central Arkansas in 2010, I decided to buy the horses I saw potential in and that I thought would work well for my program. I really enjoy the time at home and helping horses that just needed a little more time."

Dr. Zach Bruggen shares the same passion for horses, and in 2016 he and Jason formed Highview Farms.  Originally from Kansas City, Zach grew up with a love for animals. From an early age, he always knew that he wanted to be a veterinarian. In 2013, he graduated from Kansas State University with his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. To start his career, he worked at equine clinics in Nashville, TN and Memphis, TN, before opening his own practice in Arkansas. In 2015, Dr. Bruggen moved his practice to Arkansas and started Elite Equine. Along with Vet Tech Madison Smith, Elite Equine operates as a mobile practice in central Arkansas, specializing in sports performance and reproductive medicine.  In 2018, Dr. Bruggen and Jason saw an opportunity to introduce a new product to the industry. They worked with John Dowdy at Equinety to develop a product that provided horses the benefits of Omega 3, Vitamin E and Colloidal Silver, in a single product. After months were spent perfecting the formula and a year of on farm testing, Ultimate OEC was added to Equinety's product line.  

Dr. Bruggen and Jason take pride in their Riata Buckle stallion, Smooth Ivory. The flashy buckskin stallion is by $2 million dollar sire, A Smooth Guy (by Frenchmans Guy) and out of Zizzle, a AAA daughter of $20 million dollar sire, Ivory James.  Myers Performance Horses originally owned the dam, Zizzle bred to A Smooth Guy. 

"Some people in South Dakota purchased his mother Zizzle, in foal to A Smooth Guy from the Myers. After the colt was born, he went up for sale. His sire, A Smooth Guy had just died in a tragic accident, and we wanted to purchase the colt, but he had already sold. After he was sold, his name was changed with AQHA." 

A few months later, Jason, Zach, and Madison were at the International Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma watching a client run barrels. On the way home, they were all discussing horses and they came across a buckskin colt for sale on the internet. Despite the name change, Jason immediately recognized the colt from his pedigree. Jason and Zach weren't going to let this second chance, pass them by. They purchased the colt and had the fancy yearling shipped from Utah to their Arkansas farm. 

Highview Farms is nestled in the small town of Ward, Arkansas and currently has around 30 head of horses. Their main goal is to build a solid program with mares that have diverse breeding and can be successful in multiple disciplines. Smooth Ivory's first foal crop is being born this year, with around 50 foals expected to hit the ground. 

"We bred all of our broodmares to Smooth Ivory, and we are looking forward to their future as performance horses in both barrel racing and roping. We have built a wide variety of mares that we feel will cross well with Smooth Ivory; daughters of Riata Buckle Stallion Blazin Jetolena and Playgun, Doc O Dynamite, Epic Leader, and Docs Oak Sugar. We had 7 personal foals this year by Smooth Ivory. Even though all the mares look different and have their own personalities; all our foals have a presence, are personable with great eye appeal, and have refinement in their head, throatlatch, and neck. We feel like they all are bred to go in any direction someone would want to take them. We will offer a some of these foals at weaning to performance homes that will promote and provide the opportunities they deserve." 

Smooth Ivory currently stands at Highpoint Performance Horses in Pilot Point, Texas. For the last two years, Christi at Highpoint Performance Horses has provided exceptional knowledge and guidance, allowing him to be successful in the breeding barn.  

"We are so thankful for the team at Highpoint for all that they do for Smooth Ivory and the mare owners that choose him to breed to," says Jason. "Breeding to Smooth Ivory isn't just a contract to us. Zach and I make it a point to be present. We want it to be a more personal experience for breeders interested in him. Smooth Ivory has a personality; and we want potential breeders to know what he's like. To know he's kind, playful, and loves people. We want people to see that we are invested in him and are committed to his success as a stallion. We have recently acquired a Ruby Buckle stallion slot and he will be enrolled in that program starting in 2024. We hope that this addition along with the Riata Buckle will provide a significant value to those mare owners that have chosen him for their mares."

CLICK HERE For More information about Smooth Ivory