The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion

Jul 11, 2023

When you start looking at the Riata Buckle stallions, they all seem to get buttonholed pretty quickly. It gets a little murky when you start listening to breeders talk about their breeding strategy.   Theoretically there are unlimited assumptions and presumptions when conversations and debates turn to crossing running blood, cow blood, cutting blood, reining%u2026 and on and on. It is no surprise that Riata Buckle is attempting to get a visual on strong bloodlines that win the most money in roping events during their lifetime.   

Some of the stallions arrived at the Riata program for obvious reasons and others not so much. The arrival of Gilligans Black Tux would have to fall into both categories. Lee and Nikeela Abrams run the A Arrow Ranch located in Caldwell, Idaho. Nikeela was a jockey for 14 years until an accident left her paralyzed, which is quite a story in itself. Since that time, her and Lee have focused on raising barrel horses. That doesn't mean that when she is watching Lee rope that she isn't observing every horse in the arena.

"I'm always looking for a good stallion to breed to," says Nikeela Abrams. "I went to a roping to watch Lee and there was this beautiful black stallion, Gilligans Black Tux. He was classy, his presence really caught my eye. I fell in love with him. I didn't know Katie McFarlane at that time, but Lee did. So, I asked him about the stallion, and he introduced me to Jerad and Katie McFarlane."

Enter the McFarlane family from Wilder, Idaho. If you are in the rodeo community up in that country, then you are familiar with the McFarlanes. The McFarlanes ride outside horses, run cattle and have a few cow-bred broodmares. Jerad McFarlane picks up at rodeos. The entire family, wife Katie, 15-year-old twin sons Trey and Trell and 16-year-old daughter, Sloan can be found horseback every day.

The discussion started as a breeding inquiry as Jerad explained the background, Black Tux is the third generation from the blood line started by Jerad's father with Doc Tom Tucker, and then Black Tux's sire Dox King Gilligan.

Jerad quickly explained, "Gilligans Black Tux is so talented, you can win a high caliber roping on him one day, I haul him to PRCA rodeos and the next day the kids go compete on him. My son Trey won the Junior BFI heeling on him for Devin McDaniel in 2022. My daughter, Sloan won the 2023 year-end district high school finals in breakaway. Katie has won the Kim Grubb's all-girls roping on him."

"A lot of rodeo guys have rodeoed on horses by Gilligans Black Tux's sire Dox King Gilligan", says Katie. "Turtle Powell headed on a horse named Joe, a full brother to Gilligans Black Tux sire, Dox King Gilligan. Colby Lovell headed on Spring Fling at the NFR. Caleb Twisselman heeled on Skipper, another full brother to Dox King Gilligan. Trevor Knowles steer wrestled on a mare named Reba, same bloodline. Colby Lovell headed on Dox Louise E Anna, also known as Annie. Paul Eaves heels on JM Bourbon Gilligan and has won a lot of great ropings and rodeos on her the last couple years and Cody Snow has been heading on Fanci Dox Ringo."


It wasn't a sales pitch, but the Mcfarlanes are proud of this bloodline and wanted Abrams to understand that if you are interested in performance, this is the horse to breed to.  It didn't take much discussion before a deal was struck but it went well beyond a breeding. The McFarlane's sold a percentage of ownership rights to the Abrams family. 

According to Nikeela, "The four of us knew Riata would be a successful stallion program and we wanted to be part of it! I love breeding quality horses, I knew Gilligans Black Tux and the Riata program would be a great fit".

Gilligans Black Tux is currently being used in the rodeo arena but is hauled to Outback Equine Reproduction Center in Caldwell, ID for collection. Watch for him at the Riata Buckle in November, the family will be roping on him.  For more information – Click Here