By Robyn Duplisea
There are very few opportunities in a lifetime to be part of something truly special, perhaps a little bit magical and most definitely legendary but today B&B Equine LLC has vaulted into the breeding world with one of the game changers in our industry. In a move that will shock the Appaloosa world Chocolatey has been sold.
The 2005 ApHC stallion best known in the barn as Harry was born to be great, but it was the way he was managed, loved and believed in by owner Noelle Schmidt that took this stallion to the top. In a time when few would show a colored horse in the Open classes, Noelle took the chance. With young up and coming trainer at the time Pat Heeley in the saddle the stunning blanketed colt took the pleasure world by storm. Chocolatey is a 3X World Champion, NSBA Res.World Champion and many times over NSBA Champion. Claiming wins at the nation’s top futurities in the Country, he took the country by storm winning futurities often dominated by AQHA such as Southern Belle, Tom Powers, Reichert Celebration, NSBA World, Double Your Pleasure and Just for Pleasure.
As a sire, Chocolatey continued the legendary road to leading sire status standing at BSB Quarter Horses with Shelley and Kim Donovan. They managed his breeding career with the utmost care and love. With the characteristic stick flat front legs, the Chocolatey’s quickly rose as trainer and non pro favorites with their talent and great minds.
“My greatest joy was introducing him to noncolor breed people. Then, I enjoyed listening to their complimentary and very positive comments after they’d watch him show.” Recalls Schmidt “The new Featherlite Horse trailer, beautiful saddles, prizes and futurity money were great, but when the colt I raised from 5 months old ‘wow’ the non color breed people, well, there was just nothing better for me, or for my beloved stallion and for the breed I remain loyal to. I remain always grateful for the acceptance and kind comments I received about CHOCOLATEY at these shows from Quarter Horse, Paint, POA and other non Appaloosa breed people.”
The decision to allow Chocolatey to move on with new owners was not taken lightly by Schmidt. “In order for him to move on it would have to be the perfect situation”
“I want to say that I am very grateful to everyone who has steadfastly supported Chocolatey year after year. Many of you are my greatest of friends and it was a pleasure to share the belief in Chocolatey with all of you. The decision to sell Harry was not an easy one, but I am confident he will continue to thrive under the care and guidance of Steve Cruse Show Horses and B&B Equine LLC. B&B Equine has some exciting plans that will propel Chocolatey even further into the forefront of today’s pleasure industry and I felt that now was the best time to open that door for him.” Shared Schmidt.
“With my dealership in New Jersey being very busy and growing beyond my expectations, I welcome the new-found time that I will now have as Heather and B&B Equine will be taking over the stallions marketing and breeding program.”
Heather and Tony Bottoms as well as partner Gary happened to be that perfect fit. With an established pasture of stunning broodmares and a plan to continue to grow and honor Chocolatey’s legacy Schmidt could be comfortable letting the beloved stallion make the move to Texas where he will stand with Steve Cruse.
Heather Bottoms shared this release on this momentous day.
“Today I find myself in such a unique and honored position able to introduce myself to the Appaloosa community, along with my partners, Gary and my husband,Tony Bottoms, collectively and formally known as B&B Equine LLC as the proud new owners of ApHC stallion Chocolatey.
I still find myself almost having to pause and pinch to see if I am truly awake or if this might be some crazy dream I am having! I will confide in you all here and now, the first thing that I did when Gary called to confirm the closure of the deal was to contact Steve Cruse. Steve is the trainer to our young halter stud colt Bruiser, aka, My Childhood Desire, and the stallion manager for Chocolatey under our guidance. When Steve answered the phone, I introduced myself and told him I was the owner of Chocolatey, just to try it on, to see how this new title felt, and honestly, it felt strange, foreign, and slightly magical all at the same time.
I am just so overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions. I am a very empathetic person. My heart truly aches for Noelle and the ladies of BSB Quarter Horses who managed his stallion career up until this time in his life- to part with such an amazing animal would be a truly heart wrenching loss, even though, I assure you all this stallion will be accessible to them or anyone else who may wish to meet with him. Then there is the part of me that staggers under the enormity of it all. The responsibility of caring for his legacy, his offspring, his devoted followers and fans – #TEAMCHOCOLATEY – I pray that you will come to love and accept me as one of your own and realize Noelle is not gone from this boy’s life, to quote her “she has stepped to the side” and allowed me the place to lead him for this time and it is a magnanimous honor that I most humbly accept.
I am scared, I am scared that I am not worthy to own such an amazing animal- he is a once in a lifetime horse- he has been that for Noelle and now, he is doing that for me as well today. It seems everything this horse comes into contact with is touched with his charm and marked with his presence. Lastly, I am excited. I am excited to have the opportunity to own and facilitate the breeding of this fine stallion to your amazing mares assuring the same high standards and consistency in his offspring that his reputation has come to know.
I hope and pray that a change in zip code is the only reflection of service that you, his devoted fans and followers will ever see in this transition. It is my solemn promise to strive for nothing short of excellence in all customer service.
We will bring him to the ApHC World show this year on Wednesday Oct. 31st, 2018 and host a meet and greet at Steve Cruse Show Horses stall at 4pm. Please plan to come and see us if you are available. We will have food, fun, friends, selfies and even a raffle. It promises to be fun for all! He is coming to see you all, so that you will see our words to be true and sincere- Chocolatey is YOUR STALLION, and we are his ambassadors to you, his public.
To celebrate our/ your boy the first five people to contact me at HKBottoms@yahoo.com regarding the 2019 breeding season and who pay in full within five days of that contact, will get a “Welcome to the B&B Equine Family” rate of $1000!!
I am again, so honored and look forward to knowing you and all your chocolates in the near future!”
You can be sure Noelle will continue to be Chocolatey’s #1 fan and with her up and coming show horses including Wicked Chocolatey we can rest easy knowing she will stay connected to this once in a lifetime stallion and she passes his reins to B&B Equine. I have a feeling we will be seeing even more “spots” in the major futurities in the years to come as Chocolatey continues to add a splash of color to the pleasure world.
“The Girls at BSB and I are very excited for the new owners of Chocolatey. He is a brand name and it is our sincere hope that everyone on #TeamChocolatey continues to support this once in a lifetime stallion through B & B Equine LLC. Chocolatey and his “kids” have made their mark, just not in the ApHC, but in several other associations as the premier choice for a color horse. Simply, Chocolatey is the breeding Sire I knew he would be, and we see him in every one of his foals; the mark of a true Sire. I look forward to the day Chocolatey is awarded his Sire Production Plaque by the ApHC and to his continued growth and popularity as the peoples choice for a Color Horse.” exclamed Schmidt.
“As for my future plans, I am always on the hunt for that next opportunity to build a dynamic business from the ground up, or back a new prospect and watch him succeed. I will remain heavily invested in the pleasure industry as a whole, and my newest venture may be just around the corner.”
Sincere congratulations from all of us at PleasureHorse.com and Show Horse Today to B&B Equine LLC on joining the Chocolatey family. We are very excited to see what his future holds.