In a meteoric rise, Lil Joe Cash became a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Million Dollar Sire with only four performing foal crops.
“With all the show cancellations in 2020, it’s almost certain that Lil Joe would have become a million dollar sire earlier in the year, and to me that is incredible,” noted owner Russell Giles. “Having Lil Joe Cash become a million-dollar sire was never my goal because it has always been to breed the best-minded, athletic horses that people love. I believe we’re achieving that.”
An incredible show resume with NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani has segued into an equally impressive breeding career. Prior to the 2020 NRHA Futurity, Lil Joe Cash was less than $6,000 away from achieving NRHA Million Dollar Sire status, and while he would have achieved that milestone regardless, Tish Fappani’s Level (L) 3 Non Pro Futurity Championship and L4 Co-Reserve Championship on Joes Genes (out of Electric Genes) catapulted the stallion’s progeny earnings across the million dollar threshold.
Tish Fappani was proud to play a part in Lil Joe Cash’s milestone. “Lil Joe Cash has always been a special horse to our family. He had an amazing show career,” she said. “It’s amazing to be a part of this achievement of his. My mare’s mind and her trainability are where I see his influence.”
Her husband, Andrea Fappani, added, “Tish’s mare has a mind remarkably like her sire [Lil Joe Cash]. You never had to force him to do anything. You just had to show him, and if he understood what you were asking, he would do it for you.”
Lil Joe Cash was also well-represented in the Adequan® Arena at the NRHA Futurity. Madison Gustin piloted Win My Cash (out of Win My Shine) to top finishes in the North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) in the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro divisions, winning more than $5,100. Earlier in the year, Gustin and Win My Cash won the L2 and L1 Non Pro Derby Championship to earn more than $12,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).
Bred by Kurt and Angie Harris, Lil Joe Cash is by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Nu Chex To Cash and out of RS Lilly Starlight. Giles purchased the colt at the 2009 Legacy Sale and sent him to Brent Loseke to begin his career. It was Loseke’s recommendation to pair Lil Joe Cash with Andrea Fappani. “Brent’s honesty and integrity in suggesting I send Lil Joe Cash to Andrea speaks volumes about his character,” Giles said. “I believe some trainers would not have been as gracious or truthful about my horse’s potential.”
With Andrea Fappani in the saddle, Lil Joe Cash quickly made his mark on the reining industry, winning the 2011 NRHA Futurity Open L4 with an incredible 227.5. The pair also won an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Jr. Reining World Championship in 2012, then the NRHA $75,000 Shootout Championship in 2014.
“Lil Joe Cash was a special horse, not just as a show horse, but in our barn, too. He is probably the only horse I have been able to get from a different program later in his 3-year-old year and be very successful. I got him in April from Brent, who has a great program and puts a great foundation on horses but rides differently than I do,” Fappani shared. “Lil Joe Cash really molded to me, and I remember looking at my wife just two weeks after getting him and telling her I had never been on a horse that fit my style so much.”
Andrea Fappani thought so highly of the stallion, that he brought him out of retirement in 2019 to compete in The Run for a Million Shootout, where they finished third with a score of 226.
“I always tell people that if I had to pick a horse in my career that depicts the way I want reining to be done, it would be Lil Joe Cash,” Andrea Fappani said. “To me, he has the style I want. He’s a great mover who’s very collected naturally. I have gone back and watched his videos from when he went through the Legacy Sale, and it was amazing to me that he showed as a 6-year-old the same way he moved as a yearling. Twenty years from now, if someone asks me who my ideal reining horse was, I will always say Lil Joe Cash.”
Giles was quick to credit several people with Lil Joe Cash’s success. “I thank Andrea and Tish, who believed in Joe all the way. I also thank Brent Loseke, who gave Joe a lot of credence with trainers,” she said. “Also, I give a lot of credit to Jo Ellard of EE Ranch. He stood there first, and Jo, Steve and Kim Adams, and Tony Nunez, did a great job with him there.”
As Lil Joe Cash’s progeny began to compete, it became apparent he was a good cross on mares by NRHA Leading Sire Gunner. “Moving him to Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses was inevitable,” Giles shared. “We have only had one breeding season there, but it has been phenomenal. Over the years I have been incredibly fortunate to find great people to help me, and the credit goes to all of them.”
For Giles, the diversity of the riders that found success on Lil Joe Cash is a testament to the stallion. “Joe is always affectionate and wants to know what is going on, and his babies are like that, too. It’s funny because it seems like once someone gets a Joe in the barn, they’ll have 10,” she said. “I think with the propulsion he’s had, people are going to be excited about owning a Joe of their own.”
Lil Joe Cash’s top offspring also includes:
NVR What A Lucky Joe (out of What A Lucky Hit): $108,182 NRHA LTE
Lil Patron (out of Miss Rey O Shine): $76,459 NRHA LTE
Cashing In Diamonds (out of Diamond Steppin Whiz): $57,473 NRHA LTE
Congratulations to Lil Joe Cash on this monumental milestone!
Photo by Veronika Photography
The National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the sport of reining through a core mission: “Respect the Horse. Respect the Sport.” Founded in 1966, NRHA now has nearly 15,000 members and sets the standards for reining worldwide. Reining is an international sport and continues to grow year after year by offering opportunities for horse enthusiasts of all ages.
Media Contact: Lindsay Humphrey Manager of Public Relations & Communications National Reining Horse Association email@example.com (405) 946-7400 x 136