"When we talked about retiring her, my dad let me show her in the amateur that year (pictured here), and we walked out the world champions just like the first time I had shown her. She was definitely one-of-a-kind," Katie states. Photo © KC Montgomery

Legendary Performance Halter Mare, A Classic Edition, Passes Away

We are saddened to report that the great performance halter mare, A Classic Edition, has passed away. The 2004 mare largely known for her signature buckskin color was by Kids Classic Style and out of Cooleah. She was bred by Michael and Sandra Ellis of Neenah, Wisconsin and owned by Dan Fox of Chino, California at the time of her death. She was 13 years-old.

A Classic Edition is a five-time AQHA World Champion, five-time Reserve World Champion, Multiple Congress Champion, and 15-time high point champion. The mare accumulated over 1,000 AQHA points over the course of her storied career. Affectionately known as Cassie, several top halter trainers were associated with her over the years including Jack Brizendine, Randy Jacobs, Ted Turner, Luke Castle, Ross Roark and Joey Shortino.

“Cassie was special to our family from the day she arrived in California,” says Katie Fox (pictured right, far left with Rose Santos), who showed her in the Youth Performance Halter Mares. “A buckskin has always been my dad’s favorite color and when he was looking for the total package for the halter pen, she was all that and more. She wasn’t always the easiest to get along with and you always had to do things her way, but she made up for it in the show ring.”

Katie fondly remembers, “She always knew when she won because she would blow up and do a victory dance on her way out of the pen. She never did it when we were second place – it was always first. She was a winner for us from start to finish.”

The first time Katie showed her was at the AQHYA World Show in 2010 where the duo won under all five judges. A few months later, they won unanimously again at the Congress. “That was my first AQHA World title and Congress title,” Katie recalls. “When we talked about retiring her, my dad let me show her in the amateur that year, and we walked out the world champions just like the first time I had shown her. She was one-of-a-kind, and we were blessed to own her.”

According to halter trainer, Rose Santos, Dan Fox (pictured left) adored Cassie and she was always his favorite. At the Congress one year, he had the choice to show Custom Maid Kiss or Cassie back for Grand and Reserve, and of course, he picked Cassie. “Dan told me that he would never miss a chance to show her. She would be the best and most famous horse they ever owned.”

Santos also remembers that Cassie was the number one queen of the barn. “She only liked a few people, and I think I can say I was one of her favorites besides Dan. However he had a slight advantage,” Santos recalls and laughs. “He never greeted her without a peppermint in his pocket…and she knew it.”

Rose reflects that she was also “an excellent pony horse for weanlings, so incredibly lazy to ride around, but when they roped on her, she was all about business, and for a big girl, she could run.”

Cassie was an AQHA Champion which was imperative to Dan, Rose says. “I owe a lot of where I am today to her. She was incredible. She kept going out there year after year, and when they kept switching the rules, I think it shocked everyone that she was still picking up points. She just kept adding more and more titles to her record.”

Santos adds, “For the roping part, JD Yates said to me that she got her points because she was good. Cassie was nine when we retired her, and she still could have gone back to the pen. I know I will never see one that has the heart and strength like her again.”

As a dam, Cassie has produced three performing foals, including A Secret Edition, who won the Level One Championship in Yearling Mares last year in Las Vegas. Another daughter of Cassie’s, Shes Got The Guns, is a PHBA Reserve World Champion. Her last baby, who is by Intersection, is set to foal any day.

GoHorseShow would like to send out our condolences to everyone who has been associated with this mare over the years and we look forward to watching her offspring carry on her legacy.

Photos © KC Montgomery, Don Trout Photography