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THE VSAG LEGACY LIVES ON…
In the show arena, Kristen (Glover) Galyean and Vital Signs Are Good wrote their story for the history books.
More than just a mare with a mega-successful show career, Vital Signs Are Good has made an indelible mark on the American Quarter Horse as a dam and grand-dam as generations of her offspring continue to carry on her legacy.
Caring for that legacy is her family – the Glovers and Galyeans. The Glover Galyean Partnership (Wesley and Kristen Galyean with Kristen’s parents, Jim and Debbie Glover) owns and stands two sons of the legendary Hall of Fame mare known as Lucy to her friends and fans.
VS Code Red is sired by World Champion Blazing Hot. Shown by Kristen, “Waylon” earned his own line in the history book as the first horse to win the Congress Open, Limited Open and Non-Pro Two Year Old Western Pleasure shown by a non-pro rider in 2009.
VS Flatline is sired by World Champion Lazy Loper. “Kobe” shot to stardom himself when he won the 2012 Congress Open and Non-Pro Two Year Old Western Pleasure, followed by the AQHA World Championship.
Both stallions are five-time Congress Champions out of the 31-time Congress Champion Vital Signs Are Good. While Waylon and Kobe definitely have similarities, they are different physically, with Kobe favoring a Lazy Loper look. Each inherited special gifts and traits from their dam and both continue her legacy now through their offspring.
VS Code Red’s offspring surpassed the $1 million earnings mark last year with 27,752 AQHA points. The VS Flatlines are knocking on that door, with a total of $864,952 in earnings and 13,625 AQHA points. Together, the sires have 18 AQHA world championship and 20 reserve world championship titles, many Congress champions and reserve champions, three Congress Master’s Champions and several APHA and NSBA world and reserve world championships.
Both stallions’ get have proven themselves as athletes excelling beyond the western pleasure futurity genre establishing them as all around sires in open, amateur and youth competition.
When the AQHA World Championship Show introduced the inaugural Pleasure Versatility Challenge in 2018, it was the little roan mare KM Flat Out The Best, sired by VS Flatline, who was crowned champion. The following year it was a VS Code Red who stole the show when crowd favorite Snap It Send It captured the win. The gray mare would win the AQHA World Show Superhorse title in 2021.
The sentiment Kristen Galyean holds for VS Code Red is truly a special one. Their magical Congress wins in 2009 just may have been the future the young woman envisioned of nearly 10 years earlier. She finally had the stallion of her dreams. And he was the son of one of the great loves of her life – VSAG.
It was Waylon who brought Kristen full circle to another red roan mare. When Susan Knapp of Iowa bred her great mare, Cool Krymsun Lady, to VS Code Red the result was a beautiful red roan filly. When she saw her for the first time Kristen knew she had to have her and is forever grateful to Susan for the opportunity to purchase that two-month-old filly.
VS Lady In Red made her showing debut at the 2015 Congress where she won the Master’s Two Year Old Maiden Western Pleasure Futurity, shown by Gil Galyean. In 2017, another VSCR daughter, VS The First Lady (out of Cool Lookin Lady), would claim the title.
There are times where history repeats itself and the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City has seen many special moments.
In 2017, Kristen Galyean guided VS Lady In Red through the Gateway of Champions at the AQHA World Show. They would leave the arena as the Amateur Western Pleasure World Champion, ten years after Kristen won the same title with Vital Signs Are Good, at their last world show together.
Reserve World Champions in 2018, Kristen and Lady would claim the gold as World Champions in 2019.
It was in the 2020 AQHA World Show when Kristen and Lady won the Amateur Western Riding world championship. Their 238.5 score broke the World Show record for that class set by none other than Kristen and Lucy 15 years before.
As she did with VSAG, Kristen jumpstarted Lady’s breeding career with embryo transfers allowing her to keep showing while producing the next generation. Now with over $119,000 in earnings herself, Lady is also adding to her stats as a producer.
In 2020, the Glover Family created a new venture with 3G’s Partnership bringing Kristen’s brother his wife into the horse business with the purchase of world champion mare KM Suddenly So Easy. While continuing her show career, “Penelope” has joined the group of elite mares to cross on VS Code Red and VS Flatline.
Kristen showed Penelope to win the 2020 AQHA Amateur Western Pleasure World Championship. The following week, Casey Willis won the Senior Western Pleasure World Championship unanimously with her, clinching her Triple Crown title as AQHA World Champion in Two Year Old, Junior and Senior Western Pleasure.
“Jared and Lauren are partners with us in several other businesses,” explained Galyean. The Glover siblings are active in the Jim Glover Auto Family so the step wasn’t too far for Jared to join his parents and sister in the horse business.
“We enjoy investing together and facing adversities and challenges that every business brings together as a family. Although they don’t ride, they’ve always been big supporters cheering Wesley and me on over the years. They love the horses, just not competing on them.”
“As I did with Lucy, we bred Lady to different stallions to establish my favorite crosses quickly,” said Galyean. “Machine Made and Lady created something very special.”
That red roan stud colt was VS The Fireman, aka Gronk.
“Gronk had that thing as breeders we call the ‘it’ factor,” said Galyean. “He was big, strong, correct and roan! He had stallion written all over him.
“I remember the first time Wes and I saw him turned out in a paddock. As we walked out he looked up at us and loped off from a standstill toward us. We both looked at each other in awe. Wes immediately said ‘you don’t sell this one.’ If Wes says that about a pleasure horse I usually listen.”
Trained by Aaron Moses, Gronk was headed to the Congress Master’s Maiden Two-Year-Old Western Pleasure Futurity when an unfortunate accident at the Congress sidelined Aaron Moses.
Gronk’s highly anticipated debut would get pushed back to the AQHA World Championship Show. Jay Starnes, who had trained and shown VS Flatline, stepped into the stirrups to work with Moses to prepare and show him to the world championship win.
“Gronk is great-minded and carries the roan gene, both of which I believe are straight VSAG. I definitely see Lucy in him,” said Galyean.
“It’s been such an amazing journey to Gronk,” said Galyean. “Kind of like Waylon and Kobe both started with a great mare in Lucy, Gronk started with a great mare that is Lucy’s granddaughter. And Lady is now taking the throne in her own way as a producer at a young age.”
How does Kristen see Gronk comparing to Waylon and Kobe?
“All three stallions are so unique and they all have that something special that just stands out in a crowd. To me, a stallion has to have that,” said Galyean.
“They all three have different attributes from Lucy that make them similar but they are still their own unique horses. All three have her presence, which makes them very special to me. I look forward to continuing her legacy with all of them.”
While looking for the strong breeding crosses, Galyean may just have found lightning in a bottle, crossing VS Lady In Red with VS Flatline.
“I knew it was a risk to try something so different as linebreeding. But I asked myself if having Lucy on both sides could ever be a bad thing? We have two fillies now and both remind me of Lucy with their toplines. We’ll see what the future holds but I like what I see so far.”
Starnes currently has the two-year-old out of VS Lady In Red by VS Flatline – appropriately named VS Whole Lotta Lucy.
“She is double registered AQHA/APHA,” said Galyean. “I’ve never shown APHA but it looks like we might be headed there soon. We are all very excited about her.”
VS Code Red and VS Flatline offspring are earning money, points and awards in performance events beyond the western pleasure – in AQHA, APHA, NSBA and other breed associations, both here in the United States and Europe.
As a stallion owner and breeder, Galyean finds it humbling to watch them excel as sires. It’s the dream that began more than 20 years ago.
“It’s what I always dreamed of. Getting to watch them make dreams come true for people all over the world is surreal and makes me so very proud of them.”
VS Code Red and VS Flatline stand at EE Ranches in Whitesboro, Texas. VS The Fireman, owned by Wes and Kristen Galyean, joined them at stud in 2022 with frozen semen only available after March 21 to allow him to return to the show ring for the three-year-old western pleasure events.
Contact Kristen Galyean at email@example.com for available prospects by VS Code Red and VS Flatline, as well as foals out of VS Lady In Red and KM Suddenly So Easy.
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Cover Design: bar H Photography
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