by Beth Ellen Hunziker

Janene and Bob Boggs, Midwest Station I

Over the past 30 years, Janene and Bob Boggs have seen many changes in the Arabian horse industry. Both Janene and Bob grew up with Arabian horses. Their parents had small farms and raised a few foals each year. Although Bob became a professional trainer and handler and enjoyed international success in show rings around the world, his passion has always been in the breeding of the horses. Janene has always supported Bob’s show career, but for her, the most fulfilling aspect of their live with Arabian horses is with the mares and foals of their breeding program.

As with most successful breeders, Bob and Janene started their program with just a couple of really good mares. These mares were representatives of the breeding program established by Bob’s parents, Don and Shorty Boggs. Perhaps because their family name is associated so strongly with the show ring, often their breeding contributions are overlooked. But the foundation mares Bob and Janene acquired and used for their own breeding program have been extremely successful in producing a new generation of international champions. Amazingly – Bob and Janene only produce 3-4 foals a year. Their focus is totally dedicated to quality, not quantity, which is the hallmark of a true “Boutique Breeder”.

Bob and Janene purchased Musks Angel Eyes from Bob’s parents. This mare produced one colt and five fillies of very high quality including Vielka, by Padrons Psyche, a champion in Europe who was a Mediterranean Champion Filly at Menton, France. However, the best by far was her daughter, Bint Bey Shah, by Bey Shah. Bint Bey Shah has produced international champions and champion producers including one of the leading sires in Europe, Psytadel, by Padrons Psyche. Bint Bey Shah has champions in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. She is a mare with tremendous international influence through her get and now her grand get as well.

Bob and Janene also purchased Shimmering Star B (Sharem El Sheikh x Hal G-Wisz) from Bob’s family. They bred the mare to the Bask son, Brass and produced the National Champion Futurity Filly and Reserve National Champion Mare, Poise And Ivy. Bob and Janene also leased the mare RB Gitana (El Haskim x Ports Fantasy) from friends and clients Scott and Cindy Crooker of Park Ridge Arabians and bred the mare to Padrons Psyche to produce the National Champion Futurity Filly, Estoriah.

Bob and Janene can count their mares on one hand, yet they credit most of their success to this small select group. “ We started with just a couple of really good mares. Then we really studied stallions, looking at their phenotype and their pedigree, to find the individual that we thought would strengthen our mares and add something special. The goal has always been to breed really beautiful, but correct horses. For us, one of the most important stallions we’ve used has been Padrons Psyche and then sons. This has been a fantastic cross for us and has consistently produced extremely high quality foals.

Our advice to other small breeders would be to start with the best mare you can find, look at their pedigree because a strong dam line is far more important that a long show record. Next, be honest with yourself and others – when you look at your horses, look to see where they can be improved because no horse is perfect. When looking for a stallion for your mare, look to see what he is producing and ask yourself, do his qualities compliment and strengthen your mare? He should. Also, remember that this is a lifelong learning process – you can learn something from every breeder and from every horse. If you think you know it all and have seen it all – then you’ll never reach the next level of greatness. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open. If you can follow those things you will be successful. We use these principles everyday. We are always refining our process and trying to improve our program. We don’t want to breed a lot of good horses; we want to breed a few great horses. We are small breeders and we want to keep it that way – it is intentional. We believe it is the best way to raise our family and the most positive contribution we can make to our industry. Bigger is not always better and we believe we are the proof.