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Thoroughbred Blood and the Future of Barrel Racing: How RP Recoil N Strike Will Change the Industry

If you had an opportunity to ask a Hall of Fame racehorse trainer a question, what would it be? When barrel horse breeders Roger and Rachel Primm had a chance to sit down with Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert they had a specific question in mind – which one of your trainees would be the best fit for a barrel horse breeding program? Bob’s immediate answer was “Coil.” Now, many barrel racers might think that this was an unusual question to ask. What could a Thoroughbred possibly offer the barrel horse industry anyway? But to forward-thinking Roger and Rachel, Coil would become exactly what they were looking for in a stallion.

Coil was foaled at Glen Hill Farm in Ocala, Florida. He is by the 2001 Horse of the Year, Point Given. Coil comes from a very strong female line. His dam, Eversmile, is a race-winning mare by Champion Grass Horse Theatrical. Coil’s second dam, Avasand, produced seven-time graded stakes winner Possibly Perfect. His pedigree also includes greats such as Thunder Gulch, Alydar and Nureyev. A very correct colt with substantial bone and excellent conformation, Coil showed promise early in his career. After his first start, a Maiden Special Weight at Hollywood Park, Coil began racing for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman under trainer Bob Baffert.

Coil winning the 2011 Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park

As a three-year-old, Coil won the Gr. 3 Affirmed Handicap and Gr. 1 Haskell Invitational Stakes. After his remarkable come-from-behind win in the Haskell, he ran tenth in the Gr. 1 Travers Stakes and third in the Gr. 1 Goodwood Stakes. Coil later won the Gr. 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship defeating Jimmy Creed and Amazombie. At age five, he made his final start in the Gr. 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita. He won the race by a head over Ultimate Eagle in a thrilling stretch duel. In total, Coil won seven races and earned $1,154,360 on the track.

Photo of Coil at stud credit Starks Photography

In 2013, Coil began stud duties at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, California. To date, his most successful Thoroughbred starters include stakes winners Principe Carlo and Wound Tight. Coil’s Quarter-type conformation and easy-to-train nature eventually attracted breeders from outside the Thoroughbred industry. Barrel horse breeder Roger Primm and his daughter Rachel first heard about the stallion when they visited their good friend Mike Pegram and trainer Bob Baffert at Del Mar Racetrack. Rachel recalls Bob speaking fondly of Coil and his ability to win at short or long distances. Bob said that Coil was one of the best minded horses he had ever trained. “I’ve spent time around Coil since he was young,” says Rachel. “He truly is a joy to be around and looks like an oversized Quarter Horse!”

Coil winning the Santa Anita Sprint Championship

One might wonder why Roger and Rachel wanted to breed their barrel mares to a Thoroughbred stallion in the first place. Rachel says that she and her father theorize that problems such as bleeding and chronic lameness are stemming from diminishing genetic diversity within the barrel horse industry. Horses with inbreeding in their pedigrees seem more susceptible to injury and health issues. Roger and Rachel looked to Thoroughbreds to diversify their breeding program because historically some of the best Quarter Horses had Thoroughbred parents or grandparents. They feel that the industry has become too far removed from influxes of good Thoroughbred blood.

“There’s a common misconception that Thoroughbreds are fine-boned and gangly,” says Rachel. “People forget that they’re watching very young horses on TV. Since the horses are tall and far from fully developed, people think Thoroughbreds have less bone density. However, I’ve been around a lot of Thoroughbred barns and they actually have better bone than most Quarter Horses that I see!” Rachel felt that if they could cross the quick acceleration of a Quarter Horse with the long stride of a Thoroughbred, the result could be better than anything available to barrel horse breeders today. They set out with a goal to create the fastest, strongest horse possible and that is exactly what they achieved with RP Recoil N Strike.

RP Recoil N Strike, aka “Striker,” is the result of pairing Coil and Rachel’s great barrel mare Dashin Julene. Striker was foaled in 2018 on Roger and Rachel’s ranch in Texas. He was started by Roger Daly and is currently training and competing with champion futurity trainer Brandon Cullins. Rachel says that Striker is an incredibly sound athlete. He has tremendous lung capacity, powerful muscles and a great brain. “He’s the most respectful stallion,” says Rachel. “You’d never know that he is one! All he cares about is running barrels. When he comes out after a run, he’s never winded and acts like he just loped the pattern. It’s just that easy for him. He drops his head and walks away flat-footed like he has no idea what he just did. I wish I had fifty horses like him! If his babies have even half of his bone, soundness, stride and mind, I will be absolutely elated. He’s the type of horse I want in my program and what I believe this industry so desperately needs!”

Striker will be standing to the public in 2023 and is already enrolled in incentives such as Ruby Buckle, Royal Crown and The Breeders Challenge. Striker’s sire Coil has moved to Shea Stuart’s Charter Oak Farm in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Coil is standing primarily to Thoroughbred mares, but his new owners are open to the idea of him covering more Quarter Horses in the future. Coil’s ability to sire versatile, talented horses has been proven through Striker’s success. Roger and Rachel have also demonstrated that Thoroughbreds can improve barrel horse bloodlines by adding diversity, stride and stamina. Their out-of-the-box approach is producing champions!

You can follow RP Recoil N Strike on Facebook.

Sources: Equineline and Equibase

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