Joyful Hope was foaled on May 31st, 1972. He was bred by Mary V. Fisher of Dixiana Farms in Lexington, Kentucky. Dixiana Farms was also the birthplace of Domino, a legendary speedball who Joyful Hope was related to through his sire, Olden Times. Olden Times won multiple stakes races including the Malibu Stakes, Churchill Downs Handicap and Metropolitan Handicap. He sired 60 stakes winners. Ancient Regime, Blue Times, Cricket Ball, Dainty Dotsie, Full Pocket, Roving Boy and Vittorioso were among his best starters.
Green Trunk, the dam of Joyful Hope, was a race-winning mare by Spy Song and out of Here’s Hoping, by Eight Thirty. Green Trunk produced ten race winners including Stockpile, Green Tent, Spyron, Circus Wagon, Nile Green, Prince of Saron, Morning Air and Cornish Spy. Her most successful starter, Traffic Mark, won the Arkansas Derby. Through both of his parents, Joyful Hope was related to Man o’ War, Black Toney and Friar Rock.
As a two-year-old, Joyful Hope made six starts and won one race. He was perhaps slower to mature than his peers because he ran his best races at three, four and five years old. Joyful Hope ran in allowance races at Monmouth Park, Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Gulfstream Park. He outran stakes horses Prince Thou Art, Improvisor and Provante. He retired from racing with a record of 34 starts, six wins, nine seconds, four thirds and $45,568 in earnings.
In 1979, Joyful Hope’s first foal crop arrived. Many of his first foals, such as Brush With Hope, Dawson Butte, Hopeful Joy, Joyful Moon and Ten Or Better, were born in Colorado. Dollys Hope, the best Quarter Horse starter from his first crop, was bred by Dick and Anne Winn in Pennsylvania. Dollys Hope was a black mare out of Justa Dolly, an unraced daughter of Tonto Bars Hank. Dollys Hope won six races including the 1982 Pocahontas Handicap at Los Alamitos. She was also a finalist in the Vessels Maturity, Los Alamitos Invitational Championship, Anne Burnett Invitational Handicap and Las Damas Handicap. Dollys Hope earned $148,667 on the track.
Polished Pride, a Quarter Horse gelding by Joyful Hope and out of Miss Peggy Pride, by Rocket Wrangler, won the 1985 Cypress Handicap and 1987 PCHRA Handicap. He also set a new track record in the 1989 PCHRA Handicap at Pleasanton for 350 yards in 17.440 seconds. In total, Polished Pride made 52 starts, won 14 races, and earned $126,477 on the track. Other Quarter Horse stakes winners by Joyful Hope include Litas Joy, Here Comes Hope, Roses Joy, Flame of Hope, Trax Burner, Womans Joy and Magic Hope.
In 1987, at the age of 15, Joyful Hope was standing at the Lazy E Ranch in Guthrie, Oklahoma. His fertility must have been declining because he sold for just $500 at the 1988 Heritage Place December Sale. Luckily, Joyful Hope ended up at the Rutland Ranch in Independence, Kansas. He was incorporated into their breeding program and sired some exceptional horses when crossed on daughters of Pacific Bailey, Jaguar Rocket and Three Jets. Joyful Power Pac, Joyfull Miss Maggie, Joyfully Stylish, Lets All Jumpfor Joy, Lindseys Hope and Liza Janes Joy were some of his resulting daughters that later produced barrel racing team roping horses for the ranch.
The late June Holeman is largely responsible for revealing Joyful Hope’s potential as a barrel horse sire. In the 1990s, Holeman competed in barrel racing on One More Hope, a Quarter Horse mare by Joyful Hope and out of One More Glory, by the Thoroughbred stallion Glory Be Good. Holeman later bred One More Hope to Buck That Money to produce Hopes Money Boy, aka “Tall Boy.” Tall Boy helped Holeman qualify for the inaugural The American Rodeo in 2014. That year, Holeman and Tall Boy also won the Bonus Race Finals in Lincoln, Nebraska with a time of 16.001 seconds. The next fastest time, a 16.340 seconds, was run by Holeman’s granddaughter, Abby Ford, riding Tall Boy’s half-siter, Bubblin With Hope, aka “Bubbles.” Holeman passed away in 2018.
Pac N Bugs Alive, aka “Pacman,” was another notable barrel horse that descended from Joyful Hope. Pacman was by Three Bugs Alive and out of Pac N Magic, a granddaughter of Joyful Hope from the Rutland Ranch. Pacman won the barrel racing at the 2003 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo with his trainer, owner and breeder, Kim Ferguson. Other barrel horses with Joyful Hope in their pedigrees include Dash Fantasy Request, Joyful Storm, Olenes Fantasy, Sugar Corona and Talents Fantasy.
Joyful Hope had some Appaloosa offspring too. His Appaloosa daughter All The Marbles was a leading dam of Appaloosa racehorses. She produced race winners D D Marble and Jim Marble. Savannah Story, an Appaloosa mare by Stroyman and out of By My Hope, by Joyful Hope, earned ApHC points in Halter, Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Showmanship and Equitation. Many of his Quarter Horse descendants also excel in those events.
Joyful Hope’s last foals on record were born in 1993. According to the Rutland Ranch, he passed away five years later at the age of 26. In total, Joyful Hope sired 514 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse foals in 14 foal crops. Those included 135 race winners, 120 ROM-earners, ten stakes winners and five Superior Race Award-earners with earnings of $1,253,779 on the track. His offspring were known for having great conformation and good minds. Today, he can be found in the pedigrees of winning barrel racing, roping and racing horses.
Sources: Equineline, Equibase, Speedhorse Magazine, Rutland Ranch