50-Year Breeders: Dionicio and Pat Corral

50-Year Breeders: Dionicio and Pat Corral

While the Corrals are currently paring down their breeding stock, they have no plans to quit altogether.

weanling foals grazing

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Pat Corral began breeding horses when she was a teenager. The daughter of a wheat farmer in Davenport, Washington, her dream was to have a show horse, and her dad worked to help her. They bought a few horses, and eventually bought breeding stock. Pat – then known by her maiden name, Booker – registered her first foal in 1962.

“It doesn’t seem like it has been that long,” Pat muses.

She and her dad traveled together to shows around the Pacific Northwest and into Southwestern Canada. Eventually, Pat got married and dropped out of horses awhile before picking the sport and the breeding business back up again.

In addition to horses, Pat and her dad also raised beef cattle, and she has continued raising cattle with her husband, Dionicio, who himself grew up working on a ranch in Mexico. Dionicio moved to the United States when he was 15 and worked as a farm manager and trainer in the horse industry along the West Coast.

They met when he knocked on Pat’s door, looking to rent her riding arena. They became friends, and have been married almost three decades. Together they raise horses at their facility near Mead, Washington.

Dionicio is a successful roper – in 2016, he won money in the #9 at the World Series of Team Roping in Las Vegas – and regularly brings home checks, buckles and saddles from local ropings.

They have bred more than 200 foals that have found their way to homes all over the world.

“We try to have a pretty horse that rides,” Pat says. “We always liked pretty horses. And I like a good foot on a horse. To me you can’t look at a set of papers and say, ‘Oh yeah, this is a wonderful horse’ just by pedigree. The horse also has to have something going for him in conformation as well as having those papers. It has worked well to have horses that are nice looking, too, because most people would like to ride a good-looking horse rather than an ugly one.”

One of Pat’s favorite stallions was St Three Bar, a black Wiescamp-bred AQHA Champion with an outstanding temperament.

“I could go out with a halter and lead rope and jump on him bareback and just ride back in the trees,” Pat remembers. “He was an unusual horse.”

Another of their top stallions was Smart Mark, a black own son of Smart Little Lena who competed as a reining horse before arriving at their ranch. The stallion soon added cattle to his repertoire, proving to be a natural at it. They used him when they worked their cattle, and taught him to rope.

“He just had a super temperament, too,” Pat says. “He absolutely loved to go rope. If you didn’t put ‘Mark’ in the trailer, even when he got old, he’d actually cry. So we’d take him so he could do a few runs. He’d get right in there and win you some money heeling.”

Their current stallion is the Nu Chex To Cash son Severance Chex, a 2001 palomino world champion who has earned Superiors as both a header and heeler and more than 350 points in combined AQHA and Palomino Horse Breeders of America competition. He also competed in working cow horse, tie-down roping, steer-stopping, and is a money earner in barrel racing and earned more than $5,000 in the AQHA Incentive Fund program. His foals have been sold all over the world, including Europe.

Among the performers they have produced over the years is the 1982 colt Mr Matlock, a Superior reining horse by Peponita; Butterfly Kisses, a National Snaffle Bit Association money earner by Ballys Thunder; and point- and money-earner Steppin Smart N Chic by Professor Smart.

While the Corrals are currently paring down their breeding stock, they have no plans to quit altogether.

“It has been a good ride,” Pat says. “We’ve had some fantastic horses. We’re always going to have horses, I don’t think we’ll ever not have a horse around. There’s just something that keeps you going – to go out and birth that baby and watch it grow up. The accomplishment of creating that life.”