Second Career Star: Dah Ninja
Second Career Star: Dah Ninja
A good horse is a good horse, and Charles “Bud” Moore of Maud, Oklahoma, has one.
The horseman bred, owned, raised, raced, and now rides his 2014 gelding Dah Ninja as a rope horse.
Dah Ninja is a royally-bred horse. He is sired by the tough-as-nails champion Country Chicks Man, who raced an astounding 38 times and earned $736,793 before siring the earners of more than $6.6 million, including consistent and fast runners like Canadian superstar Country Boy 123 ($428,139).
Dah Ninja’s dam, SV Black Eyed Susan, is a daughter of Okey Dokey Dale and out of the mare Oh Honey Hush. Moore bought her from breeder Sonny Vaughn and trained and raced her. She, too, was an iron-legged runner, making 37 starts and placing in 20 of them, set a track record at Remington Park and earning $146,591 in her stakes-winning career.
“Ninja” inherited every bit of their soundness, but indicated fairly early that he wanted to use his talents in a different job. He made two career starts in Oklahoma with his breeder and owner saddling him and overseeing his care before Bud obliged the horse.
When they took up roping, it proved a sport Ninja was keen on from the start. He fell into it naturally – in only his third time roping, he was able to do it without a bridle.
“He has made one heck of a rope horse and a ranch horse,” Moore said. “He just does what I ask. He’s a good-looking horse, and I’ve had people brag on him or try to buy him, but he’s going to be my ‘retirement horse.’
“He’s a fit for me,” Moore said. “He does everything I ask of him and more. He’s just gentle, and is one of those you’d never think he was off the racetrack, the way he acts.”
Ninja is trained on both sides, heading and heeling equally, and always willing to participate whether at home or at an event.
“He was just one of them that when you back him in the roping box, it doesn’t matter what side, he just wants to please you,” Moore said. “He learned it really fast with very little (practice). He’s just one where every time you ask him to do something, that’s what he does. He does it right every time, he never rebels on me, I’ve never had a problem with him in the box.
“He’s one of them that wasn’t destined to be a racehorse, but he was destined to be a using horse and a rope horse.”
Ninja is aptly named, with a playful personality and a habit of double checking to see if his people have tied him up properly (and untying himself if they haven’t). But when he goes to work, he’s all business.
“He’s just part of the family and he’s not going anywhere,” Moore said. “Just whatever you want, he loves his job and he still loves it.”
Retraining Racehorses for Roping
Curious how a horse like Dah Ninja goes from the racetrack to the roping box? In "From Racetrack to Roping Box," roping trainer Doug Clark shares his steps for teaching a former racehorse to become a rope horse.
Second Career Stars is an ongoing series on retired racing American Quarter Horses in new careers. If you know of a horse that should be featured, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.