The tough get going...

by Mary Jane Parkinson & Patti Bailey

Spring Show at Stockton, California, a show which traditionally attracts the big farm and handlers from the western states, and some of the best stallions in the country. Deciding at the last minute, the morning of the show, to post enter, Patti and Andy Bailey bathed Remington Steele at home– Phase II Sport Horse Ranch in Cool, California–trailered him to the showgrounds, and found a trainer to catch handle. Rem immediately took a liking to “the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd,” trotting into the ring with his long necked arched, looking directly at the crowd, fountain tail up over his back. Big, bold, correct and completely charismatic, Remington Steele won his class and moved on to the championship lineup where he snorted at his competition, and looked directly at the judge as if to ask “Well?”
Remington Steele was named show champion that day–his first show, in 1985. Only the beginning, it turned out, as he went on to 22 first places, 12 grand championships, and Top Tens at Scottsdale, the Canadian Nationals, and the U.S. Nationals.

The Bailey’s didn’t stop there. After all, the reasoned, top quality halter horses should be good enough to be ridden, not “too good” to be ridden. With that motivation, they put Remington Steele to the hardest of all tests–the Tevis 100-Miles-in-One-Day Endurance Ride, the ride internationally recognized by horsemen as the ultimate test of equine endurance, stamina, and athletic ability. With the Tevis, Remington Steele became a legend: the first U.S. and Canadian National Top Ten Stallion to complete the ride.
“Little did we know the groundswell of approval Rem’s completion of that Tevis would generate,” says Patti Bailey. “He became no less than an international hero. Through Rem, people who shared our feelings about the versatility of the Arabian breed could be heard in one voice. Rem certainly didn’t invent Arabian versatility, but he helped bring it back into style.

Adding to Rem’s success as a sire was the fact that the Arabian horse market was changing. Buyers of the 1990s were seeking well-rounded family pleasure and sport horses with correct form-to-function conformation and excellent dispositions. In short, horses you could show one weekend, trail ride the next, and trust with your kids. “That’s the kind of horse Remington Steele is… and that’s the kind of horse he sires,” states Patti. “In order to keep Phase II’s product ahead of the times, Andy and I decided we should send Rem back to the show ring to reinforce his versatility standing. At his first show under saddle, Rem, ridden by Dean Lacey, went champion western pleasure, then earned his show expenses by being leased to a junior rider who rode him to several blues in hunter pleasure. In Rem’s second show, Sheri Lacey added native costume to his repertoire, going champion, and I rode him to wins in western and hunt. Rem ended the day High Point Horse. At his third show, Rem carried seven riders (three pros and four juniors) in as many divisions. At the Grand National Rodeo/Horse Show at San Francisco’s famous Cow Palace, Rem did his usually playing to the crowd and won three native costume stakes (two with Sheri and one with me). Meanwhile, he was still winning in halter with Rob Bick and Scott Allman, even though he was in ‘endurance condition.'”

The trill of winning a Grand National buckle in a native costume class at Cow Palace is one Patti Bailey will long remember. Galloping into a pitch black rodeo arena with riding bulls slamming against the pens at one end, steer wrestling shorthorns climbing over the rail on the other, objects flying out the the stands, and an orchestra, cowboys, clowns and more in the moat., Patti was determined that she and Rem were going to put on a championship performance. “We charged into the blackness, the music blaring, the crowd screaming,” she recalls. “Bang!” A spotlight quickly moved to Rem’s galloping front legs. He simply jumped over it. I lost my stirrups and my balance. Pinned into the costume terrified I would fall and be dragged, I began to pull him in to the center ring. Then I heard Sheri Lacey yelling furiously, ‘Forget the blankety-blank stirrups and win the blankety-blank class!” Right then, I knew I was more afraid of Sheri than I was of falling off, so with my feet flopping, we won the championship!”

Another event to remember was the 1995 Diablo Stallion Extravaganza. “Remington Steele had been named Liberty Challenge Champion, after flying around the show arena and doing his fiery stallion thing, to the great delight of the crowd, when I heard several children crying to their mothers that the pony rides had closed,” Patti says. “Rem could save the day. We put a barn halter on Rem and I carried a two-year-old to him. ‘Baby, Rem!’ I told him. ‘Baby!” Time to be gentle, knew. He immediately changed gears and we spent the rest of the afternoon giving pony rides to children. that’s what this horse is all about.”

Remington Steele’s sons and daughters have distinguished themselves in halter (at the Regional and National levels and in futurities), and in a variety of performance disciplines, plus dressage, racing, endurance, and competitive trail. His first foal to be shown, Steele the Show, provides an example of the Remington Steele versatility in a second generation. Winner of both the Cal-Bred Futurity and the Nor-Cal Futurities, and the Breeder’s Sweepstakes as a yearling and as a two-year-old — all to the tune of $13,000 in six shows. then Steele The Show began his endurance career earlier than expected. In his first season with his new owner, Michelle Hubner of Grass Valley, he went top ten in several 50-miles endurance rides, including coming in second by only 30-seconds on the tough Mount Diablo Ride. He’s now being conditioned for the Tevis, to follow in his sire’s large hoofprints.

Longtime Arabian breeders Dick and Helen Newman of Morrison, Colorado, currently own two Remington Steele daughters and a son, and have a mare in foal to Rem. “Ribbons of Steele (x Cola Bay by Mr Frank) is my best friend,” says friend,” says Dick Newman. “We’re kindred spirits. He is a loose, good athlete and I have every confidence in him. Just one complaint: At 16 hands, he’s one inch too tall for me. I bought ‘Ribs’, after he had proven himself on the Tevis at age six, for use with the Round-Up Riders of the Rockies. We take a different 120-mile route on our annual rides, and you need a good trustworthy horse that can get along on a picket line and put up with all the hassles of camping. Absolute Steele (x Blue Sunday by Mujahid) is with our son Kyle in Kentucky and Steele Blue Lily (x Blue Genii by Mujahid) is with our daughter Kathy here in Colorado.
“We’ve been breeding our daughters of Mujahid (the first U.S. National Champion Stallion in 1958) to Remington Steele because he meets our primary criteria: He looks like an Arabian, he is very typey as evidenced by halter wins, and he’s a good versatile horse with great intelligence and good clean legs,” Newman adds. “In fact, he’s perfect.. and as long as he’s available, I’m going to use him.”

The Baileys own the Remington Steel son Beg-Boro-Nsteele (x KJ Khalata by *Karadjorde+++), a champion in country English pleasure his first time in the ring, in partnership with Lorraine Brody, and equine/western artist of Cerrillos, New Mexico. “I’d seen Patti’s ad for sport horses in Arabian Horse World when I was doing my research to find a good mountain horse, so I went to Phase II to see what they had,” says Lorraine Brody. “Andy and Patti showed me the geldings, the mares and then ‘Beggar,’ the potential replacement for Remington Steele. He wasn’t for sale, but the ‘that’s-the-one” look on my face told the story. Patti suggested a partnership– I had the time and place to do the long, slow distance conditioning Beggar needed, and Phase II has the staff to condition him for Tevis and the World Games when the time comes, in a couple of years.”
Phase Ii is a state-of-the-art training and conditioning center for trail and endurance horses which attracts horses from all across the country. The farm itself is situated on the site of an old Pony Express/Wells Fargo horse changing station, and hast many elements which contribute to effective training. “We can ride for virtually thousands of mile by taking the Western States Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail, the riding to the Canadian and Mexican borders, all without opening a gate, or we can head east to Carson City, Nevada, and eventually St. Louis,” Patti states. “To Andy and me, the ranch is magnificent — true wilderness beauty with stands of pine and oak mingled with meadows of wildflowers and seasonal creeks, fresh mountain air, and delicious spring water.”

The terrain varies from gently rolling fire roads for the beginning trail horses, to 18-inch wide, steep mountain trails with drop-offs of hundreds of feet for the graduate trainees. “When a horse leaves Phase II, he/she will be able to camp-out, pack, picket, cross stationary or swinging bridges, trot safely on ledges hundreds of feet high, and walk through waterfalls, streams, puddles, ponds, and rivers. And do it all in the moonlight,” says Patti. “These are the horses we make every day.”

Beginning riders in the Phase II program are offered comprehensive endurance trail training, evaluations, and coaching, with the ultimate goal of getting Phase II horse-and-rider teams to the World Games in Kansas and the FEI International Championships. Phase II will also Lease 100-mile passported horses to European riders at the World Games in Kansas and the North American Championships in Bend, Oregon. “We’re serious about getting Rem offspring to the upcoming World Games in Ireland and Australia, and would consider serious riders or sponsors with the same goals.” Patti states.