For most of you, the beautiful 10 year-old brown stallion, Chips Hot Chocolate, needs no introduction. Apart of the dynasty which has dominated the pleasure horse industry for the last decade, he was a formidable western pleasure performer during his own three year show career, and he has since gone on to become an equally outstanding sire. He is, in every sense of the word, a "complete" package. By every measure, Chips Hot Chocolate's pedigree is impeccable. His sire, Zips Chocolate Chip by the immortal Zippo Pine Bar, has been at the top of AQHA's Leading Sire List for a majority of the 90's and is the sire of World Champion Quarter Horses, Paints, Palominos, and Appaloosas, in addition to National Champion Appaloosas and Half Arabs. His dam is Ima Blister Bug by Ladybug's Charge by Ladybug's Moon, an equally impressive producer herself. With a total of fourteen foals to her credit, nine have so far entered the performance ring, and collectively they have already earned in excess of 3,600 points with two World Champions, three Reserve World Champions and an AQHA High Point All-Around winner.
Chips Hot Chocolate began his own show career at the age of two under the guidance of noted trainer, Cleve Wells, and together they recorded seven major futurity wins that year, as well as earning the coveted title of High Money Earning 2 Year-Old in the Nation. And this was followed with two Congress wins, a Reserve World Championship in Junior Western Pleasure and a Superior in Western Pleasure before the stallion was officially retired to the breeding barn. Even though he has ready access to some of the best horses in the nation, without a moment's hesitation Cleve still declares Chips Hot Chocolate to be probably the best horse he'll ever show. "He's a really pretty horse as well as an awesome mover," he states, "But lots of pleasure horses have these attributes. What made this horse truly exceptional was his desire to be shown. He loved it. Every time we went into the pen he gave me everything he had. He never tried to cheat me, and on the day we finished our last class together he still loved being out there just as much as he did on the day we started. It's like the reining horse who loves to slide or cutter who lives for those few moments in front of a cow," he goes on, "He truly enjoyed walking, trotting and loping around the pen. And, believe me, it's just not that often that you find a pleasure horse with that kind of 'want to.' That's why I still use him as a reference in the clinics I give. There's just not a better example of what a truly great pleasure horse should be."
In terms of producing performance prospects, at ten years of age, Chips Hot Chocolate is still a relatively young sire. However, he can already be credited with a number of outstanding progeny including multiple breed World Champions, AQHA Congress Champions, an AQHA High Point winner, an AQHA Champion, multiple AQHA Superiors, and numerous futurity winners. Just to name a few, Chip Van Winkle, the winner of a number of major pleasure futurities, has been Congress Two Year-Old Non-Pro Champion. In 1999, he went on to Point Amateur Western Pleasure Horse. Chipped N Chocolate was a Reserve Champion in the Congress Two Year-Old Limited Snaffle Bit competition. Hot Chocolate Chip was both the World Champion ApHC Two Year-Old Snaffle Bit and ApHC National Three Year-Old Western Pleasure Maturity Champion. Pay Ya Saturday became the ApHC World Champion in Yearling Longe Line during his first year of competition and came back the following year to win the Two Year-Old ApHC World Champion Snaffle Bit title. Leaguers Lil Chip became an AQHA Champion at four years of age, and R Hot Chocolate is the earner of two Superiors, one in Hunter Under Saddle and the other in Western Pleasure. Bred by Ann Myers, Chips Hot Chocolate has had only one other owner, Jane Curry Smith of Merrimac, MA, who works full time in her business, Riverview Trailer Sales, and who is herself an avid amateur competitor. Originally, she purchased the stallion at five months of age as her next non-pro prospect.
"Ann and I had become good friends during the 80's while her husband, Philip, was doing his residency in the area," she explains, "And we've remained close ever since. In fact, she was my matron of honor when I married my husband Robert, two years ago. So, since I was really focused on all-around competition at the time, I'd already been going to Ohio for several years to get my prospects from her when I bought 'Chocolate' in 1990." "It didn't take long, however," she continues, "For us all to realize this baby was going to be a lot more than a non-pro horse. When 'Chocolate' was two, at Ann's suggestion I hauled him to the Florida Gold Coast along with a hunter I was showing so that Cleve could take a look at him, and he agreed to take him on the spot." After purchasing her first hunter at the same time she bought "Chocolate," Jane has concentrated her own competitive efforts solely in this area and has done extremely well. In 1994, she won her first AQHA World Championship in Amateur Working Hunter with Berrys Image, and her current mount, Chipariffic, won the 1998 Congress Junior Working Hunter and the 1999 Miller Classic before becoming the 1999 AQHA World Champion in both Green Working Hunter and Junior Working Hunter. Jane and the gelding also finished last year as the AQHA Reserve High Points in Amateur Hunter Hack and Amateur Working Hunter.
Chips Hot Chocolate's current fee is $2,250. He is nominated to the AQHA Incentive Fund, and at the present time his get are eligible for the Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia QH Association futurities. Jane stands the stallion at Gene Parker Quarter Horses, Orrum, NC, where he has stood since the inception of his breeding career. "The location and climate are advantageous, and the Parkers have one of the best facilities on the East Coast," she remarks. "It's absolutely state-of-the-art in every respect, and they've always taken excellent care of 'Chocolate' as well as all the mares. Gene and Bobbie are not only true professionals, they're extremely nice people to deal with. It's worked out very well for all of us. Owning a stallion of Chips Hot Chocolate's caliber," she concludes, "Has truly been a fantastic experience. Like everybody else, I'd always hoped to one day find that 'horse of a lifetime' but I never really expected it to happen -- and especially the way it did."
Casual photos of Hot Chocolate taken at 10 yrs. Old