What a Guy
- September 29, 2021
- Ruth Nicolaus
An iconic horse passed away on August 13 of this year.
Frenchmans Guy, the palomino stud owned by Bill and Deb Myers of St. Onge, S.D. died at the age of 34.
The horse changed the rodeo world and the Myers’ world as well.
Sired by Sun Frost and out of the Laughing Boy mare Frenchman’s Lady, he was acquired by Bill and Deb Myers as a weanling in 1987.
At the time, the Myers were training performance horses and scraping to get by as they built their business.
But after their promising stallion, Guy, was blinded in his right eye by a freak farm accident, they were devastated.
The Myers had originally planned on selling him as a gelding, but the accident changed that. They turned him out for two years on a friend’s big pasture.
They decided to keep him a stallion and make him into a good riding horse. Little did they know Guy’s accident would be the best thing that could happen to them.
He was intelligent, a quick learner, and easy to train. They trained him for the barrels and for roping, having success with him at futurities and then at amateur and pro rodeos.
It didn’t take long before Frenchmans Guy was highly-sought after. The barrel horse industry was beginning to blossom, and the timing was right for a stallion who was intelligent, friendly, easy to handle, and fast.
By 1996, he was breeding more than 50 mares a year and peaked at 134 registered AQHA foals in 2008.
As the Myers’ program grew, they added other stallions and stopped taking outside horses to train, focusing on their own horses. They added other stallions as well: Hot Colours, World Speed, Cowboy Cartel, among others.
Guy’s offspring have become money- and point-earners in multiple associations: the American Buckskin Registry, American Paint Horse Association, AQHA, International Buckskin Association, National Barrel Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association, Palomino Breeders Association, the PRCA and the WPRA.
But it was Frenchmans Guy who is the legend.
There’s no way to tell exactly how much money he and his progeny have won, but the Myers conservatively estimate it at $15 million.
“I’m pretty sure there’s not a horse in South Dakota that’s done what he’s done, as far as the number of mare’s he’s bred and the amount of money his offspring have won in the performance arenas,” Deb said. “He was such a fertile horse, and he was so easy to handle.”
Guy has spent his last years in a stall in an old barn, overlooking the place. “He stood over this hill and watched us do our work,” she said. They buried him on the hill, “where he can see the mares and colts when they come in.”
She reflected on the accident, which, at the time, seemed to be the worst thing that could happen. “It turned out to be a blessing for a lifetime, practically,” she said. “All I can say is, I guess sometimes when you think you’ve been dealt a rotten deal, it turns out to be a blessing in disguise.
“If you have a little patience and faith, you might find out it was a good thing.”
About Ruth Nicolaus
Ruth is a rodeo publicist who loves the Great Plains and its people. She can be found behind the chutes at a rodeo, working in her flower garden, or cooking, some of her favorite things to do....