Not Ruf At All Slides Past $1 Million Mark

Not Ruf At All started his career off with a bang when he won the 2013 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Open. It was the start of a Triple Crown-winning run for the stallion, who is now finding success through his offspring.


The sorrel stallion owned by Vaughn Zimmerman recently became the newest NRHA One Million Dollar Sire, the NRHA recently announced.


By NRHA $2 Million Sire A Sparkling Vintage and out of All Ruffed Up, the sorrel stallion was always ridden by NRHA $2 Million Rider Jason Vanlandingham, retiring with more than $456,437 in earnings.


Vanlandingham vividly remembers the day when he realized just what he had in Not Ruf At All. “It was June of his 3-year-old year. My wife, Adrienne, came out, and I asked her to video him stopping. I ran down and stopped, and she just started laughing and said, ‘Oh my goodness, you’ve got to look at this.’ When I looked at the video, I knew we had something special!” he recalled.


That talent was coupled with the stallion’s monstrous heart.


“Over the course of his entire career, he never missed a stop in competition. I can’t say that about any other horse I’ve had or ever seen go,” Vanlandingham shared.


He recounted the story of the NRHA Derby when, as a 5-year-old, Ruf stopped just like every time he had been shown. But after he rode the stallion from the Coliseum, Vanlandingham found his slider in the warmup pen! With a shoe or without, he never missed a stop.


For Zimmerman, watching Ruf throughout his career was pure excitement.


“He was so dynamic, and I couldn’t wait until the next show,” he said.

The titles – and the purchase offers – rolled in, but there was never a question of parting with Ruf, all because of a discussion Zimmerman and Vanlandingham had early on.


“Jason asked me to promise I wouldn’t sell Ruf out from under him. I told him I wouldn’t.” He laughed, then added, “The prices of the offers kept growing, and I asked him if he was sure we shouldn’t sell him. Jason said, ‘No I want to show him!’”


Breeding Career

Multiple historic achievements and many magical moments followed, proving the decision sound, but ultimately, it was time for the next stage of Ruf’s career. It didn’t take too long before Ruf showed his ability as a breeding stallion.


“The first crops were small because we weren’t standing him to an open book. But soon we were seeing strong support from people around the globe – even Europe. People have a lot of choices, because they can breed to established studs – so when you’re in the proving stages [of a stallion’s career] and they support you, it means a lot,” Zimmerman explained.


Not Ruf At All’s Leading NRHA Performers

In the beginning, Zimmerman bred his own set of broodmares to the young stallion. When the first foals came of age in 2018, the journey of becoming a successful sire began.


Not Ruf At All’s highest money earner is Excessive Rufness (out of Smokin Lady Gunner x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]), a 3-year-old this year owned by Zimmerman. Winning the inaugural Invitational Futurity at the North American Reining Stakes with Vanlandingham boosted his earnings over the $100,000 mark.


Other notable offspring include Ruf Style Of Play (out of UB Stylin With Me x Lean With Me) owned by Axel Bouchner, who was ridden to the NRHA Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro title by Jesse Asmussen and has gone on to earn more than $92,000. Another Zimmerman-owned standout is Its All About Ruff (out of Dun Pretty Nifty x Hollywood Dun It), with $73,715 in lifetime earnings.


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