Our manager at Lane’s End Texas recently won the 2011 T. I. “Pops” Hawkins Award for Lifetime Achievement. Established in 1989, the T. I. “Pops” Harkins Award is presented to the TTA member in good standing whose efforts and contributions to the association and the Texas Thoroughbred industry over a period of years have helped to further the goals of the TTA. The Harkins Award is not required to be awarded each year, but is discretionary on the part of the TTA Awards Committee and Board of Directors.
Following are the remarks which were read at the banquent on June 16, 2012:
Danny has been the manager of Will Farish’s Lane’s End Texas, originally named Huisache Farm, for more than 35 years. The 300-acre nursery near Hempstead specializes in stallion management, breeding, boarding and sales preparation and is recognized as one of the outstanding Thoroughbred farm operations in the Southwest.
One of Shifflett’s most noteworthy accomplishments has been management of the extraordinarily successful career of Valid Expectations, Texas’ perennial leading stallion since his purchase by Farish and prominent Texas partners Bob and Lee Ackerley, Joe Archer, Greg Goodman and Bob and Janice McNair in 2001. Relocating from Florida after his first two seasons at stud, Valid Expectations commanded a Texas-sized stud fee of $17,500 from 2005 to 2008. Now 19, Valid Expectations, a 12-time winner of nearly $600,000 including the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs, has progeny earnings which will likely top $30,000,000 by the end of 2012. On the track, “Valid” has sired both sprinters and routers on dirt and turf with his best known offspring being top sprinter Saratoga County, who earned $1.6 million, and The Daddy, who won the Grade 2 Super Derby in 2005 over 1 ¼ miles. “Valid’s” fillies have become sought-after broodmare prospects and several of his male offspring have become the horses of choice for polo players.
In addition, to Valid Expectations, Shifflett currently manages four other stallions at Lane’s End Texas in Too Much Bling, one of the most precocious young sires in North America, two other young stallions in Grasshopper and Sing Baby Sing, as well as the veteran Supreme Cat, sire of Texas champion Tin Top Cat.
Since the inception of Class 1 racing in Texas in 1995, Lane’s End Texas has been directly connected to the ownership, breeding and/or selling of no less than 13 Texas divisional champions including Bridesmaid, Forrest G., Grand Charmer, Lady Mallory, Native Annie, Open Meadows, Political Whit, Upstream, Valid Lilly, Valid Message, Valid Stripes and two-time divisional champion Mocha Express, the 1999 Texas Horse of the Year. He also raised prominent stakes horses General Charley and Expect Will and 2012 stakes winners Color Code and Boca Bay.
But Danny Shifflett is certainly not all work and no play. His passion and enthusiasm for the horse industry is closely matched by his interest in sports as both a competitor and daily observer. His competitiveness showed in earlier years on the polo field where he played professionally with a 5-goal ranking on Will Farish’s Huisache team.
Today, Danny channels his competitive zeal towards the golf course where he once had a 5 handicap. His other leisure hours are absorbed watching men’s and women’s tennis, college and pro football and basketball, and any sport involving his alma mater, the University of Virginia.
In addition to the top Texas stallions, mares and foals that Shifflett maintains in exquisite dappled-out condition at Lane’s End Texas, he also waxes and polishes a stable of his own antique cars before proudly driving one to the next car show or local eating establishment.
Danny Shifflett is a Life Member of the Texas Thoroughbred Association. He is currently serving another term as a member of the TTA Board of Directors and serves on the TTA’s Breeding, Racing, Budget Oversight and Sales Committees. At yesterday’s meeting of the Board of Directors, Danny was elected 1st Vice President of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.