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$175K Special Nu Baby Embryo, $78K Freckles Playboy and Playgun Embryos Top Christmas Eve Sale

The embryo, yearling and broodmare market closed out 2023 strong in the annual Select Horse’s Christmas Eve Sale, with top five high-sellers averaging $88,200 and a solid overall average of $26,950.


A 2024 embryo by Hottish out of NCHA Open World Champion Special Nu Baby brought $175,000. Special Nu Baby­—after this year’s NCHA Futurity—has produced five open futurity finalists and over $1,200,000 in earners. 

Special Nu Baby
Special Nu Baby


 “I was thrilled when Gary Barker decided to put the Special Nu Baby embryo in the Christmas Eve Sale,” Melanie Smith said. “Special Nu Baby had a huge futurity with Empress (Metallic Cat x Special Nu Baby) winning third with Wes Galyean. She is such a phenomenal producer, and we always appreciate the opportunity to represent these kinds of world-class genetics in our sale. When we can achieve a value that accurately represents the quality of a consignment, that means we have done our job. This embryo landed in XIT Ranch's excellent program where the resulting foal will have every chance to achieve what it should.”


The second high seller was the much-anticipated embryos by Freckles Playboy and Playgun, out of NCHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion, Smart Kitty RG. 

Freckles Playboy
Freckles Playboy


“I have always loved doing crosses with some of the old-time legends,” Melanie said. “This one was a no-brainer. Smart Kitty RG was a dynamic show mare that had a strong resume in the show pen. The resulting foals from these crosses will be one-of-a-kind.”


The third high seller at $74,000 was Tuff As Nails, a yearling stallion by the $11 million sire Woody Be Tuff. The dam to the colt won $30,706 herself. The colt was bred and consigned by Scott Wagner of Cedar Hills, Utah, and he was fitted by Maria Gutierrez with Solo Select Horses. 


“This colt had the class, eye appeal and talent we see so consistently with the Woody Be Tuffs,” Melanie said. “The maternal pedigree was excellent on this colt as well. We will see him in the winner’s circle.”

Tuff As Nails
Tuff As Nails, by Woody Be Tuff, sold for $74,000

Other high sellers included Chickasaw Grace, a daughter of High Brow Cat bred to Dual Reyish that sold for $64,000, and the Stevie Rey Von embryo out of Purina Heel Horse of the Year, DT Sugar Chex Whiz, bringing $50,000.


Select Horse Sales will host its first sale of 2024 on February 11. You can download the app at



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