Saddlebred Stallions - HSC Overview
Saddlebred Stallions at HSC are given great care and attention. Attention to each in both performance (whatever discipline) and in the successful passing on of their own unique characteristics. Progeny are discussed, along with their competition successes. Bloodlines are studied, mare-care, fees, and even the progeny that are available sired by each stallion.
Click to view CURRENT STALLIONS AT STUD section of the site and use the search facility to highlight this breed. There is an entire section of this site dedicated to Saddlebred Stallions.
OUR PROMOTION OF ASB STALLIONS:
You can read about current sires standing at stud AND you are invited to CREATE YOUR OWN LISTING
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On HSC, stallions can be located by name, breed, successful disciplines and of course location.
You may wish to also read about ASB shows or ASB stables farm ranches and the section for Saddlebreds for sale.
THE BREEDERS TODAY
In today’s world the standing of ASB stallions is big business. Although the breed was created in America and the standards of the breed and consistency of genetically dominate traits were tested and developed in the USA, the popularity of this breed has spread to many other countries around world and the competition between stallions, their individual traits and prepotency is a topic of ongoing scrutiny and research as each crop of new foals arrive each year and the world re-evaluates the progeny of each individual sire and the best traits they are producing in their off-spring.
Some become well-known as sires of the world-famous 5-Gaited show ring performers an acknowledged pinnacle of power and grace in the show world. Others are sought for producing foals that enjoy success as futurity winners of large prize monies, still others for Fine Harness or their 3-Gaited Champions in this or that category of performance.
There have been many famous individual stallions (famous in the show ring and famous as sires) and a few have been dominate and very popular producers, yet often with the passing of time it is the daughters that become pure gold as producers of the breed. And of course there are those individuals who just seem to produce multiple levels of champions. Such stallions are worth more than their weight in gold to the ongoing success and popularity of the breed world wide.
ANCESTORS OF THIS SADDLE HORSE:
Many breeds can be traced all the way back to the Darley Arabian, one of the Arabian stallions that was imported into England in 1704. He is known as one of the founding sires of the Thoroughbred breed and also of the Saddlebred.
What follows is a brief list of the foundation stock that contributed to the Saddle Horse as a breed and became foundation sires of that breed.
This stallion, a prominent grandson of the Darley Arabian, factors in several breeds pedigrees. He contributed to the modern Hackney breed through his son Old Shales (sometimes called Shales), who was foaled in 1755. Old Shales was a progenitor of the Norfolk Trotter breed, important direct ancestors of the modern Hackney and several other breeds.
Blaze was also an ancestor of the Standardbred foundation sire Hambletonian 10. As you will see, he also contributed to the Saddlebred stallions of today’s world.
In this Thoroughbred stallion’s pedigree, you can find Sampson, son of the previously mentioned Blaze. As an eight year old, Messenger was imported to North America in 1788 where he became an important Standardbred, as well as Thoroughbred, founding father. His influential North American stud career took place in New York, New Jersey and around Philadelphia, PA.
He was the great-grandsire of Hambletonian 10 the foundation sire of the Standardbred and it is impossible to find a Standardbred that does not trace back to the Thoroughbred Messenger, usually several times.
One of the main foundation Saddlebred stallions, Harrison Chief, traces back to Messenger through his sire line. This one Thoroughbred, Messenger, made a huge impact on the Saddle Horse, because he was so prepotent in passing on his incredible trotting qualities. Messenger was a very prolific, servicing as many as 126 mares per season. He died in 1808. In addition to his influence on the Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeds, his gift to the Saddle Horse is ongoing.
Foaled in 1849, this immortal athlete, otherwise known as Rysdyk’s Hambletonian, is the top-line ancestor of most Standardbreds. Nearly every Standardbred alive is a descendant of Hambletonian often with dozens of crosses. This great-grand-son of Messenger only won one race, but his progeny dazzled everyone with their trotting abilities. Hambletonian 10 was also an important progenitor of the Saddlebred through his sons and grandsons.
Another important blood source to current Saddlebreds is the Morgan, another saddle horse breed in and of itself. The horse Justin Morgan, founder of the Morgan breed, was foaled in 1789. Figure, as he was called until his owner’s death, was a small, compact, dark bay stallion with no white. Recent research shows that he may well have been descended, close-up, from heavier, coachier Norfolk Trotter ancestors, with some possible Welsh Cob mixed in. However his tabulated pedigree, taken from the Morgan Horse Registry, compiled in 1894, shows him to be intensely line bred to the Godolphin Arabian, Darley Arabian and Byerley Turk, with crosses to other, lesser-known Arabians.
Every registered Morgan traces to Justin Morgan, and Morgans have influenced other breeds, such as the Standardbred, the Hackney, the Tennessee Walker, the Quarter Horse and the American Saddlebred blockstock.
In fact it is said, that ninety percent of today’s Saddlebreds carry Morgan blood. The original list of stallions selected as foundation sires by the National Saddle Horse Breeder’s Association in 1899 included the Morgans Cabell’s Lexington and Coleman’s Eureka .
Justin Morgan’s sons, daughters and grand-get were also successfully crossed on Thoroughbred and Canadian and Narragansett pacer stock to crate the influential ancestors found in most modern Saddlebred pedigrees. In fact, Justin Morgan himself is listed as entry XXXI in Volume I, page 75 of Scharf’s Famous Saddle Horses, first published in 1936.
Today, the majority of Saddlebred stallions who carry Morgan blood, do so through Justin Morgan’s grandson Black Hawk and his grandsons, Gist’s Black Hawk and Indiana Chief, and through the great-grandson, Peavine.
A number of earlier American Saddlebreds trace in direct male line to Justin Morgan. Cabell’s Lexington 3234, foaled in 1863, is one well-known Saddle Horse sire who traced directly to Justin Morgan through his grandsire, Blood’s Black Hawk (also known as Blood’s Vermont Black Hawk), and great-great-grandsire, Sherman Morgan (by Justin Morgan).
Another was Coleman’s Eureka, sired by Young’s Morgan. Coleman s Eureka, a foal of 1864, won 109 blue ribbons in 112 showings, and gained renown through his high-performance offspring.
Yet another of these Saddlebred stallions who trace to Justin Morgan, was Benjamin’s Whirlwind, foaled in 1877, who was sired by a grandson of Blood’s Black Hawk, son of Sherman Morgan. His dam, Arabian Maid, was by Vermont Morgan, a grandson of Sherman Morgan on the dam’s side, and out of a daughter of the imported Arabian stallion, Zilcaadi.
Indian Chief, registered in the Saddlebred, Morgan and Standardbred Registries, was a handsome, fiery son of Blood’s Black Hawk.
FAMOUS AND GREAT PROGENITORS
Following the history and years outlined briefly in the paragraphs above, two main sire lines established the Saddle Horse on its course to the current standards of beauty and excellent performance reputation the breed enjoys globally today.
The first was a stallion named Gaines Denmark, foaled in 1851 out of a natural-gaited mare by the thoroughbred stallion, Denmark. The second was Harrison Chief.
The Denmarks and Chiefs both go back eight generations to the Thoroughbred, Blaze. When these families were crossed in the late 1800’s, the American Saddlebred was permanently fixed as a dominant breed and today’s Saddlebred stallions carry forward the characteristics and genes of these founding lines. Both families shared a common ancestry and intensified and strengthened the characteristics of the growing breed.
DENMARK (foundation sire)
Other early American Saddlebred stallions were given regular registration numbers when the American Saddle Horse Association was formed in 1891, but Denmark was recognized as the lone Foundation Sire. Denmark, born in 1839, was a Thoroughbred son of imported Hedgeford. Almost all registered ASBs trace to Denmark. When bred to a natural-gaited mare, he sired Gaines’ Denmark and established the Denmark family of Saddlebreds. More than 60 percent of the horses in the first three registry volumes trace to Gaines Denmark, although a few other sons and daughters of Denmark did produce and are in the stud books.
Denmark was the most influential Thoroughbred sire to impact the Saddlebreds of the future. He was dark brown in color with a long neck and high tail carriage. He had fine gaits yet once raced 16 miles, and more often 4 miles! Denmark had great conformation, lots of style, and more than sufficient endurance and stamina.
A coal black stallion, Gaines Denmark was a terrific five gaited show horse prior to the American Civil War and a great sire. He was sired by Denmark F.S. and out of an easy-gaited mare known only as the Steven-son mare who was of probable Narragansett and thoroughbred blood.
Gaines Denmark was taken by General John Hunt Morgan’s men during an Ohio raid but was later returned to the Ohio farm where he carried on his pre-war life as a breeding stallion. He produced great sires in his turn and a family who bore consistent characteristics in gait, conformation, and manner, somewhat different from all other breeding lines. Further more, over 60% of the ASB stallions in the first three American Saddlebred Horse Breeders Association Registers can be traced to him.
The second foundation sire of a dominate Saddlebred family was a blood bay with no white markings, over 15 hands in height. Foaled in 1872, his sire was Clark Chief, descended from excellent but unattractive harness horses; and his dam was Lute Boyd, a harness horse who was a stark contrast to Clark Chief because of her beauty. The Chief family, like the Denmark, has a dominance of blood coming from the Thoroughbred Messenger.
Harrison Chief was considered a trotting horse of exception ability and was registered as a trotter, although he was also a top winner in harness rings of that time. When trained for show, he was defeated only four times during an eight-year show ring career. He gained acceptance as a founding family sire because of all the fine five-gaited show horses he sired . He became the paternal grand-sire and maternal great-grandsire of influential Saddlebred stallion Bourbon King and his full brothers, Marvel King and Montgomery Chief.
The Chief family is of great trotting derivation and many members of this family have great speed, both at the rack and the trot. Harrison Chief’s ability to jump into extreme speed from a standstill was passed on to such descendants as CH Chief of Longview, CH Wing Commander, Edna May’s King, Beau Gallant and others who preformed brilliantly in the show ring. Harrison Chief also played an influential role in the Thoroughbred and Tennessee Walker breeds.
The Saddle Horse family of Chief was eventually crossed in the late 1880’s with the Denmark Family and modern Saddlebred stallions consist of those who trace to both of these families. It is said that when Harrison Chief died in 1896, he was buried next to Gaines Denmark.
In Bourbon King , foaled in 1900, was combined the blood of both the Denmark and the Chief families. This chestnut with star and white hind ankles, won the championship at the Louisville horse show as a three year old, was never defeated as a five gaited show horse. But as great as he was in the show ring, his greatest fame came through the stud.
For twenty years the sons and daughters of Bourbon King played a prominent role in the show and breeding world and in many instance dominated both. He was magnificent as an individual, with rare intelligence, and transmitted to his get a remarkable degree of his great characteristics, his exquisite beauty, perfection of gaits with speed and brilliance.
He was a sire of champions and the acknowledged leading sire of his day. He was the leader of all sires of money winning horses at the Kentucky State Fair from 9124 to 1928. Living to the age of 30, Bourbon King was the great progenitor of the Chief family.
Six times World Grand Champion Wing Commander traced to Bourbon King on both sides of his pedigree.
Photo at the top of the page depicted a South African stallion Perfect Timing and progeny from Newline Stud. Photo Ross Millin.
Other introductory site pages about this Breed :
American Saddlebred | Saddlebreds
SADDLEBRED STALLIONS BY STATE:
American Saddlebred in Iowa (3)