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Valley View Supreme Saddlebred 3 Gaited Stallion

Saddlebred Valley View Supreme World Grand Champion. Tom Moore up.

A Stallion who was the World Grand Champion 3-Gaited Saddlebred and a legendary Sire.

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Valley View Supreme died on November 28, 1967 , from a heart attack. He was just fifteen years old. He is buried at Ruxer Farm, Jasper, Indiana. The inscription on his grave marker is as follows:

Under this sod lies a great one;
The King of show horses, the Star of the show,
To sire tomorrow’s champions was his role,
If there’s a horse Heaven, please God, rest his soul.

Although this famous stallion died young, he left a legacy of champion show horses and stallions. Like his sire, Genius Bourbon King he had small numbers of get, but his impact on the Saddlebred as a breed is impossible to estimate.

In both America and South Africa, Valley View Supreme has proven to be the most legendary son of Genius Burbon King.

Certain events and a couple of people played a role in the success of the stallion’s show and s breeding career - W.P. Rogovsky, Robert Skillman, Everette Ledbetter, Tom Moore, J.L. Younghusband and Alvin C. Ruxer.

W.P. Rogovsky, a Polish immigrant and tailor was interested in horses and built Fair Oaks Farm, West Chicago, Illinois, beginning in the early 1930’s. When Rogovsky first saw an American Saddlebred he immediately fell in love with the breed and its beauty and started to buy up horses for his stables. As you will see, Rogovsky playe a vital role in the Valley View Supreme saga.

Rogovsky’s first trainer was Bruce Robinson. (Bruce’s son Louis later became a top Saddle Horse trainer, and was later training at Valley View Farm in the 1940’s.)

One of the first good Saddlebreds at Fair Oaks Farm was Lady Alice, purchased from Kalarama Farm, Springfield, Ky. She was a filly by Kalarama Rex out of a daughter of Bohemian King.. Lady Alice was fourth in the yearling stake at the Kentucky State Fair in 1933, but was later injured and became a broodmare. Her story unfolded to place her in the right place at the right time to make her own unique contribution to Valley View Supreme, her grandson.

Rogovsky sold a number of horses to George Simpson in 1941. Simpson did not last long and all the animals found new homes in various parts of the country. Lady Alice was one of them and was sold to Robert Skillman, Detroit, Mich.

Skillman was a top executive of 3M Co. (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.) He retired to Winter Park, Florida, concentrating on the breeding side of the Saddlebred business and purchased a top stallion, The Genius (sired by King’s Genius and our of Kate Haines, making him a full brother to Burbon Genius, Leatherwood King, Leatherwood Genius and Genius of Stoneyridge). The Genius was to be the grandsire of Valley View Supreme.

In 1945, Lady Alice had a filly by The Genius. Her name was Diana Gay, and she showed lots of quality being shown at the Shelby County Fair to win the weanling championship and going on to Louisville where she won the blue in the weanling stake at the Kentucky State Fair. However, Robert Skillman died shortly afterward, and Diana Gay was eventually sold to W. P. Rogovsky who had once owned this filly’s dam !! She brought $2000 - a very big price for a yearling. Rogovsky eventually bred Diana Gay to Burbon Genius King and the foal arrived in April of 1952 --this was the future Valley View Supreme.

Rogovsky was unfortunately in poor health and in 1951 men from the farming community cared for the animals at Fair Oak. Because of ill health when Everette Ledbetter wanted to buy a horse trailer from him, Rogovsky refused to sell it without getting rid of some of the horses as well. Everette Ledbetter then bought the trailer and two Genius Bourbon King colts.

Ledbetter had no pasture for the colts and called on Tom Moore to look at them. Moore bought the one out of Lady Coventry for Valley View Farm but the other one out of Diana Gay( to later be named Valley View Supreme) was puny and in a terrible shape, although he was extremely beautiful. Ledbetter dewormed him and with a bit of feeding he began to look better and was sold to Ray Schafer. He in turn was a cousin to Mrs Younghusband.

Some say it was out of pity, or perhaps because he was Hannah’s cousin, or even because the price was right ($100!). Be it as it may, J.L. Younghusband bought the beautiful colt from Ray Schafer and brought him to Valley View Farm.

Photo of Valley View Supreme as Saddlebred 2 yr. old champion
Tom Moore accepted the challenge from Mr. Younghusband to start the colt’s training and in 1954 he was shown for the first time at the Midwest Horse Show, Springfield, Ill as a Two Year Old Fine Harness Champion.

Horst photo of the event, to the left.

The stallion was brilliant off the hocks and he possessed beauty, expression and presence never before seen in a saddle horse. The ears of Valley View Supreme often touched at the tips and he had a beautiful sculptured head.

He went on to win the Junior Stake at Wisconsin State Fair and at Indiana and also triumphed at the American Royal at the end of the year. The next spring at South Shore in 1955, he was the Junior Fine Harness Champion. After that however, it was all downhill . He was reserve at Illinois, but in his age group was third. At the Ohio State Fair he was fourth in the Junior Harness and reserve at Louisville.

Tom Moore later stated that he got to a stage where he simply did not want to wear harness and was sour much of time in the ring. Another contributing factor is that Valley View Supreme was used as stud for the first time that year.

Tom tried to gait him but to no avail. He had too much hock action so they thought of trimming him. Tom said: “We did not want to castrate him. I always thought he’d be the Genius Bourbon King son to keep as a stud. He was so beautiful and just about perfect all over. When he was looking, you’d have a hard time getting a cigarette paper between the tips of his ears. He was also bred right to breed on. His mother was a beautiful mare, and I always kept that in mind....”

“Anyway”, Moore continued, “I was in kind of a bind with him and had to do something. Mr Younghusband, remembered what he wanted to do years ago with Genius Bourbon King and asked, ” why don’t you trim him?“ but I was concerned about it. He really would not have cared if I didn’t show him at all. I called Lloyd Teater and asked him and he said that I was crazy, that ‘nobody does that!’ Then I called Jim Blackwell. He was with the American Horse Show Association at the time, and told me that he couldn’t find any rules against showing a three gaited stallion, but that I’d better check with the shows to make sure there were no local rules against it”.

Tom Moore said that he was scared, but he got up his nerve and got out the clippers. Soon he revealed a gorgeous long neck to the Saddle Horse Industry!

In 1956, according to an article by Lynn Weatherman, the horse show fans talked about one thing only - “that crazy Younghusband and his crazy, smart-a-kid trainer, and the walk-trot stud!”

Those who were at the rail at the South Shore Country Club were the believers together with the judge on the day J. Miller McAfee twice tied Valley View Supreme over the reigning Three Gaited World Champion, Emerald Future.

Most of the railbirds agreed with him. It was the biggest news in the Saddlebred industry since the debut of Wing Commander!

The euphoria was short lived. Lexington Junior League Horse Show did not allow stallions to show in the three gaited division. Moore immediately phoned the Kentucky State Fair and the then manager, Carl Garner had no objections. The prize list however only listed mares and geldings and was quickly changed it to include stallions.

Younghusband was furious with the Lexington Junior League Horse Show committee and cancelled all his entries. Most people agreed with his sentiments.

The next show was the Wisconsin State Fair where he was the Three Gaited Champion . Later that year, at Louisville ( 1956), Valley View Supreme and Tom Moore made history , as this was the only stallion to ever win a World GRand Champion Three Gaited Title. W.P. Rogovsky fortunately lived to see this. He died the following year.

Frank Bradshaw was looking for a horse for a customer of his, Mrs A.S. Kelley and her daughter Patsy. Mr Younghusband’s auditors were complaining about his horse business and when Tom Moore told them the price of $30,000, the deal was done.

With Patsy Kelly aboard the stallion won the junior three gaited stake and the open. Then it was on to the Royal Winter Fair, Toronto, Canada where he again won the under two and the open stake. In 1957 there are no records of him being shown. He was bred this year to several mares at Mrs. Kelly’s farm.

Tom Moore, who in the meantime left Valley View Farm and opened his own stable at Rolling Green Farm, Lake Zurich, Ill., trained Valley View Supreme again in 1958. He had wins at both Milwaukee and South Shore and remained unbeaten through the Illinois and Wisconsin State Fairs.

Unfortunately his return to Louisville was unsuccessful. Techni Star won the under two as well as the Championship with Valley View Supreme fourth. It was his last show as Tom Moore decided to rather continue showing his younger full sister, Scarlett Flame.

Mrs Kelley left him with Tom Moore to stand him at stud and one of the crop of 1959, Hide-Away-Firefly Supreme, quickly achieved fame as a no.1 futurity sire for Jim Aikman.

Valley View Supreme’s tale now gets a Ruxer twist when Alvin C. Ruxer from Jasper, Indiana, visited Tom Moore’s stable in 1962 to look for a walk-trot horse for his young nephew Bobby. Tom’s stables now were located at Red Gate Farm, Wheaton, Ill.

Alvin Ruxer bought a mare instead, but when she did not work out a a show horse, he sent her to Genius Bourbon King. The mare failed to come into season and a veterinary check showed her in foal. The previous year she had been bred to Valley View Supreme but it was thought that she did not get in foal. Alvin was not too upset because he admired this stallion and had already bred several mares to him. Early March 1963 she gave birth to a beautiful filly, Sunset’s Surprise on the Red Top Farm of Mrs Judson Large. Alvin drove to Chicago to see the new filly and on his way he stopped over at Tom Moore’s place to have a closer look at stallion. Tom and Donna were away at the first Phoenix A-Z Horse Show and Alvin learned from the grooms that Valley View Supreme might be for sale. He immediately drove to Georgetown, Ky to see Frank Bradshaw and there he learned that he was indeed for sale. He offered $25,000 and the deal was done. The stallion stayed on with Tom Moore for the breeding season and he fulfilled all previous commitments.

The $25000 which Ruxer spend on the stallion was recouped very soon when Ruxer sold American Sunset’s beautiful filly for that amount.

The next year the stallion was moved to Ruxer Farms, Jasper, Ind and in four short years he made Saddle Horse breeding history.

With a stud fee of $750 at the maximum he attracted a lot of high quality mares. Alvin Ruxer had his own quality band of broodmares including the famous Judy O’Lee (x Leatherwood King) and her daughter Melody O’Lee (x Anacacho Denmark) - later the dam of the legendary Supreme Sultan.

Photo of Bellissimma sired by Valley View Supreme.In 1967 Valley View Supreme had his first World Grand Champion, Bellissima. In the World Grand Champion Three Gaited Stake there were three of offspring. They were: Grand Champion (Bellissima), Reserve Grand Champion (Cara Mia) and third place (Timberlane Supreme).

Bellissima won the World Champion Three Gaited Title for three years ( 1967 - 1969) Thereafter she was twice World Champion Amateur Three Gaited Horse. (1970-1971)

 Another incredible record was set in 1969 when three of his daughters, Ernistine Supreme ( x America Sunset), Brenda Supreme and Enchantment were tied first, third and fourth in the Junior Three Gaited Stake at Louisville.

1966 Valley View Supreme attained his highest position, number four on the Saddle & Bridle sire rating. He was first as Futurity Sire as well. What is even more remarkable is that he was followed as top Futurity Sire by a son, Hide-Away’s Firefly Supreme, who was no 1 from 1967 - 1972. and was without doubt one of the most beautiful horses of his time. Jim Aikman his owner, bred many world champions by him and later out of his offspring.

Photo of Status Symbol sired by Valley View Supreme. The greatest son, Supreme Sultan Saddlebred Stallion had the number one spot from 1973 - 1975. and changed the look of the Saddlebred throughout the world forever. In South Africa, Sultan’s son Supreme O’ Lee, out of the Wing Commander daughter, the Royal Princess, became the most successful import from this line.

In 1976 yet another son, Status Symbol, was number one until 1978. This 12 year record of number one spots from the same sire on the futurity sire rating is one that still stands.

The Saddlebred fraternity should be forever in debt to Alvin C Ruxer’s vision to use Valley View Supreme extensively in his last four years as a sire to carry on the legacy of Genius Bourbon King. Although immediate foals were few. the descendants from this offspring carried much of the spectacular future of the Saddlebred breed. To quote Lynn Weatherman - “Blood does indeed tell!”

      Bourbon King
    King’s Genius  
      Princess Eugenia
  Bourbon Genius    
    Kate Haines  
Genius Bourbon King     Kathryn Haines
      Mc Donald’s Majesty
    Silver Mac  
  Blessed Event    
      Jack Twigg
    Fair Promise  
      Razzle Dazzle
      Bourbon King
    King’s Genius  
      Princess Eugenia
  The Genius    
    Kate Haines  
Diana Gay     Kathryn Haines
      Rex Peavine
    Kalarama Rex  
      Nancy Thurman
  Lady Alice    
      Bohemian King
    Jean Bohemian  
      Zuleika W.

More about the American Saddlebred Information History and Facts:
Saddlebred Easter Cloud Saddlebred Montrose Saddlebred Rex Peavine Saddlebred Bourbon King Saddlebred Rex McDonald Saddlebred Wing Commander Saddlebred Genius Bourbon King Saddlebred Indiana Ace Saddlebreds in So. Africa Saddlebred Stonewall Supreme