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ASB Industry Loses Another Top Sire CH Man On The Town Dies At Age 20

by Bob Funkhouser

Many things seem to go in cycles and early this year that cycle has been the loss of the elderly statesmen of the breeding world. The latest casualty is the great show horse and sire CH Man On The Town. Bred, raised and shown at Jean McLean Davis’ Oak Hill Farm, Harrodsburg, Ky., the world’s champion producer died Tuesday, February 17. According to Ms. Davis, Man had foundered in one foot and was taken to the clinic for that problem and then he had a colic attack and could not be saved. Like his sire, Man On The Town was 20 when he died.

Foaled in 1984, Man On The Town was a product of two Oak Hill world’s champions, both shown by Tom Moore. His sire was the famous three-times Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Yorktown and his dam was the three-times world’s champion CH Chantilly Rose (Denmark’s Bourbon Genius x Anita Le Rose by Society Kalarama), herself a member of the Broodmare Hall of Fame. A Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited World’s Champion with Charlie Crabtree, Yorktown won the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship and stallion titles with Moore from 1970-72 before being retired to stud. Of course his sire was the six-time Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Wing Commander.

Chantilly Rose won both the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited World’s Championship and the ASHA National Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Futurity in 1973 and came back to win the World’s Champion Five-Gaited Mare Stake in ‘74 as a junior horse while taking reserve the following year.

“Man’s second dam [Anita Le Rose] was the only mare on his dam’s side that wasn’t a world’s champion and I think she would have been except her trainer just didn’t get along with her,” said Ms. Davis. “Then you go back and her dam was Rita Le Rose who was a world’s champion and her dam was Belle Le Rose, the 1933 and ‘34 Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion. Chantilly Rose, Rita Le Rose, and Belle Le Rose were all three Hall of Fame Broodmares.”

Not only were Yorktown and Chantilly Rose world’s champion show horses, they were also top producers. Yorktown has been well noted for his many champions, including Man On The Town. Chantilly Rose also proved herself to be a great producer as not only the dam of Man On The Town, but also the highly rated sire Talent Town, the world’s champion show horse Only Game In Town and the winning show horse Chit-Chat.

Man On The Town was started and shown by George Knight. In fact, other than Ms. Davis riding him once and Dana DeVoss riding him once, no one else ever sat on Man On The Town. He was attended to his entire life by Cathy Stumpf.

The game stallion showed for four years under saddle and was never defeated. In 1987 he debuted at Lexington Junior League to win the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stake with a performance that had the entire industry talking. Man went on to Louisville to be crowned ASHA Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited National Futurity World’s Champion.

The next year he was Junior Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion and Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion. Then in 1989 and 1990 Man On The Town electrified Freedom Hall as the Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion and Five-Gaited Stallion World’s Champion. Again, Man On The Town had something in common with his sire; they both won seven world’s championships. In 1991 Man was retired from the show ring to take over the breeding duties at Oak Hill Farm.

“He was a great horse,” recalled George Knight. “He had the best attitude. He always did everything you asked of him. He was just a horseman’s dream.”

“Man was a standout from the time he was born,” added Ms. Davis. “He always did what you wanted him to do. He had the disposition of a gelding. He was game, gifted, everything was easy for him. I usually don’t show horses as three-year-olds but it came so naturally for him it wasn’t like we had to push him to get there. I can say I was very fortunate to have a horse like him.”

Because of the way Ms. Davis runs her program it was a few years before the industry saw just what the world’s grand champion could produce. Slowly his get began to trickle to the show ring and keep in mind he was only bred to farm mares. His largest foal crop was 11, some years there were just two or three.

“He was only bred to 8 to 12 mares a year and they were only mine and a few of George’s,” said Ms. Davis. “I don’t believe in showing two and three-year-olds. I want them to mature before we bring them out.”

George Knight did believe in showing young horses and he brought out the first offspring to reach great heights. City Lady was the 1998 ASHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited National Futurity Reserve World’s Champion and with Melody Adler she was the Ladies Amateur Over 15.2 World’s Champion and Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion in 2001, a reserve world’s champion in 2002 and again a world’s champion in 2003.

Other world title holders have included Lace On The Town, Rich Woman, A Woman’s Touch, Man Of Conquest, and Bayou Belle. From his 72 total get, several of which are not old enough to show yet, Man has also sired the regional winners Man In My Life, Man And Mystery, Man To Man, He’s The Man, Another Man’s Treasure, Man’s Nite Out, and Only Man In Town.

As far as the future, both Knight and Ms. Davis report that they have a few youngsters that look extremely promising, two of which are stallions. If blood and talent are indicators we will look up in a few years and find that this wonderful family of show horses and producers will represent Oak Hill Farm well into the next decade.

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