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CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover Set The Standard


CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover
and Dave Patton

by Bob Funkhouser

Long before there was a CH My Front Page Lady or an Our Charming Lady there was another lady who defined three-gaited elegance for females riders. From 1984 through 1993, the name CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover was heard over and over again from the winner’s circles of the nation’s best shows. She did so with unique, open motion and a set of beautiful, hook ears that sat upon an elegant, chiseled face that beamed endless expression.


The Treiber family sadly announced the grand mare passed away Dec. 31, 2007, on the Wauzeka, Wis., farm owned by her longtime rider and best buddy, Susan (Treiber) Robinson and her family. Also a great producer when her show ring days were over, Crimson And Clover was 25 when she died.


A daughter of Stonewall’s Main Event and Hide-A-Way’s Saucy Sandy by Hide-A-Way’s Wild Country, Crimson And Clover was the first horse bred by Dr. and Mrs. Scott Cairns.


“We were new at this. Her dam [Hide-A-Way’s Saucy Sandy] had been a reserve world’s champion weanling for Jim Aikman but then she fractured a leg in a training accident as a two-year-old. She spent a year and a half in rehab,” explained Sandy Cairns. “She was so crippled; we couldn’t get her in foal. Dr. [Alan] Raun said he would take care of her and try to breed her. He got her in foal to Main Event and Crimson And Clover was her first foal.


“She was always so gorgeous. It was very exciting to watch her grow up. She created quite a stir at Dick and Jeanette’s [Durant] as several people wanted her and she was one of their very first six-figure horses.”


“We always thought she was pretty special,” added Jeanette Durant. “Dick showed her in harness as a two-year-old and won with her. Donna Moore, Dave and Sarah Patton and another party all wanted her at the same time as a three-year-old. It was pretty crazy but Mr. [Phil] Treiber bought her sight unseen. He relied on Dave and Sarah and there wasn’t time for him to get here to see her before someone else was going to write the check.”


According to Sarah Patton, she and Dave went on a buying trip looking for a nice young horse for the Treibers. They went through Kentucky and stopped at several places along the way, however, the little mare at Durant’s stayed at the top of their list.


“We looked at a lot of horses but we kept coming back to her,” said Sarah Patton. “She was different. She had very open, unique motion that we liked, but we didn’t know if others would. We were also a little suspect of her breeding but as we found out, she was more than game.”


Dave Patton brought Crimson And Clover out as a three-year-old in the walk-trot division and it was a new look that was commanding a lot of attention. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however. Although she looked like the most exquisite lady, as a young mare she wasn’t always lady-like at the canter or in her transitions.


“I couldn’t get over how gorgeous she was and how unique her motion was,” added Dave Patton. “I feel very lucky to have had her. She was a very bright mare; we didn’t ever do anything to entertain her.


“The problem I did have was that she would try to run off at the canter. It wasn’t anything mean; she was just very nervous. Getting her to relax was the key. I would get on her and walk her for 20 minutes sometimes before I began her work. She didn’t need any warming up to get her motion; she trotted as high as she could go that very first step. I also had a great guy (Pete Wirtz) taking care of her and I would let him jog her. She would relax much more with Pete so he would jog her and I would ride her.


“Don Stafford is the one who helped me finally fix her canter. He told me to let her canter in the dumb-jock. He said to put boots on her from head to toe and let her loose. I was scared to death. She leaped and lunged and scrambled but she finally learned to canter.


“She got better as she got settled and got older. She had the sweetest mouth at the trot but sometimes it could be a little rough in the transitions.”


Dave Patton and CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover went undefeated her three and four-year-old seasons and they weren’t shy about showing. That first year, they started out winning the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited class at Milwaukee Spring before winning both the three-year-old class and the UPHA Classic at Midwest Charity. Her next stop would be Lexington Junior League and the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited winner’s circle. By the time they hit Freedom Hall, Patton and Crimson And Clover had a large fan club. She didn’t disappoint, winning the ASHA National Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Futurity over Johnny Jones and Star Struck M.R., among others.


The next month the Treibers’ Oakwood Farm and the great young mare went to St. Louis for another victory pass before finishing the season in Kansas City with the UPHA Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Classic Championship tricolor. A star had indeed been born!


Oakwood Farm’s trainer Dave Patton went

undefeated with Crimson And Clover as a

three and four-year-old including three world titles

and a UPHA Classic Grand Championship.


It was more of the same in 1986: Milwaukee, Midwest, the Junior Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under and Junior Three-Gaited Championship at Lexington Junior League only to repeat those victories in Freedom Hall the following month. Crimson And Clover topped Storm Wind and John Conatser in the qualifier and then beat the junior over 15.2 champions Ambition and John Biggins for the junior championship. Three world titles in two years wasn’t bad, neither was earning her CH status after only her four-year-old year.


“Her best shows were at Midwest and Lexington,” said Patton. “She was good at Louisville but her best were at Midwest. She loved that ring. When you put a foot in the stirrup you had better been ready to go. I always liked showing her. I didn’t always like showing, but I did her.


“I’ll always remember how willing and game she was and what an opportunity she gave me. She took me to places I would have never gotten.”


While it was hard work, the transition from young star shown by a trainer to young star shown by an amateur lady was quite successful in the very next season when Patton put Susan Treiber and Crimson And Clover in the amateur and ladies classes.


They debuted at Milwaukee Spring winning the ladies class and the amateur championship. The competition level went up at Midwest Charity where they again won the ladies class and the amateur championship. Their first trip to the Red Mile resulted in a Ladies Three-Gaited Under 15.2 blue among eight entries and then came back to earn the Ladies Amateur Three-Gaited Reserve Grand Championship among 10 other teams. It was her first career defeat.


In her third trip to Louisville, five-year-old CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover and Treiber were reserve to Barbara Goodman and CH Lady’s Favorite Event in the amateur under 15.2 class. The decision was made for Patton to take Crimson And Clover back in the deep World’s Grand Championship where the young mare made a good show finishing third behind World’s Grand Champion CH Sultan’s Starina and Reserve World’s Grand Champion Cameo’s Angel Wings.


In 1988, Crimson And Clover went undefeated, including winning the Ladies Under 15.2 World’s Championship and the Ladies Three-Gaited World’s Champion Of Champions title.


Susan and Crimson finished out their career together with four more Midwest wins and three reserves; two additional Lexington wins to go with three more reserves; and one more world’s championship and two reserve world’s titles.


Susan Treiber Kieren, now Robinson, had

a great career aboard the oh-so-elegant

CH Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover.

They will forever be remembered for

many great victory passes in

the ladies walk-trot division.


“She was always tough, but I didn’t mind it,” chuckled Susan Treiber Robinson. “She was my best buddy. I was never a very social person but she and I bonded. She always felt like she was going to explode. I know it sounds kind of corny, but I always felt special, felt very pretty sitting on her. It was an awesome feeling to be trotting down the rail looking through those hooked ears. You knew you were looking good when you were looking through those ears.”


When her show days were over, Crimson And Clover began a broodmare career and that proved to be just as successful. Her second foal was Trust Fund (by Attaché’s Liquid Asset) who was third at Rock Creek and fifth at Louisville as a two-year-old before becoming a top sire of today with 2007 twice world’s champion Crimson’s Dance Card to his credit, among other champions. Her next foal, Crimson Assets, also by Attaché’s Liquid Asset, was also a breeding stallion.


Then in a deal with Mrs. Weldon at Callaway Hills, Crimson And Clover moved to Missouri for a while. When bred to Callaway’s Blue Norther she produced Crimson Blue who has been a consistent winner since she was three, first in the three-gaited division and then in pleasure and country pleasure. While still showing, her embryo baby with Sir William Robert produced MBA’s Sir William Blue, the 2007 Wisconsin Futurity Limited Breeder’s Stake Grand Champion. The weanling defeated 29 other babies and won more than $30,000 in prize money.


After Crimson Blue came She’s Gone Blonde, the 2007 World’s Champion Of Champions Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure Horse. A year later came Callaway’s Queen Of Crimson who has been winning at top shows for the Aschenbrenner family in junior exhibitor show pleasure and pleasure driving.


Stonewall’s Crimson And Clover returned to her owner and spent the last years of her life enjoying the wide open pastures of Susan Treiber Robinson’s southwest Wisconsin farm.


“I’m glad I got her back on the farm,” said Robinson. “I’m out here in the middle of nowhere with huge open fields and it was cool to see her out there. She was so happy out there and she always wanted to be with the herd. She had some Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse mares to run with.


“She wanted to be the boss and be very tough but she could hear me from anywhere and would come running to me. I loved going out there and just talking to her.”


Unique was a word that kept coming up when interviewing people in her life. A sassy lady that loved to parade and look the part of a walk-trot horse as it was meant to be may be another way to describe the mare who loved being a queen.         

“She was fortunate to have had great caretakers all her life,” said Dave Patton. “She was well taken care of. Susan loved her and loved showing her. I’m glad the mare had a home for life.”

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