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The Recipe For Success

Editor’s Note: For complete listings of The Saddle Horse Report’s 17th Annual World’s Champion Sire Rating – Top 20 Overall and Top 10 by Division - Living Saddlebred World’s Champion Sires – see the January 9, 2006 issue of The Saddle Horse Report.


by Jennifer Styskal

For decades, breeders, trainers, and owners have searched through bloodlines, show records, and patterns in breeding history to find the magic combination of sire and dam that will produce the next great champion. Selecting the right stallion for a mare, waiting almost a year to see the results of such a match, and then watching the foal grow and develop, always wondering if he will train, if he will have ability, if he will win in the show ring is a long, restless process. And too many times disappointment follows. So what makes some stallions more productive than others? Is there some secret recipe for success when it comes to crossing bloodlines?

Some lines are known for their stamina, their trainability, their beauty, or their athleticism. But to create a horse that carries all of these elements has been the goal for all Saddlebred lovers. Though breeding sometimes seems to be no more than luck from the roll of the dice, students of the breed have mixed and matched bloodlines to produce stallions who in turn, not only sire great show horses, but also seem to have knack for generating champions in certain divisions.

Saddle Horse Report's Sire Rating ranks the stallions in accordance to how many current world's champions they have turned out in the current year.

From that list, the stallions are categorized by how many winning get they have in each division. If one goes back through the years, a pattern emerges of old bloodlines dominating certain divisions, while new ones emerge to the forefront.


For the past three years, Callaway Hills-bred Callaway's Blue Norther has topped the five-gaited ranks and placed third in the overall chart, outdoing his famed stablemate CH Caramac who has also had his time at the top for many years. It should be no surprise that the get of these two stallions have dominated the five-gaited division as they are both by the renowned sire CH Will Shriver who is often credited with reintroducing the rack in today's Saddlebred.

In 1944, Betty Weldon bought her first horse, Fourth Estate as a yearling and began the long tradition of quality breeding for which Callaway Hills is so well known. Fourth Estate would eventually go on to win the Three-Gaited World's Championship. When bred to the much-celebrated world's champion Wing Commander, Fourth Estate produced the talented five-gaited performer Callaway's Johnny Gillen.

Weldon made another wise purchase in Kate Shriver, daughter of Anacacho Denmark and one of the all-time great matrons of the breed Reverie's Desdemona. Kate Shriver made her mark in the fine harness division, winning shows all over the country and a world's championship. After her illustrious career, Kate Shriver was matched to Callaway's Johnny Gillen, and the end result was a colt named Will Shriver.

Within four generations, Will Shriver's pedigree contains 12 Broodmare Hall of Fame members as indicated by such lines as Anacacho Shamrock, Anacacho Denmark, Edna May's King, and CH King's Genius.


Started by Dale Pugh and finished and shown by Redd Crabtree, this stallion began the start of his legend in 1972 with wins at such esteemed shows as New York, Ohio and Indiana State Fair, Lexington, Pin Oak, Tulsa, and the American Royal.  For three years starting in 1974, Will Shriver claimed the world's champion title in the five-gaited stallion class. In 1976, Will Shriver repaid the hard work and determination put into him by Crabtree and owner Betty Weldon by capturing the Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship. During his seven years in the show ring, Will Shriver defeated, at one time or another, every horse he had gone up against.

After his world victory, Will Shriver retired from the show ring at the 1976 American Royal and began a new winning career in the breeding shed. Bred only to Callaway Hill's select band of broodmares, within three years of his progeny in the show ring, his get had won the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World's Championship twice along with the Junior Five-Gaited World's Championship and the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited World's Championship three times. 

While sometimes not much to look at in-hand, once leather was placed on the backs of his offspring, records were made and broken especially in the five-gaited division. Only days after this great stallion passed on to greener pastures in 1991, his son Callaway's New Look captured the Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship 15 years after his sire had performed the same feat. Names such as CH Will's Edition, CH New Estate, Caslon, Callaway's New Brief, Callaway's Night Town, Callaway's Will Type, Callaway's Eve Toncray, and CH Caramac carried the name of Will Shriver further in the books of Saddlebred history.

In 1980, Will Shriver was paired up with the mare Royally Blue who the following year gave birth to Callaway's Blue Norther. Royally Blue's lineage is as impressive as her mate's. With her great breeding, Royally Blue never entered the show ring, but went straight into a life of motherhood. By Royal Rambler, a son of The Rambler and out of a Broodmare Hall of Fame mare, world's champion Emerald Present, Royally Blue has a great blend of show horse families.

Sired by Genius Bourbon King, father of world's champion Valley View Supreme, The Rambler earned the Five-Gaited Stallion Reserve World's Championship in 1955 and in 1958. In addition to Royal Rambler, The Rambler sired the 1973 World's Champion Five-Gaited Stallion and highly noted sire CH Irish American, as well as eight other daughters who produced world's champion performers.

Royal Rambler sired his own winners including eight-time world's champion CH Royal Fortune and five-time world's champion CH Stutz Bearcat. These two gaited stars were known for their athletic ability and attitude passed on by The Rambler.

The dam of Royally Blue is Fascinating Blue, a daughter of CH Ridgefields’ Genius, who is said to have been a look-a-like son of the legendary King's Genius. CH Ridgefields’ Genius had a short but successful show career in the gaited division, winning a large and competitive thee-year-old class at Lexington Junior League in 1945, among others. CH Ridgefields’ Genius finished his breeding career with 12 daughters who produced world's champions and some 15 sons and daughters who won world titles.

With the combination of Genius Bourbon King and King's Genius blood flowing through his bottom line, Callaway's Blue Norther developed the stretch most Will Shriver sons lack. However, the mixing of Genius Bourbon King with Wing Commander proved to be a “golden cross” for Callaway Hills. Blue Norther had a short career as a show horse, winning the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited World's Championship in 1985 under the direction of legendary horseman Tom Moore.  While Blue Norther may not have set many records, his offspring have. Following in the Will Shriver/Callaway Hills tradition, champion after champion have come forth bearing Blue Norther blood.

Blue Norther's offspring have won in every division, but like his father, this stallion seems to have the ability for producing talented gaited horses. The most famous of the endless list is most likely to be Callaway's Forecaster. Garnering numerous wins in the open and amateur five-gaited division with owner Nancy Leigh Fisher aboard, Forecaster made history when he won the 2003 Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship as the third horse to carry an amateur rider to the roses.  He has continued to earn reserve world's championships in the amateur and open ranks.

Callaway's Born To Win is another illustrious name who owes his talent to the Will Shriver blood. Winning the Ladies Five-Gaited World's Championship title in 2003, he has carried his owner Gayle Lampe to two more reserve world's championships in the past two years. Adelita is yet another world's champion in the five-gaited classes. Winning the Five-Gaited Mare World's Championship honors for two years in a row with trainer Larry Hodge up, Adelita has also been crowned the Five-Gaited Reserve World's Grand Champion. Owner David Rudder took over the reins for much success in the amateur section, taking the blue in Amateur Gentleman's Five-Gaited class this past year at the Kentucky State Fair.

Other talents who have perfected the loftiness of the trot and the speed of the rack to capture countless wins are Callaway's Banner Headline, Callaway's Annie C, Callaway's Weatherman, and Callaway's Maelstrom.

Few stallions stamp their prodigy as prominently as the number one three-gaited sire Periaptor. With his long, hooked neck, his up-hill way of moving, and expressive eye, it is not difficult to pick out his sons and daughters in the crowd. Some call him “The Entertainer” for his presence and athletic ability, as he always seemed to captivate the crowd whenever he entered the show ring.

Bred and trained by Charlie Judd of Grandview, Mo., and later owned by Jeff and Cathy Loose, Periaptor has been a champion across the country. He has won such prestigious titles as Two-Year-Old Fine Harness World's Champion, American Royal Five-Gaited Stallion Champion for three consecutive years, 1990 UPHA Five-Gaited Reserve Grand Champion Horse of the Year, as well as many championships at St. Louis Charity, Boone County Fair, UPHA Chapter 5, and Nebraska State Charity.

However, Periaptor's success should not be brushed off as solely good luck. Judd knew what he was doing when he crossed two old and proven lines. Like so many other show horses, Periaptor descends from one of the greatest in Saddlebred history, CH Wing Commander. Every fan of the breed is aware of Wing Commander's six consecutive Five-Gaited World's Grand Championships, and only two defeats, in a record lifetime wins of 167.

After his show career, Wing Commander sired one of many great horses, Wing's Fleet Admiral. Wing's Fleet Admiral followed in his father's footsteps. He won shows all over the Mid-west and was a world's champion performer, becoming the pride of his home state of Missouri. When Wing's Fleet Admiral moved to the breeding shed, he continued to display his heritage.

His sons, Courageous Admiral, Grape Tree's Fox, and CH Superior Odds continue to impact the breeding and show world today. From their offspring, we have been given such top producers as Catalyst, Top Spool, The Cheetah, Fox Creek, Desert's Supreme Admiral, General Steel, Penny's Superior Stonewall, and Rare Treasure.

Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Cleland of Wakeeney, Kan., were the owners of the successfully shown mare, Indiana J E M in the early 1950s. When she retired from the show ring, Mr. and Mrs. Cleland bred her to Wing's Fleet Admiral.

The result was the flashy chestnut stallion Courageous Admiral. Under the skillful hand of Charlie Judd, Courageous Admiral showed as a two-year-old in the fine harness division before becoming a dynamic five-gaited champion at such shows as Tulsa, Dallas, and the Missouri State Fair. In 1974, he was favored to win the Five-Gaited World's Grand Championship and battled it out to receive the third place championship ribbon.  In his final show at the American Royal, he earned the reserve in the stallion stake and in the five-gaited championship, which he won two years previous.

In the breeding barn, Courageous Admiral sired many futurity winners such as Sweet April, All Aglow, Admiral's Big Dare, and Courageous Decision. Some of his performance winners include CH Admiral's Mark who won the Five-Gaited Ladies World's Championship four years in a row with Mary Gaylord on board and Redd Crabtree as trainer. CH Courageous Decision was the winner of the 1981 Ladies Fine Harness Stake and the Fine Harness Amateur World's Championship.

The mare Eliana had a total of 10 foals during her life, six of them by Courageous Admiral, and it was no mystery why. By Classic Stonewall and out of a Wing's Fleet Admiral daughter, Elaine proved to be a successful cross with Courageous Admiral. Her sire Classic Stonewall has a double dose of the famed Stonewall King. Classic Stonewall is by Stonewall King son, Stonewall Premier who had great fame as a breeding horse, leading Saddle & Bridle's sire rating for three consecutive years. His prosperity was due to his ability to sire champions in all divisions.

The winning five-gaited stallion The Caveat is one example of Eliana's ability to pass on the Stonewall traits of beauty, strength, heart, and action. The Caveat went on to sire his own champions. Other winners or producers of winners out of Eliana are Sweet Petite, Admiral's Careless Whisper, Admiral's Sweet Something, and Periaptor.

Now standing at King's Row under Rob Tanner's supervision, Periaptor spends his first time at the top of the divisional charts and number two on the overall rankings, having sired winners in all divisions. His popularity, though, has been growing in the three-gaited classes due to the refinement, elegance, and lofty trot he passes on to his offspring.

Two time winner of the Ladies Three-Gaited World's Championship and four-time winner of the Ladies Three-Gaited 15.2 and Under World's Champion CH Lady Periana is a prime example of her sire's genetics. Other past world's champions who have claimed titles among the three-gaited entries are Three-Gaited Park Mare World's Champion Sunshine Way and Three-Gaited Reserve World's Grand Champion CH Royal Messenger. Other national champions are Reefing, Periempress, Highland Cavalier, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Cash Crop and Sue She.

Fine Harness

Few stallions have the impact on the breeding and show world that the Saddle Horse Report Number One Overall Sire, CF First Night Out, has had. Spending his first year at the top of the overall rankings, as well as the divisional charts for the fine harness section, CF First Night Out has produced champions that, for a long time to come, will be remembered as some of the greats of our breed.

The beginning of this line of outstanding fine harness performers can be traced back to one of the most successful sons of Three-Gaited World's Grand Champion CH Valley View Supreme. Regarded as America's most beautiful black stallion, Status Symbol proved that his owners, Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Bridgers of Goldsboro, N.C., had rightfully placed their confidence in him when they bought him as a yearling.

The blood of Valley View Supreme combined with Contract's Lady Anacacho, daughter of Private Contract, gave Status Symbol the high motion and commanding presence that he would soon be known for. Under the hand of Richard Smith, Status Symbol achieved his first piece of fame when he won the National Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity at the World's Championship Horse Show in 1971. Later that year, he went on to capture the blue at the Ohio State Fair in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stake. The following year was just as impressive for the young ebony stallion with wins at Quentin, Raleigh, Cow Palace, and the Forum.

While displaying his abilities in the show ring, Status Symbol also showed the Saddlebred world what he could do in the breeding shed. Standing at Richard Smith's Rural Retreat Farm in Lexington, Ky., Status Symbol stamped his get with his innate talent and elegance. In 1975, he rose to the top of Saddle & Bridle's sire rating as his offspring dominated the futurity divisions.

Some of Status Symbol's champion performers were Symbol's Love, CH Legal Status, Easter Symbol, Night Streaker, CH Bold Status, and Symbol Surprise. One of Status Symbol's most well known sons was Night Prowler.

Out of Empire's Lady Genius, an Anacacho Empire daughter, Night Prowler was the first colt out of this champion-producing mare. Empire's Lady Genius is out of a Hall of Fame broodmare, Allenwood's Lady Genius, and has produced Hall of Fame broodmares herself. Some winners she has foaled are Lady Symbol, My Status Quo, and Symbol's Lady.

The midnight black stallion Night Prowler was in the second crop of the then young Status Symbol and the first offspring out of his dam. From the moment he hit the ground, Night Prowler was destined to make history. Bred by Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Bridges, Alpha-Sun Stables of Brewton, Ala., purchased him as a yearling. Under the skillful hand of John Champagne, Night Prowler won eight world's championships in his 10 years of showing.

Park-trotting in his father's footsteps, Night Prowler dominated the show world in his first four years, winning world's championship titles in the Yearling Futurity, the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity, the National Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity, the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness Stake, the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding Stake, and the Fine Harness World's Grand Championship. In 1975, he was named UPHA Fine Harness Horse of the Year, which was the first time a three-year-old had been honored with the title.

Leslie Lane Farm of Midland, Mich., bought Night Prowler and retired him to the breeding barn as a four-year-old at Richfield Stud in Shelbyville, Ky.

In 1983, Night Prowler switched hands again when Edward O. Caughman purchased the impressive stallion and had him return to the show ring.  As a 10-year-old, Night Prowler came back to win the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding World's Championship and the Fine Harness World's Grand Championship with Tom Moore at the lines. His last world's championship was the following year when he claimed the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding class once again.

After defending his titles, Night Prowler returned to his broodmare band and continued to sire more world's champions. Such names as Reedann's Nighty Nite, who captured five world's championship titles in the three-gaited division by the time she was six, CH CF Nite Lite, CH Perfect Prowler, who had many reserve world's championship in the harness division, CF Rumor Has It and CF Black Tie Affair carried their sire's name into the winner's circle.

Meanwhile, in 1976, Alpha-Sun Stables bred the young mare Grape Tree's Sparkling Spirit to the up and coming stallion New Yorker. The result was a champion mare named Happy Twenty-First. New Yorker had only spent his second year at stud since Mr. and Mrs. Robin Arbury's Leslie Lane Farm selected this fine stallion to head their breeding program. Bred by Burning Tree Farm and trained by Charles Crabtree, New Yorker proved his capabilities with victories in the three-year-old fine harness class at Rock Creek and Ohio State Fair. Other triumphs came to him at Lexington, Louisville, and many other Kentucky shows.

When Leslie Lane Farm brought New Yorker into their broodmare barn, he immediately demonstrated his ability to pass on his qualities inherited from some of the most revered champions and producers of the breed. Sired by the three-time Five-Gaited World's Champion CH Yorktown and out of a Golden Stonewall daughter, Sandalwood Stonewall, New Yorker produced champion performers and breeding stock. Some of his winners in the show ring were Ladies Five-Gaited World's Champion CH City Glitter, Amateur Three-Gaited World's Champion CH Zeberdee, world's champion's CH New York New York, and CH Manhattan Man.

Champion stallions by New Yorker who also became valuable assets to the breeding industry were The New York Times, I'm A New Yorker and Harlem Globetrotter. Several New Yorker mares had also gone on to become successful broodmares: A New Face, Penn Station, Yorkshire Pudding, and Happy Twenty-First.

Happy Twenty-First made a name for herself first in the fine harness division in the Southeast, winning classes at Pro-Am, Chattanooga Charity, and Azalea Classic. But her success did not stop in the show ring. Acquired by Caughman Farms, many of her offspring went on to continue winning all over the country. CF Twenty-One Again and CF I'm The Happiest are two champions that can be credited to this mare's pedigree. Her most impressive and well-known progeny is perhaps CF First Night Out.

Though not a multi-titled champion in the ring, CF First Night Out, was reserve in the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited Stake at Louisville. Visiting the breeding shed for the first time as a six-year-old, his real claim to fame comes from his progeny. Selectively bred the first few years to only Caughman Farm's mares, CF First Night Out had world's champions in his very first crop. When the books finally opened on this great bay stallion, his get flooded the winner's circles across the country.

Descending from a long line of harness talent, his presence is most acutely felt in the fine harness division, though he has winners performing in each and every class. Some of First Night Out's harness world's champions over the years include CH Lady Maya, Ah! What A Night, CF First Light Of Dawn, Night Sight, Performing Nightly, Mary Jane Bancroft, The Last Straw, Sugar Pine, and Outright. The list of champions can go on for pages, and more pages are sure to be added in the future.


The breeding and the show world lost a valuable member of the community when CH The King Of Highpoint passed away a few weeks after the 2005 World's Championship Horse Show. Yet, because he was alive during the show for the best of the best, he is included in the living sire ratings, and for the first time topped a divisional chart. This talented stallion rose up to the number eight slot on the overall sire list and led the pleasure division ranks. So what made this stallion so great?

His lineage goes back to Genius Bourbon King through CH Valley View Supreme. Valley View Supreme was known for his poise and natural ability, which he passed on to many of his sons and daughters. One of his more famous offspring, and his most prolific son, is Supreme Sultan. Bred and owned by Alvin Ruxer, Supreme Sultan reshaped the American Saddlebred into what we know and see today.

Successful not only in the show ring as he claimed many titles in the in-hand and fine harness divisions, he was also successful in the breeding world. The reputation behind this great legend comes, not from his show ring performances, which were breathtaking, but from his many years in the breeding barn. Mares were sent to Supreme Sultan in great numbers, and as his blood crossed well with most other bloodlines, fresh talent and the fineness of the breed came back into the show ring.

Some of his get that perpetuated his name are CH Sultan's Symbol, world's champion CH King Of Siam, O'Lee! O'Lee!, CH Supreme Attraction, CH The Irish Flame, world's champion Starlike Sultan, CH Sultan's Shamrock, CH Epcot Center, world's champion Sultan's Private Stock, and CH Shoobop Shoobop. The list could go on forever.

Sultan's Contract is one of many sons of Supreme Sultan who has made his impact on the breed. Out of the champion mare Contract's Golden Treasure, Sultan's Contract comes from a long line of champion breeding. By the full brother to CH Wing Commander, Private Contract, Contract's Golden Treasure also produced Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Reserve World's Champion Peavine's Contract and Three-Gaited World's Grand Champion Happy Valley Treasure.

Like his brother, Private Contract has sired his shared of champions, best known for The Contender, who went on to win the 1965 World's Champion Five-Gaited Gelding title with Tom Moore. He also took the reserve honors in the open championship. He also produced the 1963 Amateur Five-Gaited World's Champion The Tempest, as well as amateur three-gaited winner Tender Mist.

Bred by Marion Hutchinson of Happy Valley Farms, Sultan's Contract had a successful show career under the guidance of Clyde McCoy.

Though bred to only a few mares, Sultan's Contract has several champions to his name. One example of this sire's breeding is Sultan's Legal Contract, who was the reserve world's champion in the two and three-year-old fine harness stallion/gelding division. He was also the grand champion in the Three-Year-Old Fine Harness National Sweepstakes at Indiana State Fair, and earned the UPHA Classic Fine Harness Championship title at the American Royal. Other champions by this stallion include Mrs. Gotrocks, CH Nepenthe, Regalia, and CH The King Of Highpoint.

CH The King Of Highpoint is Sultan's Contract most renowned offspring as he was prominent both in the show ring and in the breeding world. But his impressive bloodlines do not stop with his sire. Out of champion producer Indiana Flame, CH The King Of Highpoint is a full brother to Sultan's Legal Contract. Indiana Flame is the daughter of the old top-producing stallion Indiana Peavine. Indiana Peavine had a successful show record with such accomplishments as Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited World's Champion and Fine Harness Championships at Devon, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Toronto.

After his show career, Indiana Peavine moved with trainer Sam Brannon to stand at Happy Valley Farm to produce such winners as world's champion Lily Merrill, Junior Five-Gaited World's Champion Wind-Sir, world's champion Peavine Contract, CH Glenview's Warlock, world's champion CH Star Scene, Burning Tree's Brandywine, Starlight Fantasy, and CH Spellcaster.

Indiana Flame is also out of a Hall of Fame Broodmare member High Point Flame who produced world's champion CH Wing Flame. High Point Flame is by Stonewall King son Starheart Stonewall and out of a CH King’s Genius daughter, Flaming Dawn's Genius.

CH The King Of Highpoint was bred and started by Clyde McCoy and captured numerous wins in the fine harness division all over the country. He won the 1985 UPHA Fine Harness Classic at the American Royal and came back three years later to take the Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding Stake as well as the Fine Harness Championship. In 1991, he entered Freedom Hall to capture the Amateur Fine Harness Stake with Dr. Gene Scott at the lines.

CH The King Of Highpoint, who stood at Alliance Farm until his death, sired many champions, especially futurity winners. With the blood of Supreme Sultan and Indiana Peavine flowing strong through this stallion, he passed on the beauty and expressiveness of his ancestors as well as their kind disposition. It is this latter trait that has made King Of Highpoint offspring ideal for the competitive pleasure division. Some of his more familiar progeny that have made a name for themselves among the pleasure entries are world's champion CH Highpoint's Coming Attraction, The King's Reflection, world's champion May Issue, world's champion Highpoint's The King's Son, and CH Highpoint's Abba Zabba.


For the third year in a row, The Irish Connection has been the number one sire in the in-hand division and returns to the Top Twenty Sire Rating. For years, The Irish Connection has produced stunning foals that have claimed prizes in the top futurity shows across the country, while also going on to be talented performers. The reason behind this success should not be hard to discern if one looks at this stallion's pedigree.

The expression and beauty that The Irish Connection is able to pass on to his offspring stems from the only stallion with the refinement of bone to win the Three-Gaited World's Grand Championship CH Valley View Supreme. Alvin Ruxer admired this stallion for many years as he showed and produced his first few crops. Ruxer bred several of his own mares to him, and liked the results so much that he bought Valley View Supreme in 1963. This son of Genius Bourbon King and Diana Gay had just begun to influence the breed.

Many of Valley View Supreme's offspring followed in his footsteps and became world-class walk-trot performers. Ernestine Supreme is one example, winning the Junior Three-Gaited World's Championship as well as victories at Lexington Junior League and the American Royal. In 1967, three of Valley View Supreme's children, Bellissima, Cara Mia, and Timberlane Supreme, placed in the top three ribbons in the Three-Gaited World's Grand Championship as listed. The following year, his daughters dominated the Junior Three-Gaited World's Championship with Ernestine Supreme winning the tricolor, Brenda Supreme in third, and Enchantment in fourth.

A heart attack claimed the life of this young stallion, ending his career at the age of 15. Within two hours after the death of his leading stallion, Alvin Ruxer was on the phone in attempts to buy back one of Valley View Supreme's sons, Supreme Sultan, from Barlite Farms of Boerne, Texas. A week later, Supreme Sultan was standing in the stall of his late sire.

This remarkable stallion is out of the Broodmare Hall of Fame member Melody O'Lee. By Anacacho Denmark and out of another Broodmare Hall of Fame member Judy O'Lee, Melody O'Lee is also the dam of world's champion Super Supreme, Jasper Jewel, The Dutchman, world's champion Lilli O'Lee, and Sultan's Sultan.

Shown as a two-year-old, Supreme Sultan took winning ribbons in the Illinois and Indiana Futurities, and won the two-year-old fine harness classes at the American Royal and Chicago International. He awed audiences with his beauty, his long sculpted neck that looked as if to have been crafted by an artist, his large expressive eye and his free way of moving. As a three-year-old, Supreme Sultan's first crop hit the ground and immediately began winning futurities all over the country. As his youngsters grew older, they moved out of the in-hand division and continued to dominate the show ring in the performance entries.

At the age of six, Supreme Sultan dominated the top of the Futurity Sire Ratings and continued to do so for two more years. In 1977, he led the General Sire Rating and did not give up the title of top breeding stallion until his death in 1983. Not only did Supreme Sultan develop the reputation for stamping his get with expression and breathtaking beauty, but he is also known as being the only stallion to sire a world's champion in each major division: Imperator (five-gaited), Starina (three-gaited), and Sultan's Santana (fine harness).

However, Supreme Sultan's offspring did not just have success in the show ring. Countless sons and daughters have gone on to become champion producers themselves. This list could go on for pages, but some of Supreme Sultan's most notable children in the show ring and in the breeding barn are Sultan's Santana, Sultan's Great Day, Supreme Heir, CH Everything Irish, CH Sultan's Supremacy, Worthy Son, Champagne Fizz, CH Marlbank, Sultan's Dianna, Top Billing HVF, CH Albelarm Supremacy, CH Lady's Favorite Event, Radiant Sultan, The Chairman Of The Board, and CH The Irish Connection.

The Irish Connection is one of the few Supreme Sultan sons still alive and standing at stud today. But even with his impressive top line, one should not ignore his dam's side of the pedigree. The Irish Connection is out of Miss Blarney, a daughter of world's champion CH Irish American.

Genius Bourbon King appears again with his substance and beauty through his son The Rambler. CH Ridgefields’ Genius daughter, Abie's Irish Image, was paired with The Rambler to produced Irish American, a stallion with a reputation for his rare quality and perfection of the five gaits that he performed with style, charisma, and endurance.

Jack Nevitt campaigned this champion to countless wins across the Mid-west. As a three-year-old, Irish American won the open championship classes at Des Moines and Ohio State Fair as well as the stallion/gelding stake at Madison Charity Horse Show. In the same year, he was crowned Five-Gaited Stallion Reserve World's Champion and took the reserve title in the stallion class at the American Royal. In his fourth year, he continued to win at shows like Madison, Milwaukee, and Youngstown. He returned to the Kentucky State Fair to earn the reserve ribbon again in the stallion division, but came back victoriously at the American Royal.

In his final year as a show horse, Irish American was named Five-Gaited Stallion World's Champion, winning several more championships at Indiana State Fair, the American Royal, and finished out at the Minnesota Aid to the Zoo Horse Show. After his last victory pass around the ring, owner North Ridge Farm began to breed this stallion to their top band of mares. Irish American proved to be a top broodmare sire as well as siring several champions, such as world's champion CH Irish Dream Maker, The Hooligan, Irish Contender, and the Irish Symbol.

Miss Blarney was one of many champion-producing daughters of Irish American. Though she only foaled five offspring, her ability to pass on the best of traits is clearly evident. Along with The Irish Connection, she also had Shamrock Santana, sire of Boucheron, Keep The Secret, A Lotta' Lovin, and Sexy Rexxy. Santana Lass, three-time Five-Gaited Ladies World's Champion and three-time Five-Gaited Reserve World's Grand Champion, is Miss Blarney's winningest daughter.

With the beauty of Supreme Sultan and the endurance of Irish American, The Irish Connection is a combination of the best of both families. He had a long and successful show career, following in the footsteps of his dam's sire, and winning gaited classes at such prestigious shows as Asheville, Roanoke, Bonnie Blue, Lexington Junior League, North Carolina State Fair, and Louisville.

Standing at Silverlin Farm in Winston-Salem, N.C., for owner Sue Nifong, The Irish Connection has produced top futurity winners across the country. Golden Market has been this past year's most noted colt as he went undefeated with wins in the open and amateur classes at Blue Gray, World's Championship Horse Show, and the All-American Classic. Other top babies by The Irish Connection are Silver Harbor, So Foxy, Cat Eyes, and Silver River.

Some of his winning performers are world's champion Attache's Irish Wine, world's champion Irish's Earth Wind and Fire, CH Irish Sterling, The Kentucky Connection, Irish Tribute, and Bugsy Siegel, among many others.

There is no sure recipe for success when it comes to breeding champion horses, but the old adage, “Like begets like,” is not too far from the truth. Many new stallions are proving themselves in the ever-competitive breeding world, while champion sires continue their legacy. From five-gaited winners to futurity babies, certain stallions pass on the desired traits to make their progeny blue ribbon winners.

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