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Remembering Another Callaway Hills’s Cornerstone

by Bob Funkhouser

Monday, Dec. 8, another piece of Saddle Horse history was lost as the great world’s champion and world’s champion producer CH Caramac was euthanized due to complications from kidney failure. One of the great sons of 1976 Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Will Shriver, CH Caramac was 30.

CH Caramac’s dam was the Vanity’s Sensation Of Crebilly daughter, Stonehedge Vanity, who also produced two full sisters and four full brothers, the most notable being the three-gaited champion Callaway’s Rebel. CH Caramac began his earliest education at Silver Brook Stables before being sent to Don Stafford late in his two-year-old year.

"He was a pretty rough colt when I delivered him to Don [Stafford]," said North Carolina horseman and longtime friend of Betty Weldon, Neil Scruggs. "I had helped Mrs. Weldon with her breeding program some when she was in Virginia and she started sending me some colts and I told her if she was sending any others out she should consider Don Stafford. She sent him a few and then Caramac.

"Sometime the next spring she was down visiting and we went over to Don’s to see Caramac and he was as impressive a young horse as I had ever seen. You should have seen Mrs. Weldon’s eyes; they lit up like I had never seen them. He was so nice that she was concerned about him because Don didn’t have a night watchman and didn’t have this and didn’t have that. She asked me what I thought about her moving him to Kentucky where he would have all of that at Tom Moore’s. I told her I thought that would be an insult to the man who made him, but she did it anyway. The next thing you know Tom Moore came out with him and he was a superstar."

CH Caramac was the Reserve World’s Champion Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding in 1981 behind the stallion Sultan’s Matchmaker who was shown by Dave Becker for Donna Moore. The next year Tom Moore and CH Caramac returned to Louisville and were the Junior Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champions and Junior Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding World’s Champion. They would go on to win several titles at major shows across the country before Tony Weldon showed him in the amateur ranks a few seasons.

"He was game to the core. There was no quit in him," remembered Bill Carrington who worked for Mrs. Weldon during that time. "He was also quite a handful and could be ornery in the stall. He knew Betty’s voice though and she would put her hand in the stall to give him a peppermint and all the boys would just cringe knowing he was going to eat her up, but of course never did."

Like his father [Will Shriver], in addition to being a world’s champion performer, CH Caramac proved to be an even better sire. He was Saddle Horse Report’s Number One Sire Of World’s Champions in 1999 and consistently ranked first or second among five-gaited sires, sharing the top spot only with his stablemate, another equally famous CH Will Shriver son, Callaway’s Blue Norther. Saddle & Bridle Magazine also rated CH Caramac their Overall Number One Sire in 2005 and 2007 and he dominated the top of the five-gaited charts as the number one sire from 2002-2007.

The list of world’s and reserve world’s champions sired by CH Caramac is most impressive and include: Carmen Miranda TM, Caramac’s Headline News, Forever Famous, Callaway’s Carioca, Callaway’s Carissa, Callaway’s Carnelian, CH Callaway’s Career Girl, Callaway’s Johnny Rib, Caraway, Kerouac, Callaway’s Carry On, Callaway’s Frank James, Caramasque, Cecile, CH Callaway’s Rockaway, CH Caramac’s Capital Gain, CH Callaway’s Arbitrator, Callaway’s Newscaster, CH Unforgiven, Callaway’s Carnation, Callaway’s Royal Carriage, Callaway’s Wild Strawberry, Mackinac, Callaway’s Cover Page, Callaway’s Suzy, Carmelita Santana, Designed, CH My Chanel, Page Me, Possibly Perfect, Caramac’s Big Ticket, Caramac’s Catrina, Made Ya Look, Callaway’s Where There’s A Will, Cara Clara, Caramac’s Bogart, Caramar, Callaway’s C.H. Hardin, Callaway’s Lil Abner, Callaway’s Lloyd Stark, Callaway’s Emancipation, Callaway’s Ricky Ricardo, Undulata Prophet, Undulata’s Kipling, Callaway’s Clemency, Callaway’s Connotation and Callaway’s Cassis in addition to a host of regional champions.

Just as important for the breed has been CH Caramac’s ability to sire champion-producing bloodstock as well. Two of his daughters, Callaway’s Carousel and Callaway’s Zerelda, are in the Broodmare Hall Of Fame. Another daughter, Callaway’s Finders-Keepers, is the dam of the great world’s champion CH Marching Orders. They are just a few who have given the industry show ring champions.

CH Caramac has also become know for his champion producing stallion sons. Among that group are the much-heralded world’s champion producer Undulata’s Nutcracker, world’s champion and world’s champion producer Designed, world’s grand champion producing Select Stock and champion producing The Mac Attack.

Generation after generation, the vision of Betty Weldon continues to be fruitful for the American Saddlebred. With Tony Weldon now at the helm that vision continues through the sons of CH Caramac and Callaway’s Blue Norther. Callaway’s The Gipper (x Patty’s Dream by Supreme Sultan) and Callaway’s Home For The Holidays (x Christmas In New York ERB by The New York Times) are leading the way as the next generation of Caramac sons at Callaway Hills in addition to an outstanding two-year-old, Callaway’s Adamant (x Callaway’s Razzberries by Worthy Son).

"The first thing I did when I took over running the farm was to breed Caramac again," said Tony Weldon. "He had been having problems and they quit breeding him, but we tried it again and have had 10 foals each of the past three years. He has always been my favorite."

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