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Tragic Month For Equine Losses

Sultan’s Great Day

A two-time world’s champion performer and one of the most prolific sires of world’s champions throughout the 1990s, Sultan’s Great Day was humanely put down March 22 as he was fighting problems with founder. Foaled March 22, 1981, Sultan’s Great Day (Supreme Sultan x Supreme’s Casindra by Stonewall Supreme) was bred by Mrs. Hymel Fishkin of Gibsonia, Pa., and with his passing the industry loses another top breeding son of Supreme Sultan.

Selected by Donna Moore for Linda Johnson, Sultan’s Great Day made his performance debut as a two-year-old and was crowned the World’s Champion Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stallion/Gelding. Moore also won the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Futurity that year with another future breeding stallion, Bi Mi Money Market.

Absolutely beautiful, the young stallion returned to Louisville as a three-year-old and was again crowned world’s champion, this time for Mr. and Mrs. William Shatner and their Belle Reve Farm. Great Day was purchased to be the farm’s breeding stallion.

Retired to the breeding shed following this three-year-old year, Great Day was an even bigger success in that arena under the management of Moore. With a great belief in the Stonewall King blood that was so strong on his dam’s side, Moore crossed him with many top mares, especially New Yorker daughters. Great Day did return to the show ring a couple of times later in his career

From his first small crop of foals came Great Day’s Token, the 1992 Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion and a grand gaited mare by the name of Royal Scot’s Curtain Call. Just six years after his second world’s championship as a three-year-old, Great Day was the sire of the 1989 Three-Year-Old Fine Harness National Futurity World’s Champion Simply Mahvalous, the 1989 Two-Year-Old Five-Gaited World’s Champion Day By Day B.R., and the 1989 Kentucky Futurity Two-Year-Old Fine Harness World’s Champion Royce.

Simply Mahvalous would go on to win the Fine Harness World’s Grand Championship as a four-year-old with Moore and then win the Amateur Fine Harness World’s Grand Championship with owner William Schaefer on three different occasions. The ever popular Winter Day was another open world’s grand champion sired by Sultan’s Great Day. Winter Day was the Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champion with George Knight in 1996 and then won the Amateur Three-Gaited World’s Grand Championship three times with Jackie Stred.

To this point Sultan’s Great Day has sired 95 different foals who have gone on to win a total of 342 ribbons at the World’s Championship Horse Show. Great Day was Saddle Horse Report’s number one sire of world’s champions in both 1994 and 1996 and has remained in the Top 10 throughout his career.

Some of other world’s champions included Great Day’s Came The Son, Call Me Ringo, Callaway’s Regatta, Along Came A Spider, Devoted To The Cause, It’s A Beautiful Day, A Day To Remember, Star Track CHF, Only Elegant, Nahema, Turn Of The Century, Louisville Lass, My Special Sultan, Great Day Rising and Sartorial Splendor.

Sultan’s Great Day was laid to rest at the Shatners' ranch in California.

Shamrock Santana

A beautiful specimen of the American Saddlebred, Shamrock Santana was the second Supreme Sultan bred son to die in the month of March. And like Sultan’s Great Day, he too was foaled in 1981. Tom Galbreath bred the son of Sultan’s Santana (by Supreme Sultan) and Miss Blarney, who was by the World’s Champion Five-Gaited Stallion Irish American. Shamrock Santana was a full brother to the many times Ladies Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion CH Santana Lass.

Galbreath put Shamrock Santana through one of his famed Castle Hills Farm Sales and he was purchased by Jennie Graham. The young stallion eventually found his way to the ownership of RK Saddlebreds (Vickie Keatley and Jennie Graham).

As a sire his first world title holder was Jon Bon Jovi, the 1987 Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited Reserve World’s Champion. Shamrock Santana’s biggest claim to fame was the unpredictable, but thrilling gelding CH Boucheron. Winner of the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited National Futurity World’s Championship in 1996 and the Junior Five-Gaited World’s Grand Championship in 1997, Boucheron went on to win two Five-Gaited Gelding World’s Championships and a Kentucky County Fair title. With only 166 registered get, Shamrock Santana was also the sire of world’s champion Keep The Secret, reserve world’s champions Who Needs Mama and Shamrock’s Versace, and blue ribbon winners A Lotta Lovin’, Shamrock’s Free Spirit, Going To Extremes, Shamrock’s Annabelle, Santana Rambler, Kitty Shamrock, Gladys Knight, Shamrock’s Mint To Be, and Shamrock’s Rebekah.

CH Jane Doe

Bred and developed by Dr. Alan Raun, CH Jane Doe died in early March due to intestinal complications. Owned and shown by Smoke Hollow Farm for the last several years, Jane Doe (CH Buck Rogers x Petit parfait) was 13.

Her show career started with Sharon Backer at Reedannland and she won the Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited National Futurity World’s Championship. Purchased by Adler Farms with George Knight as trainer/agent, she returned in ‘95 to win the World’s Champion Junior Three-Gaited 15.2 & Under title as well as the Junior Three-Gaited World’s Grand Championship.

From the Adler family Jane Doe went to Jerry Greenberg’s Green Haven Farm where she was successfully campaigned throughout 1998 by Billy Greenwell before being sold to David and Doreen Weston’s Smoke Hollow Farm following Louisville that year. Jane Doe and Doreen became a fixture on the eastern circuit and under the direction of Ronnie Graham, the testy but talented mare won championship after championship. She and Doreen won titles at such shows as Penn National, Eastern States, UPHA Spring Premiere, Roanoke, Bonnie Blue, Devon, ASHAV, Children’s Benefit, Syracuse and Octoberfest throughout their career together.

Over the years CH Jane Doe has produced four embryo babies for Dr. Raun, one of whom is world’s champion Reedann’s Forsythia.

Whata Wise Guy

“A show horse to the very end.” That’s the way Tammy DeVore described Whata Wise Guy, the grand equitation gelding who died this past week at the age of 20 of a heart attack at Biggins Stables. DeVore had trained Wise Guy for two years for Lucinda Hartley.

Whata Wise Guy was selected by Rob Byers for Adolph Zell’s equitation horse. The game gelding was five or six at the time and in training with Don Harris.

“I liked his personality,” said Byers. “I knew he would be tough, but I told the Zells that if they would be patient we would have a high dollar horse when we were through. Adolph [Zell] hung in there through some rough times.

“We figured out he had some kind of sight problem. Things up close to him wouldn’t bother him at all, but he would see all kinds of things far away. We hadn’t had him long and at Lexington he was coming down the rail and saw some steam from a hot dog machine at the far end of the ring and he would have no part of going down to that end after that. I took him home and put Renee [Biggins] on him and I would drop jumping jacks and have her walk him towards me. We did that for about a week and then he was over it.

“He learned his figure work very quickly. At home he was great and at horse shows he would let stuff get to him. Certain little things would bother him. I have to give Jim B. [Robertson] credit for figuring out one quirk. He didn’t like doing the Good Hands pattern and Jim B. told me, ‘Just have him do the pattern inverted to where he is facing the pack instead of going away from it.’ Duh!

“I’ll never forget at Louisville when doing his workout for the Good Hands we followed Jim B.’s advice and when he got through the figure eight the entire crowd started screaming for Adolph and I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute, we still have to back.’”

With Byers and Renee Biggins, Wise Guy did turn into a star of the equitation division winning the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World’s Grand Championship twice with Adolph Zell as well as the AHSA Medal Finals and the NHS Good Hands Finals.

“Our goal was to keep him going forward,” recalled Biggins. “One of my favorite stories with him was at Harrodsburg one year. Adolph was doing a pattern and Wise Guy reared up and Adolph slid off. Landing perfectly he got right back on and finished the workout without ever missing a beat.”

From Premier Stables and Adolph Zell, Wise Guy was purchased by Roger and Louise Lanctot of Bedford, N.H., for their daughter Sarah and he was placed in training with Mike and Lisa Richardson’s Cricket Hill Farm. The Richardson/Lanctot team did extremely well with Wise Guy although Lisa knew it would be a challenge for Sarah. In 1993 they were the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Reserve World’s Grand Champions and then went on that year to win the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Finals National Championship, the AHSA Medal Finals National Championship and the American Royal Saddle Seat Equitation Championship.

Wise Guy’s next stop would be Richmond, Ill., and Royal Scot Stables. He spent some time at the Shivelys while under Royal Scot’s ownership and then when Pat McConnell went to Royal Scot he was shipped home and later carried Kristen Pettry to the UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Finals National Championship under the direction of McConnell.

His next owner would take him back to Kentucky as he was purchased for Lucinda Hartley with Tammy DeVore as the new trainer/agent. Her first time showing Wise Guy, Hartley was Top 3 in the UPHA 11 & Under Challenge Cup National Finals. In a little over two years together they would win two reserve world’s championships and place Top 10 in the AHSA Medal Finals and the UPHA Junior Challenge Cup Finals.

“I absolutely loved him. He had the biggest heart,” said DeVore. “He remains one of my all-time favorites. He was like 14 when we got him and he was still so game. We were having some problems with his back legs, but nothing big. By the end of the season it was getting worse and the vets finally found that he had two fractures in his back legs.”

North Carolina would be the next destination for the big-hearted champion. Liz McBride-Jones selected Wise Guy for Sarah Dees. They got to show for one fall season and were Top 10 in both the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup Finals and the AHSA Medal Finals.

“I had always thought he was so neat when the Lanctot kid showed him,” said McBride-Jones. “When the opportunity to buy him presented itself, I knew it was a risk but we were so excited we went for it. Mrs. Dees was the only level headed one in the bunch but she said if you all like him that much, let’s try it. The only thing I wish is that he came with an owner’s manual.

“When we could no longer show him, I knew Renee [Biggins] loved this horse so much that we sent him back there. They had tried turning him out but he wasn’t suited for that. They had a hard time keeping weight on him that way so they started using him in the lesson program. He taught a lot of children to ride throughout his career.”

“He was just adorable with the kids,” added Biggins. “He really loved what he did.”

Desert Amber

Multiple stake winner Desert Amber, by CH Sensational Spirit and out of Heavenly Heritage, passed away in late March 2004. Bred by Cynthia Wood of Santa Barbara, Calif, Desert Amber was born in April 1980. After her show career Desert Amber became a broodmare for John and Dorothy Lenore. Among her get are Ambersun, Amber Lager, Amber Returns and Tender Mercies, the dam of Thunder Over Louisville. Her marker will be placed among those of Bold Flamette, Callaway’s Electra and HMS Captivating Lady at Lenore Farms in Versailles, Ky.

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