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Where Do SUPREME CHAMPIONS Come From?


Reprinted with permission from "The Supreme Report" ~ September 2003

The old adage says: “You don’t always get what you breed for. However, you seldom get more than you breed for.”  When it comes to breeding for a Supreme Champion prospect, no truer words were ever spoken.

The “RIGHT” Stuff

Ask any great cook (from your grandma to the world’s leading chefs) and they’ll tell you that two things are required for the creation of a truly great meal: the right ingredients and the right recipe. Anything less and the final result is almost certain to fall short of expectations. As a general rule, the same holds true with horses. The legendary Secretariat proved that when he failed to meet expectations in the breeding shed despite being bred to a host of the finest black-type mares in the country.

Doc Bar proved it, too. Though royally bred to be a racehorse, he “couldn’t outrun a fat porcupine” and was equally unsuccessful as a performance horse. He was a very good halter horse. Period! Yet Doc Bar went on to become a legendary sire. Why? You guessed it…ingredients and recipe. Secretariat’s own pedigree, and that of most of the mares bred to him, relied upon the breeding concept of hybrid-vigor (breed the best to the best and hope for the best) whereas the selective combining of Doc Bar’s dominant Three Bars’ genetics with the linebred blood of Poco Tivio, Poco Bueno and King P-234, along with daughters of Leo and Hollywood Gold, produced an unprecedented string of NCHA Futurity, Derby and World Champions. As a sire, Secretariat became an also-ran while Doc Bar became a Hall of Famer (AQHA & NCHA) and Hall of Fame Sire.

The “SUPREME” Stuff

In order to evaluate a foal’s Supreme Champion potential, two critical questions must be answered. The first is “Where do Supreme Champions come from?” The second is “What combination of genetic ingredients and breeding recipe is most likely to produce another supremely gifted and versatile equine athlete capable of earning AQHA’S highest honor?”

The answer to both of these questions can be found by analyzing the pedigrees of the 46 AQHA Supreme Champions and identifying the ingredients (their elite group of hallmark ancestors) along with the selective breeding patterns and combinations (the recipe) they share in common which sets them apart from the rest of the breed. These include:

  The names of an elite few hallmark horses that keep showing up again and again.

  The well-proven nicking patterns between the families of those elite few hallmark horses that are repeated again and again.

The prevalence and effectiveness of linebreeding used to maintain the desired type horse and to perpetuate a strong blood affinity link (in each successive generation) to an equally elite group of hallmark common ancestors proven to produce that type horse.

  The exceptional caliber of offspring produced despite variations in breeding combinations between the families of those elite few hallmark horses.

The frequency with which apparent outcrosses (and those few Supremes with hybrid pedigrees) also carry a blood affinity to many of the same elite hallmark common ancestors as do the linebred horses.

“FACTS” Don't Lie

As you study these 46 pedigrees it quickly becomes apparent that even within such an extraordinary group of horses, certain genetic influences are clearly more dominant than others, and further, that the skillful blending together of those dominant genetic influences has repeatedly proven to be a supremely successful recipe. Those dominant genetic influences are clearly evidenced by the following facts: 

Of the 46 AQHA Supremes, 26 have THREE BARS appearing at least once within their first 3 generations and he appears in the 4th generation of another 5. 

10 of THREE BARS’ sons have sired a total of 12 Supreme Champions. 

18 of THREE BARS’ grandget and great grandget (11 stallions and 7 mares) have sired and produced a total of 19 Supreme Champions.

An elite group of stallions and mares used in the linebreeding programs of Hall of Fame breeders Hank Wiescamp and Warren Shoemaker are dominant in the pedigrees of as many as 6 Supreme Champions. These include: PLAUDIT (6), COLORADO QUEEN (6), SHEIK P-11 (5), NICK S 
(5), NICK SHOEMAKER (4), RED BIRD SHOEMAKER (4), GOLD MOUNT (4), BRUSH MOUNT (4), MISS HELEN (4), PLAUDETTE (4), SPANISH NICK (3), JOY ANN (3), MEXICALI ROSE (3), SPANISH JOY (3), QUESTION MOUNT (1) and SKIPPER W (1). 

PETER McCUE (the sire of SHEIK P-11) appears in the pedigrees of 25 Supreme Champions.

BEN BRUSH (whom Hank Wiescamp described as “one of the most important factors in his breeding program”) appears in the pedigrees of 38 Supremes. 

Only 2 mares have produced 2 Supreme Champions and both are grandams to a 3rd. They are SPANISH JOY (who is by SPANISH NICK out of JOY ANN x GOLD MOUNT) and MAUDIE WILIAMS (who is by BILLY ANSON and out of MISS CHUBBY x CHUBBY).

The only Supreme Champion thus far to sire a Supreme Champion is GOLDSEEKER BARS (by THREE BARS out of SPANISH JOY x SPANISH NICK).

Other dominant Supreme Champion producers include daughters and granddaughters of LEO, JOE REED II and JOE REED P-3, especially when bred to THREE BARS or one of his sons (i.e.- Supreme Champion GOLDSEEKER BUD sired by GOLDSEEKER BARS is out of a granddaughter of JOE REED II and 2 Supremes by ROCKET BAR are out of daughters of LEO and his sire JOE REED II).

LEO is the leading broodmare sire of AQHA Supremes (7).

Also dominant are crosses between the family of TOP DECK and the families of THREE BARS, LEO, JOE REED P-3, CHICARO and the Wiescamp / Shoemaker / Philmont stallions and mares listed above.

The “RIGHT” Conclusion

While there is no magic potion or formula that will guarantee a supremely successful breeding result, there is another old adage well worth mentioning: “Blood will tell!”

Copyright (c) 2003. The Supreme Report. All Rights Reserved.


Related Reading
The Rise and Fall of the AQHA's Supreme Champion Award Program  
Lucks EasyFanta Boy
... Supreme Effort,  Supreme Achievement  
Kid Meyers - the First Supreme Champion
What The Real American Quarter Horse Means To Me ~ Paul Mattson

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