The Legend of Unikia
by Larry Thornton
(c) Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
Reprint permission must be in writing.
Roman Mac, son of Unikia, bred and
owned by Frank Clark.
moved into the Russellville, Arkansas area several years ago, I
immediately started hearing about a variety of horses that seemed to be
legendary in there status for this area. One of those legends was a
stallion with the unique name of Unikia. When you take a look at the
pedigree of Unikia, you find a stallion that comes from the family of the
great Lady Coolidge and Dixie Beach, the famous daughters of Mayflower.
This is the family that has produced or influenced such individuals as
Bert P-227, Little Jodie, Bueno Chex, Harlan and Paul A. With this in mind
let’s take a look at this stallion and how one breeder is striving to
preserve the blood of this great stallion and his ties to Lady Coolidge
and Dixie Beach.
Unikia was a grey stallion foaled in 1956. His breeder was O. D. Marler of
Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was listed in the AQHA Stud Book as owned by Bill
Taylor of Choteau, Oklahoma. He later became the property of Raymond
Newton a ranching entrepreneur from Dardanelle, Arkansas.
A recent interview with Mr. Newton tells us how he came to own Unikia. He
told the story this way, "I had a bull rider that used to work for me and
he came from Westville, Oklahoma and we were trying to train some cutting
horses. Well what I had at the time wasn’t what you needed if you wanted a
top cutting horse or cow horse. Well the bull rider tells me that I need
to go see Johnny Jones, a Fayetteville, Arkansas used car dealer. He told
me that Jones had a gray horse and he had never seen anything like him."
Newton continued, "Unikia was a young horse that Jones had bought from
John D. Askew also of Fayetteville. Askew was a buddy of the Tales of
Wells Fargo T. V. star Dale Robertson. I had seen Askew and Robertson at
the sales together and I think Robertson must have gotten Askew interested
in running horses, so he had a sale. He owned both Unikia and his full
sister Roany Bert. So he decided to sell and Johnny Jones bought Unikia
and a lawyer from Sperry, Oklahoma bought Roany Bert." (The Lawyer was Al
The Askew sale was held on August 29, 1960. They sold 52 head including
Unikia, who was lot number 2 in the sale. He was advertised in the sale as
a winning cutting horse. The selling price was $3500. Askew had bought
Unikia and his sister Roany Bert from Bill Taylor, the owner of Unikia
listed in the AQHA Stud Book.
"Anyway Johnny carried this horse to a few shows and then he decided to
sell and this is when the bull rider told me about him. Boy was he a
pretty young horse. I never will forget it. I went by Johnny’s, he had a
used car lot. He told me that the horse was over at Cincinnati at his
father’s farm. He went with me to look at the horse. He said, ‘You can
take him and try him if you want to.’ Just like that. Anyway he had an own
daughter of King P-234 and I bought both of them," concluded Newton about
how he came to own Unikia.
Newton bought Unikia in the fall of 1964. He reports that they only
carried him to only one major cutting and the rest were just unsanctioned
cuttings in Arkansas, which were common in this area during this time
period. Unikia’s primary job was to cut and move cattle in the day to day
activities of the Newton cattle business. They were still working cattle
with this good gray stallion when he was 21 years old. They even legged
him up at the age of 21 for a show in Boonville, Arkansas.
One of the interesting facts about Unikia and his life with Raymond Newton
was that several people offered to buy the horse. One of those offers came
from Pat Jones, the father of current Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones.
Newton did turn all of these offers down except one. He sold Unikia to Bob
Hurley of Clarksville, Arkansas, but later bought him back.
Raymond Newton had a young man working for him when Unikia arrived on the
scene by the name of Frank Clark. Clark was a young man learning the horse
and cattle business while working for Mr. Newton. Clark would start
working for Newton when he was 13 years old and spend 27 years working for
him. It is through Frank Clark that we continue our story and the
perpetuation of the blood of Unikia.
Clark recently recalled his first experience with what he called the Lady
Coolidge/Dixie Beach bred horses, "My first registered horse was a Tom
Benear gelding. (Tom Benear was a full brother in blood to Bert P-227
being sired by Tommy Clegg and out of Dixie Beach.) He was a big stout
horse. The people that broke him for me and put a real good handle on him
wanted to rein with him. Back then I was into the Junior Mounted Patrol at
Russellville and he was my mounted patrol horse. He was a level headed
quite horse that you could do anything you wanted on him. I used him on
the place to gather cattle. I did everything we had to do with him."
He added, "This was my first recollection of the Lady Coolidge/Dixie Beach
bred horses and then Unikia came along. Raymond had another Bert bred
horse, Breeze Bert and these Lady Coolidge/Dixie Beach bred horses made a
big impact on me. They are the family of horses that I became involved
with and been around."
Clark’s appreciation of the Lady Coolidge/Dixie Beach bred horses brought
him into contact with one of the great breeding patterns found in the
history of the quarter horse. These two mares have come down through our
Quarter Horse history to become a valued influence on the performance
quarter horse and they are often found together in the same pedigree.
These two mares were sired by Beetch’s Yellow Jacket, a son of Yellow Wolf
by Old Joe Bailey. The dam of Beetch’s Yellow Jacket was a mare by Yellow
Jacket. Both Yellow Jacket and Yellow Wolf were prominent sires on the
Waggoner Ranch of Vernon, Texas. The Waggoner Ranch was home to such noted
horses as Poco Bueno, Pretty Boy, Pretty Buck and many more to numerous to
Mayflower was the dam of these two great mares. She was sired by Nail
Driver and out of Snip. The pedigree ends after these two horses.
Mayflower and Beetch’s Yellow Jacket were owned by Mike Beetch and his son
Harlan Beetch of Lawton, Ok. The Beetch’s were horse traders. The Beetch’s
had what Franklin Reynold’s calls in his story, "Mayflower, Grandam of Bert
and Matriarch of the Breed, (THE QUARTER HORSE JOURNAL, October and
November 1957) as "a road wagon camp" that allowed the Beetch family to
accompany him on his horse buying and selling trips. A picture of the
Beetch’s road camp with its livestock and wagons can be found with the
Reynolds’ story on Mayflower. The picture shows various family members and
employees that traveled with the Beetch’s. Mayflower and Beetch’s Yellow
Jacket were both raced by Mike Beetch. Beetch’s Yellow Jacket was raced 25
times with 24 wins.
Lady Coolidge and Dixie Beach were top notch producers. The leading
progenitor out of Lady Coolidge was Bert P-227. This great son of Tommy
Clegg was a noted sired of halter and performance horses. His AQHA
Champions include Bert’s Lady, Janie Bert Watts, Sutherland’s Dwight and
Thomas Bert. Thomas Bert was the 1962 AQHA Honor Roll Halter Gelding.
Jeanne’s Patsy was a daughter to Bert that was the 1955 AQHA Honor Roll
Let’s start a look at the pedigree of Unikia and his Lady Coolidge/Dixie
Beach influence with Bert P-227. Bert was the sire of a stallion named
Roman Nose. Roman Nose was a 1940 gray stallion that sired
Nose was bred by the Weimer Brothers of Council Hill, Oklahoma. His last
owner was Dale Woodrell and Francis Coulter of Terlton, Oklahoma. The dam
of Roman Nose was Blue. This mare was sired by Midnight by Badger by Peter
McCue. Midnight was a Waggoner Ranch stallion for several years.
(Bert x Blue by Midnight), the sire of Unikia.
Roman Nose earned six halter points in two shows with no wins. This is
after the AQHA started keeping records in 1952 which was the year he
earned his points. So he was 12 years old when he earned these two points.
Roman Nose sired 14 AQHA point earners that earned 466.5 points. His NCHA
money earners won $21,300.03 in the cutting pen. Johnny Bert was a 1956
gelding sired by Roman Nose. This horse earned 18 open halter points; 89
open performance points and 52 youth performance points. Another performer
sired by Roman Nose was Nifty Poker. This horse earned 51 AQHA performance
points earning an AQHA Superior in cutting. This 1959 gelding earned
$11,613.12 in NCHA cutting for a Certificate of Ability and NCHA Bronze
The dam of Unikia was a mare named Marler’s Blue. This mare was bred by C.
D. Westmorland of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Her sire was Muskogee Red and this
stallion gives Unikia his cross to Dixie Beach, the full sister to Lady
Coolidge. Muskogee Red was bred by C. D. Westmorland. He was sired by
Little Jodie. Little Jodie was sired by the famous C S Ranch stallion
Little Joe Springer. Dixie Beach was the dam of Little Jodie. The dam of
Muskogee Red was Trixie Blake, one of the great daughters of Bert P-227.
This gives Unikia his second cross to Bert P-227. Trixie Blake was bred by
The dam of Marler’s Blue was Cricket W. This mare was bred by Westmorland.
The sire of Cricket W was Chico. Chico was a full brother to the famous
stallion San Siemon. The sire of Chico was Zantanon by Little Joe by
Traveler. The dam of Chico was Panita by Possum (King) by Traveler. Possum
(King) and Little Joe were full brothers. They were out of Jenny. The dam
of Cricket W was a mare registered as Lou. Lou was a daughter of Bert
P-227 that was bred by Westmorland. This makes Unikia 2 X 4 X 4 linebred
to Bert P-227 and 3 X 4 X 5 X 5 to Lady Coolidge and Dixie Beach.
Raymond Newton seem to believe that the mare Marler’s Blue is a key to the
ability of Unikia as a cow horse. He talked about it this way, "I was
coming back from Colorado and I went to see Roman Nose. I bought a Roman
Nose mare out of a Panhandle Man mare. She was a nice mare but she wasn’t
anything like Unikia. I saw other people try Roman Nose horses and I
couldn’t find one that would compare with the Unikia horse. So in talking
to other people, they said it was the Muskogee Red Mare (Marler’s Blue)
that caused Unikia to be different."
What makes this statement even more interesting is the fact that Marler’s
Blue was the dam of only two Roman Nose foals. They were Unikia and Roany
Bert. Roany Bert was purchased by the Knights. She was put into training
and shown until an injury stopped her show career. At the time of her
injury, she had earned 194 AQHA cutting points with a Superior in that
event. Her NCHA record included $8,976.78 with the Certificate of Ability.
She was in the NCHA Top Ten in 1965 at number 10. She was injured in 1965.
When the injury occurred, she was in the lead for the NCHA World
Unikia was shown in cutting earning the five points with only $611.15 in
NCHA earnings. But Unikia had a show record outside the AQHA and the NCHA
by attending frequent cutting in Arkansas that were not sanctioned by any
national association. So the tally on his show record is unavailable.
Let’s go back the Marler’s Blue and the significance of the Roman Nose
cross. Marler’s Blue was the dam of five performers. Her other performers
were Lewis’ Vicky, no points earned and two race performers with no wins
in official races and no ROM’s earned. It is at this point that we must
point out that the outstanding show gelding Johnny Bert was out of a mare
named Lady Joe Hollye. This mare was out of Lady Querida by Newsboy.
Newsboy was sired by Yellow Bear, a full brother to Yellow Wolf, the sire
of Beetch’s Yellow Jacket, the sire of Lady Coolidge and Dixie Beach.
As a working horse on the ranch, Unikia was an indispensable asset to the
working ranch. Newton recalled the following story, "We lost some cattle
off a trailer one day. We had another trailer with horses in it. Unikia
was one of them and Lucien Tiggert pulled Unikia out and jumped on him
right quick. We always had a lariat rope and he grabbed one of them and
went down in the ditch after those cows. We never roped on Unikia, but he
acted just like he’d been roped on all his life in the pasture and Lucien
went to dragging that cow."
Let’s let Mr. Newton gives us some insight into what people thought about
the ability of his Unikia, "His full sister (Roany Bert) was being ridden
by Leroy Ashcraft and I watched her beat all of the top horses like Cutter
Bill and Poco Lena, all the top horses being ridden at that time. She had
it and would have been a World Champion, but she was injured and not able
to continue her show career."
He continued, "A lot of people told me that Unikia was a better horse than
her. The ones that watched both of them. A guy named Rip Collier started
the horse when Askew bought them as colts. They were just ratty little
One of those that touted Unikia as a cutting horse was Kenneth Gaylean.
Gaylean told Newton, "Unikia can run faster sideways than most horses can
go forward." Newton went on to explain that the cutting horse of that time
was a horse that went sideways across the arena. They didn’t travel
parallel to the cow like they do today.
Frank Clark was no different than the others in his appreciation of Unikia.
He remembered when Unikia came on the scene, "He showed up at Raymond
Newton’s place in the fall of 1964. He was an eight year old and still
steel gray. As good a lookin horse as I think I had seen at that point in
time. I didn’t know what a cuttin' horse was till I saw Unikia work a cow.
We gathered cattle and we’d roped cattle, but we had never had a cuttin'
horse on the place like this horse. It was something to sit back and
watch. I was just a kid and I didn’t know any better. He came on the scene
and we went to going to cuttins.’ Back then in this part of the country
any Sunday afternoon, you could get out of church, go home, get your horse
and drive to a cuttin,’ and have plenty of time to do it in. That was in
the late 1960's and early 1970's. Then they just died out. I remember
going to Poteau in Oklahoma a couple of times, but as far as how he did, I
Clark added, "The NCHA will tell you that Unikia won $641 and I guess that
was after they started keeping records. Evidently he didn’t win a lot of
money that was accounted for, but I understand there was more won than we
know about today."
The sire record of Unikia is a lot like his show record. We have no
documentation of the kind of horses he sired because they were not show
horses. He had just nine point earners from 14 foals shown, including Miss
Wooten, with six AQHA points and $694.74 in NCHA earnings; Unikias
Humdinger, 37 open performance points and an ROM; Uniann, NCHA Certificate
of Ability with $2,299.16 in earnings; Chicks Unikia, 26.5 youth and open
performance points with a top ten placing in the 1985 AQHJA Youth World
Show Barrels and Una Mac, an NCHA money earner.
Raymond Newton demonstrated his appreciation of Unikia and his offspring
as using horses in his cattle business, "There was a lot of horses
throughout the country and we would need an extra gelding or two and I
would buy one, but they just didn’t suit me. Unikia and some of his sons
would spoil you if you enjoyed riding a sure enough good cow horse. Now
some of them wouldn’t suit you, but overall they were the kind of horse
that if you called on them, they would do what you wanted, they had a big
heart and really would try to work."
Una Mac, the NCHA money earner listed above will take us back to Frank
Clark. The dam of Una Mac was a mare named Mac’s Fair Lady, a daughter of
Macanudo. Newton brought Macanudo Jr from the King Ranch. Macanudo Jr was
sired by Macanudo by Old Sorrel and he was out of Laurelena by Little
Richard by Old Sorrel. The dam of Mac’s Fair Lady was Diamond Cabra, a
mare the Newton had brought into his broodmare band. She was sired by
Parker’s Cabra, a grandson of Plaudit. Diamond Cabra was out of Diamond
Doll Parker. She was a granddaughter through her dam to Popcorn, a horse
that Newton had a high appreciation for.
Mac’s Fair Lady would mark the beginning of the Frank Clark breeding
program. He told how it all came about, "Mac’s Fair Lady was one of a set
of fillies born in 1966 out of the Macanudo Jr horse that came into this
country from the King Ranch. They were all bright sorrels with one
chestnut. They were cow horses. I went off to College and when I came back
and went back to work, this mare came available. I went to the bank and
borrowed the money to get her. She had a Bar James colt on her side, I
bred her three years in a row to Unikia and got a bay filly, a bay filly
and Roman Mac, a gray. Roman Mac is now the foundation sire of my breeding
Roman Mac, by Unikia, started
reining and became
an NRHA money earner at the age of 21.
Roman Mac is an interesting stallion. He is a trained cutting horse that
won a modest $141.95 in the NCHA after a limited show career. He won his
money in two classes placing second both times. Both classes had 15 horses
in each class. He was shown for the last time in November 1985 in the NCHA.
Then in 1999 Roman Mac entered the reining arena as a 21 year old show
horse. Clark tells the story with pride, "We had a kid come back here from
California that needed a horse to ride. I saw a chance to take a different
path and let people see Roman Mac from a different perspective. The kid
showed him in 9 open shows that summer and won or placed in six of them.
We qualified him to go to the state open horse show, which is the largest
open horse show in the nation. But the person riding the horse is the one
that qualifies not the horse and the kid left the country and we couldn’t
show him at the state show. But we did take him to an NRHA reining in Pine
Bluff and he earned a small check that made him an NRHA money earner, all
at the rip old age of 21."
He continued explaining his program this way, "I got my mares out of
Unikia and I got my stud colt out of Unikia and I started a small breeding
program of my own. I worked up to five mares at that time. I got to breed
to the Two Eyed Van horse that Raymond had and the other horse. I got
another mare or two to go with Mac’s Fair Lady. Then I got to studying
pedigrees of the different horses seeing what people had done before me
and how they got there horses. So I thought I’d like to try it because
there wasn’t any more Unikias. I did find out there was more of the Roman
Nose/Marler’s Blue crosses that I didn’t know about at the time. The thing
with me was I wanted to try it to see, number 1, if it would work. And by
double breeding or linebreeding, that would give me the hybrid vigor
situation that would come out of crossing my inbred/linebred line with
He continued his explanation, "I started breeding half sisters to my horse
and it worked. I got good colts on the ground and I didn’t have any
problems. They came out good minded, good boned and with good conformation
overall and still be good cow horses. They were aggressive, which is what
I like. I think you can take an aggressive horse and if you know how to
handle it, you can do a better job of producing show horses than a horse
that you have to train them to do everything."
"The other problem I have is that these horses have no show records to
prove their ability on paper," confides Clark about his second obstacle in
promoting his breeding program. "But the foals are out there."
Despite these problems Clark professes, "Above all, I did it to perpetuate
the Unikia horse. I don’t know if anybody else would have done it, but
that was my dream and if you don’t have a dream, you can’t do anything and
that’s how I got involved."
Clark continued, "As it evolved, I got braver and bred the full sister to
Mac and got my black horse, Unikia Two. He was just starting to come into
his own as a breeding horse. He was getting uniformity and they had
athletic ability and brains. It was looking like that was going to work
when he died. He sired only 30 foals."
Undaunted by the loss of Unikia Two, Clark professed his good fortune with
a new stallion, "But again I lucked out, I wound up with a bay colt out of
a 3/4 sister to Roman Mac and sired by Unikia Two. This breeding pattern
allows me to get genetically 50% the blood of Mac’s Fair Lady into my
offspring. He’s a bay horse we call JSIX Lil Frank. He’s a real athletic
horse, heavy muscled horse with good bone and appears to have that natural
cow and the brains. His first cols are on the ground this year and I’m
well pleased." JSIX Lil Frank is 3 X 3 X 3 to Unikia and he is 3 X 3 X 2
to Mac’s Fair Lady.
The mare Roman Red Lady is the full sister to Roman Mac and the dam of
Unikia Two. This mare is also the dam of several mares that Frank Clark is
using in his breeding program. They would include the mares Pistols
Laurelena, by Pistols Brownie, a grandson of King’s Pistol and Ms Unikia
San, a Mr San Peppy daughter.
The mare Pistols Laurelena is the dam of a good stud colt this year that
is sired by JSIX Lil Frank. This colt sold at 45 days of age. The breeding
pattern on this colt helps us tell the story of how Clark is proceeding to
perpetuate the blood of Unikia. This stout little bay colt is 4 X 4 X 4 X
3 to Unikia. (That means that Unikia shows up four times in the pedigree
of this foal–3 times in the fourth generation and once in third
generation.) He is 4 X4 X 3 X 3 to Mac’s Fair Lady.
Another foundation mare for Clark is the mare Nifty Joy. This mare has an
interesting pedigree. She is sired by Bert’s Bad Boy by Bert P-227. Her
dam is Miss Nifty 182 by Nifty Pep. The dam of Miss Nifty 182 is Pep’s
Lady 182 by Nifty Pep. This makes Miss Nifty 182 1 X 2 inbred to Nifty Pep
by Pep Up, who is sired by Macanudo.
Nifty Joy was crossed on Unikia to produce the mare Nifty Jill. This mare
was then crossed on Wimpys Doc to get Wimpys Jill. Wimpys Jill is the dam
of Roman Taxman, an AQHA point earner with 4.5 open and amateur
performance points in team penning. Roman Mac is the sire of this horse.
The dam of Wimpys Doc is My Dusty’s Daisy by Dusty Wimpy by Silver Wimpy.
Mitzy Five is the dam of My Dusty’s Daisy. Her sire is Silver Wimpy. This
makes My Dusty’s Daisy 2 X 2 inbred to Silver Wimpy. Silver Wimpy is out
of Silver Lucy, a full sister to Macanudo. Silver Wimpy was the sire of
the great Marion’s Girl, the 1954 and 1956 NCHA Open World Champion
When Clark crossed Wimpys Jill back on Roman Mac, he got the mare JSIX
Jill. Of course Roman Mac is sired by Unikia, with his crosses to Lady
Coolidge and Dixie Beach. Roman Mac is out of Mac’s Fair Lady by Macanudo
Jr by Macanudo. When we combine the sire and dam of JSIX Jill we see she
has five crosses to Macanudo and his sister Silver Lucy and it gives her
nine crosses to Lady Coolidge and Dixie Beach.
Others are having success with the Unikia breeding supplied by the Clark
breeding program. Mike and Jone Martin have a young horse named MMU Two
Dusty, who is out of a Sugar Bars bred mare. He is currently in training
with Tandy Bradley for a cutting career. MMU Two Dusty, Rooster, as the
Martin’s call him, will start his cutting career later this year as an
example of the outcrossing ability of the linebred/inbred Unikia horses.
As you can see Unikia made an impact as a legendary show horse and sire
without attending the major shows or producing a lot of show horses as a
sire. He is truly a blue collar worker that left a strong legacy in the
west central Arkansas area. Now Frank Clark is perpetuating the blood of
this great horse through his inbreeding and linebreeding program. Only
time will tell how successful this breeding program will be, but if the
descendants are anything like Unikia, the blood will live for many years
and we will have another solid branch of the Lady Coolidge/Dixie Beach
family of horse. Good Luck Frank.