Rhonda K -- was a Thoroughbred chestnut mare born in 1958. She was the dam of one stakes winner and had a long legged stud colt at side when I first saw her.
Back in the early seventies a number of AAA runners were coming off the track and becoming very popular at halter. Some became AQHA Champions and bred a lot of mares. They quickly took the spot light away from less speed bred halter horses. The Three Bars look and the Custus Rastus look started to be very eye pleasing to the judges. Dad (Frank) and I had been breeding Silky Fox, Skips Count, Sage Scooter, Monty Carlo (full brother to Skipper W) and later Sonnys Calvin. We decided we needed to migrate toward the more Thoroughbred athletic look. More hot blood. I decided I would find a half dozen chestnut mares for Silky and Count that were speed horses. I bought a AAA mare named Sherry By Bar, I bought Queen O Clubs J (dam of Royal Bar) and we already had over a dozen Shoemaker mares, mostly sired by Sailor Cue.
I went down the shed row at the New Mexico State Fair, the Colorado State Fair, Stewarts Thoroughbred Ranch at Rye, CO and Keenland Acres owned by Corky Keen of Ft. Collins, CO. I wanted mares with 4 white side-walls, perfect balance, I wasn't that concerned with their race record, I wanted small refined heads, a long flat hip, as much gaskin as you can get with a TB and general correct conformation to blend with our stallions. Although I looked at several thousand horses, the ugly heads hanging out the stalls eliminated most. It didn't take but a few seconds to glance in a stall and see every kind of fowl anatomy and wheels out of alinement. Most of the process was just walking the miles of shed rows. It was like hunting an honest Congressman.
I bought a TB mare who was running claiming races at Albuquerque from Les Davis at the CS ranch. She was a grand daughter of Battlefield, a bright red chestnut with 4 whites and the most gaskin I ever saw on a TB mare. She was streamlined and I thought she was the special mare to raise a great one by Skips Count. She didn't. Her name was Carbise.
At Keenland Acres I bought Rhonda K who had this long legged colt. Corky wouldn't let me have Rhonda K until the foal was weaned -- he kept the colt. I took Skips Count the 3 hour drive to Ft Collins, he bred her on the 9th day and she had a palomino long legged filly the next year. Then we bred Rhonda K to Silky Fox and in 1974 Silkay was born. Most know Silkay, World Champion halter, won the Congress and a pickup load of toys. The really good ones do not come easy. That was the process. This is Rhonda K pictured in our pasture.
Author: Darol Dickinson