Old Tom Cat - born 1958, by Robin Reed and out of Little Meow, all from the Jack Casement program. The Casement genetics went back to the Peavy and Coke Roberts horses much the same as Wiescamp's. Old Tom Cat was an early AAA AQHA Champion.
I first met Clarence and Pat Roth at Centennial Race Track at Littleton, Colorado. Clarence was a serious trainer running his own and client's horses. He was good at getting them to win. I had photographed his horses at Centennial. That same year John T. L. Jones Jr was working for Walter Merrick training a sting of runners. Jet Deck was one of the horses photographed right down the shed row from Clarence.
Walter Merrick wanted to show me one of his runners and a vicious German Shepard dog was snarling up and down the shed row on a chain and a wire line. I ask Walter what you have to tell that dog to get him to move away from the horse's door and Walter said, "I haven't figured that out yet myself." Walter hollered at a Mexican fellow who worked for him and he wrestled the dog while Walter and I looked at the horse.
The next time I saw Clarence he was leading Old Tom Cat into the show arena at the Denver National Western. In a few minutes he walked out with the All Age Grand Champion trophy. Old Tom Cat was another horse who had never had a good photo taken. Denver was cold and at best a horse's hair was never great at Denver. Clarence wanted me to come to Sturgis, South Dakota and do an Old Tom Cat photo shoot. He promised to get a dozen or so other people lined up to have photos taken, to make a trip profitable, in the spring.
On April 21, 1963 Linda and I got married and drove toward Sturgis on our honeymoon. She thought I had some money, but fact was, I had to work all over South Dakota to pay our way. At 8 AM on April 22, I was photographing horses and Linda was acting like an idiot jumping around getting ears up. We were paid for that shoot and drove on to Sturgis. Clarence and Pat lived west of Sturgis in the canyon going to Deadwood. They stood Old Tom Cat in the livestock auction facility at Sturgis. We loaded Old Tom Cat and took him up into the Black Hills. Clarence modeled and photos in the Black Hills were taken for Quarter Horse Journal covers and several other publications. Many, including our family, thought Old Tom Cat was the greatest horse of all times. At Denver he beat everything Wiescamp could enter, Texas people, Pitzer, Honnen, he beat them all.
The honeymoon lasted about 10 ranches and nearly 2 weeks. Now, after over 51 years, Linda still thinks I tricked her into a grueling working honeymoon. It was a preview into the long working hours and unique opportunities of meeting great livestock people we have enjoyed over the years.
Author: Darol Dickinson