Sunday, August 17, 2014

8/17/14 Bourbon Chief

Bourbon Chief was bred by James McClelland of Millerburg Ky and foaled in 1883.  He is best known as the sire of Bourbon King, but in his day, he was an important sire and show horse in his own right.  He was described as a red chestnut, 15.3 hands high with one white heel, remarkable fine with a long slender neck and straight flat face.  He had great muscular development, flat bone on clean smooth legs, a natural tail carried very high.  He had a fine temperament and anyone could drive him.  He won 208 blue ribbons, mostly in harness, and rarely met defeat.  He was the only horse ever to defeat his sire, Harrison Chief in harness.  He also defeated his brother and chief rival, (Wilson's) King.  Together, Bourbon Chief and his brother King were invincible when shown in that oddity of the past, the double harness class.

His breeding is an example of a cross between the Chief's and the Denmarks, with his sire being Harrison Chief by Clark Chief.  His dam, Belle, was by Latham's Denmark by Washington Denmark by Gaines' Denmark. His best colts came from his matings with Annie C, a daughter of his brother (Wilson's ) King.  They included full siblings Bourbon King, Montgomery Chief, Marvel King, Brilliant King and Becky Sharp.  Other well known offspring included Emily, Golden Butterfly (registered as Bourbon Belle), Emerald Chief, Bourbon Prince, King Chieftain, Sterling Chief, Tattersall, Dolan Chief and Bourbon's Best.

In the January 4, 1911 issue of the Mt. Sterling Advocate published in Mt. Sterling Kentucky, news of Bourbon Chief's death made the front page.  The article said that Bourbon Chief, one of the most noted sires of saddle horses in the world, died  at his owner's farm in Montgomery county and was buried at the farm he made famous.  He foaled in Bourbon county May 29, 1883 and was a show horse from the time he was born until he died, sweeping the model and harness classes.  The horse obituary listed the names of many of his get and mourned the loss of the "old King of the show ring".

As one man put it, he was great in three ways, first in ancestry, second in posterity and third individually.  That he was a handsome individual is certain, since the noted equine artist, George Ford Morris, used him as a subject of his camera and his artist's easel on many occasions.

Clark Chief
Grandsire of Bourbon Chief, he was sired by Mambrino Chief 

Harrison Chief
The sire of Bourbon Chief, he was out of Lute Boyd (BHF) 

Bourbon Chief
Harrison Chief X Belle by Latham's Denmark
Here he is as subject of a George Ford Morris painting. 

Bourbon Chief

Bourbon King
The most prominent son of Bourbon Chief, he was out of Annie C., f. 1900
Marvel King
a full brother to Bourbon King, shown here in a George Ford Morris drawing.

a photo of Marvel King
foaled 1904

Brilliant King
another full brother to Bourbon King, foaled 1906

Montgomery Chief
yet another full sibling, foaled 1897

Bourbon Knight
Bourbon Chief X Estelle Gillaspie by (Wilson's) King
Since Annie C. was also by (Wilson's) King, this horse is
a 3/4 brother to Bourbon King. foaled 1907

Bourbon Prince
f. 1903, Bourbon Chief X Rose Scott by Dolan Denmark by Washington

Bourbon's Best
f. 1906, Bourbon Chief X Judy Oliver by Red Cloud
2nd dam by (Wilson's) King

Dolan Chief
f. 1902, Bourbon Chief X Rose Scott by Dolan Denmark
making him a full brother to Bourbon Prince

King Chieftain
f. 1904 Bourbon Chief X Peach by (Wilson's) King
yet another 3/4 brother to Bourbon King.

Note that most of his registered get were produced in his later years. 
He was bred to mostly trotting bred mares early in his career at stud.

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