The Foundation of the American Paint Performance Horse
A Few of the Paint Horse Performance Greats
Preserving the Foundation Paint Horse
It's easy to find information about foundation American Quarter Horses because they are the foundation behind most of the stock color breeds. In fact, all of the colored stock breeds still allow purebred quarter horses and thoroughbreds to be included in their registries as breeding stock. However, there is also a foundation of great American Paint Horses who created a line of performance paint horses above and beyond just 'a horse of color'. Most of these horses descend from American Quarter Horse greats that go back to Leo, King and the Skipper W bred horses as well as Three Bars, the foundation thoroughbred stallion.
The great APHA cutting mare, Delta, who is line bred King and King-ranch bred horses was successful in her own right as a cutting horse and then went on to excel as a broodmare. Her tobiano color pattern was secondary to her talent and she is inducted into the NCHA hall of fame for both her own cutting talent as well as that which she passed on to her famous offspring such as Delta Flyer by Peppy San Badger.
Ris Key Business, two time APHA Champion and World Champion producing sire goes back to the foundation American Quarter Horse Leo. He not only was successful as a performance horse but has passed his talent and traits on to his successful offspring. He was also versatile and earned open ROMs in reining, working cow horse and western riding.
Another paint performance great, Leo San Cita, a relatively 'young' foundation paint born in1985 shows the true versatility of a foundation sire earning 17 Grand Championships in halter, working cow horse, steer stopping, reining and heading. He is also a 'tovero' meaning that he can produce overos, tobianos and tovero offspring, adding to his value as color sire. Both Risk Key Business and Leo San Cita go back to Leo San Siemon who seems to be a factor in the successful genetic brew of the 'foundation' paint horses.
QT Poco Streke, born in 1990 and a World Champion homozygous reining horse also traces directly to Leo San Siemon. He is line-bred Q Ton Eagle, a great paint producer of both color and performance horses. His sire, Pepsi Poco is a well known producer of both color and performance ability.
Mr Gun Smoke, a 1961 AQHA stallion carried the 'splash' overo gene, producing many crop-out paints with distinctive white markings and exceptional performance ability. The well known reining stallion 'Gunner' descends from this line of color and is a 'double bred' paint and quarter horse due to his color but also to his pure bred American Quarter Horse genetics.
There are many other great American Paint Horses such as Hank A Chief from the great Wisecamp program. These horses produced halter champions as well as standing as the backbone of many performance horse pedigrees.
It is worth noting that Leo San Siemon, a great American Quarter Horse stallion excelling in halter is in the pedigree of Ris Key Business, QT Poco Streke and Leo San Cita. Leo San Siemon is by Leo San by Leo. Again, the very foundation of performance horses often traces back to a few common and outstanding individuals, an argument for line and even inbreeding when appropriate.
I have a double bred Ris Key Business tovero filly who is out of a Poco Tivio bred paint mare. She is outstanding and has a big hip and chest even at just a few months old. This concentration of the best genes as well as an abundance of color genes means that we will be passing the best of both on to future generations. She will be talented and will make a great broodmare in the future and she is gentle and kind already.
Athleticism, strong bone, talent and color are the traits to breed into future generations of American Paint Horses so that their reputation is not damaged by the idea that if you 'took away the spots they would be worthless'. We want color to be an enhancement to an already phenomenal horse. The foundation APHA horses give both and we should strive to improve upon as well as cherish what they have given to the breed.