I mentioned the stallion “Slim” in an earlier note. His full name was Sugarwood Slim. He was a humdinger of a cutting horse! In fact I brought a number of mares to him and got some of the most memorable colts and fillies we’ve ever had.
I got to thinking that this phenomenon was not a matter of chance alone. Slim had some really super genetics going for him. His own sire was a story in itself. Little known at the time because of the fame of his brother “Freckles”, Son o Sugar, Slim’s sire, was taken early in his life from Texas to California. There he was spotted by a noted cutting trainer and quickly became pacific coast cutting champion, and on a small book of mares, earned the title of leading sire of money earning quarter horses with his offspring.
Slim’s mom, however, had her own claim to fame. A daughter of Speedy Peake,son of a horse registered as Driftwood, she was a real producer. Driftwood, however during his racing in roping career, was called “Speedy”.
One story was about the time that he was to match race the inimitable Clabber. The race was hampered by false starts. Each time the horses were pulled up, Clabber snorted, cavorted, and fumed worse and worse. Speedy, however, just pulled up and quietly walked back to the starting line, conserving his energy.
Finally after many attempts they got a good start and Speedy won! He had beat the legend, Clabber!
And it was sure thought that much of his success over and above his speed, what is cool demeanor under stress. He was also a legend in his own right as a roping horse.
Asbury shell who owned Speedy, roped off of him and earned a lot of money even in the early forties when there wasn’t much money around because of World War II.
Finally when the Peake family contracted with him to purchase the stallion, Shell asked one final favor. He wanted to rope in Scottsdale one last weekend. They said yes, and he roped off Speedy, also renting him to other ropers; and earned $4000 that weekend. The Peaks had paid him $4000 for speedy as well! I suspect that was a retirement program for that cowboy!
Years later, in the fifties, I was watching the Salinas California rodeo on television. I noticed that a lot of people roped off gray horses. Then I listened to the announcer and realized that it was the same gray horse every time!
His name was Poker Chip. His whole name was Poker Chip Peake, a son of Speedy, now registered in the new quarter horse association as Driftwood.
The genes of that same stallion run in our herd, and I can’t help but have a little swelling in my chest when I look at those colts and fillies and remember those stories!