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Foundation Quarter Horse History

Foundation Quarter Horse - Chief P-5

Karen Griffith Farms · 34440 State Route 7 · Pomeroy, Ohio  45769
Call: (740) 992-5782 · E-mail: griffith@frognet.net


 Chief P5 - Foundation Quarter Horse

Chief P-5 (1916 - 1946)

Chief was foaled in 1916 or 1917, and he died in 1946. He spent his entire life of twenty-nine or thirty years in the ownership of Claud Stinson of Hammon, Oklahoma. He is buried east of the Stinson barn under some large locust trees, under which he used to stand for hours, drowsily switching flies with his tail, raising a little cloud of dust each time he stamped a foot.

Chief was not a small horse as Quarter Horses are judged. He mounted up well in the withers, and while you would not say he could drink out of a teacup, he did not have a bad head. He had long, strong muscles and good, clean, flat bones. Wear and tear blemished him somewhat, but he had come into the world with good straight legs. Claud claimed he was an excellent saddle animal--fast, intelligent, and not excitable when working cattle or racing. He showed he had been ridden, for he had several saddle scars. His small, round, dark hoofs were noticeable. His pasterns were short, as a working horse's should be.8

Fast horses were to the young men in the days when Claud Stinson was growing up what hot-rods are to modern youngsters. Thus Claud developed a good eye for horseflesh. He owned one mare he especially liked because she could fairly fly. Her name was Bess, and Claud enjoyed her speed by matching her in quite a number of races. Then he got married, and somehow he no longer had time to train, match, and race.

He decided to breed Bess and raise some fast horses. The first colt she foaled was sired by Jeff C and was called Little Annie. She got tangled in barbed wire and came out lame. Claud rebred Bess to Jeff C, and the next foal was a filly he named Nettie Stinson. Reed Armstrong bought and raced Nettie at the same time he had Grey Badger.9 Nettie Stinson ran so well Claud figured that Little Annie, who was bred the same way, should be a good brood mare. He bred her to Peter McCue, the best horse he could find. Chief was the result, and he satisfied Claud in every respect.

In a letter written in 1947 and printed as an article, Claud had the following to say about Chief:
Chief was never raced very much and was never in good running condition at any time he was raced. We would take him out and run him a little and he outrun some of as fast horses as was ever in this country. The last time I run him was at the age of twelve years. I started him in a quarter mile free-for-all at the fall race meet at Seiling, Oklahoma, and again at Canton the next week, running first both times. Chief's best distance was probably 300 or 350 yards. I think Chief could run as fast as any horse could run at the distance, as he was as fast breaker as any horse I've ever seen.
I showed him at-halter at Elk City in the Western Oklahoma Quarter Horse Show in 1941. He took first there, at the age of 24.10
While Chief may not have been the most famous of Peter McCue's offspring, certainly his blood has been a steady and beneficial influence to the Quarter Horse as a breed.

8 This description is taken from notes made by the author when he went to see Chief, Denhardt Files, Chief Folder.

9 Grey Badger, also called Badger, was the sire of Midnight. Reed Armstrong was one of five brothers, all seemingly horsemen. Reed married the daughter of a buffalo hunter, Jake Meek. Reed's brother John trained horses for the King Ranch. Dan Reed trained for Van Vactor who was well known in Oklahoma and Texas for his fast Quarter Horses. Reed was born around 1874 and lived variously at Elk City, Sayre, and lastly at Foss, Oklahoma. Denhardt Files, Armstrong Folder.

10 "The Story of Chief," The Quarter Horse, February, 1947, 4.

This story was taken from the book by Robert Moorman Denhardt - Quarter Horses: A Story of Two Centuries. (For more reading, check out another book by Denhardt - The King Ranch Quarter Horses.)


Karen Griffith Farms · 34440 State Route 7 · Pomeroy, Ohio  45769
Call: (740) 992-5782 · E-mail: griffith@frognet.net
Web site: www.karengriffith.com

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