EQUUS - - Conformati­on Insights -

Dan Case­ment rides Con­cho Colonel at the Unaweep Ranch in Mesa County, Colorado, in about 1910. Un­for­tu­nately, no conformati­on photo of Con­cho Colonel is avail­able, but this im­age sug­gests that he took af­ter the Thor­ough­bred-like Jim Ned. This horse was foaled in 1904, be­fore Ash­moor’s ar­rival, and based on his conformati­on I would agree that he has no draft an­ces­try. Note the fine, shapely neck and long, an­gu­lar and only mod­er­ately slop­ing hindquar­ters.

The Con­cho Colonel son Bal­ley­mooney (1914) is tacked up for polo. Bal­ley­mooney’s dam was Lit­tle Judge by Lit­tle Steve by Pony Pete, Billy-Rondo-breds who were quar­ter-run­ning horses, but the rest of the distaff pedi­gree is—of­fi­cially—blank. Did Bal­ley­mooney carry a frac­tion of draft blood? Note the steep, rounded hindquar­ters and large head. My guess is that his grand­dam was a CS Ranch mare trac­ing through Old Joe back to one of Anson’s Suf­folk mares. Fig­ured this way, Bal­ley­mooney’s draft an­ces­try amounts to less than 1/64th.

Here are Dan Case­ment and the Bal­ley­mooney son Red Dog about 1935. Red Dog was out of Cinnabar by Old Joe and she out of an Old Joe mare. By my cal­cu­la­tion, Cinnabar would carry 1/32nd draft an­ces­try. Red Dog him­self might thus have had as much as 3/32nds draft—just enough to main­tain the size and weight re­quired in a good roper of the mod­ern type.

Dan Case­ment rides the stal­lion Buck­shot, about 1943. An­other Bal­ley­mooney son, Buck­shot has breed­ing sim­i­lar to Red Dog’s. Of the two, this stal­lion is the bet­ter in­di­vid­ual, with the base of the neck set on higher. Note the big head, ex­cel­lent feet, sub­stan­tial “bone” and steep, rounded croup.

Of all the Bal­ley­mooney colts, Billy Byrne is the most bal­anced and har­mo­nious in my view. His dam was Natalie, she by Lit­tle Joe Springer by Old Joe, and out of “a C.S. mare,” mean­ing one prob­a­bly de­scend­ing from Anson stock. Billy Byrne thus might have in­her­ited draft an­ces­try through all four lines, but he also traces to Thor­ough­bred through Uh­lan II, Jim Ned and Peter McCue.

Dan Case­ment on The Deuce about 1952, his fa­vorite of all the Bal­ley­mooney colts, whom he re­ferred to as “wise and beau­ti­ful.” The Deuce has ideal roper conformati­on and is over­all an ex­cel­lent blend of all that went into the Anson horses: Thor­ough­bred, Moun­tain Horse and Billy-Rondo with, I sur­mise, a dash of draft.

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