MORE OF TOM’S HORSES
Golden McDonald (also called Cason McDonald), foaled 1907. This handsome stallion with flashy chestnut coloration and blond mane and tail is the type of gaited horse that was favored throughout the South before the Civil War (compare to the foundational Quarter Horse Young Roebuck in EQUUS 473, “America’s
Major Horse Breeds Emerge”). The hindquarters are very powerful, and the back is short, broad and strong—suitable for carrying a full-sized rider for hours at a time without fatigue. The neck is beautifully formed and the head noble in shape; the expression is curious, intelligent and cheerful.
Moss Rose with Cyrus Clark up. This was Clark and Potts’ chief saddle stallion when Tom Bass first came to work for them. By the very beautiful Montrose, Moss Rose is conformed similarly to Golden McDonald, and like him blends Denmark’s Thoroughbred sireline with many crosses to imported Janus (the Quarter Horse foundation sire) as well as to Black Hawk and Justin Morgan.
Jack O’ Diamonds. This horse has the sort of conformation that was still typical of American Saddlebreds as late as the 1970s: tall, refined and yet substantial, with sufficient width of breast, a shapely, muscular neck that is fine and long but not excessively so; broad, strong back and coupling, broad hips, deep chest, moderate pelvic slope, long muscular thigh; correctly articulated joints; well-shaped hooves; and a full tail carried naturally in a lovely rainbow arch. The expression is curious, open and highly intelligent.
Marshall Chief, foaled 1906. Tom Bass trained this horse, but by the time this photo was taken in 1912 the handsome black had become the property of Bass’s friend Curtis “Jumps” Cauthorn who is riding him here. Note the stallion’s great depth and breadth of chest, broad hips and coupling, short back and huge shoulder. Cauthorn has him going in the old, authentic “slow gait,” which was not just a slow version of the rack but differing from it in the timing of the footfalls (compare to Tom Bass racking on Forest King, for example. Slow gait and Spanish walk are very similar).