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1962 World Grand Champion

Ebony Masterpiece  #560586
If you wish to print off this pedigree, click HERE to load a black and white copy.

Ebony Masterpiece was sired by Skipper’s Son of Midnight, out of Lady Lee, a daughter of old Merry Boy. He was bred by and foaled at Solitude Stock Farm in Goodlettsville, TN. Bud Seaton who was the manager and trainer at Solitude Stock Farm first started working Masterpiece in the late winter of 1957-1958. The black stallion was sold that spring to Clay Simpson of Bowling Green, KY, but remained at Solitude for training and showing by Bud Seaton. He was shown only two or three times prior to Celebration Time.

In 1957, Ebony Masterpiece was tied third in the class for Stallions and Geldings, Two-Year-Olds. He was tied first in the Two-Year-Old Championship Stake later that week. Troubled by a quarter-crack and a bowed tendon, Masterpiece was turned out to pasture, following this win, and it was not until late in the fall of his fourth year, that he was saddled again and started into training once more.

Bud Seaton took the job as manager and trainer at Okley Hays Stables in Herrin, IL in 1960, and Masterpiece went with him. Bud continued to show Masterpiece in the early spring of 1961 in the circuit around Herrin, across into Missouri and down into Central Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. His vacation in the pasture had strengthened the horse’s legs, and he no longer had difficulty with hoof trouble. His wins at these shows made it apparent that Masterpiece was again a contender for the roses. Seaton said that Masterpiece made one of the best shows ever at Murfreesboro in July of 1961. It was at that event that Billy Hale became interested in the great champion. Sam Paschal, acting as agent for the Hales, bought Ebony and brought him to Paschal Stables in Murfreesboro, TN.

Ebony Masterpiece was not shown at the 1961 Celebration, but that fall following the Celebration, Sam Paschal showed him and he was a consistent winner then and through the spring and summer of 1962.

Masterpiece was the fourth grandson of Midnight Sun to be declared as a World Grand Champion.  He was also the second World Grand Champion to be trained and exhibited by Sam Paschal in the Celebration ring, and both Ebony and Paschal had a tremendous following in the crowd of spectators that year.  He was one of the most popular Grand Champions ever crowned at the Celebration, and his win that year was widely acclaimed by lovers of the Tennessee Walking horse everywhere.

Ebony Masterpiece was retired to stud following his 1962 win and went on to sire many many champion foals.  He has the distinction of producing the highest number of
foals produced by any TWH stallion to date, on the TWHBEA IPEDS, having sired 3,555 foals.   Ebony’s Senator, 1969 World Grand Champion was from his first crop of foals, but his list of winners is still being added to today. The most recent horses to carry the illustrious name of Ebony Masterpiece on their pedigrees, include: 

  • 1998 WGCh  Masquerading,

  • 1999 WGCh RPM,

  • 2003 WGCh The Whole Nine Yards,

  • 2004 WGCh The Black Night Shade,

  • 2005 WGCh. Main Power and

  • 2007 WGCh. Master of Jazz


Ebony Masterpiece, with 11 year old rider, Karen Lynne Crunk.  
Photo contributed by Judy Crunk of Green Valley Farm.
Ebony Masterpiece's headstone at the S. W. Beech Stables

----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Wright
To: walkersw@earthlink.net
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 6:53 PM
Subject: Ebony Masterpiece

I had the pleasure of seeing Ebony Masterpiece at Celebration in 1963. I will NEVER forget the announcer saying "Ladies and Gentlemen...the Grand Champion Walking Horse of the World" and Ebony Masterpiece charged through the gate in a running walk in the spotlight. It was the most thrilling thing I have ever seen. Are there any videos or DVDs of any of his performances. I would love to have some or more for my collection. I hope that I hear from somebody soon. Needles to say, as far as I am concerned, there will never be a horse like Ebony Masterpiece.
Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you in the very near future.
Charles Wright
206 South 6th Street
Gadsden, AL 35903-2302
(256) 543-9538

Yes, Ebony Masterpiece was a true Masterpiece. I have only seen one video clip of him showing and it was brief with no sound. You are lucky to have been there to see him in person - my first Celebration was 1971 - but I saw Ebony Masterpiece at the S.W. Beach Stable many times where he stood at stud.

Mary Ellen Areaux
Walkers West

----- Original Message -----
From: caribel@mindspring.com
To: walkerswest@walkerswest.com 
Sent: Monday, June 13, 2005 8:35 PM
Subject: Ebony's Masterpiece

My father, Charles C. Gresham, was a lifetime and founding member of the Tennessee Walking Horse
Association. At one time, he owned Society Man. He was of the time of Carl Edwards, and he and Carl were friends.

I had the fortune of seeing Ebony's Masterpiece at about 30 years old at the Celebration as an exhibit. He
was by far the most beautiful animal I could ever hope to see. At about 30, he was still so lovely, with legs to dream about and length of body and neck and a gorgeous headpiece. I left my seat in the stands and got as close as I could get. Seeing him parked out is something I will always remember.

I lost my dad a couple of years ago. His love for walkers brings tears to my eyes as I write this. I was with
him the night Mountain Man made his ride. The lights got dim. The spotlight came on, and in came Mountain Man. My father rose from his seat. He said to me, "Patsy, look at him. He is climbing the wall." And climb the wall he did. He was no spring chicken out there doing that walk. He was reaching clear over the rails in the front with a wild but confident look in his eye as he nodded and not missing a step. His performance was superior to anything I will ever see. Man, that horse had a lick!

I spent my time as a young girl riding in every barn from here to Z where my father took me. The trainers
were always glad for a break, and I was fearless, most of the time. I hope to get to raise a few colts when I

Thank you for posting this site. It brings back some very fond memories for me.

Pat Gresham

----- Original Message -----
From: Jill
To: walkerswest@walkerswest.com
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: Clay Simpson passing

Hello, just letting you know that Clay Simpson of Bowling Green, Kentucky passed away last night in Bowling Green.  He was an avid TWH lover and showed quite a bit.  He owned Ebony Masterpiece just before he earned the Grand Championship.

Clay was a great man and many people knew him.

Thank you,

Jill H. Goostree

If you have a story or photos of  Ebony Masterpiece that you would like added to this page, please forward them to Walkers West.

<==1961   1963==>

Last Updated: March 27, 2017
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