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Tennessee Walking Horse - Midnight Sun

1940 - 1965
World Grand Champion in 1945 and 1946
Midnight Sun Jig Saw Puzzle

Midnight Sun from A Look into the Past.
Courtesy of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association

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

Tennessee Walking Horse - Midnight Sun

(This is a copy of an article by Margaret Lindalsy Warden, as appeared in the April, 1966 issue of Western Horseman Magazine. )

It was a big horse that lay covered in the hallway of the barn at Harlinsdale Farm, Franklin, Tenn., the afternoon of November 7, 1965.  Indeed, he was a big horse in every way - in stature, name, fame, and posterity.

Midnight Sun, a young 25, had become a legend years before his death that Indian summer afternoon.    On his record, he was the big horse of the Tennessee Walking Horse breed.   He was the first stallion to become world champion of his kind.  That was in 1945 and 1946 at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration at Shelbyville, Tennessee.   Then he sired horses that were grand champions there seven times; grand-sired the supreme winner five times;  and was the great-grandsire of nearly EVERY year's champion since that time. On only FOUR occasions since 1949,  have horses NOT descended from Midnight Sun, in a straight male line, been world champions of this breed.

If Midnight Sun had been foaled in 1930 instead of 1940, he would have acted on a small stage before a small audience, and for only local fame.  However, he flashed on the scene with perfect timing.  The nationwide discovery of the Tennessee Walking Horse afforded this remarkable individual, a big stage on which to perform before a large audience, and he responded gloriously to the opportunity.

Tennessee Walking horses - MSChamp.jpg (27807 bytes)

From being a humble, back-country type known in a few southern states, the Walking Horse started going places after the registry society was formed in 1935.  It seemed that nearly everybody was reading about the Tennessee Walking Horse, and wanted to see this distinctive "new" breed in action.  Great singers, actors, athletes, and horses are "box office", and the big, black, storybook stallion was prominent among the performers to sell the breed to the public.

Horses are not a big money crop in the Volunteer State, but in the last 30 years, the Tennessee Walking Horse has brought in a lot of cash and numerous lookers, and Midnight Sun was high among those responsible.





For years a guest book was kept at Harlinsdale by owners A. F. and W. W. Harlin, but the books filled up fast, and after the novelty wore off, they were discontinued. Some days the champ was brought out of his stall 20 times for visitors to see and have their pictures made with Midnight Sun. He was never ill-natured. A child could go into his stall and pet him. Many a youngster was given the thrill of "riding Midnight Sun."

MIDNIGHT SUN - THE AMBASSADOR - August, 1965
photo courtesy Bonnie Smith (handler) of BJS Stables and Susan Bowman-Geidel (up).

The big horse was cast in the heroic mold. When he finally matured, he averaged 1,350 pounds and appeared much taller than the "just under 16 hands" that he measured. He was distinctly large for a Walking horse, a robust but not tall breed. His home was his stall. He was never turned out in a paddock, but exercised daily under saddle between 30 minutes and an hour. The day before his death from colic, he was ridden at the walk and running walk about 30 minutes. The Tennessee Walking Horse may be thought of as a Cinderella breed, and Midnight Sun as an ugly duckling that matured into a swan.

It was a farmer, the late Samuel M. Ramsey, at Viola, in the Tennessee hills west of Chattanooga and near McMinnville, who bred Ramsey's Rena, a bay mare of about 15.2 hands, to Wilson's Allen, a chestnut, at nearby Pelham. This was a couple of months before the latter's death from pneumonia on August 22, 1939.   Rena died young after producing just 3 foals.   Wilson's Allen was by Roan Allen, by Allen, from Birdie Messick by Allen, the Standardbred No. 1 foundation sire of the Tennessee Walking Horse.   Rena was about 90% Standardbred.   She was by Dement's Allen by Hunter's Allen, by Allen F-1, and her dam was by Bell Buckle, a registered trotter of Bow Bells and Wedgewood blood.   The Registry gives the next dam as by John Covington's Hal, and the next as by "Galleston".   This was a trotter, but not an American Standardbred. Old-timers in the Woodbury area who remember him say that the name was Galson.   He was an imported black German Coach stallion, "nearly 17 hands and 1,500 pounds", owned by a stock company, and had cost $2,600.  (English, German and French coach horses were imported to the U.S. periodically to produce heavyweight hunters and carriage horses, or farm horses and mule mares, but the English Cleveland Bay is the only one hanging on today.)  German coach horses were a brief experiment in middle Tennessee from about 1903-1915. Galston is the only one with any known descendants.   He contributed size, color and stride to a prolific champion that has put his name far back in many a pedigree.

He sold as a suckling because he was one of the last crop by Wilson's Allen, and the buyer was stuck with him for nearly 3 years.   Nobody could see anything promising in that solid black colt that was plain, thin, and gangly.   What horseman is wizard enough to foretell what kind of mature horse, a weanling will make?   Alex and Wirt Harlin were among those who didn't want the black colt, until they saw him perform under saddle in January, 1944, when he was turning 4 years old.   Then they paid $4,400, including the commission, and legend has it, that they were prepared to pay $10,000.


Eleanor Livingstone of Dixie Plantation


Geraldine Livingstone of
Dixie Plantation

In 1956 at the Harlinsdale dispersal during the Murray Farm sale in Lewisburg, Tenn., Mrs. G. M. Livingston and daughter, Geraldine of Quitman, Ga., paid $50,000 for Midnight Sun.   The champ had new owners, but they wanted him left at Harlinsdale under the same management.  So there he lived out his years.  In 1962, he left home for his last personal triumph at the Celebration.  He paraded with 7 other former grand champions, including his old rival, Merry Go Boy, and drew more applause than any other.

What forbearers and what handlers produced Midnight Sun? Nobody knows yet what two horses to breed to get a certain champion.  No skilled trainer-rider can make a champion of just any horse he rides.

The history-maker's pedigree contains out-crosses that have probably added much vigor. Instead of Roan Allen in both lines, he had Hunter's Allen on the dam's side and some of the stoutest trotting blood of his ancestors' day.

Midnight Sun's sire, Wilson's Allen, was on a pedestal when he died, for among his get was Strolling Jim, Grand Champion of the first Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in 1939.

Tennessee Walking horses - MShead.jpg (12544 bytes)
Tennessee Walking horses - midnightsunaction.jpg (42506 bytes)

MIDNIGHT SUN
AND
FRED WALKER

 

photo courtesy of the TWHBEA and 

Tim Beckman from SkiesRBlue Stables

 

John A. Hendrixon of Manchester bred three of the last crop of Wilson's Allen and hastened to get 6 others as sucklings.  He paid $500 for the black colt, but buyers passed him by.  They liked the smooth, early maturing ones such as H-Boy.  There was a scramble to get him.  The Harlins were among the ones who lost out.

When the slow maturing black colt was a two year old, Hendrixon trucked him and several mares to Shelbyville and offered them for sale on a lot near the Celebration grounds.  He was still too thin and awkward to show what he could do, and Alex Harlin again declined to buy him.  Who could have predicted that the gawky colt would, three years later, be supreme champion of the breed, a few hundred yards from the scene of his rejection, and then proudly owned by those who had repeatedly rejected him?

But the next time the Harlin brothers (of Red Kap garment fame) saw the black stud, they hastened to buy him.  About October, 1943, the late Winston Wiser, then at Wartrace, acquired "Joe Lewis Wilson", as Hendrixon had registered him, and two or three months later rode him to the late Henry Davis' barn to show him off. 

The dean of Walking horsedom was so excited over the horse's performance that he couldn't sleep for nights, and he told Wirt Harlin about that "once in a lifetime, honest to goodness, old time saddle horse."  So, the very next day, after the purchase was made at Hendrixon's in January, 1944, Henry Davis took the stallion from Wiser's barn to Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, about 50 miles away.

On any stage, a star performer needs and deserves an attractive name. "Joe Lewis Wilson" did nothing for the future champion. It was Bill Ashley of Franklin who suggested Midnight Sun soon after the horse arrived at Harlinsdale. "The noonday sun is the brightest and strongest thing we know and this is the blackest and strongest horse" said this imaginative admirer.

Except for the Get-Of-Sire classes, the big horse's show record is soon told, for he competed relatively few times, among the best. The new wonder wasn't really ready in 1944. His big frame hadn't filled out, nor had he hit his "big train" stride, but people were expecting to see him in competition and would have wondered why he wasn't shown. The Celebration constituted his debut and his only appearance of the year. In the stallion championship, he was second to Wilson's Ace, with Old Glory third. In the Open Stakes, he placed sixth, with the first three being City Girl, Black Angel, and Wilson's Ace. Carl Lee, the stallion's handler at Harlinsdale, rode him in the stallion event, and Winston Wiser was up in the grand championship.

In 1945 and 1946, the Midnight Sun was un-eclipsed.  In 1945, he won his class and the championship at Murfreesboro, Franklin, Columbia, Shelbyville (PTA Show in June), Lexington Junior League Show, and the Celebration where he topped stallions four years and over, the stallion championship, ladies-amateur (Mrs. Henry Davis up), and the grand championship. Cotton Pickin's Mac and Merry Wilson were second and third.

In 1946, with Fred Walker as trainer-rider again, Midnight Sun competed in just three shows; the Shelbyville PTA, the Celebration, and the Tennessee State Fair at Nashville.  At the first ones, he won the stallion class and open stake, get-of-sire, and the grand championship.  In the finale, the junior champion, Merry Go Boy, forced the reigning monarch to give his utmost to stay on top.  Third and fourth were Merry Wilson, good enough to be champion anywhere, and Black Angel, 1944 Celebration champion.

In 1947, Merry Go Boy, then four years old, challenged successfully with Winston Wiser up.  Midnight Sun won the stallion championship (Merry Go Boy was not present) at the Celebration and the State Fair, but Merry Go Boy won the four years and over stud class, and Grand Championship for 1947 and 1948.

When a person dies, it is customary to take the point of view that his or her history is complete, but this cannot be so if the subject is a stallion that sired approximately 100 foals a year for 20 years, and whose sons and grandsons, and female offspring too, have proved themselves consistently to be winning producers of World Grand Champions.

In 1972 Geraldine Livingstone commissioned a statue of Midnight Sun. This statue was sculpted by Lee Burnam of Hawthorne, Florida, and presented as a birthday gift from Geraldine to her mother, Eleanor. The bronze black patina statue stands 7 feet tall and rests on a base of rose colored granite. It was placed on the South side of the Dixie Plantation house, beyond the pool, in a position so that it could be viewed from Eleanor's bedroom window. This is the only statue of a famous walking horse in existence today.

The names on this graphic are clickable links. 
Rest in peace, old Sun.
MStombstone.jpg (16420 bytes)

**Please note:  All photos that are not specifically accredited otherwise, are courtesy of Dr. Bob Womack, author of "Echo of Hoofbeats."   If you have a story or photos of Midnight Sun that you would like added to this page, please forward them to Walkers West.

----- Original Message -----
From: H SCHILD
hschild@bellsouth.net 
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:44 AM
Subject: descendant of Midnight Sun

Hello Walkers West.


You have a very interesting and informative website on Midnight Sun. I have been visiting it periodically since I bought my TN Walker mare five years ago. It made me really appreciate my horse even more. She is a beautiful mare with a lot of Midnight Sun in her lineage. She was born in 1999 in Monroe TN. She is now in St Augustine FL with me. Her TWHBEA registration shows that Midnight Sun was her great grandfather on her sire
's side and great great grandfather, twice, on her dam's side. Also Pride's Wonder and Pride of Stanley and Pride of Midnight in her background. She looks exactly like Midnight Sun (female version), big boned, 16.2 hands, solid black with beautiful conformation. A very intelligent, noble and kind horse with a lot of spirit and go. She has a great flat walk that really covers ground. I am proud of her and I always keep in mind her forebears. I do not show her ( I am an older middle aged woman rider now) but I ride her every day, with lots of grooming and some groundwork to maintain her nice manners. Again, thanks for providing your website on Midnight Sun.

Sally Schild
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sally

Sounds like you have a very nice mare. You cannot get any better than Midnight Sun on the pedigree. I owned a direct son of Midnight Sun many years ago - he was a 16.2 hand stallion, and so gentle a 5 year old could handle him. Everything about him was wonderful.

Glad you are enjoying the website. Thank you for writing. I'm sending a copy of your email to my webmaster.

Mary Ellen Areaux
Walkers West
Kaufman, TX
www.walkerswest.com
214-507-6032

----- Original Message -----
From: Heather Bohanon
Email: heatherbohanon@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, October 29, 2012 4:28 PM
Subject: Great Great Grandson Of the Great Midnight Sun

Hi my name is Heather I own a Great great grandson of this amazing Stallion. His name is Allen's Night Flame and he was a great show colt when we bought him at four years old good couple years ago he is now fifteen and still the great horse he was years ago. In reading Midnight Suns history I find he was a very calm and loving stallion and it has spread to his decendents and I could not ask for a better horse to have around my kids. My daughter loves him as much as i do and its so wonderful to own a part of history and to know i have a part of Midnight Sun I love him and i love reading about him. This is a first time i have found a way to Email people that have known the great horse and have touched such a legend thank you for taking the time to read this I just wanted you to know a part of this great horse still lives and the great boy himself has not been forgotten.

Heather Bohanon

To: walkerswest@walkerswest.com Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2000 8:29 PM Subject: Midnight Sun 

Please allow me to compliment your fine website. It is so great to see such a positive site promoting the Tennessee Walking Horse.   I was very impressed with your page on Midnight Sun.  

I was born at Harlinsdale Farm and sorta' grew up with Ole' Sun.   My father was Harlin Hayes, Harlinsdale's manager, and Sun's manager for his entire breeding career.  Your page brought back many old memories.  All of us at the farm took Midnight Sun for granted because he was a part of our everyday lives.  I don't think anyone could have imagined the lasting impact he would have on the breed. 

We have many more old pictures of Midnight Sun and Harlinsdale as it was in his day.  Since you obviously have a great interest in history, let me extend an invitation to you to visit the farm at any time and we will gladly share some of the history with you. 

Thanks again for producing such a quality website. 

Jim Hayes 
Franklin, TN

From: Roy Tompkins To: walkerswest@walkerswest.com Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 1:20 PM
Subject: Midnight Sun/ Red Laws


Sirs;

Here is one more story of Midnight Sun and Red.

I am 73 years old, but my memory is clear.  I worked the summer of 1947 at Harlinsdale with all of the people named in you site about the great horse.  I worked there because I loved horses, and it was an experience I have treasured.

Midnight was not being shown that summer, but when Harlinsdale took other horses to shows, he was taken, and at the end of the show, he was ridden into the ring for an exhibition ride.

At one of these exhibitions, in a small Middle Tenn. town, he entered the ring just as the clock on the Courthouse rang out midnight's 12 loud chimes.

Red, who just might have brought along something to ward off the cool, was outside the ring, but when he heard the clock, he threw back his head, and for all to hear, he told the crowd "THE MIDNIGHT SUN IS NOW A-SHINING".  The crowd loved it.

He did love the big horse.

Thanks, Roy Tompkins, Ardmore, Okla.

From: Roy Tompkins

Sent: Saturday, November 16, 2002 2:30 PM

Subject: Harlinsdale/ Midnight Sun
Mary Ellen;
Your comments to Midnight Sun/Red Laws seems you like the history and nostalgia of the horse world.  Here is a little more. Red Laws proper name was Fred Laws.

Ten years ago, I read a story of Harlinsdale's history in the Nashville Banner.  The story prompted me to write Bill Harlin and tell him of the fun I had the summer I worked there, and I asked him about all of the people who had worked in the barn, and on the farm.

He very graciously wrote back and in one section he wrote, and I quote "Fred Laws is buried in the National Cemetery-Midnight Sun died about the same time as Fred Laws--my father predicted that would be the case."

One more true story.  Thanks, Roy Tompkins

----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Ramsey
To: walkersw@flash.net 
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 1:49 PM
Subject: Midnight Sun

My grandfather, Sam M. Ramsey, and my father, Samuel Robert Ramsey, Sr., bred Ramsey’s Rena to Wilson’s Allen and Midnight Sun was born in a barn behind an old farmhouse my father gave me when he died.

The barn is still standing. I am in the process of restoring the barn. Do you know of anyone who can advise me regarding the proper preservation of the barn? Are you aware of any financial grants that are available to help defray the cost of restoration?

Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to give me.

Bill Ramsey
ramseywt@nealharwell.com
615-244-1713

From: lindas1228@aol.com
To: walkerswest@walkerswest.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 9:24 AM
Subject: Midnight Sun

When I was  between the age of 6 to 8yrs old, we attended the biggest horse show in the country near Harrisonburg Va.  I'm 53 now. I slipped away as I always do at horse shows and went to where the horses were stalled. It was all out in the open. There was the biggest, blackest horse I had ever seen! I made friends with the kind black groom. He set me up on him! He said "Missy, this is the most famous hoss there has ever been! Midnight Sun.  He was so gentle. That's where my Dad and Uncle found me.  I treasured the memory. My cousin and I have argued for years over this.  He said it was a son of Midnight Sun.  I know what the groom told me! Was Midnight Sun ever at this show? This show was for Saddlebreds and Walkers. At the time it was the largest horse show in the country. Please settle this family feud if you can. Not that I would ever tell him! Thank You for a great website. Linda Westfall Olsen.

Linda

I don't know if there is anyone alive that could settle your dispute.  You would probably have to go to Bill Harlin at Harlinsdale Farm and see if he knows or if he know someone that would remember if Midnight Sun was at that show.

That would have been in about 1956 - 1958.  Midnight Sun died in 1965.  He might have been there for a demonstration or a special exhibition, but he would not have been competing as he would have been 16 years old.

I hope you find out.  Can I put your comments on the website?  Maybe someone out there would have an answer for you.  I would like to know what you find out.

Mary Ellen Areaux
Walkers West
Kaufman, TX
www.walkerswest.com

----- Original Message -----
From:
Mary Wisdom
To: walkersw@flash.net 
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2005 11:24 PM
Subject: Midnight Sun, 1962

I was at the Celebration the night of the 25th Anniversary when they brought back all of the living World Champions. It started out with the previous year's Champion and worked backward to the oldest living one. They were all beautiful and were shown on a lead line.

Our box was on the end opposite the entry and we got a good view of coming, passing and going away. When Merry Go Boy got to the corner to turn back toward the entrance he seemed to want to show his "oats" and kicked up his heels, much to the enjoyment of the crowd.

Next to come out was Midnight Sun. He came around and looked fabulous. But when he arrived at almost the same spot that Merry Go Boy had kicked up his heels, he proceeded to do the same. He seemed to be saying that he was still a Champion and had a lot of life left in him yet.

The crowd went wild. The applause was thunderous and the cheers were echoing through the stands. It was almost as loud as when the last class on Saturday night is going on to crown the World Champion.

Later my girl friend and I walked down to his stable and met Red and talked to him about Midnight Sun. As we talked he asked if we would like to go into his stall and pet him. Well, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We had hoped to maybe look but never dreamed we could touch. It was a thrill I remember to this day.

When we returned to our box, I held out my right hand to my Dad and told him, "See this hand, I'll never wash it again. I got to touch Midnight Sun".

----- Original Message -----
From: WFWalker@aol.com
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 2:39 PM
Subject: Enjoyed your sight - Midnight Sun Story

Hi,

Finding myself with time on my hands, I did a "Google" search on "Fred Walker Midnight Sun" and found your site. Fred was my paternal grandfather. I grew up in Washington State, so didn't have much exposure to the TWH breed, other than through the stories I heard when I would visit my family in Shelbyville each summer. He passed away when I was a toddler, so never really remember him. However Midnight Sun and the stories of the TWH were always being swapped by friends and family when I would meet them on these visits.

During the early 1970's I had the opportunity to attend Columbia Military Academy so I was finally able to go to the National Celebration. My maternal grandmother lived near the show grounds and dropped me off at the gates on one of the first show nights. She told me that it would be a slow night and I should look for an empty box seat right on the rail, as many boxes weren't used early in the week.

I found a box, sat down and proceeded to be entranced by the speed and rhythm of the breed. I also quickly found out that the front row might be close to the horses, but CERTAINLY close to the dirt clods, the sweat and the saliva as the horses increased their speeds. :)

A lady came to the box and sat down. I immediately apologized for sitting in her box and she quickly asked me to remain. We started chatting and I mentioned that Fred Walker was my grandfather. Her face lit up and she quietly picked up a stadium seat cushion that had Midnight Sun's picture and dates on it.....and pointed to the name of the owner at the time the cushion had been produced. Then, she pointed to the sign on the box that listed the owner of the box. "LIVINGSTONE". Talk about coincidences. It was Miss Geraldine. We got along very well. She took me under her care (I was in my early teens) and offered to take me home after the show that night.

Imagine my grandmothers reaction to be wondering when I was going to call her that night to come back and pick me up. Instead, Ms. Livingstone delivered me to the house in a black Limo with a uniformed driver opening the door. :)

For the next week, she would pick me up at the house, take me to dinner (as I think she didn't really relish the thought of eating alone ) and then go to the Celebration, then drive me home.

Ms. Eleanor had not been to a Celebration for many years, Ms. Geraldine had explained. The industry had changed (using chemicals to sore the legs, etc) and her mother had decided to stay away. However, that year she flew into Nashville to attend the final night. Ms. Geraldine's driver was going to go to Nashville to pick her up.. however........he finally admitted that he was nervous about doing so. You see, her driver that she had with her could not read, and he was worried about finding his way. So, that Saturday afternoon I got to ride with him to Nashville and met Ms. Eleanor. We had a great conversation on the way back and I was finally able to say that I had seen the final night of the Celebration.

Long story, sorry to bore you. But, just wanted you to know that I enjoyed reading your site. The one picture you have posted with Fred Walker and Midnight Sun with the silver tray and ladle was very sentimental for me. A colorized print of that hung in my grandmother's bedroom until she died. I now have it hanging in my home office. What a beautiful horse.

William Fred Walker
Tacoma, Washington

----- Original Message -----
From:
margiesracking@earthlink.net
To:
walkerswest@walkerswest.com
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 10:18 AM
Subject: Son of Midnight Son

I loved your website. We crossed paths some years ago when my daughter was looking to replace her horse that had been killed on a highway by our home. I still have the video you sent us. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to put together all this information on Midnight Son.

I was privileged to have in my company - he owned me, not the other way around - a son of MS. His name was Sun's Black Gold - we called him Jet. He was my best friend from 1984 to 1995 when his spirit finally gave out. From the day I bought him from the meat man til the day he died, we promised him a burial in our back yard - and that is what we did. He looked after me as if I was in his herd. I had an abusive husband at the time, and Jetty more than once put himself between the former hubby and me in protection. It was the only time I ever saw his ears laid back so close to his head, you couldn't see them and heard the clamping of teeth in attack. He taught me many things, but the one that stands out the most is when I thought I had become such a good rider, I no longer had to post to the trot when I rode Jet. Some years later, I discovered it had nothing to do with my seat, but Jet's gaitedness. He never paced nor trotted - he walked and I believe also did a rack.

I'm not sure you can use this but I thought you'd like to know that MS threw his own good qualities - temperament included with gait. Thank you for keeping him alive. 

Lynn and Margie Smith
Rack Across America Trail Hour Program/ Racking Horses
Therapy Animals: Maine Coon Cats & Rough Collies

----- Original Message -----
From:
earth-comm
To:
salesenquiry@walkerswest.com 
Sent:
Tuesday, December 18, 2007 3:44 PM
Subject: Feedback From Walkers Website

I have never had the privilege of owning a horse, but I just wanted to tell you that in 1956, during my freshman year in high school, I took Vocational Agriculture.  That was, of course, not uncommon for boys in west Texas.  At any rate, in one of our textbooks there was a photograph of the most beautiful horse I had ever seen.  His name was Midnight Sun.  Until today I had never seen another photograph of him, nor had I ever heard anybody mention his name.  The absolute astounding beauty of that horse has stayed with me all these years, and seeing him again on your website actually brought tears to my eyes.  I still believe he is the most beautiful animal I have ever seen, and having grown up in ranching country and been in close proximity to horses all my life, I have seen thousands of them.  None, however, can even come close to, in my opinion, the King of horses, Midnight Sun.

Thanks for your time.

Lowell Bryan

From: David Davis
To: walkerswest@walkerswest.com
Sent: Saturday, July 18, 2009 1:42 PM
Subject: Thanks for the memories

Thanks for the memories of Midnight Sun. Growing up in the 60's with a father who loved the
Walking Horses I was hooked from a young age and was very fortunate to be around some of
the truly greats of that day and hear their stories. Several times a year my dad and I
would make the trip from our home in Smithville Tennessee to Harlinsdale Farm to make a deal
to breed our mares. On one such trip, I was offered the opportunity to ride Midnight Sun, I
was in awe as a kid but could not pass up the opportunity. In my childhood days I got to
ride some of the all time great horses in the Walking Horse World but nothing could compare
to riding the King of them all - Midnight Sun.
Several years ago my dad purchased Pride's Stormy Night when he was a yearling. I left
our home in Tennessee in the 1980's and my dad sold Stormy to Larry & Clint Gribble. I
have missed the Walking Horses ever since but have now made a move to rebuild my own
horses once again starting with the Stormy bloodline just where I left off. Thanks for your
website and contributions to all us Tennessee Walking Horse lovers from all ends of the earth.
Your efforts are truly appreciated.
David Wyatt Davis
Vestavia Hills, Alabama

David

Thank you for your great story - I'll send it on to my webmaster and put it on the site, if that is O.K.

Yes, you were very fortunate to have ridden Midnight Sun. What a great horse. I owned a son of his, Merry Night Cap, and he was a gentle giant - 16.2 hands and 5 year old child
could handle him - he was that gentle - and had a wonderful way of going. That's as close as I came to knowing Midnight Sun personally, but I feel like I knew him because of my great stallions.

I have had the pleasure of visiting the Gribbles in TN - a good friend of mine, Ken Wright,
bought Stormy's John Mack who is by Pride's Stormy Night, and we made a trip to TN and KY to see his stallion up at 7th Heaven Farm in KY and then down to the Shelbyville area to visit the Gribbles.

Again, thank you so much for writing, I really enjoy hearing about peoples' experiences of years gone by.

Mary Ellen Areaux
Walkers West

If you have a story or photos of Midnight Sun that you would like added to this page, 
please forward them to Walkers West.
<== 1944  1947-48 ==>
Last Updated: November 14, 2013
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