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History of the Stud

B U I L D E R S    O F    T H E    B R E E D                                                           
The Stud Farms

Alpha Appaloosa Stud                                                                                             
By Su Fairman

Having had a  close association with this farm in the past 12 years, I feel  well qualified to give it's history.  Many horse enthusiasts will be familiar with this lovely fruit farm as the venue of two of our Appaloosa AGM weekends. The first foal  "Indian Summer" was born on Alpha in August 1973 and she was to give the Amm family sixteen wonderful  foals .  Her sire was the loud leopard coloured circus stallion Chipperfields Pasha and  Claire was soon able to purchase his partner Chipperfields Spot who produced many fine youngsters.  When Spot's daughters were ready to breed the stallion Toby's Apache came onto the market.  This was the only coloured son of the imported  Doll's Toby and contributed more refinement if not always as much colour to the Alpha herd.   I schooled and rode Apache successfully in several shows and he completed the National Endurance Ride with Lisa in 1986.

Claire had in the meantime made her mark in endurance circles by completing the first six Nationals, one top ten, on the striking Smoke Signals putting the Appaloosa firmly on the map.  Thanks to this start she now holds the record for  the most completions ( twenty seven and one Best Condition) of this gruelling 200 km race. This career includes, Springbok Colours, a top ten in the 100 mile Tevis Cup in the USA - billed as the toughest race on earth, followed by competing successfully for SA  at the World Championships in Kansas in 1996, at an age when she was already a grandmother ! She now rides a daughter of Apache    " Alpha Toby's Zirconia " who she describes as the perfect endurance horse , comfortable,  obedient, sound,  brave,  enthusiastic yet sensible.  Qualities that the Amms try to breed into all their horses.

I have had the honour of riding such an animal "Alpha Toby's Napoleon" , also a son of Apache, in most of his ten National completions which is the current record for a horse. He is a CPO registered bay, but he makes up for his lack of colour with his many other fine qualities.  The older Amm children Lisa and Tony have both won the junior section of  the  Nationals on their Appaloosas. The conformational and soundness qualities that make a good distance horse  is really what is looked for in the show ring and the Alpha horses have over the years won over 40 Championships for their breeders and owners alike.  Claire has travelled the 400 km to the Reef countless times, always believing in towing her horses  herself, day or night whatever the competition.  The only exception was the Championship held at Clocolan in the early 80's when her pupils helped by riding many of the  17 horses entered, the 27 km to the show. The following day five were towed  direct to Kyalami for Horse of the Year !

In 2001 Claire imported Wap's Pajamas and Kaleidoquilt from the USA and acquired a half share of DREA Eagle's Dandy. A few years later she purchased the few spot NHF Lasst American and she now also has a share in the Canadian stallion Hi Definition.
Each foal born is given a name with the next letter of the Alphabet.  This began with Alpha Amulet in 1969 who was the daughter of July winner Magic Link and herself is the grandmother of the prominent colour producing stallion Maluti Toby's Fourspot.  This season the foal names represent the seventeenth trip through  the alphabet !

The formation of our Appaloosa Horse Club in 1987 with 23 inaugural members was the highlight of years of work, persistence  and  endless correspondence.  Claire was elected President and in 1997 we were accepted by Stud Book as a developing breed with a name change to the Appaloosa Horse Breeders Society of South Africa.   Initially the Boerperd  Constitution was used as a model, and  Claire undertook to translate it's many pages from the Afrikaans to English, so that it could be presented to the Appaloosa Horse Club in Moscow Idaho, as part of our acceptance as an  International Affiliate. This membership came through the same year and has lead to a very meaningful relationship. We receive Appaloosa Journal, Museum Newsletters, pamphlets, lists of available  publications, posters and all the help and advice we need.  Claire  also has a lot of encouragement for the Society from Canada where she was invited to be Guest Speaker for the Appaloosa Horses at the Masters tournament in 1996.  This is the second biggest equestrian event in the  world,  after the one held in Aachen in Germany.  The publications we receive are a big help  with the compilation of our Appaloosa newsletter " The News Spot " and we are pleased to be able to share it all with members in this way.

This year there are sixteen new foals at Alpha so far that are really worth a visit.