Registered Quarter Horses
OSWALD TAYLORCAT ("Taylor") AND THE WORKING RANCH HORSE LINES
We tried but we couldn't do it.
We tried to get out of the horse business but when the opportunity came to repurchase a special stallion, Oswald Taylorcat, we simply couldn't pass it up.
Helena, Montana trainer Jordan Lee with Oswald Taylorcat
Oswald Taylorcat, or "Taylor," was born here on Sunday Creek. Bred by Lynne and Marion Taylor, he was out of my favorite mare of Lynne's, Twisty Sagebrush, but was born two months after Lynne passed away from a heart attack. Lynne and I traded horses regularly and at the time of his passing he owed me my pick of the Awesome Pete foals. I chose this colt for his breeding and incredible disposition. But, Lynne's death was such a hard blow I soon sold all my mares and foals. Taylor went to Lee and Penny Hetletved of Bismarck, North Dakota to add to the Hetletved breeding program.
When the opportunity came recently to repurchase Taylor I jumped at it. Horses with his intelligence and disposition are hard to find.
But what to breed him to?
When I reacquired Taylor I owned only one mare, a 50% Three Bars mare from the Wagon Wheel Ranch in Texas, Miss Honor Forty.
I soon picked up a double-bred Roanys Tomcat palomino filly from Quinten Taylor of Kaycee, Wyoming and a "Roanys Tomcat/Chantilly" daughter from Mike Pierson of Brusett, Montana. I bred and raised "Chantilly" and I'm very happy to have her blood back in my small mare herd.
I am also very pleased to announce I've acquired two mares from Gary Crowder of Billings. These two mares, Real Ice Zee and Berseems Besie Baby, carry some of the greatest blood in Montana Quarter Horse history. They go back to the Bud Kramer stallions Side Twist, Little Texas E and Thirsty, Jr., with a dash of foundation cutting horse breeding from Bobby Kramer's program. Gary has carefully preserved these lines for years and we're honored to be trusted with some of this blood. (For more about Gary Crowder see articles on my "Freelance" page.)
In a word, "legacy." We are bottling the best working ranch horse lines that Montana ever produced.
A link to Oswald Taylorcat's pedigree: www.allbreedpedigree.com
The Cowhorse Confluence
The best of these was “Roanys Tomcat.”
Taylor began putting together a collection of mares, many of them blue roans with a Poco Pine background, while day-working for large ranches in central and eastern Montana. The more he worked for the Shelhamer ranch the more impressed he became with their line of Oswald horses. They were all the same: stout, fast, tough, and packing more ‘cow’ than a litter of Blue Heelers.
When Bob retired from the horse business Taylor acquired one of the best young stallions left in the remarkable Shelhamer program. He purchased Awesome Pete, the last colt out of the top-producing mare, Gin Blaze, to put on the red and blue roan daughters of Roanys Tomcat.
Though found by Clark in Kansas, the Oswald story actually beings in Oklahoma where the 1945-model stud won the Oklahoma Futurity and set a track record that stood for four years. Once he had him, Shelhamer took the gentle stallion straight to the arena. “He was the best dogging horse I ever rode,” he says. He was also used in the roping events and barrel racing.
Oswald’s successor was his son, Oswald Pete. The third horse in this royal line of ranch stock was Mr. Pete Oswald, known affectionately as “Junior.” But these weren’t merely related on the top side of the pedigree. Shelhamer had started a line-breeding program that finally culminated with Awesome Pete. “I took line-breeding as far as it could go,” he says. The result is a large pool of Peter McCue blood, Oswald himself being a line-bred Peter McCue. Shelhamer’s breeding program had a definite plan. “I bred ‘em for years to get a lot of cow in ‘em,” he says.
The dam side of the Nun program included mares from his previous stallion, Apple Jax, an own son of Two-Eyed Jack.
Because they were iron-spirited ranch horses, a few of the Shelhamer horses were also thought to be a tad rank. “Oswald was as kind as a kitten,” Bob recalls. The horse was, in fact, so timid, it was hard to pasture breed him.
No program is infallible, but the colts from Taylor’s Roanys Tomcat are noted for their good minds and those daughters crossed on Awesome Pete produce unusually gentle colts. The first time Taylor rode Awesome Pete the horse was a three-year-old and Lynne was helping a rancher ship calves. One soggy heifer calf broke from the bunch. Lynne roped the calf and Awesome Pete dragged it into a stock trailer.
Undoubtedly, the equine world’s most under-rated athlete is the rodeo pickup horse. They have to be strong, quick, agile, and fearless. They are the modern “war horse.”
Roanys Tomcat and Awesome Pete come from top rodeo horses and they’re producing the same. Taylor picked up regularly on Roanys Tomcat before he quit that game a few years ago, and now PRCA pickup man Duane Gilbert of LaGrange, Wyoming spends his summers rescuing rough stock riders while mounted on horses purchased from Lynne or borrowed from Lynne’s son, Tim Sonberg.
At jackpot team ropings Taylor ropes both ends off Roanys Tomcat and any one of a number of his get. Other Taylor-bred horses are performing all over the nation in rodeos, team pennings, on ranches or standing at stud. (See Deegan Tomcat at www.millirionfarm.com)
A word about the mares: Lynne’s program is built around his own select females and the mares of a few friends. These horses carry the foundation blood of Poco Bueno, Skipper W, Coys Bonanza, and Two-Eyed Jack (among others) and the running blood of Easy Jet, Go Man Go, and Rocket Bar. They’re top mares, and while many are colored in popular shades, they are chosen for soundness, confirmation, disposition and bloodlines. Color is only the frosting.
The only real problem with the Taylor horses is one of nomenclature. If you call Lynne and ask about his horses he only knows them as “Bub” and “Bob.” “Bub” is the roan Hancock horse and “Bob” is the Shelhamer stud.
They are registered as Roanys Tomcat and Awesome Pete, but to Lynne and Marion Taylor they’ll remain Bub and Bob. And those nicknames are the heart of their program. It is a Cowhorse Confluence, the blending of decades of horse sense from the lives of two old Montana cowmen, Bub Nunn and Bob Shelhamer. So it is only fitting the horses carry the names of the men. After all, for many years they carried the men themselves.
Awesome Pete ("Bob")