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        Bright Eyes Brother

        In 1950, the Maddon Ranch in New Mexico was a busy place. News spread quickly when a buckskin colt was born to the unregistered mare Plaudette. What made this colt noteworthy was that he was a half-brother to Maddon's Bright Eyes, a three-time world champion racing mare. Plaudette was out of a daughter of the well-known Quarter Horse sire, Peter McCue. Although she was not papered, Plaudette was thought by many to be a Quarter Horse. But her bloodlines carried strong color-producing genes, according to Cecil Dobbin of Colorado. Her spotted colt by the Quarter Horse stallion Billy Maddon was proof to that.

        As a two-year old, the colt was sold to Wiley Donalson, who competed with the stallion on the rodeo circuit. Roping, not breeding horses, was Donalson's interest. By the time Dobbin purchased "Frosty" as a seven-year-old, he had sired just five foals. In 1957, when Dobbin phone-called his friend Dick Spencer to tell him of his purchase of the stallion, Spencer said "You might as well call him Bright Eyes Brother, because that's what you'll be telling everyone." So that's exactly what went on the stallion's registration papers.

        During the first two years Dobbin owned him, he showed Bright Eyes Brother just a dozen times. That was enough, however, to ignite the flames.

        After winning the grand championship at the prestigious Denver National Western Stock Show in 1958, Cecil and Bright Eyes Brother received a special invitation to show at the San Antonio Livestock Show. Dobbin accepted and arrived a couple days before the Appaloosa competition, while the Quarter Horse show was still in progress. As the colorful stallion was placed in a stall and his pedigree hung for all to see, some of the Quarter Horse exhibitors challenged Bright Eyes Brother's pedigree. But the debate over Bright Eyes Brother's relationship to Maddon's Bright Eyes wasn't the end of the ruckus at San Antonio.

        Show Managers then asked Cecil to lead the stallion in the Parade of Champions, a promenade of winners from all divisions. The problem was, this honor was traditionally reserved for the grand champion Quarter Horse stallion. As the parade started, unhappy Quarter Horse enthusiasts harassed Dobbin, wondering why an Appaloosa was taking what they considered to be their rightful place.

        But more significant than the controversy Bright Eyes Brother raised is the foals he produced. At count, Cecil estimates that the family line boasts more than 350 National and World champions. In fact, the stallion's grandget and great-grandget are still winning in shows today. What makes this especially remarkable is that Brother sired just 138 registered offspring. But quality, not quantity, was Cecil's goal. It worked, and demand was high. Cecil was offered $50,000 for half-interest in Brother before any of his foals hit the ground. Even the great Hank Wiescamp offered to take Brother off of Cecil's hands.

        Not surprisingly, Bright Eyes Brother generated admiration and excitement wherever he went. Naturally, mare owners began to inquire about breedings. Sparingly and judiciously, Dobbin relented. And because he did so, one of Brother's most remarkable offspring was born.

        In 1960, the Appaloosa mare Peggy's Delight foaled Mighty Bright. Although Mighty Bright was never shown, he sired a string of champions.

        At a production sale, one of Brother's first foals was sold for $21,000 as a yearling. He went on to win on the West Coast so many times that the local clubs met and asked his owners not to show him anymore.

        And that was just the beginning. Among the horse's Brother produced are two-time National and World champion Bright Reflection and two-time National champion Bright Tribute. But it's nearly impossible to name all the horses in the family line that are National and/or World champions, year-end high points, and regional winners.

        Despite sizeable offers, Brother was never sold. When arthritis set in during his last years, he lived out his days at the Stockdale Ranch near Bakersfield, California, until dying at the age of 29.

        At the inauguration of the Appaloosa Hall of Fame, Dobbin and Bright Eyes Brother were among the first inductees. Importantly, Bright Eyes Brother is the only Hall of Fame stallion to have two sons and a daughter with the same status. Mighty Bright, Bright Chip, and Bright Starlette stand alongside their sire in the Appaloosa Hall of Fame based on their own impressive records.


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        Source: Appaloosa Horse Club
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