Top Breeding MFTHBA Stallion Inducted into the Hall of Fame

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Southern Sunrise, a palomino Fox Trotter stallion, inducted into the MFTHBA Hall Of Fame for siring record number of offspring and champions.

What Sunrise has accomplished is mind boggling. It's a thrill to own a legend in his own time. At age 24, he's still going strong,

Southern Sunrise, a Missouri Fox Trotter stallion owned by Harry and Brenda Patterson/4P’s Ranch in Wichita Falls, Texas, was inducted into the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA)’s Horse Hall of Fame on September 6, 2014. Only nine horses have received this honor.     

Although he won one World Championship and one Reserve World Championship in the four times that he was shown, it is as a sire that Southern Sunrise has made his impact on the Missouri Fox Trotter breed. With over 700 offspring, Southern Sunrise has sired more registered Missouri Fox Trotting Horses than any stallion in the Association’s history and is the leading sire in the new MFTHBA Pony Registry.

“Sunrise” has possibly also sired more champions and title winners than any other Fox Trotter stallion. His direct sons include both the 2013 MFTHBA Stallion of the Year and the 2013 MFTHBA Breeding Stallion of the Year.

At the MFTHBA’S 2014 Annual Fall Show and Celebration, its biggest and most prestigious show, Sunrise's descendants, ridden by adults and children, won championships in each of the show disciplines: Model (beauty) classes, Performance (gaiting) classes, and Versatility classes, in which horses compete in cattle work, speed events such as barrel racing, pleasure riding, and trail obstacle courses.

This gentle stallion almost didn’t make it into this world, though. When Southern Sunrise’s dam, Lad’s Misty, was born, her “whitish” coloring was so unusual, her owner discussed putting her down. Fortunately, a man overheard the conversation and bought the mare for $100, then sold her to Larry Stevens of Marshfield, Missouri. Stevens bred her to the champion stallion Southern Jazz. The product of this breeding was a golden palomino colt with an exceptionally pleasant disposition, Southern Sunrise. Larry Stevens and his family owned Sunrise for 22 years before selling him to the Pattersons.

“Sunrise produces and passes on his great disposition, good conformation, and a willingness to please. Many stallions are known to pass on one or two of their traits, but Southern Sunrise passes on the whole package!” exclaimed Karen Leighton of Springfield, Missouri, whose nephew, Kolbey Ballowe, rode Cerra Sunrise to a 2014 Youth World Grand Championship.

“Sunrise has sons and daughters across America and his offspring have been exported all over the world,” said Stevens. Sunrise horses have represented the Fox Trotter breed in many venues, including the 2011 televised ACTHA competition in which Absolut Sunrise was a top-10 finalist. In 2002 Southern Sunrise was inducted into the Breyer Horse International Hall of Fame as a Missouri Fox Trotter stallion.

“What Sunrise has accomplished is mind boggling. It's a thrill to own a legend in his own time. At age 24, he's still going strong,” said Harry Patterson. Southern Sunrise stands at stud at Patterson's 4P's Ranch. “Brenda and I are humbled by Sunrise’s acceptance into the Hall of Fame. We want to thank the people of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association for this honor.”

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Josephine Styron
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