Blondey's Dude's slow rise to fame
Actually, as a person born and raised in Denver, I never owned a horse.
However, I spent my summers riding them and working with them at the Flying G Ranch or Girl Scout Camp on the edge of Pike National Forest.
Recentlty, I read a copy of the magazine America’s Horse published in October and November 2018. On p.p. 46-50 was a story of a quarter horse, Blondey’s Dude.
He was sired by Small Town Dude, a horse that was used in movies that included Joel McCrea westerns. I was a fan of these westerns and loved to watch Bonanza on TV.
Blondey’s Dude was a late foal born in August 1957 who was classified as a runt.
He was sold when he was two years old to Jack Link of Bank, Bontana, for $500. He was out of Blondey Queen, who spent time on race tracks in her younger years.
In other words, Blondey’s Dude had good bloodlines but was off to a slow start. Becoming a star was a difficult process for Blondey’s Dude.
Jack Link took him to American Royal in Kansas City, a horse competition held in 1959 that had 17 2-year-old stallions in it.
Link had a chance to sell Blondey’s Dude for a large sum. He was purchased by J.T. Walters from Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
At this point, this young stallion was ready to be trained. Walters’ partner, Nick Mcnair of Prior, Oklahoma, had invested $2,375 with Walters, who saw a bright future ahead for Blondey’s Dude.
After the horse was trained in Collinsville, Oklahoma, Morgan Freeman looked Blondey’s Dude over. He had placed first in a group of nine young quarter horses.
Morgan Freeman paid $5,000 for him. By the summer of 1961, Freeman began riding him. He had grown into a handsome sorrel and the judges eyed him closely.
According to Freeman, that $5,000 was the best investment he ever made. Blondey’s Dude lived until 1986 and died at the ripe old age of 23.
He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2001. He sired 334 outstanding quarter horses.
Helen Ruth Arnold,