Clabber (horse)

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This article is about the Quarter Horse racehorse. For other uses, see Clabber (disambiguation).
Breed Quarter Horse
Discipline Racing
Sire My Texas Dandy
Grandsire imported Porte Drapeau (TB)
Dam Blondie S
Maternal grandsire Lone Star
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1936
Country United States
Color Sorrel
Breeder Frank Smith
Owner A. A. Nichols, Frank Vessels
1941 World Champion Quarter Running Horse
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame

Clabber (1936–1947) was a Quarter Horse stallion known as the Iron Horse for his ability to run and win match races after a day of ranch work.[1]


Clabber was registered as number 507 with the American Quarter Horse Association (or AQHA). Foaled in 1936, he was sorrel in color. His registration listing gives his sire as My Texas Dandy #4900 by *Porte Drapeau (TB). His first dam was Blondie S by Lone Star by Gold Enamel (TB). The second dam, or maternal granddam, was given as Emory Goldman by Capt. Joe.[2] He was recorded as having been bred by Frank Smith of Big Foot, Texas. A. A. Nichols of Gilbert, Arizona registered him with the AQHA.[2] He traced twice to Traveler on his dam's side.[3] Sometimes his dam is given as a daughter of Uncle Jimmie Gray (TB) named Golden Girl or Golden Wheel, but the AQHA considers his dam to be Blondie S. Nichols said that as a yearling, the colt had such big feet that his friends teased him and said that the horse's feet looked like clapboards, thus the horse's name. Certainly, Clabber was no pretty horse, and had a number of conformation faults.[4]

Clabber's racing record is listed as "not available" in the Quarter Racing Digest but it does list that he was awarded a Race Register of Merit and was named World Champion Quarter Running Horse for 1940–1941.[5] In 1944, Clabber beat Painted Joe but in the Stallion Championship race only managed a dead heat with Bartender.[6] Besides his racing career, he also was a ranch horse, and the ranch hands also competed on him in rodeo events, winning events at the local rodeos in team roping and calf roping.[4] It was through Clabber's ability to be a ranch horse all week, run races on the weekend and maybe compete in a rodeo that he earned his nickname of "The Iron Horse."[7]

Frank Vessels Jr of Los Alamitos, California bought Clabber from Nichols in October 1944 for $5000. Vessels only got two foal crops before Clabber died. Vessels said of him "Although most of his offspring had many of his conformational defects, they also had much of his ability, desire to run, and general intelligence."[4]

Among Clabber's foremost offspring were Chester C, Buster, Jeep, Flicka, Wagon N, Peggy N, and Tonta Gal.[1] His leading money earner on the track was Clabbertown G, a 1946 sorrel stallion who earned $16,130.00.[5] Twenty-six of his offspring earned Race Register of Merits.[5] He died on January 1, 1947 in California.[1]

Clabber was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame.[8]


Pedigree of Clabber (USA), Sorrel stallion, 1936
My Texas Dandy
Porte Drapeau (TB)
Sunstar (TB) Sundridge (TB)
Doris (TB)
Bright Cherry (TB) Ayshire (TB)
Cerisette (TB)
Sadie M
Little Dick Sleepy Dick
Nellie Panmure (TB)
Blondie S
Lone Star
Gold Enamel (TB) Maddison (TB)
Enamel (TB)
unknown unknown
Emory Goldman Captain Joe Traveler
Mamie Crowder
Possum (King) mare Possum (King)


  1. ^ a b c Close Legends 2 p. 129
  2. ^ a b American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Official Stud Book and Registry Combined 1–5 p. 94
  3. ^ Clabber Pedigree at All Breed Pedigree retrieved on June 23, 2007
  4. ^ a b c Groves "The Iron Horse: Clabber" Quarter Horse Journal p. 18
  5. ^ a b c Wagoner Quarter Racing Digest p. 223–224
  6. ^ Haskell Racing Quarter Horses 1944 p. 19
  7. ^ Staff "Iron Horse' Clabber Dies" Western Livestock Journal
  8. ^ American Quarter Horse Association "AQHA Hall of Fame" Archived October 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.


  • All Breed Pedigree Database Pedigree of Clabber retrieved on June 23, 2007
  • American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). "AQHA Hall of Fame". American Quarter Horse Association. Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  • American Quarter Horse Association (1961). Official Stud Book and Registry Combined Books 1-2-3-4-5. Amarillo, TX: American Quarter Horse Association. 
  • Simmons, Diane; Jim Goodhue; Holmes, Frank Wakefield; Phil Livingston (editors) (1994). Legends 2: Outstanding Quarter Horse Stallions and Mares. Colorado Springs, CO: Western Horseman. ISBN 0-911647-30-9. 
  • Groves, Lesli Krause (July 1995). "The Iron Horse: Clabber". Quarter Horse Journal: 18. 
  • Haskell, Melville H. (1945). Racing Quarter Horses 1944. Southern Arizona Horse Breeders' Association. 
  • Pitzer, Andrea Laycock (1987). The Most Influential Quarter Horse Sires. Tacoma, WA: Premier Pedigrees. 
  • Staff (January 1947). "Iron Horse' Clabber Dies". Western Livestock Journal. 
  • Wagoner, Dan (1976). Quarter Racing Digest: 1940 to 1976. Grapevine, TX: Equine Research. 

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