Indiana Ace
Saddlebred on Two Continents

by Ross Millin

Indiana Ace, Saddlebred sire in USA and South Africa.
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A Saddlebred stallion famous in two countries during his lifetime and beyond.

© copyrighted horse article.
Indiana Ace, a great chestnut Saddlebred stallion, created quite a stir when he made his first appearance at the Indiana State Fair in 1946. He was shown in the Two-Year Old Indiana -Owned class, where he won first place. He also won the the Two-Year Old Fine Harness division of the Indiana Futurity and followed this with a win in the Two-Year-Old Fine Harness Stake. He was owned, trained and exhibit by Dorothy Thomas of Indianapolis, Indiana. Dorothy dearly loved Ace and was devastated when she had to sell him to pay for her daughter's education. Dorothy had a special knack with animals and even trained the barn mice to harness when she was young! A real remarkable lady who trained and loved an equally remarkable horse!

Indiana Ace was bred by Kalarama Farm of Springfield, Kentucky and born there on April 26, 1944 His pedigree reflects names of champions that made show ring history, as well as the bloodlines of the great progenitors of the breed.

His influence on the South Africa Saddlebred horse industry is huge and recently with the importation of stallions like (SA) Tornaado and Zovoorbij Commander In Chief back into the USA his bloodline is sure back where it all started! He was imported to South Africa by Mr Piet Louw in 1955 and although many years have gone since Indiana Ace left the USA, his legacy still lives on through some of his progeny. In South Africa he won the title of S.A. Grand Champion Stallion in 1956, & 1958, but he will rather be remembered by his progeny, especially his broodmares.

In America one of his foals, Indiana Peavine won the World Champion Three-Year-Old Five Gaited title in 1958. He is also the sire of the one and only Lily Merril, the World's Junior Five Gaited Champion in 1965 and World's Champion Junior Exhibitor Five Gaited in 1970 with Marion Hutcheson in the saddle.

The most important and well known daughter of Indiana Ace ( x Grassland's Debutante) in the USA was, Just Plain Jane. She also appears in the broodmare hall of fame through her offspring , CH Hide-A-Way's Lotta Firefly, Wing's of Fire etc. When bred to Cameo Kirby she produced Love and Kisses and the famous sire, Cameo's Farewell, which was imported to South Africa also and had a major impact on the local Saddle Horse Industry there.

Jodie Ann's first Ace foal was Indiana's Ann, who won the S.A. Grand Champion Three Gaited Title in 1963. Another foal by Ace was Juliet Ace, who was the dam of Cameo's Impersonator , the grandsire of the successful sire of Pieter Jacobs, Dominator's Radetsky , who was the No. 1 sire on the S.A Sire rating in 2001. ( See Jodi Ann: Saddlebred: Breeding Bloodlines.)

Photo of Zovoorbij Commander in Chief who traces to Indiana Ace. Batchelor Dream, another son of Indiana Ace ( x Cameo's Spring Cheer ) produced Adios Amigo who also appears in the pedigree of the 1997 World Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse, Zovoorbij Commander in Chief. Adios Amigo is the grandsire of El Nino, the sire of Commander in Chief (pictured right at Tulbagh Show in the Three Year Old Five Gaited class with his his trainer Johan de Villiers).

It is not well known that a Ace was sold back to America in 1961, but at that stage it was impractical to send him by ship; however, South Africa was not equipped to send horses by air (the first American Saddle Horses flew into S.A. in October 1972), and after trying unsuccessfully for six months, the scheme was eventually abandoned partly due to the fact that Indiana Ace was at that time already over seventeen years old. Mr. Louw then sold him to Bill Sieberhagen, who subsequently named his Stud the Indiana Saddle Horse Stud and used Ace extensively in his breeding program. Ace died in February 1966 at the age of 22, young for an American Saddle Horse, but leaving a legacy of breeding stock both in South Africa and the United States.

    King Lee Rose
  Guided by Love 
   Maud Cullen
 American Born  
   Highland Denmark
  Lena Jemison 
American Ace  Daisy Jemison
   Rex Mc Donald
  Rex Monroe 
   Lena M
 Kathryn Haines  
   Highland Denmark
   Forest Rose

   Rex Mc Donald
  Rex Peavine 
   Daisy II
 Kalarama Rex  
   Rex Monroe
  Nancy Thurman 
Briney Breezes  Lula Chief
   King Lee Rose
  Guided by Love 
   Maud Cullen
 Whispering Winds  
   Kentucky Highland
  Jane Singleton 
   Lady Singleton

With horses like Zovoorbij Commander in Chief (pictured left as a young horse with his trainer Bill Schoeman winning the Five Gaited Title at Tulbagh Showback) in America it would not take long for the breeders to realize the breeding potential of especially his fillies.

Time only will tell if history will repeat itself. The genes of Indiana Ace have made a full circle from the USA to South Africa reverting back to the USA!

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