|Noble Lady and Her Circle of Life
Noble Lady 1971 – 2001
by owner, Nancy King
Her number was 023630 and she was born March 24, 1971and died on Feb 23, 2001. She was bred by William Montgomery of Elk Grove, CA, who was a brother in law of Hazel Sweden, one of the founders of the Sacramento Valley Morgan Horse Club and the show at Plymouth, CA. It was known as the Mother Lode All Morgan Horse Show for years. William and his wife leased some mares from the Circle H ranch at Bridgeport, CA, and bred them to some California stallions. Noble Lady was sold as a two year old to a couple in the Carson City area of Nevada who also raised Arabians. They bred her to their Arabian stallion and she had her first black filly for them. Sadly a divorce forced her to go through a sale and only by a stroke of luck did she end up in my area just long enough for me to hear about her and buy her….
|When my boss gave our daughter a horse for Christmas one year we had no idea how much it would change our lives. First came lessons and tack, then we had to find a ranch so we did not have to board the mare out, then a truck and horse trailer so we could take our daughter to 4-Hevents. The list just seemed to get longer and longer. Soon I had a horse too so I could ride with my daughter. The gelding we had was as sweet as they come but just like being on a jack hammer. My doctor told me that if I just HAD to ride a horse, I would have to find one that was smooth and gentle. Thus began my search for a special mare.
I had no idea of color, size, breed, level of training or price. I just knew I wanted to find a horse that was comfortable to ride, seemed willing and safe and sweet. It took two years! I had no idea it would be such a “needle in the hay stack” search. Being a novice horsewoman, I needed to learn a lot during those two years. We took horse husbandry classes and I got involved in 4-H to the point I could be a horse project leader. At long last I saw an ad for a Morgan mare and her yearling filly for sale, just five miles from my ranch, on Lariat Dr. in Cameron Park, CA. It was May so I was able to talk my husband into buying the mare for me as a combination Mother’s Day and Birthday gift.
Noble Lady had some kind of bad experience and had been very difficult to catch that first day. She was so relieved when we did start to handle her as she sensed we meant her no harm. We were able to take her out for a ride that very first day. I spent the next year getting her over what ever that terrible event might have been. It had to have included a man as she was afraid of all men. At the end of the first year she began to trust men again. Noble Lady was 8 years old when I found her on Lariat Drive She was black according to her papers but she did have the brown around the muzzle and loin so I think she was a brown. Her filly was a real black. She had been bred to a Morab the first time and this filly was her second foal. The sire of this one was Bar Bee’s Romeo. Our mare was sired by Impala Nobleman and her dam was Sonnetta Spar by Lee Spar. Noble Lady was a close, living example of what Richard Sellman had once bred in Texas. I did not know that at that time. She had wonderful conformation and had already produced two black fillies so I was encouraged to breed her. I started looking for a sire. At that time we did not have the option of transported semen. Working, raising children and having a limit on what we could spend made it a more limited decision. I found the Smith’s of Sonoma who had the old Government lines from Tutor and we decided to breed Noble Lady to one of their Jr. Stallions.. His name was Skyridge Sky Lark. He was sired by UVM Vantage, a son of UVM Flash. Our filly was black and truly lovely. We bred the two again and had a full sister, black, also a real beauty. They were Noble Lady’s Diva and Noble Ladylark.
Now I had a terrible decision. My husband said, you have three mares, you can only keep two.So I sold Noble Lady to a women who had a Lippitt stallion and wanted a superior broodmare. “Lady” had three black foals for her, two fillies and a colt. During her years with Edith, she was used for trail riding, parades and some endurance rides, besides her broodmare duties.
Our grandson wanted to name the last foal from her so we told him that he could help name him. He loved Joe Montana from the S.F.49’rs. He came up with the name “Johntana”. We loved it. Our prefix is Trot’r Ln.,so his registered name is Trot’r Ln Johntana. The man who purchased our first filly from Noble Lady played golf with the real Joe Montana and got him to autograph a photo of the colt named in his honor.
In 1998, I let a young girl that was working with Nancy Hazelwood in Sacramento, CA, borrow Noble Lady to take lessons and to learn to show and ride. Her name was Megan Evans. She outgrew Noble Lady as she became a wonderfully talented rider. By then her sister, Randy Mae was ready to ride and show. We took Noble Lady to her last show that year at Watsonville, Ca.. This was a class “A: Morgan show. There was Noble Lady, carrying a young girl in Western Pleasure, a tot in the Leadline class and a beginner adult rider in an English flat class. The announcer took a few minutes to tell the audience that Lady was 27 years young and still out there showing and sound as a dollar. After that show we decided she needed to retire and just hang out at the ranch in Shingle Springs, CA.
Over the years, her daughters had been shown in the Produce of Dam class at one of the “A” Morgan shows and won it three consecutive times. We retired the “Friday B” Challenge Trophy for Produce of Dam. In 1996, we had a lovely trophy made in Noble Lady’s honor and allowed it to replace the one we retired.
But, as her fate and destiny would have it, “Lady” was lonely here and we had a chance to let her spend some time being a companion for a young mare. “Lady” was just shy of 30 years old. In Feb. of 2001, Lady suffered a severe case of colic .
We walked her out into the sunshine and let her enjoy it on her back for one last time. Do you believe in destiny? Noble Lady was laid down there on Lariat Dr., Cameron Park, CA, just at the West end of the same street where I had found her 22 years before. Lariat Drive makes a full circle in there, I guess life did too for Noble Lady and me. We all cried, except the Vet. He knew we had given her that one last gift, a quick and painless ending.
How I pity those who make the journey in this world-but fail to have the chance to meet, and own, and love, a Morgan horse like Noble Lady and her offspring.
Nancy King, Shingle Springs, CA, TROTTER LANE MORGANS