View Full Version : Williamstown

Dec. 5, 2007, 11:28 AM
Thought this article was nice about saving Williamstown:

Dec. 5, 2007, 12:57 PM
i know michael at old friends was aware of his situation for a while, he is psyched to have him. cheers, alex

Dec. 5, 2007, 01:07 PM
I know one of his sons, and man, does he stamp his babies!

Dec. 5, 2007, 01:25 PM
Great story with a happy ending!

A partnership I was in had a Williamstown baby out of a Green Dancer mare named Uptown Willie. He looked just like his daddy and was super sweet & pretty. I used the Sweet's "Little Willie" song on his webpage. (Uptown, downtown, Willie drives them crazy with his uptown shimmy shuffledown.) :lol: He wound up being claimed by the folks that own/ed Taz, the racing mule.

Dec. 5, 2007, 01:34 PM
oh, wow! I have one of his daughters! She is the sweetest, most affectionate horse ever. I knew he had gone out west, but I did not know he was deemed infertile. I have to go look up her papers, IIRC his stud fee for her was like $50,000. (she's a 1999)So glad he is at Old Friends. Oddly enough, my mare is also a rescue (she was starved by her previous owner, and has on/off soundness issues , but she has a home for life with me.)

Dec. 5, 2007, 01:39 PM
I didn't realize Awad was at Old Friends now. I thought he had been purchased by a breeder in PA after Northview put him up for sale.

Dec. 5, 2007, 01:44 PM
Awad's at old friends for sure, i visited a couple of months ago and saw him. looked very cool! cheers, alex

Dec. 5, 2007, 02:18 PM
I am so glad he was saved! My mother-in-law sent me an article from the Berkshire Eagle about his move, but it did not include the information about the insurance company and the planned euthanasia.

She sent it to me because I have one of his sons, Willfulness aka Willfulnut or Willy. Looks a lot like Dad in bay. He is very personable and sweet -- a bit conceited too - he retired with a fractured sesamoid but has since been sound, though he has a bit of a club foot on the right front. I have seen a lot of other Williamstowns on the NY tracks and I would agree that he stamps his get.

I have some video of Williamstown from about five years ago. His groom turned him out in his paddock, and all he wanted to do was roll and graze, and occasionally come over to investigate what the strange three-legged creature was standing next to me. Finally someone was bringing in the mares up the road, and I got a few action shots. He was a bit mouthy, as I recall.

He may never have been a great sire but did contribute a lot of decent horses with good minds. Billy Turner, who trained Willfulness also, had a good one called Ez (pronounced not like ee zee but like Pez - as I wrongly assumed on reading the name once - she was named after a town in the South of France) who won some stakes.

Here's a recent picture of Willy:


If anyone has pictures and/or stories about their own Williamstown offspring, I'd like to put together a tribute page in my newsletter - send them to me please (only photos you own rights to or can get me permission to use, though!).

Dec. 7, 2007, 04:55 PM
BloodHorse 12-7-07 "Old Friends Welcomes Williamstown" (http://breeding.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=42370)

The 'almost euthanized' mention is a bit odd as Aubrey Insurance in Ketucky took possession (after he was proven infertile while standing in Iowa) and they shopped him around. Old Friends was happy to take him.

What was the connection (if any) with the Berkshire village of the same name?

The only horse you could connect to that village - of sorts - would be Robert Sterling Clark (with the museum) having owned the famed Never Say Die. That horse would per music lore would play a key role in the formation of The Beatles.

Dec. 7, 2007, 05:35 PM
I own a Williamstown son who I adopted from Finger Lakes:


He is a MAJOR character, and very handsome. My guys' first foal (out of a Trakehner mare) is due in about 6 weeks. He has several thoroughbred mares in-foal for early 2008 as well. We are hoping he produces a nice foal, since his soundness has been not what we were hoping for after a long recovery. He probably won't make it in heavy retraining, but MAN, is he a awesome hunter-type mover. Gorgeous.

Dec. 7, 2007, 10:42 PM
Glimmerglass, there is no actual connection between the sire Williamstown and Willliamstown MA (he is named after the Kentucky town of the same name) but he did stand for a long time at the Metropolitan Stud (originally Silvernails) not that far away in New York.

My mother-in-law is a docent at the Clark Museum. I'll test her knowledge of Robert Sterling Clark's first passion when I see her next week.

I wonder if the euthanasia threat was writer hyperbole. Either way, Old Friends is a good place for him to be.

Joie, I laughed when I read your description of Blessed Trinity:

"He is quite a character, and thinks very highly of himself."

That describes Willfulness to a T. He also looks quite a bit like your stallion and has the white chin spot, though no tail roaning.

Dec. 8, 2007, 12:31 AM
You'll have to let me know Monicabee what your mother-in-law says although I'm sure she'll know of RSC's equine passion. A recent exhibit there even included video of Never Say Die taking the Epsom Derby. However unlike his equally horse passionate brothers (all of whom are from my hometown) I don't think he had a Stubbs or Munnings in his collection.

As for Williamstown a bit more info on what happened to him after Iowa and my regrets on questioning the reports of him being possibly euthanized:

... he was found to be infertile this year while at Rockin River Ranch in Iowa, where he stood for $2,500 in 2007.

His owners filed an insurance claim, transferring ownership to Aubrey Insurance, which tried to relocate the horse to the University of Minnesota's equine program.

"I think he was only there about 10 days before they determined he wouldn't fit in their program," said Michael Blowen, founder of Old Friends.

Williamstown appeared to be out of options, and the insurers had signed an order to euthanize the horse last month. Three days before Williamstown was to be euthanized, an Aubrey employee contacted Blowen.

"This was the first time we've gotten a call from an insurance company asking, 'Do you want him?' " Blowen said. "I remembered this horse so well. I used to bet on him when he ran in New York."

Source: Daily Racing Form 12-6-07 (http://www.drf.com/news/article/90847.html)

Barbara D.
Dec. 8, 2007, 12:41 AM
Glimmerglass, there is no actual connection between the sire Williamstown and Willliamstown MA (he is named after the Kentucky town of the same name) but he did stand for a long time at the Metropolitan Stud (originally Silvernails) not that far away in New York.

I know it's rude to correct someone...please forgive... My old beau rubbed Williamstown for a year or two, so I knew the horse well for a while. Williamstown's owner, Peter Wilmott, lived in Williamstown, MA, at some point (maybe went to college there?). The horse actually is named after the MA town/city.

The Clark Museum is a great place, by the way!

Dec. 8, 2007, 09:10 AM
This makes me wonder how many thoroughbreds you read about being put down due to the "infirmities of old age" are really put down because they are of no use to anyone anymore...:(
I remember visiting 1970 Kentucky Derby winner Dust Commander at his farm in Midway, KY in 1991. The horse looked fabulous but was wearing a muzzle because he was "mean as hell and would try to tear you apart." He was a little full of himself but struck me as a typical stallion, no worse than any other and better than many. You could tell that the people at the farm just didn't like him...it was really sad. He had also not been the most prolific of sires, but hey, he did win the Derby!
Not two months later I read he had been put down due to "the infirmities of old age." There is no way the horse I saw could have deteriorated that much in two months.

Dec. 8, 2007, 10:24 AM
Barbara D. - that's good to hear - don't mind being corrected at all! I did some research on Williamstown four years ago and was told (or read) that he was named after the Kentucky Williamstown - I never questioned that because he was after all bred in Kentucky.

I do recall also being told that he was bought (by Virginia Payson's son) after he broke the track record for a mile in a scorching duel with Virginia Rapids at Belmont. That effort may have taken something out of him because he never ran quite to that level again.

The record stood until a few years ago and was his main calling card (well, that and some decent graded stakes earnings, and being a son of Seattle Slew). I remember seeing an analysis of his progeny which showed that his fillies did better than his colts, statistically. Watching them in NY, there were quite a few of them running on the turf.

I guess I have to dig my old notebook out of storage...

I asked my horse's breeder why he chose Williamstown for the mare, and he said, "because I owned a stallion share and had to use it" (I guess he bought in when the horse moved to NY). Such is the profound pedigree reasoning behind my horse's breeding! That also is why my horse has a full sister who was trained and showed a couple of works at a training center, but never raced, named Willie Slew. I hope she is still out there - she must be a cutie.