Tuesday, April 12, 2016

100 Years--Remembering Harold/Dad and His Appaloosa Legacy

Photo from Sandpoint's local paper when Harold retired from the City of Sandpoint. 

~~~~April 12, 1916  -  Nov. 21, 2003~~~~

Our dad would have been 100 years old today.  

For 87 years, he remained alive and kickin' and tellin' stories about horses, the ranch where he worked as a cowboy up in Montana's Madison Valley, hunting and fishing trips, the Sandpoint city water department where he worked for 33 years, his Hereford cows, his childhood in Bonners Ferry, friends he had met along the way---and did I say horses? 

For the past 13 years since his passing, we have remembered the influence he had upon our lives, and we'll keep remembering.

This year, however, marks a momentous birthday for Harold, so a very special Hats Off to Harold and all the memories he created for himself and shared with us. 

Happy 100th, Harold!

In honor of Harold's 100th birthday, I'm adding an article (below photo) which I found this morning about Toby I, Harold's world famous Foundation Appaloosa stallion, pictured below with Harold riding at the first-ever National Appaloosa Show in Lewiston, Idaho, where the team won the performance championship. 

From that point on, Toby I bloodlines spread around the world to places as far away as South Africa and New Zealand.  For a time, the photo above of Harold and Toby appeared on the South African Appaloosa Horse Registry papers.  

Thanks to the Appaloosa Journal staff, our family has a copy of the South African registration document at the Tibbs Arabian Farm in Colburn. 

The Toby Family Line (History)

Sometimes lucky circumstances play an important part in starting a line of good horses. Take, for example, the Toby Appaloosas. The circumstances involved two white men, and Indian horse breeder, and Knobby, a thumping-good, "blanketed," blue roan marked with black spots over his hips.

Guy Lamb and Floyd Hickman were the white men. They lived not far from each other near the Snake River. Luckily, they both had a strong liking for the Appaloosa horse. Lamb owned Knobby (foaled in 1918) and Hickman decided to breed his exceptionally good mare, Spot, to that salty ol' blue roan.

From this alliance came a colored colt that would live to be an excellent foundation sire. Hickman called him Dan, or Little Dan, or Dan Patch. He was no relation, of course, to the famous harness horse. His name simply described his hip pattern of white.

Sam Fisher then entered the picture. He was one of the Palouse tribe and he had a reputation for raising the finest Appaloosas in his part of the country (Washington). In fact, there is not a more purely bred, unbroken, undiluted line of Appaloosas than those coming from Sam's stock.

Hickman knew about this purity of blood so he haggled Sam for a little, red roan mare. She was Lucy. She had class even by today's standards. Because she was a good one, Hickman bred her to Dan. Her colt was something pretty special. He matured out as a blue roan with white over his loin and hips and he had a mountain of muscles stacked under his sleek hide. Hickman called him Old Blue (naturally).

Like most horsemen who got a great colt out of a strong-blooded, typey mare, Hickman wondered what the colt would do as a sire. After Old Blue was old enough for romancing, he bred Trixie, a dark, red roan.

Trixie was not only pretty, but she was the fastest little relay-race mare in the Northwest. When she dropped Old Blue's foal she had a real winner, and the start of the famous Toby line - Toby I.

Besides being a good-looking stallion - dark blue roan wearing black spots over his hindquarters - he showed plenty of cow sense, too. He consistently won the working stock horse class whenever he entered the arena. Hickman also used him around the ranch. He claimed Toby I was the best working horse he ever owned. He could handle a herd all day long without tiring and could teach them everything but how to talk.

Harold Tibbs purchased Toby I in 1946. He showed him to the Champion Performance Horse title at the first Appaloosa show in Lewiston, Idaho (1948). Shortly thereafter, Toby I quit the arena and began his schooling as a parade horse. He took to it like the champion he was; his high stepping gait never failed to please a crowd.

At 19 he won the parade class of the Washington State university Open Horse Show against horses less than half his age. At 22, after an eight-year layoff from stock horse routines, he placed third at the regional Appaloosa show in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Toby I spent the remainder of his life with Mrs. W.C. Racicot. He died on February 21, 1966, just 2 months short of his thirty-first year.

In performance no one can dispute Toby's right to be listed as a reference sire even though he was used very lightly at stud. Most of his get were fillies. They were good ones all, like Tobianna, purchased from Harold Tibbs in 1947 by Harold Anderson. He bedded down beside her railroad shipping crate, and together they made the tiresome journey from the Idaho hills to his Dead End Ranch at Eureka, Kansas.

Tobianna was the first appaloosa in the area. Her colorful markings of white hips with black spots, her calm nature, and her fast, springy step (typical of the Toby line) brought the neighbors on the run to see this "new" breed of horse.

Anderson trained her for ranch work, and for fun they entered parades, pleased crowds, and brought home wins from many shows. Eventually Tobianna produced her first foal. - Buttermilk - a dark, red filly, splashed with white spots across the hips. Buttermilk was some kind of a doing horse! She showed it when she entered an Open Cutting show in Oklahoma and beat the "brand x" horses by a country mile.

Tobianna's next foal was Durango by Buttons B (a Commanche-bred stallion). This sturdy, black colt, "blanketed" with white to his withers and many spots in between, brought to the winner's circle the best of the Toby-Comanche blood. Not only that, he turned down a television series offer. His sons and daughters and grand get have Durango's built-in win ability, too.

During Tobianna's reign of the brood barn, her immediate produce have earned hundreds of ribbons and trophies. As of 1968 she had dropped a total of 17 foals, most of them going on to be show champions.

Toby I sired more fine daughters too: Gloree Bee, Rapid Lightning, Kaniksu's Chain Lightning, and Kaniksu's Sheet Lightning.

His sons were horses such as: Kaniksu's Little Beaver, Kaniksu's Kiowa, Toby's Peacock, and Toby II.

It was Toby II who added to his old man's stature by also getting quality foals. They matured into champions and hit the nation's show circuits winning many titles along the way. By name they were: Chief Eagle, Toby Patch, Chief Handprint, Toby III, Genesee Chief, Yakima Toby, Topatchy, Kenney's Chief, Doll's Toby, Polkadott Toby, Toby K, and Toby II's Patchy. His daughters were: Patch, Black Beauty, Princess Pal, Nahahull Wahine, and Tobee Anna, an able cutting mare. Patch and Black Beauty were flawless producers of show champions and appear close-up in the pedigree of horses such as: Restless Wind, XR's War Bonnet, and that phenomenal Open Jumping Champion Sutter's Show Boy, who sold for $44,000 in 1967.

George Hatley purchased Toby II when they were both unknown. Aside from breeding, he used him for herding cattle, bear hunting trips, and for whatever challenge came along. Hatley remembers him as a horse with a willing heart, a keen intelligence, and a moving gait that made him easy to ride. It was a sad day for those who knew him best when he suffered an untimely death at the age of 24. His progeny are still much in evidence throughout the country. He was a true Toby horse!

The Toby family has purity of blood in their veins. They're what some call "Absolutely Appaloosas." Most of them have the keen desire to work and the smarts to get the job done. Their gait is uncommonly smooth, their stamina is limitless, and they're blessed with longevity.

Note: We are not sure of the source of this history, it was sent to us by an old friend long ago and was copied from a magazine. If anyone has any knowledge of the author, please contact us so that we can give proper credit for it. Thanks!

Jerry & LaWana Stevens

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