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1925 - 1957

Photo courtesy of Mr. Ray Corum of Ray Corum Stables.

MERRY BOY  #350189

From the huge number of Foundation Stock horses sired by Allan F-1 and Roan Allen F-38,  Wilson 's Allen and  Merry Boy were perhaps the most powerful contributors to the gene pools of today, and crosses between the lines of these two horses were among the most successful of any.  

If you wish to print off this pedigree, click HERE to load a black and white copy.

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Merry Boy, sired by Roan Allen F-38, was out of the great mare, Merry Legs F-4.   Since Merry Legs, like Wilson's Allen's dam, Birdie Messick, was also sired by Allan F-1, these two great stallions, Merry Boy and Wilson's Allen were 3/4 brothers.  Merry Boy was foaled  at the farm of Albert Dement in Wartrace, Tenn. in 1925.  The black roan stallion was to remain here for the next 10 years.
Perhaps it is not a good idea to give two teenage boys a two-year-old stallion to back for the first time, and only one day to do it in.  Nevertheless, this is what happened to Merry Boy.  Mr. Dement told Mac and Ray Tenpenny of a neighboring farm, that if they could break the young horse and show him that night, they could keep anything they won with him.  They tried.  They REALLY tried.  They bucked the horse out all day long, and got thrown many, many times for their efforts, but by nightfall, he was ride-able enough to carry young Ray to the local show.  Merry Boy was just tired enough to behave himself, and he performed flawlessly.  Witnesses said that few horses that ever lived could perform a more perfect running walk that he exhibited that night.  The pity is that it was Merry Boy's first and last show.  He was seldom ride-able by anyone again. 

Photo courtesy of Mr. Ray Corum of Ray Corum Stables.

As a sire, Merry Boy did not receive the attention that his 3/4 brother, Wilson's Allen did.  Many of his get inherited his temperament, and the record shows that very few trainers were successful in preparing these colts for the show ring.  In later years, Merry Boy's color was a handicap.  Besides being a black roan, he had two white stockings behind and a white knee and foot on the left front.  He had thrown several solid white offspring, and white was not popular among the Walking horse enthusiasts.   Ironically, he bred several stallions who became popular sires of show stock themselves, and these horses took a lot of prospective mares away from the old boy.   Further, his record as a sire of show stock was undoubtedly damaged, when he was taken from Middle Tennessee where the great bulk of brood mares resided at the time.  

In his early years, Merry Boy stood at both Culleoka and New Hermon, TN.  He was unpopular at both places.  While he was at Culleoka, his handler had to walk and lead him from farm to farm, soliciting mares, but few owners chose him as a sire.  It's hard to convince people that you have a first class saddle horse, when you are leading him. 

Merry Boy came to New Hermon, TN, in 1928, the same year that Wilson's Allen left the community.  Just as he had been rejected by breeders in the area, so was Merry Boy.  Merry Boy's reputation for meanness was well known, and his deportment in the neighborhood did nothing to dispel the image.  While at the barn of Ed Ward, he was sometimes ridden by Carl Ingle, one of the few men ever to stay on the horse's back.  On one occasion, they met a lady driving a mare in a buggy.  The mare was in heat.  To the embarrassment of the lady, and the disgust of Ingle, Merry Boy took care of things on the spot.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Bob Womack,
author of "Echo of Hoofbeats."

In an effort to get business for the stallion, Ed Ward suggested to several neighbors that their mares might cross well with his son of Roan Allen.  Few responded favorably to the suggestion, not wanting to breed to a stallion that could not be ridden.  Ward did finally convince Dick Williams to breed his Grey Eagle Williams to the horse.  This mare, a cross of the Wilkes blood of the Standardbreds, and the Grey Johns, was probably the best mare that Merry Boy had been bred to at the time.  The foal was a flashy roan stud known as Byrom's Allen. 
Regardless of his slow start, Merry Boy did sire some outstanding performers under saddle.  One of the first of these was Little Merry Legs.  In 1938, Little Merry Legs won the World Championship at the Tennessee State Fair.  She did it again in 1939, beating Pride of Memphis.  Another outstanding show mare by Merry Boy, was White Cloud.  In 1939, she won third in the Aged Mare Class.  In 1940, a Merry Boy mare called Forever Yours won third in the Two-Year-Old Championships at the Celebration, and was followed by another Merry Boy filly called Winnie Mae.  Winnie Mae had been second in the Two-Year-Old Filly class in 1941, and tied second to Greater Glory in the Three-Year-Old class in 1942.  The first Merry Boy offspring to win a Celebration blue was Midnight Sue in 1941.  Also in 1941, J. B. Smith won fourth in the Aged Mare Class with Merry Bird.  

Photo courtesy of Mr. Ray Corum of Ray Corum Stables.

The fact that Wilson's Allen completely dominated the early Celebrations left little for the offspring of other sires.  The best that Merry Boy's get could do was compete for what remained after the Wilson's Allen's colts left the ring.  With few exceptions, this pattern would constitute the story of Merry Boy's life as a sire of show horses.  The  only two World Grand Champion horses that were sired by Merry Boy are the black mare, Black Angel who won in 1943, and Merry Go Boy, who won in 1947 and 1948. 
In 1935, Merry Boy was sold to the McMichael brothers of Coffee County.  He was leased out all throughout this area, and it was during his stay with the McMichaels that he contributed the most to the breed.  His get were noted for their airy way of moving, their flashy colors and high spirits.  
Photo courtesy of Dr. Bob Womack, author of "Echo of Hoofbeats."

 In 1944, at the age of 19, Merry Boy was sold to Mrs. William McBride Yandell of Vance, Miss.  She kept him until 1949, when he was sold to George Williams of Jackson, Tenn.  

This is Merry Boy in his later years, when he was at Fair Oaks Farm in Jackson, Tennessee. This photo was taken when Merry Boy was owned by George Williams. Mr. Williams purchased Merry Boy and several mares from the Yandells, in 1949.

Merry Boy died on January 13, 1957 at the age of thirty-two. He is buried in Jackson, Tennessee.



----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 12:08 PM
Subject: Merry Boy last home
I want to Thank You for your website it is Great.
Thought you might like a picture of the Last Home of Merry Boy.
This is Fair Oaks Farm, Jackson, Tenn.
Hope you like.
Joe Clements


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2003 1:58 PM
Subject: Merry Boy


I just visited your website and I love it! A friend told me about it and I'm going to tell my friends.

I am a great fan of the Merry Boy line. Not only was he a great influence in the Walking Horse. but ( I know these may be bad words to TWH person) he was also a MAJOR contributor to the Missouri Foxtrotter.

There is a grandson of Merry Boy that I feel deserves mention on the page with the other grandsons. His name is
WALKER'S MERRY LAD! I am 53 now and I had the privilege of showing Merry Lad, for Alden Duncan, when I was a teenager in Mountain View, Missouri. Let me tell you he was really awesome!   He was Missouri State Champion at the time. He was a beautiful red roan. He sired many foals in Missouri and I never saw one that did not gait the day it hit the ground! He also had a great disposition.

I have a TWH mare and a MFT mare and I am looking for a Merry Lad stallion to breed to next season.

My MFT mare and my MFT gelding are both Merry Boy on both sides, some farther back and some closer. I just could not be happier!

My TWH mare and gelding I'm not sure of, since I don't have their papers, but from their way of traveling and disposition I'm pretty sure they are Merry Boy mixed with Midnight Sun. They are full brother and sister.

I really enjoyed your website except the music made me cry while I was reading about Merry Boy. Until then I had no idea Merry Boy was practically un-rideable!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for the website too!

Jackie Lampkins


Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 10:02 AM
Subject: Merry Boy

Loved his home page.  My dad Lawrence Snelson managed him from 1952 until his death.  I can truthfully say that his disposition never changed.  Right before he passed away he bit the owners son.  Merry Boy was not able to be ridden after the first show because he was kicked by a mare, and injured his leg forever.  I was about ten years old when he passed away, but I can still remember him vividly.   In his last years, he was allowed full run of our workout ring, and he enjoyed roaming, and eating the grass, and watching whatever was going on at the time.   There was a plaque placed at Shoney's in Jackson, and unfortunately Shoney's has just closed, so I don't know where the plaque will be housed now.  It was honoring Merry Boy and Fair Oaks Farm.    I still have a picture of his last filly.   Thanks for making his home page.  Unfortunately there are not a lot of pictures of him.  Until his death he was booked for breeding a year in advance,    Thanks again for making his homepage , and if I can be of any help please contact me.  Lynn Snelson-Bradford  731-616-7997


 If you have photos of Merry Boy that you would like added to this page, please forward them to Walkers West.




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