Prior to the
establishment of the ALLEN line, the HALS represented the most prominent
horse family in Middle Tennessee.
HAL blood seems to have done for the Tennessee Pacer what ALLAN
blood did for the Walking Horse. Pacing blood had been in Middle
Tennessee many years before HAL blood arrived, but with its appearance
the Tennessee Pacer rose to new heights and became the standard-setter
of the pacing world. To
undertake to establish the accurate bloodlines of the HALS in Middle
Tennessee is to attempt the impossible.
Little remains when legend is sifted from fact. The problem is not one of
establishing the influence of HAL blood on the Tennessee Pacer and,
subsequently, the Walking Horse; that is agreed upon by all. The problem is to establish the
specific animals through which this influence came about. But to fully understand the history of the Tennessee Walking
Horse, a knowledge of this outstanding family is an absolute necessity.
Legend has it
that the first horse named TOM HAL was foaled in Canada about 1802. This
horse is registered with the American Saddle Horse Association under the
number 3237 and has been accepted as one of the original Foundation
Sires of that breed. Nobody
has been brave enough to come forward with a pedigree for the original
TOM HAL, and since he supposedly came from Canada it was only natural
that he be called a Canadian Pacer.
TOM HAL was another horse around which tall tales seemed to grow.
He was never known to lie down except to roll, and he even ate his food
walking around in his stable.
The records show the old horse died in 1843 at the age of
forty-one. TOM HAL sired many stallions in Kentucky, but one stood out
above the others. When the
old horse was thirty-five years old he was bred to a mare of
COPPERBOTTOM breeding and the resulting foal was BALD STOCKINGS, the
first horse of record to perform the running walk.
STOCKINGS was a roan with four white feet and a bald face. He was
foaled in 1837, and died in 1866. Besides representing a cross
between the HALS and COPPERBOTTOMS, BALD STOCKINGS carried Thoroughbred
blood, as his second dam was by TARQUIN.
BALD STOCKINGS was bred by Higgins Chinn of Lexington, Kentucky. He established a reputation as
one of the fastest horses under saddle in the region and the best riding
mount of his day. BALD STOCKINGS would play an important role in the
development of the Tennessee Pacer and the Walking Horse. His
influence would come not only through his sons, but also through his
great daughter, QUEEN. QUEEN is still considered one of the most outstanding
brood mare developed in America.
She was the dam of LATHAM'S DENMARK; DIAMOND DENMARK; and KING
WILLIAM, the great grandsire of
GERTRUDE, dam of ROAN ALLEN F-38.
Through GERTRUDE the blood of TOM HAL entered the very foundation
of the Walking Horse, but it was through a son of BALD STOCKINGS that
the HAL blood made its most important appearance in Middle Tennessee.
Dr. George P. Grout, genetic investigator for the
TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE magazine, agreed that it was a son of BALD
STOCKINGS which brought the HAL blood to Middle Tennessee, however, he refused to name the
specific animal involved.
The most widely accepted story of how KITTRELL'S TOM HAL came to Middle
Tennessee is contained in an unpublished manuscript by Margaret Lindsley
Warden. According to Miss
Major Marion B. Kittrell lived at Rutherford County, but at the time
that he owned TOM HAL he resided in Wilson County about 3 miles from
Lebanon. He and Col. Edmond Hill, Tennessee; Campbell Brown of
Chambers were rivals in fine and fast saddle horses. The Colonel was
one of the owners of that COPPERBOTTOM believed to have been the first
of his tribe in Tennessee and which made quite an impression as a
saddle horse and sire.
Naturally, Major Kittrell was eager to get a stallion that could outdo
COPPERBOTTOM and his offspring. It
was much on his mind, so when Kirtley (a horse dealer from Kentucky)
came to his place that fall with a drove of mules and a horse or so,
as he did regularly, the Major mentioned the matter to him.
Of course, Kirtley said he had
the very horse, a wonderful four year-old. So Major Kittrell went to
see the horse and bought it. KITTRELL'S
TOM HAL made the seasons from 1850 to1857 in his owner's management in
Wilson County. During the'57
season he was sent to Marshall County in charge of a brother-in-law,
Robertson Bryant, who finished the season with him and sold him in '58
to Squire D. C. Orr of Mooresville. This
owner stood him the seasons of '58 to '61 and sold him in the fall of
'61 to a Dr. Steele near Pulaski. ln
'63 he was taken from Steele by Federal troops and after being worked
down was turned out on the commons where he died within a mile of
horsemen who were never convinced of KITTRELL'S TOM Hal's credentials
often repeated the story that the old horse went out into the woods to
search for his pedigree and became so confused he could not find the way
soon produced its own HAL stallion.
In 1862, a blue roan colt was born at
Petersburg, Tennessee, the property of H. Clay Saunders Besides carrying
the HAL blood through his sire, this colt's dam, JULIA JOHNSON, carried
the blood of McMEEN'S TRAVELER. The
blue roan colt is known to Walking Horse people as TOM HAL F-20 or
GIBSON'S TOM HAL. Walking Horse people accept KITTRELL'S TOM HAL as his sire.
After TOM HAL F-20 established
his own reputation, breeders forgot about his ancestors for it was
evident this Tennessee-bred sire needed no assistance from a mixed-up
TOM HAL F-20 had many owners during
his life. Bred by Saunders, he was later owned by William Reder;
William Yowell of Lewisburg, Tennessee; Thomas Gibson of Spring Hill,
Tennessee; Campbell Brown of Spring Hill, Tennessee; and F.G. Bufords of
Bufords, Tennessee. This horse was Buford's property when
he died July 5, 1890. TOM
HAL F-20 was to become the head of a family of horses which branched out
to conquer two distinct types, the saddle horse and the harness-racer.
The history he and his descendants left in Middle Tennessee will forever
remain one of the most exciting chapters in the state's equine
Through TOM HAL F-20 and other HAL stallions, the strain became the most
prominent family of horses in Middle Tennessee by the turn of the century.
In describing the HALS, W.J. McGill
wrote, These small HAL
horses with flat bones, good feet and legs, hind legs not too straight,
were usually Red Roans. They had
low carriage, especially their head, but good tail style, arched
neck, big kindly eyes, smart well set ears, good conformation,
usually arched backs or 'hog back' as we called them. A man, his wife, and one or two
children, could go visiting to the far away kin in record time on a HAL
horse. HAL horses were
docile and gentle, weight-carrying horses with heavy muscles; their
backs were so shaped that saddles stayed put and when a load had to be drawn they had
the muscle, the grit and will to do it. Some Hal horses became
outstanding racers while others excelled as saddle horses.
By far their most important contribution was as utility animals for
the farmers of the region. These were among the horses that pulled the
buggies, snaked the logs, pulled the fire engines, carried the country
doctor on his rounds, and brought the circuit riding preacher into the
hills for his Sunday sermon.
Every old roan horse was called a TOM HAL, and each breeder not
only advertised that he had the original horse but also modestly admitted that he had
Another famous HAL stallion, one that later became a Foundation of the Walking Horse, was GENERAL HARDEE F-21. Foaled
in 1862, this chestnut roan horse was by GEORGE WASHINGTON by TAYLOR'S
HENRY HAL by KITTRELL'S TOM HAL. GENERAL HARDEE, like KNIGHT'S
SNOW HEELS and TOM HAL F-20, was another of the stallions that brought
the blood of the original TOM HAL to Middle Tennessee horses.
GENERAL HARDEE represents a cross between the HALS and the McMEEN'S
TRAVELERS. Through McMEEN'S' TRAVELER, GENERAL HARDEE traces to
the Thoroughbred TIMOLEON and through ALGERINE to the famous WHIP
family. Also, through his sire, GEORGE WASHINGTON, he traces to
the COPPERBOTTOM and the MORGANS. GENERAL HARDEE F-21 was a great
horse in his own right. He contributed speed at the pace, and
through his blood, many of the great Tennessee Walking Horses of today
inherited their gaits."
Although there were many TOM HALS in Middle Tennessee
prior birth of TOM HAL F-20, it is to this particular stallion that much
blood in the Tennessee Pacer, and subsequently the Walking Horse
traced. Just how many sons and daughters this stallion sired can never be
known, but the number is substantial. Of
the stallions credited to him, the following are prominent: BROWN HAL
F-83, LUNA'S TOM HAL,
BURN'S HAL, TOGGIN'S HAL, MOORE'S HAL, HUGH'S TOM HAL, JR., ALDRICH'S
HAL, GREY HAL, BOB HAL SELL'S HAL, ANDERSON'S HAL, OLD NAT, THOMAS' TOM
HAL, HOWELL'S HAL and
TRICE'S HAL. By far, the
most influential son of TOM HAL F-20 was BROWN HAL.
to being a great performer himself, BROWN HAL F-83 had the potency to
pass his gaits on to his get, even to the second and third generations. The chief purpose of a study of
BROWN HAL'S offspring is to show the array of HAL stallions that
influenced the Middle Tennessee saddle horse. In 1939, the TWHBEA listed
approximately 1,185 horses, and of this number, approximately
1,087 carried the blood of TOM HAL.