Appaloosa Stallion

Registration:  ApHC #55156
Foaled:   May 30, 1963
Died:     June 1988
Color:    Chestnut

Prince Plaudit
Prince Plaudit

Foaled May 30, 1963, Prince Plaudit spent the first two years of his life as an obscure loud-colored colt at Hank Wiescamp's Alamosa, Colorado, ranches. In December 1965, Carl Miles purchased the leopard colt with a distinctive heart-shaped spot on his left hip as a replacement sire for the aging Joker B. Prince Plaudit, by Red Plaudit and out of Princess Rita, traced back to the Old Fred lines, and Miles knew that Prince Plaudit's breeding and his exceptional conformation made him the perfect horse to center a breeding program around.

A successful promoter of Joker B., Miles' first task was to get Prince Plaudit in the public's eye and the show circuit was a good place to start. Under the tutelage of Miles' long-time trainer and manager, Harry Reed, Prince Plaudit stood grand champion at the Fort Worth, San Antonio and Southeastern Stock shows, the Denver National, the West Texas Club Show at Sweetwater and the Crippled Children's Show at Abilene. In addition, Prince Plaudit earned get of sire titles at most major stock shows from Houston to Denver, and won the get of sire class at the National Show in 1969, 1975, and 1976, as well as the World Show title in 1975.

From Prince Plaudit's first foal crop came many champions, including Prince Carl, Hy Plaudit, Prince's Shiek, Prince T, Prince's Nick and Prince's Queen. Other noteworthy get were Prince's Shirley, Prince Hank and Prince's Miss McCue from his second foal crop; Prince Plaudit Jr. and Prince's Twist from his third foal crop and Double Plaudit, Prince's Diamond Jim and Prince's John from his fourth.

Once Prince Plaudit's get started winning, Miles began marketing him as a sire of champions, placing the sorrel leopard stallion on every back cover of the Appaloosa News from August 1967 to February 1984 (except for one issue in 1972). This marketing strategy quickly placed Prince Plaudit at the forefront of Appaloosa breeders' minds, and before long he was a household name throughout the Appaloosa industry. Through Miles' forward thinking promotions, Prince Plaudit became the accepted example of an ideal Appaloosa and the future of the breed.

Miles believed that by crossing Thoroughbred mares with Prince Plaudit, he would achieve the perfect nick in his endeavors to create a "super horse." However, when Miles bred Prince Plaudit with several daughters of the Thoroughbred Baffle, he quickly learned that he needed a different match.

Miles had better luck when he crossed Prince Plaudit with Old Fred and Peter McCue lines. From these crosses, Prince Plaudit produced both halter and performance champions. In all, his get won more than 40 National or World titles, 18 bronze medallions, three silver medallions and one gold medallion. In 1978, he became the first stallion to be awarded a bronze production plaque.

A testimony to Prince Plaudit's greatness, the September 1984 issue of Horseman listed Prince Plaudit as one of 10 all-time great horses. Sharing this honor were Quarter Horses Doc Bar, Mr. Gun Smoke, King P-234, Leo San, Poco Bueno, Poco Lena, Skipper W, Two Eyed Jack and Impressive.

Then, on August 9, 1974, at the height of Prince Plaudit's popularity, it was announced that M-V Ranches would be holding a complete dispersal sale in order to dissolve the Miles-Jedd Van Kampen partnership. Prince Plaudit was slated as lot 12.

"I remember there was an unusual amount of flashbulbs and 'oohs' and 'ahs,'" auctioneer Ron Kavanagh said in a January 1988 Appaloosa Journal interview. "Carl Miles told the crowd about the horse, and there were some tears in people's eyes when this horse started to sell. When I started to sell the horse, a friend opened the bidding with $50,000, and I took one breath and was clear to $150,000 before I took another breath. There was a man and his son sitting and bidding in one place then there were two syndicates and two other guys bidding. We went to $250,000 on my second breath, and just like you turn off a switch it all quit. I think the man and his son bid $255,000 and the syndicate headed by Doug Stone bid $260,000, and that was the end of it. It didn't take a minute and a half to sell that horse."

Stone purchased Prince Plaudit in partnership with Dickie Turner of Levelland, Texas. Stone and Turner planned to syndicate Prince Plaudit, and in the end, the famous stallion was syndicated for $300,000 at $50,000 per share. Through it all, however, acting as the syndicate manager, Miles hadn't lost his alliance with Prince Plaudit.

Miles' new marketing strategy was to sell a mare syndicate of 40 head, breeding the mares each year to Prince Plaudit. If all went well, Miles estimated the mare syndicate would generate $120,000 per year. Unfortunately, Miles never saw this innovate goal reached. In 1976 he passed away and David Stahlman, another member of the Prince Plaudit Syndicate, eventually purchased all but one and a half of Prince Plaudit's shares. Reed, who'd continued to be involved with Prince Plaudit throughout his life, accompanied the stallion to Stahlman's Rimwold Ranch to help get the breeding and training programs underway. Reed, who had a deep appreciation for Prince Plaudit, stayed on at Rimwold for two years before moving on. Stahlman continued to breed Prince Plaudit, utilizing the Quarter Horse lines of Skipa Star and Impressive.

In his lifetime, Prince Plaudit reshaped an entire breed's image of the ideal horse. Through Miles' tireless promotion and Reed's undaunting devotion, they raised him to celebrity status. In June 1988, Prince Plaudit passed away due to natural causes. According to his August 1988 Appaloosa Journal obituary, "...on the day of Prince's death, owner David Stahlman had taken the stallion from his stall, bathed, brushed and clipped him, and escorted him on a leisurely walk at Rimwold Ranch. It was a peaceful close to a noteworthy life." Prince Plaudit was inducted into the Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame in 1988.

{This article, by Robin Hirzel, and accompanying photograph were originally published in the Appaloosa Journal, December 1997, Vol 51, No.12, "Legends Prince Plaudit: Celebrity Status" and are used here by permission.}

Copyright © 1997 Appaloosa Horse Club. All rights reserved.

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