Posts Tagged ‘face markings’

I want to sing the praises of pacing stallion Shadow Wave, born 1955 and died 18 years later.

Shadow Wave's grave

Shadow Wave's grave

His gravestone records him thus:
SHADOW WAVE P3 1.56 3/5

“Gentle and intelligent” – those words tell us a lot about the horse, and the love and respect he had from those who managed him.

He was a chestnut with distinctive markings – four white socks and a prominent blaze the full length of his face. I’ll come back to that shortly. The only pictures I’ve sourced of Shadow Wave are the two in John Bradley’s wonderful book “Modern Pacing Sire Lines” which also records detail about his racing career, his breeding and his offspring. Bradley describes him as “a lanky, attractive chestnut” who “has added strength to pedigrees and is a very positive influence.”

Shadow Wave, from John Bradley's book

Shadow Wave

Shadow Wave was a son of Adios. He was unraced as a 2yo but went on to be a top performer at 3yo – the winner 20 races including The Little Brown Jug and named World Champion. He left plenty of good, fast horses, but no sires that carried on his line, which is how sires are judged. However his legacy really comes as a damsire and as a source of quality genes that, given the right conditions, can carry his influence over an extended number of generations.

He’s not Mr Fixit. But he is a strong integral part of a lovely fair-isle knitting pattern of breeding I am trying to create (I say “try” because there are no instant guarantees, given the nature of nature). He is a strong coloured yarn held behind the pattern and ready to be introduced to make an impact. Hang onto your knitting needles!

Shadow Wave’s strong white blaze is unusual in top sires, and distinctive white face markings pop up in some of his top progeny and their descendants. Is this a sign of the strength of his influence, sometimes over several generations?

New York Motoring, distinctive star to blaze to snip markings

Take a look at these sires and offspring who have become part of the outstanding Zenover family and its different branches in recent times – they all have Shadow Wave genes – speed and strength. This family really appreciates Shadow Wave – and the feeling is mutual.

New York Motoring (sire of Interchange and Zenola Star) Shadow Wave is his damsire.
Payson’s Brother (mated with Interchange and grandsire of Copper Beach) Shadow Wave link through the sire line of No Nukes.

Payson's Brother

Payson's Brother - his sire is No Nukes who is by Oil Burner out of Shadow Wave mare

Elsu (son of Interchange). New York Motoring is his damsire.
Destination Moon (Grinfromeartoear son of Zenterfold). Shadow Wave appears twice in his  pedigree, once in his sire’s and once – via New York Motoring – in his dam’s.

Just to highlight Shadow Wave’s influence on the world-wide stage, amongst his filly foals were Dottie Shadow (dam of Oil Burner, $535,541), Tiny Wave (dam of Big Towner, $547,126), Ingenue (dam of Falcon Almahurst, $400,776), Real Hilarious (grandam of Die Laughing ($2,164,386) and also of Go for Grins ($302,003)), and Resourceful (grandam of Armbro Operative ($1,012,712).

Elsu - son of Interchange

Shadow Wave is also the sire of Peaches N Cream, who is the dam of New York Motoring ($230,492) and Happy Motoring ($538.495), two well performed brothers by Most Happy Fella who are influential as sires and damsires in their own right. Happy Motoring pops up as the sire of On the Road Again ($2,819,102), and the grand-damsire of Pacific Rocket ($2,333,401). New York Motoring is the damsire of Elsu ($2,083,352), and the grand-damsire of Tintin in America ($934, 305).

Of course Oil Burner turned out to be the sire of No Nukes, and so brought Shadow Wave’s influence into many modern pedigrees.

Destination Moon as a foal - Grinfromeartoear from Zenterfold

New York Motoring was a prominent sire in New Zealand through the 1990s and therefore Shadow Wave is included in many mares’ pedigrees in New Zealand.

Shadow Wave’s appearance in the pedigrees of Panorama and Safely Kept means he is also poking his white-blazed nose into many quality Australian pedigrees as well.

More recently, Shadow Wave has appeared though Shifting Sands and Blue Horizon and Tiny Wave in the maternal lines of sires available in New Zealand, Australia and North America – Real Desire, Red River Hanover, Mach Three and of course Grinformeartoear. New sires with double ups of Shadow Wave include Artistic Fella and Shadow Play. You can see from all these sires that the white face and sock markings are often not present, but having Shadow Wave in the background may mean they pop up in some of these sires’ progeny in a “where on earth did that come from?” moment.

So while Shadow Wave may not have ‘created waves’ as a sire of sires, he has been – and is still – a very positive influence in the pedigrees of many horses today.

He is one of those sires whose genes seem to “punch above their weight” and blend well with other influential (not necessarily the most obvious or modern) genes. He was known for working well with mares of his time from trotting lines. He seems to love finding his own sire Adios and some of the great old bloodlines that New Zealand breeders access through Tar Heel, Albatross, Good Time and others.

I don’t believe in double ups for their own sake, but Shadow Wave is a sire who thrives on meeting himself in a pedigree, and can influence through maternal and sire lines equally.

If he’s there, he adds value. And this can be reinforced by breeding choices.

Those white markings are a lovely reminder of  the continuing influence of this gentle and intelligent stallion.

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