(Lippitt Ashmore x Spring Darling)


DOLLY ASHMORE: Foundation Mare for the Lambert Family
Clare Britche

Dolly Ashmore resulted from the pooling of genetic assets from both the ancient Lambert and Woodbury Morgan families. A rich, dark chestnut foaled in 1962 Dolly was bred by Frances Bryant of Meeting Waters Farm in Vermont. Mrs. Bryant must have felt the cross of Lippitt Ashmore with Spring Darling was a good one, because she repeated it several times. Libby Ashmore (1956), Dorian Ashmore (1958), Daphne Ashmore (1959), Davey Ashmore (1963), and Damon Ashmore (1964) were all the chestnut full siblings of Dolly.

Dolly Ashmore was a foundation mare for The Quietude Stud. Her legacy has endured for three generations and counting, flowing on through the descendants of both sons and daughters. She was a prolific mare, her foals the result of repeat bleedings to Criterion: Cicely (1966); Christian (1968); Woodstock Marco (1970); Juniper of Quietude (1976); Honor of Quietude (1977); Criteria of Quietude (1978); Clarion of Quietude (1980); Critique of Quietude (1981); Calcutta of Quietude (1982); Cairo of Quietude (1983); and Quietude Chelsea (1984). Breeders tend to repeat breedings when they find one that works really well, and this cross was no exception. Fine breeding endures from generation to generation: it was not surprising that Dolly herself had several full brothers and sisters who also bred on.
Like many great producers of our Morgan breed, Dolly's blood was old world, rare, and highly concentrated. Her sire Lippitt Ashmore (Lippitt Ethan Ash x Lippitt Sally Moro) was a personal favorite of his owner Mrs. Bryant and carried the blood of both Ashbrook and Moro. It was said that the Ashbrook horses were calm and tractable, Lippitt Ashmore resembled Ashbrook in both looks and temperament.

When Susan and Shannon Hanley chose Criterion, Fran Bryant had dispersed many of her Morgans, they determined to retrieve as many as possible for their Lambert breeding program. They bought the Criterion daughter, Coleen Darling with Criterion from Mrs. Bryant. More mares and stallions were to follow: Dolly Ashmore, Daphne Ashmore, Adrian Ashmore (leased), Towne-Ayr Gay Cindy, Courier, Crawford, Clotilda, Cora Darling and also Caven-Glo Challenger and Topaz bred by Eve Oakly. All were bought sight unseen as well as the Lippitt Ashmore daughter Royalton Drucilla D.

Dolly's dam, Spring Darling (Springfield x Townshend Lass), was bred by Mrs. Bryant. Springfieldís dam, Paragraph (Jubilee King x Nella), carried the Lambert banner with her white mane and tail. Paragraph was intensely linebred to Daniel Lambert. Spring Darlingís dam, Townshend Lass had the highest percentage of Justin Morganís blood in the breed and was the dam of Jubileeís Courage, Mrs. Bryant's legendary breeding son of Jubilee King.
Shannon Hanley writes of Dolly Ashmore, Dolly was to my mind a symmetrically perfect Morgan mare. You saw that in her instantly. Her grand dam, Lippitt Sally Moro, was held to be the Model Morgan Mare by many Morgan lovers of her day. Dolly's classically chiseled head caught your eye first. But her balanced flowing contours--from the sweeping arch of her neck through her powerful loins and beautiful quarters--just dazzled a Morgan lover's eye.

What came to mean so much to us down through the years was that she passed her sire's stamp--the ASHMORE look--down to her children and grandchildren. The beauty genes kept flowing from her. Her marvelous son, Calcutta and her daughters Honor, Criteria, Critique and Chelsea and their offspring keep that priceless look continuing. Even today, Kit Marlowe, out of Taffeta, out of Mandalay, by Calcutta, shows this wonderful ASHMORE look. As does Marietta, Kismet, and others. Along with this unmistakable stamp, came a sweet evenness of temperament. Fifty years after Dolly was foaled people admire her great grand daughter Montserrat for this self-same look.

Easy to handle, a joy to be around, still the standout single quality Dolly Ashmore and her descendants bequeathed to us was this almost platonic form of perfect Morgan loveliness. The word TYPE gets bandied about endlessly among Morgan people. To us DOLLY and her children claim ownership to that word like no other Morgans we have ever come across. We are so wonderfully fortunate to have been able to keep two of Calcutta's hallmark sons: Merit, now in his twenties, and EMBER coming four, and perhaps a Dolly Ashmore look alike, if be it in male form. We hope to start him this year and keep this exquisite line going for yet another generation at Quietude

Dolly Ashmore is half sisters Cora Darling and Coleen Darling (Criterion x Spring Darling) were also important foundation mares for the Quietude breeding program. Shannon said, We bred Cora Darling to her sire Criterion and the foals were strikingly like Cora and Criterion. Dolly, when bred to Criterion, was strong in her coloring and beauty, there seemed to be a blend of the Ashmore and Lambert characteristics. When asked about how breeding decisions were made over the years with the Clean Blooded Lamberts at Quietude, of which Dolly Ashmore is such a key player, Susan says, "The decisions we made about weaving the Ashmore with Criterion are difficult to express in words. Susan says that for Shannon and herself it has been a deeply personal experience. Living so close to and knowing each individual in a large herd for almost 40 years and several generations with our lives entwined with theirs, mentally, physically and emotionally every day, day after day, year after year, some how they have become part of our psyche.