Dawndee – one of the greatest Appaloosa race mares


Dawndee was arguably one of the greatest Appaloosa running horses of all time.  Foaled in 1959 she was finally inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1995.  I feel honored that I got to witness some of her races and see her in person.  What a Appaloosa!  Dawndee set the standard for greatness in the Appaloosa breed.  She stood many times Grand Champion mare and was the first Appaloosa mare to run AAA time.

In July 1961, Dawndee beat a field of Quarter and Thoroughbred horses at 310 yards in Payson, Utah; two weeks later she did a repeat win at 350 yards against the same type of field in Panquitch, Ut.  The mare won most of her 25 starts against open competition and normally the only Appaloosa in the field.

At 7 years old, Dawndee set an Appaloosa World Record at Memorial Park in Brush, Colorado, running 640 yards.  She beat the great My Ole Still by 4 1/2 lengths in official  AAA time.

Dawndee’s sire was bred by Dick Stanger and sold to the Drapers as a yearling.  Due to an untimely death he only produced four foals, yet was named ApHC leading sire of most winners in 1963.  Dawndee’s  dam was a chariot racer that Glade raced to open championships in the 1950’s.

Dawndee’s most famous son, War Don, was another Draper bred great.  The stallion won the the first pari-mutual Appaloosa race in Colorado in 1965; raced and won in open competition; and was among the first group of Hall of Fame inductees in 1988.

The story of Dawndee would not be complete without a few words about her dam, Sunup.  Ross Bradford wrote the following about Sunup that appeared in the February 1968 issue of the then Appaloosa News.  Ross is quite the historian of Appaloosa horses and is a been there – done that kind of guy ; he writes: “  While much has ben written about great foundation sires, mares that have made significant contributions to the breed have often been overlooked – such a mare was Sunup ApHC F-1649.  She was foaled in Central Utah in 1940; her sire was Old Painter and her dam was a mare rich in the blood of Marsh Henry and Ben Brush.

Glade Draper of Genola, Utah, purchased Sunup in 1951, when she was already eleven years old.  During the next few years, Glade actively campaigned Sunup in chariot races against open competition in the intermountain west.  She was a member of the team which was Utah State Champion for three consecutive years and won the Intermountain States Chariot Championship in 1952. Sunup was a tremendous competitor and she gave her best in every race and it has been said many times that she was easily the faster of the winning two horse team.

Sunup will be best remembered thru her progeny.  Dawndee, of course was out of Sunup, but others were great in their own right.  Utahn, another of Sunup’s foals, produced the mighty Frae who held the Appaloosa record for 220 yards for three years.  Sunup’s other foals include:  Shadow, a gelding foaled in 1954, Tama, a mare foaled in 1955, Orchid, an excellent halter mare born in 1958, and Hat’s Pride, a son of National Champion Patchy Jrs Shaun Tonga and her last foal born in 1967 was Zeus, sired by War Don.

Sunup was put to sleep on December 2, 1967 due to the ravages of old age (she was 27), but she founded a family of Appaloosa horses that will long be remembered for their quality in the show ring and speed on the track.

Production Record for Dawndee:  11 Total foals, all colored or characteristics; only one by an Appaloosa.

War Don, foaled April 9, 1962, sire was War Glory AQHA.  **

Lonee Dee, foaled April 24th, 1965, sire: Capt. Flagg  JC   **

Whizer, Foaled April 27, 1967 :  Sire, Good Porter  JC    **

Gala Dee, foaled April 22, 1968  :  Sire, Postman  JC    **

Camee Dee, foaled May 2, 1970  :  Sire, Bold Combatant  JC    **

Delta Dawn D, foaled April, 1973  :  Sire, Bold Combatant  JC   **

Dawn Mae, foaled May  10th, 1974 :  Sire, Executioner  JC    **

Dawndees World, foaled April 24th, 1977 :  Sire, Private World  JC    **

Candy Spots Jr. , foaled May 5, 1978  :  Sire, Black Moss  JC    **

Midways Dawndee, foaled February 18, 1982  :  Sire, Midway Rag  ApHC    ***

** Race Winners

*** bred by Rex Garrett


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