Easter Twilight won first in the Stallion Foals class at the 1950 National Morgan Horse Show, his first appearance, after which he was purchased the next year as a yearling by Mr. & Mrs. Keynith Knapp of Bald Mountain Farm, Arlington, Vermont. Over the next decade and a half, Easter Twilight won numerous championships and was one of the most highly regarded and best known Morgan stallions in New England. He was also selected to represent the Morgan breed in the 1957 TV show, Wide Wide World, filmed in Shrewesbury, Vermont. Tragically, Easter Twilight escaped his pasture in 1966, was struck by a car, and killed.
In 1980, Heather Jones acquired the 1962 foundation bred stallion Bay Mar Twilight, a son of Easter Twilight out of the fine mare Miller’s Bay Harmony (Miller’s Pride x Miller’s Glory). With this stallion, she established her breeding program Twilight Morgans in Diamond Point, New York. For 15 years, she painstakingly gathered a remarkable herd based on the blood of Easter Twilight and other classic old New England, Government, and Brunk lines used by Bald Mountain Farm. These included lines tracing to Ashbrook, Sealect, Cornwallis, Rob Roy, Donald, Welcome, Cealo, Billy Hoffman, Troubadour of Willowmoor, Mansfield, Goldfield, Ulysses, Ulendon, Orcland Leader, Canfield, Querido, Jubilee King, Flyhawk, Knox Morgan, Linsley, and Red Correll.
Heather also wanted to weave threads of gold into her Twilight program. She leased the beautiful palomino stallion Yellow Bird (Stellar x Quita by Highview King) bred by Mel Fransden, Mary Mel Morgans, American Fork, Utah, and foaled in 1966. Her program was perhaps best known for the stunning palomino stallion Twilight Golden Dream, a son of Yellow Bird out of Bald Mt. Empress by Figure’s Royal Dream, who was a granddaughter of Easter Twilight through her dam, Bald Mt Marealect (Easter Twilight x Tinkerbell by Sealect). However, in the mid-1990s, Heather had to disperse her horses. Most were scattered and the whereabouts of many were unknown. It was believed for years that most of the rare old Morgan bloodlines Heather had so carefully assembled and tried to save were lost forever.
Twilight is also the early morning, just before the sun rises again.
Recently, in Eastern New York, the lost was found. A herd of 11 mares from Heather’s breeding had been saved, and bred to the foundation stallion Coal Creek Tornado (Casual Sir Jackson x Coal Creek Licorice), a grandson of the great Domino Joe*, one of the last concentrated sources of pure Black Hawk blood. (For more on Domino Joe, see The Morgan Horse, January, 2012.)
Through a chain of extraordinary circumstances that has yet to be fully unraveled, this herd remained intact, closed to outside blood. The horses were allowed to breed within this herd, untouched by human planning for 15 years. As a result, a breathtakingly beautiful herd of 69 rare Morgans, have emerged from the shadows of twilight to begin a new day.
This is where our story begins...
Morgan Safenet had been following through social media that a herd of Morgans was being allowed to be promoted through a broker in order to avoid slaughter. As information gathered it was soon discovered that these Morgans carried rare lines once thought lost.
In the first group brought in, through a page organized by Forever Morgans, two mares with foals at their sides were place through them. Solitude Morgan Rescue in VA stepped up for 7 yearlings and another lead mare, now confirmed in foal. That left 7, ages 1-2yrs, mix of colt and filly, with a short deadline to find a home. It was soon looking like this was not the best method for such a large group.
With the help of a few generous donors and a private funder, Morgan Safenet was allowed to step in and buy the balance of the herd. MSN is paying for board and/or training on all these horses, vet care, and have started the process of DNA with AMHA to try and get these horses registered. These are very rare lines, once thought lost, that are important to the breed.
All of the 69 will be available for sale pending DNA and will go with reference check and purchase agreement. This will be a process but hope things start to come together in the next few weeks.
We had kept this all within a closed group on Facebook with minimal listings through the MSN page to protect all involved in helping our endeavor. We are enlisting the help of many that people often generalize into one clump as bad. We are using Amish trainers. Amish families are applying to help. We are thankful to the broker, Arlow Krehl for allowing the opportunity and being so easy to work with. We are thankful to the owners who allowed us to purchase them direct. This effort would not have been possible without such collaboration on all parts. And now we continue to move forward.
Watch for updates...
For information on the horses that Forever Morgans and Solitude Morgan Rescue stepped up for you will have to contact them directly as we do not have this information. Thanks.
Every Morgan Matters!
Twilight – that magical moment when the sun has gone beyond the earth’s curve, leaving a few scattered rays of lingering light, bathing the world in its soft glow.
The story begins with a colt bred by Margaret Van D. Rice and foaled in 1950. Born at twilight on Easter Sunday, Mrs. Rice first thought of calling him Red Twilight, then settled on the registered name of Easter Twilight. He was the first son of Lippitt Sam Twilight, bred by Robert Lippitt Knight and foaled in 1937, more than three quarters of a century ago. And he was the first registered foal of Mrs. Rice’s program, which she had spent 7 years gathering the best breeding stock. Easter Twilight was also the fourth foal of the remarkable producer Conniedale, mother of 19 foals, and he was the first of five full siblings from that cross.
By Brenda L. Tippin