During the 1800's the Lambert family was the most respected, well known and admired Morgan family in existence. During the 1900's it would have disappeared but for J.C. Brunk who rescued it from extinction. Then came Francis Bryant who continued Mr. Brunk's Lambert breeding program. Now, the Lambert family represents a history of some hundred years of diligent breeding by Brunk, Bryant and the Hanleys.
Soon after the Hanleys bought Criterion in 1973, they realized this historical Lambert family was again on the verge of extinction unless they took steps to preserve it. Shannon used the term clean-blooded as a guideline to safeguard the genetic strength of the old Lambert family: Clean-blooded refers to a family of Morgan horses whose sire line goes directly back to Justin Morgan 1 through Sherman Morgan 5 and Daniel Lambert 62, whose ancestors trace back on all branches of their pedigrees to the foundation horses in Volume One of the Morgan Horse and Register, and none of whose ancestors were registered under Rule 2. Three exceptions were allowed in developing the Quietude herd: Town-Ayre Gay Cindy 010571, Delilah Vermont 025717 and Lippitt Trixie X-04695, each with only a slight difference to the strict clean-blooded definition, and whose overall quality and strong percentage of old Sherman and Lambert bloodlines made them a valuable genetic resource.
Criterion, aptly named, was the Hanleys' criterion, their standard for all the traits and Lambert look they sought to produce. They valued him for everything he represented: his long hip and shoulder, his fantastic motion; his excellent feet and legs, his imperial bearing, his temperament that was at once both spirited and tractable, not to mention his rare bloodlines and overall quality. It's not surprising that this remarkable horse lives on in his descendants who are so like him in color, form and character as to be uncanny.
THE GOLDEN HERITAGE OF CRITERION J.C. BRUNK:
Criterion was the culmination of a quest by breeders to preserve the unparalleled sireline and blood of Daniel Lambert. Mr. Brunk produced Criterion's grandsire Jubilee King, who had five crosses in five generations to Daniel Lambert. Thirty years before Jubilee King's birth Brunk began his breeding program with foundation stock from Volume I of the Morgan register. These horses, which appear in Jubilee King's immediate pedigree, represented the finest and purest bloodlines available in the Morgan breed at that time. One foundation mare rich in old Sherman blood was Daisy, a daughter of Billy Bodette, who had at least 23 direct crosses to Justin Morgan, more than half of which were within six and seven generations. Daisy appears in Jubilee King's pedigree twice in four generations and once in three, when Brunk bred her to Jasper Franklin (Ben Franklin x Twilight), a double grandson of Daniel Lambert, resulting in the King's grandsire, Allen Franklin. Brunk acquired Jubilee de Jarnette, a direct grandson of Daniel Lambert, and the only son of the incomparable show mare Lady de Jarnette. Jubilee King's sire, Penrod (Allen Franklin x Black Bess) and his dam, Daisette (Senator Knox x Daisy de Jarnette), were both out of daughters of Jubilee de Jarnette. J. C. Brunk's son Roy was quoted as saying, "I really think Jubilee de Jarnette made our horses what they are today. We had good horses, but we didn't have the nice back ends on these horses until we got Jubilee de Jarnette."
Francis Bryant bought Jubilee King from Grace Brunk Woods in 1942. A staunch advocate of strong old Morgan bloodlines, she had admired the pretty, finely chiseled heads and heavy manes and tails found in many of the old family tracing to Woodbury through Peter's Ethan Allen 2nd. Still, she had not found her ideal until she purchased the Jubilee King daughter, Paragraph.
Paragraph exhibited many of the qualities Frances Bryant wanted to produce - a lively, somewhat playful, yet gentle disposition; good bone substance and strong feet and legs; balanced proportions, and graceful, fluid motion. When she later had the opportunity to purchase Paragraph's sire, Frances Bryant was very interested, and once she saw this gentle monarch, no doubt was left in her mind.
THE SIRELINE FROM JUSTIN MORGAN TO DANIEL LAMBERT
Justin Morgan was rich in the Oriental blood of the ancient Barbs, Turks, and Arabs. Mares of this same breeding were commonly sent to the early Morgan stallions, particularly those in the Lambert sireline. Among these Orientals was a horse called D'Arcy's Yellow Turk - which appears no less than fifteen times in the pedigree of Justin Morgan. A color plate from an old painting of this horse in Judith Wentworth Blunt-Lytton's, Racing Thoroughbred Stock and Its Ancestors, depicts the Yellow Turk as golden chestnut with light or flaxen mane and tail, stripe in the face, and three white feet. In both color and form he seems to strongly resemble both Daniel Lambert and the Lambert descendants of Criterion at Quietude today. This coloring of the Yellow Turk, which was also noted by the late historian Robert W. Morgan in his book, The Morgan Horse of the West belongs to the oldest endowment of pure Morgan blood.
Black Hawk was considered the best son of Sherman Morgan. Of Black Hawk it was said, "He comes nearer to our beau ideal of some perfect driving horses than any other animal we have ever seen. Possessed of abundance of spirit and life, there is almost manifest a quietness and evenness of temper that makes him under all circumstances perfectly controllable." Black Hawk's dam was a superior thoroughbred mare tracing to the same ancestors as Justin Morgan.
Ethan Allen was named ‘Champion Trotting Stallion of the World,' and was the first stallion ever to trot under 2:30 in single harness. John Wallace said of him, "Of all the horses that have been favorites with the American people, no one has ever approximated the popularity of Ethan Allen. His remarkable beauty, his wonderful speed, his perfect action, and, above all, his kind and gentle disposition, made him the admiration and the pet of everybody." Ethan Allen's dam was a gray mare named Poll who was inbred to Justin Morgan.`
Daniel Lambert, heir of this exceptional birthright, had within him the genetic strength to pass on his excellence to future generations to be one of the most highly regarded sires of his day.
John Splan in Life With the Trotters, 1889 writes, " . . . Daniel Lambert has sired something like thirty horses that have made records of 2:30 or better, and for road driving they are in my opinion unsurpassed, being beautifully gaited, with as pleasant mouths for the bit as one could imagine... The Morgans are typical road-horses, and the Lamberts are kings of the Morgan family...."
In addition to Daniel Lambert's superlative form and trotting ability, part of the great appeal of Daniel Lambert's beauty was due to his striking color - a rich, deep shade of gold contrasting with an elegant flaxen mane and tail.
Criterion passed on this "Lambert look" and quality to a remarkable degree, long sloping hip and shoulder, good feet and legs with excellent bone substance. Beautifully arched necks joined by clean throatlatches to well-chiseled heads. Sharp fine ears, flaring nostrils, and large eyes shining with cleverness and kindness lend an intelligent and alert expression. Coats in a spectrum of rich chestnut shades of brilliant, almost metallic luster are adorned with heavy, luxurious manes and tails, frequently flaxen or white. Their owners prize them for natural athletic ability combined with exceptionally kind and willing dispositions.
Barb Crochet of Tindo Morgans in Thrall, TX. shares another great Lambert success story. The stallion Clarendon of Quietude (Criterion x Royalton Peggy Moro) and the mare Quietude Romney (Crawford x Araby Ashmore) have represented the Lamberts admirably in Texas in a number of combined driving events. Driven by Barb's sister, Nancy Stuhl, Clarendon won Best Overall Cones at Pine Hill in 1998, and in 1999 won the Training Lone Star Challenge Trophy, which was awarded to best combined scores from the Pine Hill CDE and the Rowlett Creek CDE. In 2000, Romney, driven by Barb's mother, Elaine McIntyre, took first place in their training section, and tied for first in the Training Division Marathon at the Foggy Bottom CDE. "These Morgans are always admired, enjoy their work, and make it easy for their drivers to enjoy it, too," Elaine says.
Joan Hancock from CA owns the gelding Small Town Alert (Canyon of Quietude x Small Town Sally Ash) of which she states, "What this horse can do is limited only by my time, money, ability and imagination; this is the horse partner with whom I plan to grow old." Over the last three years, Joan and Alert have completed a competitive trail ride, two camping trips in the Sierra Mountains, several trail rides, and a couple of local dressage schooling shows and horse trials. Currently they are working on dressage and beginning jumping and expect to be ready this fall for their first unrecognized beginning-novice three-day event.
Criterion instilled new life into the Lambert family with 200 clean-blooded Lambert descendants across the nation, into Canada and as far away as New Zealand. Shannon Hanley recalls, "Criterion's form spoke of timeless qualities, and his deep character showed an unassailable dignity, a kindness, and uncanny intelligence. He was physical royalty. He gave you the impression of regal height, a daunting sense of power, commanding presence, musculature and leading man good looks. He had a princely posture at all times. A lordly, 'King of the Jungle', sense of his own worth and charisma."
In the Morgan tradition of his great ancestors, Criterion has indeed proven himself a worthy foundation sire. Criterion was a sire whose legacy will preserve the golden Lambert thread far into the future.