Roberta Grimes: Historical Novelist Published 1995 Morgan Horse Magazine

In a high bluegrass valley amid the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia the Quietude Stud,
owned by Susan and Shannon Hanley, lives a herd of more than seventy Lambert Morgan descendants of Criterion.

Criterion", Shannon says, "reminded one hauntingly of the ancient woodcuts of his famous ancestors, old Justin and Sherman in particular. His bearing was regal, confidant, commanding. His form was muscular, smoothly-rounded, each part in perfectly-balanced proportion. When in motion he was arresting—exhibiting spectacular extension at the trot, displaying daunting power as he drove forward off his hocks, mesmerizing onlookers as he floated over the ground."

            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.       

Criterion was bred by Francis Bryant and was foaled in 1961. He was sired by the Jubilee King son Jubilee's Courage and out of the fine Woodbury mare Lippitt Robrita. All horsemen know that the merit of any great stallion is in the strength of his blood to endure—in his ability to pass on his likeness to successive generations—that it is measured over time in the quality of his offspring. In this area Criterion has achieved a rare degree of success. For not only has he had the distinction of producing a quantity of both sons, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of a consistently stellar class, but they are like him. Criterion has made his own recognizable stamp upon his descendants as truly and unfailingly as Justin Morgan made his.

Criterion's Morgan pedigree was as singular as his Morgan form.  He was a direct sire-line descendant of Daniel Lambert, with nine close crosses to him—six in his sire-line alone in but seven generations.
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 996633 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. 

            Even though advancing in years, Jubilee King was regal.  His coat was a wonderful shade of deep burnished gold, and he had a look about him often described among Thoroughbred breeders as "the look of eagles" and seen only rarely in the most  exceptional champions.  He had a look of calm alertness, striking a commanding pose and piercing the distance with an unfathomable, all-knowing gaze.
             In an interview with Mrs. Bryant that appears in the July 1984 issue of the Morgan Horse titled A Lady and a King, it says that, The purchase of Jubilee King helped in two ways, attracting attention from others and infusing her breeding program with some strong, much-needed qualities. "From the old stock I started with, I had such faulty feet and legs. We badly needed what King could do.

  ...He helped me get started, that's for sure, she said. I have a good grateful feeling for the old boy and his fine Lambert family. He had his disposition and his beautiful coloring, which comes down so strong for the Daniel Lambert line. ...Right on down through, said Mrs. Bryant, You get these perfect feet and legs. It's a marvelous thing to have in a family. There are so many that don't have good ones that when you find a line that has it, It’s pretty good to use it. It’s amazing—three or four generations down, you get the legs and feet, the good conformation, good disposition, style, heart, and so much character.
            And he gave his get something else, she said. There was a certain finish that his stock had. I don't know what else to call it. A neatness, a quality and neatness to could say is that King's horse had great minds. There was something ‘up here' that every family didn't have. King himself would make you feel that way."

            In producing Criterion, whom Francis Bryant regarded as the culmination of her work, she felt she at last had achieved all these qualities.  By the time the Hanleys purchased Criterion, Mrs. Bryant had been breeding Morgans for nearly 40 years.

          Thus, Criterion's ancient bloodlines were unique. With no modern outcrosses in his pedigree he represented the work of two outstanding breeders, Brunk and Bryant, whose combined efforts spanned nearly three-quarters of a century.  Also, rather than tracing his ancestry to a specific group of old-blooded horses, Criterion represented an old family with a rare unbroken sireline tracing directly to Justin Morgan through Daniel Lambert in eleven generations.

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. 

            Sherman Morgan was considered the best son of Justin Morgan.  Sherman's dam, according to John Dimon, a noted horseman of the day, was one of the last of the Narragansett pacers brought to Rhode Island from Vermont by Mr. James Clark for the express purpose of being bred to Justin Morgan.   Dimon states the Narragansetts were descended from, and inbred to, a beautiful horse called Rambler, a thoroughbred grandson of the Darley Arabian. He relates this interesting history in his book American Horses and Horse Breeding, published in 1895.              Daniel Lambert's dam was Fanny Cook. Her strong sireline went directly back to the Darley Arabian, foaled in 1700, in only eight generations. Daniel Lambert was  produced from exceptional dam lines and all his ancestors were Morgan or descended from the same ancestry as Justin Morgan.  Therefore, the genetic traits of this line were well fixed and carried a singular prepotency.  

            996633 Hawk was considered the best son of Sherman Morgan. Of 996633 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." 996633 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...."

            John Wallace writes in his Wallace's Monthly, "Here is one horse (Daniel Lambert) breeders out of New England can use to the improvement of their stock, when they need an out-cross, bringing in, as it does, high form and quality, pure and rapid gait, soundness, and the much-sought after and wisely appreciated Abdallah cross, through the dam."

            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.             
Briefly listed here are a few outstanding examples of Lambert descendants of Criterion. 12-year-old Rachel Iskowitz from N.J. acquired the nine-month-old gelding Quietude Lexington (Quietude Forest x Quietude Kerry) in 1995.  He stayed at Quietude another year to grow up a bit, and then young Rachel undertook his training herself.  "He has been a dream come true," says Rachel.  "So willing, always ready to try anything, and completely unflappable."  In 1999 Rachel and Lex won an Introductory Level dressage Grand Champion title at a local dressage show series in New Jersey.   In 2000, Rachel received a trophy for junior rider with highest percentage of the year (77.8%).  This year Rachel will be 18, and Lex will be seven; Rachel plans to do some training level dressage and low-level eventing. "Lex loves to jump," Rachel notes, "but we love to go on trail rides most of all.  I guess we really trust each other.  I feel so fortunate to have had this kind of relationship with a horse; I don't think it happens very often."

            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.          

Joy Troetcschel from PA donated her gelding Quietude Salem (Quietude Merit x Quietude Chantry) to serve in the Pittsburgh Mounted Police Patrol; he will return to Joy when he retires.  Officer Carole Duffy writes in her log of Salem on August 10, 1999, "I just can't get over how mature he is, how gentle and how quiet--our farrier is right, we need a whole stable full of these Quietude horses." Sharon Amick of Times Past Morgans in WV, has nine Lamberts. She relates a quaint story of how, when her young granddaughter was born, she was named Emily Morgan Amick.  Their decision to buy "Morgan" a horse, led them to Quietude.  Emily Morgan was enchanted with the delightful weanling filly Quietude Santa Catalina (Quietude Merit x Quietude Cherish), a golden chestnut turning flaxen.  Sharon writes, "She has the best mind of any weanling I have ever known.  I was a little hesitant about buying another horse, but Morgan, at age three, has proven that she has an eye for horses."

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.

            Dawn Wagstaff from MI owns two splendid young Lambert stallions, Quietude Tipperary (Crispin of Quietude x Daisy Woodbury) and Quietude Kingdom of the Sun (Crispin of Quietude x Meadow of Quietude).  Dawn notes that as a dressage rider, she was looking for particular qualities not easy to find in many modern Morgans, namely a long hip with plenty of muscle in the hind quarters and gaskin, as well as  overall balance, with a slight uphill build. Several of her friends, experienced from years showing and owning high quality dressage horses, were very enthusiastic about both of her stallions' looks and build.  She writes, "As a novice stallion owner, both my stallions have been a joy to raise.  They have been easy to train, with a forgiving nature and a desire to allow me to be the leader.    They have great inherent self confidence, think they are nobility and should behave like it.  They also have a great deal of intelligence and work well for anyone who will honor that.  Both respond well to a calm, quiet asking and need to continue to progress daily in their training.  I have been a student of Dominique Barbier for a long time and I feel that the French method of dressage, and particularly his interpretation of it, is so suitable for both the Lambert temperament and physical abilities.  The horse does what competitively is considered advanced movements early on to help improve the gaits and to enhance lightness.  Shoulder-in, pirouette and piaffe are started very early as tools to help the horse improve, not as goals in themselves.  For a thinking, intelligent type of horse such as the Lambert, the challenge this presents to them provides them with a purpose in work that they need."

                        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.