photo by Jan J. Genade





King's Genius




Bourbon Genius






Kate Haines



Genius Bourbon King






Silver Mac




Blessed Event



Mr America



Fair Promise










Rex Peavine




Kalarama Rex






Nancy Thurman



Briney Breezes







Guided by Love




Whispering Winds






Jane Singleton










Maid's Rex




Rex Lee Lewis






Lena Lee Lewis














Mattie Bates



Miss Connie



Mattie Mc B










My King




Stonewall King









Mona Peavine







Young Rex Peavine




Patsy Lee






Coly Mack


Young America was bred by Ken Gertenbach of Wisconsin. He is by Mr America (Genius Bourbon King x Briney Breezes ( x Kalarama Rex) ) out of Miss Connie (Conowingo x Mona Peavine ( x Stonewall King).

Mr America and Tom Moore.

As a three year old he was shown by Jim Newton and Son Stables and won 12 Championships in the Fine Harness division at numerous shows. The Royal and the Chicago International Shows were amongst these.

In 1967 he was fourth in the Five Gaited Stallion Stake at the Kentucky State Fair and in 1968 he won the Five Gaited Stallion Title of the World.

Several stories are told how desperately Mac Murdoch from Whipalong Stables, Steynsburg, wanted to buy and import him to South Africa. One such a legend is that he sold all his sheep and even borrowed money from one of his sheep handlers! Be it as it may, two years after he won the Five Gaited Stallion World Title, his owners emigrated to Canada and the opportunity was created for Mac to import Young America. Given the opportunity, he did not hesitate one second! In the early morning hours (South African time) the deal was done over the telephone, and in 1970 Young America set foot on South African soil in Cape Town's harbour after a five week sea travel. He was a gorgeous chestnut with big bulging eyes. He had that Genius Bourbon King "eagle look". 

Young America shortly after his arrival in South Africa.

Kate Murdoch, Mac's sister and stud manager, was the first to set eyes on him when he arrived late at night at Steynsburg. She could not believe her eyes. He was moving like a dream in the night and that after five weeks at sea and four weeks in quarantine!  The Fouche's (Oom Fanie and Aunt Duifie) was on the farm early the next morning. This man who has bred horses for so long and with right are called the "Father of the Saddlebred in South Africa", went straight to the stables, and as he walked through the door he said: "My boy - I've seen enough - you've bought yourself a sire!" Mac was immediately summoned to ride "Joe" (as he was nicknamed) and he took him around the track - there was not a dry-eyed person that day!

Young America and Kate Murdoch.

The next few days the Murdoch's learned more pleasant things about Young America, especially of his sweet temperament. He was left out in the exercise ring and he was having a wonderful time running around freely for the first time. Kate told the story that she was exercising another horse when she heard a groom shout. Four year old Rosemary, Mac's smallest daughter, came strolling straight through the ring where Young America was playing. When he saw the little girl he stopped in his tracks and nudged her gently out of the way through the rails and only then started to play again. Kate was quoted later having a lump in her throat. Come to think of it, he is a Stonewall King from maternal side and Stonewall King apparently loved children! (This trait Young America passed on to his offspring -  all the S.A. Champions Children's Riding horses of years to come were testimony of this.)

Within two weeks after he has been on the farm (after traveling 5 weeks on the ship to South Africa and standing one month in quarantine) he was taken to the 1970 S.A. Saddle Horse Championship Show in Bloemfontein with a new trainer and new rider on his back. Here he became the S.A. Grand Champion Stallion in hand, S.A. Champion Five Gaited Stallion and the S.A. Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse!  What an achievement! A real Iron Horse! He continues to win the S.A. Champion Five Gaited Stallion title for the next 7 years! A record that is still standing.

Young America and Mac Murdoch. (photo by Jan Genade)

At this time even the most critical onlooker had to agree - Mac Murdoch surely imported a brilliant show horse, but could he breed? This question was answered over the years as a resounding YES, YES, YES! Young America did not only breed brilliant show horses but also fantastic stud colts and broodmares that still today have an effect on the S.A. and USA Saddlebred Industry.

Ghost of America out of Secret Princess ( by Indiana Ace) was one of the early colts that did extremely well in the show ring and later as breeding stallion.


Ghost of America.

Achievements as a show horse:

1974 - S.A. Champion Weanling Colt

1975 - S.A. Champion Yearling Colt

1976 - S.A. Champion Two-Year Old Colt

1978 - S.A. Reserve Champion Junior Fine Harness Horse

1978 - S.A. Junior Five Gaited Champion & Reserve Champion Stallion in hand.

1979  till 1984 -  S.A. Champion Five Gaited Stalllion

1980 & 1982 - S.A. Reserve Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse.


Young America sired two S.A. Grand Champions in the Single Harness Division namely:

1. 1978 - Friendly American (Young America x Friendly Star)

2. 1997, 1999 & 2000 - Young Buckaroo (Young America x Midnight Special)


In 1980 Young America had three foals that were placed  in the Five Gaited Grand Championship:

Ghost of America - Reserve Grand Champion 

Mr McDoodle - 3rd placing

America's Superstar - 4th placing

There are many other great horses sired by Young America (almost impossible to name them all) eg:

The Great Combine ( x Golden Butterfly)

1986 - S.A. Reserve Champion Three Gaited Horse

The Great Combine and Dejane Poil. (photo by R. Millin)

America's Superstar ( x S.A. Star of the Show ) 

1979, 1980  - S.A. Reserve Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse.

1981 - S.A. Reserve Champion Five Gaited Mare

1982 - S.A. Champion Five Gaited Children's Riding Horse.

America's Super Star and Harold Poil. (photo by Noelle Seymour)


Show Stopper ( x  Beau's Black Velvet) 

1977 - S.A. Champion Junior Three Gaited Horse

1977 - S.A. Champion Amateur Three Gaited Horse

1978 - S.A. Champion Amateur Three Gaited Horse

1979 - S.A. Champion Children's Three Gaited Riding Horse

       -  S.A. Reserve Champion Amateur TThree Gaited Horse

1980 - S.A. Ladies Three Gaited Champion

1981 - S.A. Champion Children's Three Gaited Riding Horse

Show Stopper and Wessel Vermaas. (photo by Jan Genade)

America's Nightwatch ( x Lady's Spring Romance), owned by Kate Murdoch and shown by Jannie le Roux to many Three Gaited titles at Regional shows.

1979 - S.A. Champion Three Gaited Gelding

1980 - S.A. Reserve Champion Three Gaited Gelding

America's Night Watch and Guy Murdoch (photo by Noelle Seymour)


Mr Mac Doodle (x Lara's Surprise) 

1978 - S.A. Champion Five Gaited Horse under 15.2 hands

1979 - S.A. Champion Five Gaited Children's Riding Horse 

1979 - S.A. Reserve Champion Five Gaited Gelding

1980 - S.A. Champion Five Gaited Children's Riding Horse

America's Big Talk ( x Fashion's Wedding Gown)

1979 - S.A. Reserve Champion Five Gaited Children's Riding Horse

America's Stormaround (x Constantia Gensha)

1980 - S.A. Reserve Junior Five Gaited Champion

America's Starlight ( x Fortune's Rigoletto)

1980 - S.A. Reserve Champion Amateur Fine Harness

America's Top Hat ( x Cara Mantilla )

1981 - S.A. Reserve Champion Five Gaited Horse under 15.2 hands

Son of America ( x Evanol Belinda by Piet Retief )

1981 - S.A. Champion Junior Fine Harness

America's Moonshot ( x Young Star)

1981 - S.A. Reserve Champion 4 year old Three Gaited Horse


Young America topped the Senior and Junior Sire Rating in the early eighties for several years.


Joe Again (Young America x Lady's Midnight Secret) was a beautiful colt which produced the legendary Trojan.

Trojan (out of Majestic Janine, by Majestic Ensign), was bred by Hannes Ehlers of Saldanha and used mostly by Johan Kotze and later by Wim van Bergen as breeding stallion.

The beautiful Trojan at Johan Kotze's farm in Bethulie. (photo by C.J. du Plessis)

Trojan topped the S.A. Sire rating as breeding stallion with offspring such as the 1990, 1991, 1995 & 1996 S.A. Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse, Warlord ( x Cameo's Lady Jane out of Cameo's Farewell) and the 2001, 2002 S.A. Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse, Wild Temper ( x Feeling Free by Young Africa) Wild Temper was exported in 2002 and is the 2003 Reserve World Champion Five Gaited Stallion.

Warlord (photo by R. Millin)

Warlord owned by Louis Louw, ridden by Pieter van der Meulen (photo Bennie van Lingen)

Wild Temper and Tommy van Staden (photo by Neil Scholtz)

Warlord of course is the sire of War Image, the 2000 World Champion Five Gaited Stallion and Reserve World Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse.

War Image and Larry Hodge at the 2000 Kentucky State Fair. (photo by Shiflet)

Another colt of Warlord that locally bred well is Warlord's Touche (out of Miss Cassidy by Supreme O' Lee). He is bred by Prof.C.J. Swanevelder of Stellenbosch and was used extensively as a breeding horse by Koekie de Villiers of Studcor Stables. S.A. Junior Champions such as Let's Celebrate and My Testimony (both out of the mare Magnifico) comes to mind. (Could it be a co-incidence that their dam Magnifico is a foal of Magnificent Obsession? Magnificent Obsession, imported to South Africa by Louise de Wet, is a mare with Genius Bourbon King blood from her sire Genius Mountain Bourbon. )

Fleet Street (Longstreet x Young Mary Patsy), a S.A. Reserve Grand Champion Five Gaited Horse and very successful sire owned by Alec Brett, is out of a Young America mare, Young Mary Patsy. 

Fleet Street and Pieter van der Meulen. (photo by Bennie van Lingen)


The 1995 & 1997 S.A. Grand Champion Three Gaited Horse, Highland Goshawk by Vanity's Highland Chief is out of a Young America mare, American Talent. Highland Goshawk was later exported to the USA where under the name, K-Mon, he won the 1998 World Champion Three Gaited Childrens Riding Horse title.

Highland Goshawk and Dejane Poil  (photo by R. Millin)

Young America surely has sired more great showhorses and broodmares, too many to mention here. His legacy is spread throughout South Africa and the USA.

He was a big asset to the South African Saddlebred Industry and we should be grateful for the vision and determination of Mac Murdoch of Whipalong Stud for making it possible.

copyright Ross Millin 2004