0:00

SMITH: This is Kim Lady Smith, it is February 7, think that's right, uh, 2007, and I am at the home of David Mountjoy in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky conducting an interview for the University of Kentucky, um, Horse Industry Project. And if you would tell me your full name, and when and where you were born I'll be able to test the sound on this equipment.

MOUNTJOY: William David Mountjoy III and I was born in Frankfort, Kentucky.

SMITH: Okay. What year?

MOUNTJOY: 1940.

SMITH: 1940, okay. All right, so you were born in Frankfort, but you were, were you raised here in Lawrenceburg?

MOUNTJOY: Yes, I, I was born in the hospital in Frankfort,--

SMITH: --yeah--

MOUNTJOY: --but I, my parents and things have lived here and I've lived here the basic part of my life and all. And, and, well starting off, 1:00my family is the oldest family in the Saddle Horse business in the world today.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and my grandfather W.D. or Cordie as he was known, uh, started off in, uh, I think it was, uh, 1897. I believe that's right. It's either 1887 or 1897--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --when this farm started and all. And, uh, he as a young man bought horses for the, uh, Army. He went around all over devil's half acre and, and bought a certain type horse for them and, uh, he put, uh, four thousand horses in, uh, World War I. But, uh, he bought and put into, to World War I four-thousand horses. He'd go around the country 2:00side and buy these horses up and then he'd tie them head and tail. And, uh, uh, hire some kids to ride some of the others that were broke to ride and they'd take along fishing poles and keep them up and keep them moving. And they, they'd buy them down here around Bowling Green and, and Bardstown and in through there and they'd start a line of them and bring them up through here and they'd take them to Tyrone--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and ferry them, ferry them across the river. They had a ferry there at Tyrone at the time.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: They put so many of them on the ferry at a time and then they'd tie them back together and take them on into Lexington. And the quartermaster's office was there at where Tattersall's is now.

SMITH: Um-hm.

MOUNTYJOY: (coughs) And they would inspect them and if they passed the inspection they'd put that US brand on their hind ends right there. And then they would paid for them and that was it. They said that the only 3:00trouble they had, they had that inner urban trolley in Lexington then?

SMITH: Yeah.

MOUNTJOY: And said that thing would come along and of course those horses had never seen anything to do with that and made a lot of noise and said they'd run up in peoples' yards and wrap around telephone poles and everything else. It was a regular, a regular darn mess.

SMITH: How hard would it have been back, uh, right before World War I or during World War I, to, to get that many horses together?

MOUNTJOY: Well, everybody had horses back then and they, they uh, uh, uh, you know, everybody had three or four broodmares and, and mostly they bred a lot of mule colts and, uh, Perchern, uh, work stock and all; heavy horses.

SMITH: Right.

MOUNTJOY: There wasn't, there wasn't that many darn, uh, Saddle Horses around about that time--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and all. And, uh, let's see, uh, that, those mule colts were a big business back then because they bred a lot of them and then 4:00they were sent to, uh, uh, down in Biloxi, Mississippi. And they used them down there in the cotton fields and things.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and almost, uh, uh, like I said every farmer around had three or four old mares and, and bred them. And there were a few that bred the Saddle Horses, but not, not really that many. And in the starting or, or the beginning of it, a lot of them were grade mares that they bred, bred to the little better studs and they just kept upgrading things along. And he went; he then went to work for, uh, Joel Harbinson. Joel Harbinson was a man that started the Tattersall Sale Company.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And they worked in a partnership for a lot of years. Uh, he, uh, uh, my grandfather'd get out and find these horses and then they'd break them to ride and, and, uh, uh, get them in some kind of darn shape. And then take them over there and they run them through 5:00the sale and sold them. And that went along for several, you know, for several years.

SMITH: Now was, were they selling Saddlebreds at that time? Was it recognized Saddlebreds or was it just horses in general?

MOUNTJOY: Well, they were, they were recognized Saddlebreds,--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --but, but they, but they had a lot of other blood in them besides Saddlebreds too.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Because they, they were, they would register back then half this, that and the other and, and a lot of the good horses were of dubious, uh, uh, uh lineage,--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and all.

6:00

SMITH: So now did your grandfather, um, what did he raise on the farm at that time? Did he have--was he raising horses? Did he have tobacco?

MOUNTJOY: He raised horses and they had some tobacco and they, they uh, milked some cows and had some hogs and it was pretty much of a, a farm life back, you know, in that day and time.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And all, and for a long time, um, well, during the Depression and all he was the only man around that had any money for anything and that was through the horses. And I've heard him say that, uh, on an average morning there would be, uh, oh, fifty men lined up here wanting a job. And he would give, uh, he'd say well the evens are going to work today and the odds will work tomorrow.

SMITH: My gosh.

MOUNTJOY: And they were getting paid a quarter a day and damn glad to get it.

SMITH: Now who was buying the horses in those days?

MOUNTJOY: Uh, well, they, they, he sold some horses even back in that day and time for ten thousand dollars and that was a, a whale of a lot of money back, uh, uh in that day and time.

SMITH: During the Depression.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, during the Depression. And he always you know bred some mares and had some really good foundation stock all of his, all of his 7:00life pretty much. And he showed some babies and then they broke and trained these horses and sold them. And Walter Murphy was one of the, one of the early trainers that was here and there was a lot of, a lot of different, uh, people, Bill Penny the one, the black man that I was talking about that, well he worked for L.S. Dickey and he also worked for, uh, uh, uh, Mary Fisher, Dixiana, and the only black man to ever work for Dixiana.

SMITH: Bill Penny, is that?

MOUNTJOY: Bill Penny, yes. And he, he worked for Judge W. W. Evans at the last and he was a noted horseman in, in Louisville.

SMITH: So he worked as a trainer?

MOUNTJOY: He worked as a trainer, yes. He was good at gaiting a horse; he could gait a horse real easy.

SMITH: Now when did your father, your, I guess it was your grandfather, really get involved in the Saddlebred business in a, in a big way? Or 8:00did it, was it just something that evolved gradually?

MOUNTJOY: Well, it kind of evolved gradually. After, uh, like I said when he got to dealing with, uh, Mr. Harbinson, uh, he had a lot of horses and kept a lot of horses and had a lot of people working here and things and this was a big, a big thing, uh, pretty much at, uh, at one time. He sold, he sold, uh, uh, there was one of the big time gangsters out of Chicago-- this is an interesting story--that came down here and wanted to buy a horse for his daughter.

SMITH: Um-hm.

MOUNTYJOY: So they showed him this white legged walk trot mare and he said he didn't have much money to spend so he asked him fifteen hundred dollars for her. Well, uh, oh, uh, Walter Murphy was working here at the time and rode her. So the man said, "Well, what's the matter with her Mr. Mountjoy?" Said "I can afford to pay a little more than that." 9:00So he took, got around there and told Walter, says, "You change the bridle on her, the saddle, everything that you can and show him four or five more horses and bring her right back." So they did and he turned around and sold him, sold him the same mare that he asked fifteen hundred for, for eighty five hundred.

SMITH: (laughs) That is a good story.

MOUNTJOY: Yes, it was. And uh, uh, oh, this is an interesting one, too. Joe Lewis came here one day and he bought four horses from him. And, uh, he said after he left, he said, uh, uh, "Well," he said, "that damn black man may have never had his hind end whipped," but said, "Corduroy whipped the hell out of him today." --(both laugh)--Yep, and, uh..

SMITH: So how did people, um, how did you market the farm? Was it just word of mouth about the horses on?

MOUNTJOY: A lot of it was word of mouth and all and, and a lot of the 10:00horses that left here, you know, made great show horses and all. And they, they, uh, uh, uh, you know, it got going in that, kinda in that direction. Uh, he--

SMITH: --Did the farm have a name?

MOUNTJOY: Walnut Grove Stock Farm is the name that it went under, under him.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And for the last several years, my dad and me, it's always been Mountjoy Farm and Stables--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --is what, what the, the name of it has been. Now my grandfather had, uh, Kentucky Moonshine and he was the top sire in the nation for uh, uh, oh, ten years--

SMITH: --oh--

MOUNTYJOY: --and sired a lot of really top notch show horses and even today the bloods carrying through today. An Heir About Her, background had, uh, uh, Kentucky Moonshine there in it. And there's several other horses, famous horses, down the line that had the Kentucky Moonshine, uh, breeding there. And another interesting thing, he was 29 years old 11:00and he bred, uh, that year a hundred and fifty mares natural service and settled a hundred of them.

SMITH: Oh, now what year are we talking about? You have any idea what time period?--

MOUNTJOY: --What, well that was around 1940, or it had to have been after 1940 because I can remember the horse myself. It was probably in the, in the, in the late 40's or so.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: 'Cause I would have had to been, uh, oh, eight or nine years old to remember what went on, but I can't-- might have been around 1950, 1949--'50 or something like that. I just can't--

SMITH: --that's okay--

MOUNTJOY: --recall that off the top of my head.

SMITH: No and I wouldn't expect you to. That's all right, just general time frame.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Um. Well, what are some of the other horses that, uh, that during your grandfather's period of running the farm, um, stick in your mind as, as, that went on to become champions or good sires or?

MOUNTJOY: Well uh, he had uh, Mountjoy's Pride. And he sired Rex 12:00Winsome, Hayfields Fairy, Mickey Finn, Beau James,--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: Rex Win-, Rex Winsome. Uh, uh, they were all top notch show horses out of pretty much one mare. And he, the Mountjoy's Pride horse, didn't live very long, but he sired a lot of good horses in what time he did. He was a heave horse and he died at an early age.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: And then, uh, the Mountjoy's Aristocrat horse was, was a horse that he had. He bought him for, uh, uh, gave five dollars for him.

SMITH: (laughs) Five dollars.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah and ten dollars for his mother. This was back, uh, uh during World War II and right shortly after World War II the best horse that ever would've walked wasn't over ten, fifteen dollars. And, uh, Weissinger's and everybody knows where it is; Weissinger Plantation in, 13:00in Shelbyville.

SMITH: Um-hm.

MOUNTJOY: Uh, my grandfather bought all the horse that they had at the last and this mare and colt was one of the ones that was in the bunch. And he would have been really a good show horse himself, but he had his eye shot out with a, with a, a gun sling. Some kid shot his eye out down there.

SMITH: Oh, how awful.

MOUNTJOY: And, he, but he was really a good sire of show horses and the broodmares by him were wonderful because he could really trot.

SMITH: Explain to me how World War II impacted the Saddlebred industry. Did it, uh, was there a downturn because of the war?

MOUNTJOY: There was a downturn in it because during World War II they cut off all the show, the horse shows.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: It wasn't, they didn't show any horses. The Kentucky State Fair didn't even go then.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And it got to where like I said, the horses wasn't worth much 14:00period; Thoroughbreds or Saddlebreds either one.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, a lot of them were slaughtered. There was a guy around here that I can remember when I was a kid, Raymond Knox, and he had, uh, in a big bottom over here had, uh, two thousand head of horses at one time.

SMITH: Two thousand, gee.

MOUNTJOY: And, and he bought them for five and ten dollars and he sold them all to the Palmer Oats and Meat Company in uh, uh, oh, uh, uh, Chicago. And they would come in there of a night with, uh, uh, dead wagons and they'd go around and shoot them a load of horses, and load them up and take them back to, to Chicago, uh, under darkness and, and they were slaughtered up there. And it, and, and the people that owned that, that was Urban Palmer that owned Duke of Daylight is who it was.

SMITH: Ah, now why would they, why would they sell that many horses for 15:00slaughter? Was it just they needed money at that point or--

MOUNTJOY: No there wasn't any use for them--

SMITH: --what was the economics? There just wasn't any market for them--

MOUNTJOY:--they had quit, they had quit. They had quit, everybody had gone and bought tractors and what not and a lot of them were old teams of workhorses and mules and, and a lot of riding horses and everything. There just wasn't any, any real use for them at that particular time.

SMITH: Then I assume that was probably happening all over the country?

MOUNTJOY: It was. It happened all over the, over the United States and a lot of the darned horses were slaughtered and, and uh, uh, gotten rid of.

SMITH: Now when would that have been about the time period; '40's, '30's?

MOUNTJOY: Well, it was in the '40's.

SMITH: The '40's, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Right after World War, in--

SMITH: --right after the war--

MOUNTJOY: --between, between, uh, say 1945 and 1950; along in that, in that time frame.

SMITH: Okay. You have to forgive me I'm, I'm not, uh, as versed in the horse industry as I need to be,--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --so part of the reason for this interview is that you can teach--

16:00

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --me some of this history.

MOUNTJOY: I can remember here, here a few years ago, they had a hell of a downturn in the Thoroughbred business--

SMITH: --right--

MOUNTJOY: --and Tiny Clark there in Lexington bought seventeen hundred Thoroughbreds and most of them were good young Thoroughbred mares that were in foal to a pretty good horse. And he was buying them for three and four hundred dollars a piece and sending them to Canada and they were being slaughtered in Canada and sent to, to, uh, Japan for, for the meat.

SMITH: Oh, dear.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Well of course there was a lot of outcry and legislation being considered about slaughtering horses, um.

MOUNTJOY: Well, I can tell you right now all of them are on the wrong track.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: There's a lot of, there's a lot of these darn old horses in the country and one thing and another that need to be slaughtered. And they got to have something to do with them and that's the one thing that they're forgetting. A woman told me here the other day, said her, I'm not going to mention any names or what not, but told me, said, "All my group and all we saved a hundred and ten horses, uh, this year; 17:00found homes for them." I asked her, I said "Well what about the other hundred and thous-, hundred thousand a month that was out there; what did you do with them?"

SMITH: Right.

MOUNTJOY: You know, uh, they've got to have something to do with the, with the excess. Now I know a lot of the better horses and all they do need to have homes and be taken care of and what not, but there's a lot of old crummy horses running around here that's good for nothing, absolutely nothing. And a fine example of what happens is here, uh, two years ago, the Humane Society took all these horses from this one particular woman.

SMITH: I remember that.

MOUNTJOY: All right. They, they spent one hundred and Fifty thousand dollars keeping them a year. Took them to Lancaster and put them through the stockyard up there and the whole damn bunch didn't bring but sixty-five hundred dollars; every last one of them. And none, 18:00none of them was good for anything. Why in the devil didn't, when they found them in that kind of shape and all send them all, get them slaughtered, and be done with it?

SMITH: Yeah. Slaughtering horses seems to have such a, a negative to it these days, but I, I understand, you know, there is a problem when you have--

MOUNTJOY: --And you sit and a lot of people that sit and, and, uh, take up for the horses and all, they say well the horse, uh, uh, this country rode on the back of the horse and the horse pulled the darn wagons west and did all this. That's a bunch of bull too, the darn horses couldn't make it across the darn, uh, plains out there and they had to have the mules and the darn oxen is the ones that pulled the darn wagons west.

SMITH: Yeah, yeah.

MOUNTJOY: So I, I asked them, "Why aren't you out here protecting the mules and looking after the darn oxen?" But no, you got look after the horse.

SMITH: Yeah.

MOUNTJOY: I love the horse as well as anybody, but there, there is a 19:00place for uh, uh, a lot of these old horses that's not any count or, or shot are not good for anything. And that to me is a lot better way of disposing of them than, uh, than, uh, uh, having to put them to sleep and all.

SMITH: Right. Let's go back again to, um, talk about the farm during your grandfather's days. Now you talked about there were a lot of trainers, I don't know what period you would have considered to be the, the top years for, uh, the farm when he was running it, um, but about how many horses during whatever that time period might have been did you have and what size of, um, work force did he have to have?

MOUNTJOY: Well, I'd say there was seven or eight people probably that worked here all the time. Several of them lived here on the farm.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, they had probably, well, one hundred horses maybe at, 20:00at any one given darn time and all.

SMITH: Okay. Now the, who, what would have been the responsibilities, the work responsibilities of these people? What would they have been hired to do related to the horses?

MOUNTJOY: Related to the horses? Well, they bred the, teased the mares and bred the mares, and raised the babies and they got the babies ready to show and then, then most of the time they never tried to break a horse until he was three years old.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: And he had a farm rented up here to uh, uh, Harrodsburg. And they'd take them up there as yearlings and turn them loose and never go back and get them until they were three or four years old.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And then they'd, they'd, uh, bring them back down here and break them and get them broke to ride and, and cut their tails and things and have them ready to go to the show and then sell them, you know.

SMITH: Okay. Now did your grandfather, well I guess he kept certain horses for show and for, to be a sire, right?

21:00

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, he had studs and he had mares here that he bred. And, and, uh, one thing, one, one of the, the famous old mares he had was uh, uh, Jane Randolph and she had four horses that sold back during the Depression for around ten thousand dollars a piece.

SMITH: Oh, that's a lot.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, that was a lot of money back in that day and time. And here's, and, and he, uh, here's another interesting story. Uh, Earl Teaters' mother brought him, Jay and Lloyd all three of those and they were, all three famous horse trainers and they lived in Crab, Crab Orchard. She brought them down here and wanted him to give them a job and all. Well he had more than he could keep up with right there anyway, but he loaned them some darn money to make it through the, 22:00through the, the hard times. And then after that Earl was always very partial to my dad and my grandfather both. And I can remember when I was a kid going to Lexington to the Junior League Horse Show and we went down by the barn and my grandfather was getting old then and couldn't walk real good and he said, "I'm going to be sitting down at the end of the ring," and said, "I want you to bring Wing Commander down there and I want to see him." So he did, he brought him right down there and parked him right in front of him.

SMITH: Aw.

MOUNTJOY: And they kept telling him, said uh, announcing it over the thing, "Mr. Teater, if you don't get up here you're not going to be judged." Well finally, the ringmaster came down and talked to, to Mr. Teater and said, "You know, they say you're not going to be judged if you don't get this horse up here in this line up where we want you and all." And, and, how, how Earl was, how he talked, "By God," said "Corduroy wants to see him," and said, "He's going to see him to 23:00hell with you all."-- (Smith laughs)--Said, "Everybody knows who won anyway." --(Smith laughs)--And he stood right there, but they tied him.

SMITH: Oh okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, yeah. I can remember that story real well.

SMITH: So did your grandfather really have a passion for the horses, did he?

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah, he loved the horses to death. That was his one and only darn, uh, uh, passion really to tell you the truth. He didn't give a darn about nothing else. The rest of the farm, now my dad did, but now he didn't. He hated hogs and he hated the cows and he didn't like anything to do with anything but a horse. And he always, he was a fairly good sized man and he always wore a bright red neck tie. And always had his shoes shined. And he never met a stranger. And, uh, I know you know who, uh, oh Ben Wilson?

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Ben Wilson was his cousin. And uh, uh, this was kind of an 24:00interesting story. They went to the horse show down to Louisville together there once.

SMITH: Um-hm.

MOUNTJOY: And Ben was standing there on his darn staff and listening to what, what my grandfather was saying and he was telling them a whole bunch of, of bull I guess and, and Ben said, uh, "Cousin Corduroy, uh, uh, you know you're not telling them people the truth." Said, "You know your daddy loaned you out for a quart a day and all the buttermilk you could drink."--(both laugh)--. And they got into it big time.

SMITH: I can imagine.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Hmm.

MOUNTJOY: And Ben Wilson now raised several, several really nice horses and my grandfather bought a lot of them from him. Here at the time, back in that day and time.

SMITH: Now when your grandfather had the farm and was raising the horses, were there others in Anderson County?

MOUNTJOY: Oh yes, there was, there was all kinds of people around here that had horses and raised horses and such. Uh, uh, now the McAfee's lived right across here from us were, were, uh, oh, uh, uh, had horses 25:00and one thing another. And they had the first start really of these small Shetland ponies. Jolly Boy was the, the stud pony that they had over there and he was famous all over the darn world and, and he was kind of the start of the, of the Shetland ponies really in this part of the country and what not. And, uh, the girls and all they used to show them all the time. And Miller McAfee now was a famous horse trainer and he had the Cock Robin and, uh, uh, oh he used to be here and he worked here for a while. Royal Rex Sea was here as a two year old and I used to, uh, uh, uh, when I was a kid every Saturday morning I'd help him walk the horses and cool them out and he'd give, give me a brand new, uh, silver dollar. And I had those for a long time and they burned up in the, in the fire.

SMITH: Oh, I'm sorry.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, when the house burned. But, uh, uh, he was a really, 26:00like I said, really a famous horseman that had a lot of really good horses and had a good eye for the horses. This is another interesting story. Uh, William Shropshire from down in Tennessee and he was a famous horse trainer, came over to McAfee's, uh, one day to buy a pony for the children. Well, uh, uh, he was there looking at the ponies and the girls, the McAfee girls, came from school and they was driving Easter Star. And Easter Star, uh, uh was coming up the road going a hell of a good trot and flying doing it to the buggy. Well, he talked to Mr. McAfee and bought him. Well, he took him home and worked him for a year and gaited him and brought him back to Louisville and won the big stake with him at Louisville.

SMITH: Oh, that is an interesting story.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, that's where he came from. And he is, he was by Bourbon 27:00Star. Bourbon Star, uh, belonged to, there at the last, uh, Mr. Eli Shelborne.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, I was trying to think of who showed, showed Bourbon Star. Tom, uh, I can't think of his last name, but anyway he showed him and before they'd go to the horse show he would drink, uh, uh, uh, half pint of whiskey and give the horse a pint. Well, the old horse developed a, quite a darned dependency for alcohol --(Smith laughs)--. Well, Mr. Shelborne lived here in Anderson County out at, uh, uh, Nineveh. And, uh, he had him in a, in a old tobacco barn and they had log, uh, uh, poles what made the stall in the barn that he stayed in. Well, uh, a man came to see him in March and it was kind of cool that morning and a lot of those old timers, they like their 28:00toddies, and this man that came to look at him said, "Mr. Shelborne would you care for a toddy this morning." He said, "Yeah." So he pulled a bottle of, of whiskey out and they both took a drink. Well, the old horse smelled the whiskey. And he wanted some so he went to cutting up and kicking and carrying on and he kicked one of the poles off and hit Mr. Shelborne in the head and killed him--

SMITH: --oh, how awful--

MOUNTJOY: --there on the spot, yeah. That was rather a bizarre, uh, story and all.

SMITH: Yes, it certainly was.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Now, uh, you had mentioned, uh, Walter Murphy, Bill Penny; who were some of the other trainers that were, now they were with your father, or were they working with, with your grandfather?

MOUNTJOY: Grandfather.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and, uh, uh, well, Owen Hailey was here for awhile, was around here and he was another famous horse trainer that died sitting into my box down at Louisville just before they were going to induct 29:00him into the Hall of Fame.

SMITH: Oh, how awful.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and he got so excited he had a heart attack there and just slumped over and that was it.

SMITH: Oh no.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah. Jed Fraser worked here for awhile. Uh, Tommy Lee worked here for me for a pretty good while.

SMITH: Now when these people came here did, were they wanting to learn or did they once they got a job here they decide?

MOUNTJOY: Well, some of them wanted to learn and some of them just needed a job.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTYJOY: Uh, I was trying to think, uh. All the Cox's -- Bill Cox, Carl Cox, and Lillard Cox--all, they were, their daddy died here on the farm and they were all three famous horse trainers. And they were here, here on the farm and worked here.

SMITH: Now did your grandfather want to do that? Did he want to help people learn to be and move ahead?

30:00

MOUNTJOY: Yeah he was, he was, he was a very kind-hearted kind of a man and, and to tell you, to give you an example of how kind-hearted he was, I've been going to school with him when I was a kid and he'd see somebody down on, on their luck walking down the street and he'd stop, pull over and stop and give me five dollars said, "Take, take, that that five dollars over and give to him," said, "he's hungry."

SMITH: That is pretty generous.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, yeah and he, when he died, you never saw as many people in your life was at the funeral home because he, he'd helped and saved so darn many people from starving to death during the Depression and, that, that, uh, uh, you know, that, like I said, even the yard outside, there was standing room only at the funeral.

SMITH: And when did he die?

MOUNTJOY: 1960.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

MOUNTJOY: He died in 1960.

SMITH: So now when, uh, you were born and you were raised on the farm?

31:00

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Okay. And, uh, could you tell me your dad's name and your mother's name?

MOUNTJOY: My dad was William David Mountjoy II.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Of course W.D. was William David the first, or the, you know, just William David, and, and he went by Corduroy. And my dad by, uh, Billy Mountjoy or a lot of people called him Fuzzy because he always had a beard at the last.

SMITH: (laughs) Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And then, then I'm William David III. And my mother's name was uh, uh, Rhetta, Rhetta Pricey--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --Mountjoy. And she was a Houchen.

SMITH: Okay, was she, is that from this area as well?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and like I said she was the, Sam Houchen and he was a, a senator for a long time from Bloomfield was kin to her and he raised uh, Midnight Star.

SMITH: Okay

MOUNTJOY: In that end of the family.

32:00

SMITH: Okay. So, uh, and you had brothers, sisters?

MOUNTJOY: I've got, uh, uh, two sisters and a brother. Rita is retired and she worked for the state and she was in the food stamp division of the state; kind of implemented some of that. And then, uh, Candy Walters, is in the jewelry business. Anybody in the Saddlebred business would know who she is because she makes this real fancy, uh, horse jewelry and all.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: And then my brother Mike, Michael Mountjoy, is in Inverness, Florida and he is a lawyer. He's uh, uh, probate lawyer down there--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and has been down there a long, long time.

SMITH: Were you the one of the siblings that was most interested in the farm?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, he never did like the farm or he did-, didn't like anything to do with that and, and all. And, uh, uh although, uh, he lived with Frank and Margie Bradshaw most of time, most of his, his 33:00younger years. He went over there when he was about ten years old, and, and most of the time he stayed over there and lived there with them when he went to college.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Now why would he, why did he do that? Just to go to--

MOUNTJOY: --He just took up with them. They, they liked him and he liked them and they, they were all, uh, you know, buddy buddy. And, and, uh, a matter of fact, they wanted to adopt him, but he wouldn't, uh, my dad wouldn't hear to that. He said he's welcome to go over and stay with you all or do whatever he wants to, but I won't allow him to be adopted.

SMITH: Yeah, I can understand.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: All right, so, um, your dad now, did he always work on the farm, was that?

MOUNTJOY: He never did anything other than work on the farm.

SMITH: Okay. -------------(??)__

MOUNTJOY: He worked here. He, he rode and trained horses and trained the colts and stuff and, and was, was famous, kind of famous for doing that.

SMITH: Okay, so he, uh, he liked the horses even if he wasn't as 34:00passionate about them as your grandfather?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, now he had other, other interests that he liked and all. And, and, but my grandfather was just, was single minded. He, it was horse and nothing else.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Now what about you; what do you remember of your early years being on the farm? Do you, uh.

MOUNTJOY: A lot of --(laughs)--dammed hard work --(both laugh)--because it was tough around here back in that day and time.

SMITH: Okay this would have been in the '40's and '50's?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, I can remember getting up and I was twelve, thirteen years old and, and, uh, we always had thirty-five, forty cows all the time, go milk them cows before I'd go to school and then come back after school and, and milk them again. And, you know, we had several hogs and a bunch of sheep and things that a way too. And we had several horses, but not, not anything like we did later on.

SMITH: Okay.

35:00

MOUNTJOY: And then, uh, after I got a little older and all, and, and, uh, we got to doing a lot more with the, with the horses just before my dad died.

SMITH: Oh, is that because of your interest in horses?

MOUNTJOY: Well, things just picked up and business got to going good and then I was good at showing these colts and things and, and, uh, had a good eye for a horse. And, and, uh, uh,you know, we made money and done good with it.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: So, so, consequently things kind of flourished. And then, uh, I guess it was, uh, 1983 is when my dad died, in March, I believe it was March the 20th of '83. And, uh, we had a big sale in, in October of '82. And I sold most of the horses we had here at one time. The house and the barn, the, the barn burned one week, the house burned the next.

36:00

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: And we got into a lot of financial trouble and I had to sell a bunch of them and they, and they did wonderful. That was one of the best sales they ever had at Tattersalls up to that time. Uh, they all averaged ten thousand dollars a piece.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and most of them were mares and colts.

SMITH: But you, that was most of your, your stock that you got, that you sold?

MOUNTJOY: That was most of the stock at that particular time. I kept four mares and, and those four turned out to be really were really cracker jacks uh, uh; Perfect Mate to a Perfect Jewel. And, uh, uh, Bi Mi's Magic Dream, and, uh, Mountjoy's Dutchess -- and what the other one, uh, -- Irish Sherry those were the four mares and all four of them I've had, you know, just been wondrous broodmares--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: -- and all. And then uh, uh, my dad died like I said and I got, got picked up in it and really got going in the, in the horse 37:00business big time then and did a lot for a lot of other people. Had, had a, lady from California, Mrs. Eleanor Lloyd Dees that was, uh, one, one of the ten richest women in the United States at one particular time. Then I had horses for Jolie Richardson which had My- My and was, was, uh, very well-known in the horse business for one end of it to the other. And, and I worked for, uh, --(coughs)--Ross Jones from Novelty, Missouri for a while; had a bunch for him. And Edward O. Kauffman, Kauffman Farms from South Carolina, and, uh, had Night Prowler here for him, but, uh, uh, I had Night, Night Prowler to start with and in partnership with, uh, B. S. Bridgers from Goldsboro, North Carolina that had Status Symbol.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, he was bred and raised here. And then First Night Out, one the most popular and successful studs today uh, uh, uh, was by 38:00him, was raised here with Kauffman.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, Main Event was anoth-, another horse that, uh, uh, was, came from here. My dad brought, bought Katie Boone through the Tattersall sale for sixty bucks and spent eight hundred dollars getting her bred to Starheart Stonewall. And she had Blaze of Brilliance and Northern Event I think and this, uh, uh, Main Event and, and they were, you know, all really good popular horses. Starheart's Diamond Pin was out of her.

SMITH: So how, um, I know from this, the other interview that I listened to that, uh, you're a pretty good judge of horse flesh. Now how did that, was that learned from your grandfather, your father, intuition?

MOUNTJOY: Well, it was learned from all of them and just being around and knowing and picking, picking up on it and seeing these good horses and things and so many of the good horses of the day have been here on 39:00this farm.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And I've got to see them, the better mares of the, of the day and, and all. And like, uh, oh, I was a kid and I took, uh, Perfect Mate to a Perfect Jewel over to Dodge Stables on out at, at Castleton. And we bred her to, to, uh, uh, Private Contract. And she had Rimfire and he was really a top notch gelding a good, really good show horse, gaited horse. Well, that day I went into the office and Earl Teater of course was there and Earl told me he says, "Come on in here and, and, uh, uh, uh, they can breed that mare," and said, "let's me and you go. I want to show you something." So he got me and took me over on the Tate's Creek Pike in front of Jim B. Robertson's farm where they, where the Teater's owned this farm themselves at that particular 40:00time. And we parked up at the barn and walked back towards the front gate. And there was a big pen of yearlings there and I remember asking there was one that had a lot of damn white on him and all and that was Center Ring. So we went on down to the, to the end and there was a big grassy, about a two acre lot there and a creek run through it and a bunch of, of uh, shade trees there and there was this big, tall, beautiful looking, uh, chestnut mare standing there. And he said, "I wanted you to see her because I know this will really mean something to you and stick in your mind the rest of your life." And I said, "Well, Mr. Teater what is it?" He said, "Its Flirtatious Walk, Flirtation Walk the dam of, you know, Wing Commander and all."

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and she was a, a big, looked like, looked to be over sixteen hands--

SMITH: --oh--

MOUNTJOY: --chestnut mare and kind of a, a red chestnut, had a white 41:00stripe kind of in her face, and she was long necked, had a big pretty eye on her. If you was going to fault her any-, anywhere I'd say she could have been a little higher headed.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: But she was long necked and all and beautiful through her body and a lot bigger horse than you, you expected to see at that particular day and time.

SMITH: Hmm, hmm.

MOUNTJOY: But you could, you could, she had a regal air about her and something that, you know, you would, you would remember for a long time.

SMITH: Okay, so being around so many good horses you learned to know, what to look for I guess is what you are saying--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah, yeah.

SMITH: Hmm.

MOUNTJOY: And having, having trained so many of them and, and uh, uh, fooled with the babies and showed the babies. And we showed babies all over devil's half acre and, and the last ten years that I had the horses and all we bred four to six hundred mares here, right here.

SMITH: Oh, that's a lot.

MOUNTJOY: And had, had maybe two hundred mares here all the time, kept 42:00them here all the time. I had them for other people, plus I had a hundred and something of my own. And, uh, uh, we put horses through the sales and, and, uh, uh, uh, all over, all over all the time. And every, every Tattersall sale or Jim B. sale or what not we'd have, you know, twenty-five or thirty horses a lot of times to put through there.

SMITH: Hmm.

MOUNTJOY: And showed a lot of them and sold a lot of them privately and, and uh, uh, like I said just bred a lot of darn mares; was big with the Saddle Horses and all.

SMITH: Um-hm.

MOUNTJOY: And that was, that was ten percent of the Saddle Horse breed period even back in that day and time. And there, and there was more, a lot more horses then bred and dealt with then, then there is now. There's not, I think they said something like nineteen hundred, uh, bred last year, and back then they had six--seven thousand.

SMITH: Oh, that's a big difference.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, big difference.

43:00

SMITH: Now when you're saying back then, we talking about the '70's, '80's?

MOUNTJOY: '80's, '70's and '80's; along in there.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

MOUNTJOY: The '80's were, were, uh, uh, big doings for, for us, you know, we, we did good all through there.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Sold a lot of horses and done a lot of good, and, and, uh, uh, all such. And then, then, I can't remember exactly when it was, but like I said I went to work for Dr. Gene Scott. And see he had all these horses. He had--

SMITH: --Now where is he?

MOUNTJOY: Huh?

SMITH: Is he in Anderson County? Or he's in--

MOUNTJOY: --no. He had, he had a farm in Springfield;

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: High Point Farm. And there were six hundred horses when I went down there. And then they had another probably hundred and something in California. He was originally from California.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And I was in California part of the time and, and, uh, back here a lot of the time. And my job was breeding the mares and taking 44:00care of the farm back here, the basic end of it and, and, uh, showing a lot of the babies and stuff. Now, uh, uh, you know, we went all over, all over this part of the country, uh, showing and then they had another big string of horses and outfit out in California that was going and showing at the same time.

SMITH: Okay. When you talk about showing horses, what, what did you show?

MOUNTJOY: I showed the babies.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: But I was in charge a lot of the time of a lot of the other horses and, uh, uh, you know, uh, we had trainers and things that, that worked and, and showed, showed a lot of them.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: But my end of it most of the time was the, the mares and colts and, and showing the babies and stuff that a way.

SMITH: Now it sounds like the farm's gone through some good times and not so good times.

MOUNTJOY: Oh, yeah.

SMITH: How's the Saddlebred farm as a business? Um.

45:00

MOUNTJOY: It's a darn hard, darn road to hoe, I'll tell you. If you haven't got some old money in behind you and one thing another, its, its, its feast or famine--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and that's the way it's been. There hasn't been any, any real accumulative lot of money in this, in this family and all. We've always made a living fooling with the horses and all, but it hasn't been any, uh, great, uh, hay day in the thing so to speak.

SMITH: Okay. Hasn't made you rich, huh?

MOUNTJOY: No it hadn't made you rich. Might be, probably rich through the land and that stuff--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and one thing and another, but as far as having a big fat bank account, no.

SMITH: Okay, now how many people are just in general try to make a living as Saddlebred breeders and, uh, is, are there a lot of farms that do this to make a living--

MOUNTJOY: --most of the time there's not.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: They've either had, they have either had money from some other darn source or family had money and things that a way and it's, it's 46:00more or less it's a hobby of, of a thing. Now there's a few that's made a living out of the Saddle Horses, but darn few.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: I'd have to say probably, uh, Frank and, and, uh, Garland Bradshaw made a living out of the horses, but, but, the land had a lot to do with, uh, their doings too. Now Garland sold a lot of land up, up around Danville that brought him a lot of money that did that, but he did good in the horse business, too.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: But you take most of the others, uh, take Happy Valley Farm for instance. Mr. Gamble was, uh, uh, Proctor and Gamble Soap Company and she was Eastman Kodak.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: So and they had all kinds of money to do whatever in the devil they wanted to do and that was the big case with a lot of your, a lot of your darn, uh, uh, horse farms that were around here and all. And 47:00Dodge Stables, you know, they, they had all the money from uh, uh, oh the body, car bodies and all; car business.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, and, uh, they did good with the Standardbreds and did good with the Saddle Horses, too. But they also had all that backing in behind them to do it.

SMITH: Now, um, people who were interested in the Saddlebred as a hobby, were they people that helped keep you in business?

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah that was, that was the biggest end of, of my business. And a lot of people that showed the good horses would come and look at the colts and buy colts and things and we sold them through, through, uh, uh, sales and a lot of them privately and one thing another all the time.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Back in, when the hay day was going, there would be two or three bunches of people in here a week and, you know, spend half a day at a time looking at the colts; trying to pick out something to buy to, 48:00to go on with, and all.

SMITH: Now what about the horses that probably weren't, um, show quality or, or of a quality that, uh, people would be interested--

MOUNTJOY: --A lot of them went to the Amish.

SMITH: Okay. Is that still the case?

MOUNTJOY: Still the case.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: A lot of the Saddle Horses that don't make the grade as a, as a good show horse, after they're broken one thing and another, and especially if they're sixteen hands, the Amish will buy them.

SMITH: Okay, so do you market to the Amish or do the Amish just know by tradition that these?

MOUNTJOY: Well, the Amish are generally at Tattersalls and they'll buy--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: -- several of them there. And, uh, uh, Paul Martin, I think Paul is dead now, but his son, uh, auctioned, still auctions at, at uh, uh, Tattersalls.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And Paul would come down here and buy a darn tractor and trailer load of them every time because he ran the, the, uh, sale in 49:00Blue Balls, Pennsylvania.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, he sold his, took his horses back up there and sold them to the Amish. Now, there's several people around here today that come around and buy, will buy your cheaper end of horses and, and that's what they do with them, send them to, to, uh, New Holland, Pennsylvania and put them through the sale or there're several, several Amish men up there that'll buy them and then they turn around and resell them.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: And the Amish have gone to breeding a lot of horses uh, uh, here, as of lately.

SMITH: Um-hm.

MOUNTJOY: There's a--

SMITH: --to sell-

MOUNTJOY: --Joe Leidenheimer or whatever his name is they call him Amish Joe. Now he did real good with the, with the colts this year in the Jackpot and at Louisville both. And he's bought several high priced mares and he was the, the highest priced buyer of the, of the Blue Grass stud fees--

SMITH: --really--

MOUNTJOY: --not the Blue Grass, but the, oh, All American Cup, uh, stud 50:00fees.

SMITH: Okay. Now who, besides the Amish, might be interested in a horse that's not necessarily show quality? Do you have other buyers; do people come and buy a horse for their daughter, or?

MOUNTJOY: Sometimes, but there's not that much of that. Most of those, uh, will buy a Quarter Horse or a Walking Horse or something that before they'll buy a Saddle Horse.

SMITH: Okay. Uh, what about as a recreational horse. Are Saddlebreds--

MOUNTJOY: --The recreational horse, uh, or the sport horse so to speak, uh, there's getting to be a little more interest in that, but, uh, you know, not, not appreciably.

SMITH: Okay, okay. So it's still primarily a show horse?

MOUNTJOY: It's still primarily a show horse, a horse that can go out and win and got the blood lines to carry on or do some good with and, and, uh, all.

SMITH: Well they are beautiful horses, they, they truly are.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, yeah.

SMITH: So, um, lets go back to when your dad pretty much started running 51:00the farm. You said you started having these really good years in the '70's. How did that work? Just, there was more interest in the horse--

MOUNTJOY: --well--

SMITH: -- or the economy?

MOUNTJOY: My dad had a hard time of it there for a long time in the 60's and all. It was, it was tough sledding.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And they owed a lot of money and, and, uh, the farm, nothing in the farm end of things was worth too much. You had to work your hind end off just to have enough to eat.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, well, uh, had a few horses and sold a few horses a long and did fairly well. But there, but as, as I came of age there got to be a lot more things to do and, uh, uh, I was able to run like a jack rabbit and was really good at showing these darn colts and things and consequently did a lot of winning; beat the devil out of them every 52:00time I turned around a lot of times. And, and, uh, uh, that, we had a market for them and it just kept growing--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: -- and evolving into that. Then I got to standing a lot of, a lot of really good studs here and, and all and had the best horses around period. You could, you wouldn't find any anywhere any better than these horses that were right here. Had, uh, the Premier Starheart horse, uh, Sunset Commander was here, uh, Status Symbol was here awhile, uh, uh, the Denmark, Mountjoy's Denmark Jewel. The only, he, uh, and my dad was first and second, uh, and third in the Futurity at Louisville, nobody's ever done that.

SMITH: First, second, and third, oh yeah.

MOUNTJOY: First, second, and third. Two of them was by the Denmark Jewel horse and one of them was out of the Denmark Jewel horses dam. Was a half sister to him.

SMITH: Hmm.

53:00

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, there's been a lot of things that a way that you've done-- one year in particular I know, uh, we won all the breeders classes that was given at Louisville. I don't think anybody else has ever done that. And uh, the, uh, I know we went to-- when I worked for Dr. Scott, we went to Kansas City to the, to the, uh, oh, what was it called, the-- there was a big sweepstakes class that was out there--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: -- and there was a hundred thousand dollars in that class and there was, uh, probably five or six hundred colts that was eligible to show in that thing and right at two hundred of them showed up and showed one particular year. The first year that I went out there for Dr. Scott, we took eleven colts out there. One got sick and we wasn't able to show him. Well, they picked twelve out of that, uh, uh, you know, two hundred. All ten of those that I took out there got in and 54:00we won seventy-five thousand dollars that night.

SMITH: Ah.

MOUNTJOY: Well, everybody was so, uh, uh, uh, you know, taken back by that. They just couldn't believe it and they said nobody could top that show again no which way shape, fashion, or form. That just would never happen again, nobody would have that many good horses.

SMITH: Yeah.

MOUNTJOY: I went back the next year, I was first, second, third, fifth, sixth, and seventh and won eighty-five thousand dollars out of the one hundred thousand dollars.

SMITH: My goodness.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, and you know, they talk about all this money that their putting out, give $50,000 in the, in the, the, uh, All American Cup, but I won seventy-five thousand there one night and eighty-five another one and, and that topped that record to beat the devil.

SMITH: Absolutely.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah. But they forget about that awful quick--(Smith laughs)- -. And when I had the horses here myself one particular year we went 55:00to probably seven or eight different horse shows with the baby colts and the yearlings both. We were first, second, and third everywhere we went, but one place and we were first and second at, at, uh, uh Lexington in the yearling class, but the colt that we was going to show for the third class we went to Louisville and won with him at Louisville.

SMITH: Oh, you had quite a lot of success then.

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah, yeah we did real good with the horses all the way around. Turn that off and I will show you a picture or two right quick.

SMITH: Okay, hang on let me make sure I don't mess this up.

[Pause in recording.]

SMITH: Okay. This is a new track I hope we didn't lose what we've done; still learning this equipment.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, yeah.

SMITH: Um, one of the things that we'd, uh, talked about a little bit is--you took over the, you started working the farm on your own after your dad died in 1983, is that right?

56:00

MOUNTJOY: Um-hm, right.

SMITH: Okay. And you had--

MOUNTJOY: --I did it pretty much probably six, seven years before he died. He kind of just let me, uh, run things because I got along with people really a little, maybe a little better than he did in some ways. And I did most of the, of the business end of things.

SMITH: Did you enjoy traveling and showing the horses? Is that something you liked?

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah, it was, it was a lot of fun a lot of times. I worked for B. S. Bridgers there for a good while and we'd take off a lot of times in, in May and I'd come home until Thanksgiving.

SMITH: Oh, gosh.

MOUNTJOY: We went from one horse show, you know, we'd show here this week and somewhere else the next week.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And he was trying to put Status Symbol on top and he did. We, me and Ray Oliver, uh, uh, I, uh, drove a van, hauled horses and stuff and Ray Oliver had three or four that he showed and I had three or four that I showed.

SMITH: Now when would that have been? Is that when your dad was still 57:00around?

MOUNTJOY: That was back in probably the '70's.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, early '80's or '70's; along in there is when, when we did that.

SMITH: Okay. Um, when, uh, sounds like the 1980's was a pretty good period for the farm?

MOUNTJOY: 1980's the Saddle Horse business was jumping and flourishing. People were wanting them and, uh, and all of the whole Saddle Horse business was healthy and doing good.

SMITH: Okay, now in the interview I had listened to before that, that you had done, now by the end of the 80's you were starting to slow down a little bit. Now what were the reasons for that?

MOUNTJOY: Well, I got hurt and wasn't able to do too much at the time. I got hurt real bad with my back and, uh, had a bad back problem for a good little bit there. And then, uh, the old studs that we had that were dying off and, and all; Grape Tree's Fox died, the, the Premier 58:00Star horse was dead, the, the, uh, Night Prowler was about the only one was going, but they took him home and Grape Tree's Fox died, Lucky Commander had died, so, uh, I was kind of a foot really to tell you the darned truth. And then too Joe Smith that had worked for me for so long, he left and went to work for Dr. Scott.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, it just, it wasn't a paying proposition to, to keep on doing that and we were raising a lot of tobacco and that picked up the slack. For three or four years after that I raised a hundred and some thousand pounds of tobacco every year and had a lot of cattle and stuff and--

SMITH: --Did you get completely out of the horse business or did you keep a few?

MOUNTJOY: Well, I, I've always had a little bit of interest in them. I--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: -- back in those days and times, I'd see one that I liked and send it over to Ray Yoder and he would sell it or whatever, you know, 59:00dealt around that a way and did a lot of things with him.

SMITH: Ray Yoder, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah and then after I went to work at, uh, High Point down there, I bought several of the horses myself that they put through the sale that I knew was, was really too good to be selling. And we did real good with them, you know, sold them through there; the King's Man was one of them and, uh, there was a whole bunch of them that I bought and I still traded around. And then when Joe Smith quit working for, for uh, Dr. Scott I bought several horses that he had and trained and we did real well with them--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --and then here just, here lately--[telephone rings]--

SMITH: --It's okay.

MOUNTJOY: (answers phone) Hello. Yeah. Mother? But anyway, uh, uh, I went back here in the last three or four years and gone to buying mares 60:00and stuff, got two studs now and about twenty mares. And these jackpot things have got to be quite a bit of money in it and, and all and we've gone to, to, you know, showing in those things and doing, doing quite well.

SMITH: Explain to me what the jackpot is, jackpot.

MOUNTJOY: Well basically, here's the way a jackpot works. You donate a-- like well, take the All American Cup for instance, you donate a, a season to your stud horse to that. All right, you can either buy it back yourself or somebody else could buy it. If somebody else buys it and they win with your, your colt, you get 25% of the, of the earnings.

SMITH: Oh okay.

MOUNTJOY: And then also, uh, there's a second season. The owner is allowed to, you know, buy that one if he wants it; to, in order to promote his, his doings. Well, uh, first place in that thing, the, 61:00well, there is a hundred and fifty thousand in that, in that first class and then they, they, they put a hundred and fifty thousand in the next one to be shown as three year olds in a, I think a Park Pleasure.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

MOUNTJOY: So your colt can go, that same colt can go show for a hundred and fifty thousand after he, after he gets up older. Now that's the only one that does that. The others most of them, its shown as a baby, but a lot of times there'll be thirty-five or forty thousand dollars first money in those classes and then there's a lot of money down the line too. So if you can get in the top three or four or even five, you can, you can come out darn well with, with your colts and stuff.

SMITH: When you talk about the show, showing the horses, do you generally make much money? Now you had a couple of really, uh, good experiences, but do generally people make money from showing horses, from the show, not just?

62:00

MOUNTJOY: Well if you're not, some of these people showing these colts and things do because they, they, uh, make money showing the colts then they turn around and sell the colt damn good and that was a game I always payed, played back years ago. Back when Wing Commander was pop-, I mean Lucky Commander was popular and all that. We, one year here we sold two and a half million dollars worth of yearlings.

SMITH: Gee.

MOUNTJOY: And that's a pretty damn good accomplishment I tell you.

SMITH: Yes, I'd say so.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: I'd say so.

MOUNTJOY: But.

SMITH: So you slowed down by the late '80's early '90's and did you, you kept this farm going, but on tobacco and, and others?

MOUNTJOY: Tobacco and cattle and one thing and another. I had somebody that worked here for me that took care of all that when I was working out for Dr. Scott and all.

SMITH: Okay, okay. Now, how long did you work for Dr. Scott?

MOUNTJOY: For eight years.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And that was an experience that nobody can ever imagine what 63:00that was like. And we had a lot of success, you know, showing the babies and all. We won everywhere we went with those babies. And, uh, you know, we had enough money behind us and enough help, good help and all that we were darn hard to beat.

SMITH: So why did you quit working for him?

MOUNTJOY: Well, he was getting ready to kind of give it up anyway and he died here just a, a year or so ago--

SMITH: -- ------------(??)--

MOUNTJOY: --of prostate cancer.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: And I was afraid that I might have it at one time and that's what triggered the whole darn thing. Is my PSI came up high and I told him that I had to go home and he told me, he said, "My, my PSI is high, twice as high as yours." So it put him on alert and he went, he went to the doctor then and then he found out that he had it. But he didn't want to do anything about it. He thought he was going to lose his sexuality--(Smith laughs)--and, uh, uh, he, he let it go--

SMITH: --oh, dear--

64:00

MOUNTJOY: --and it got him; it killed him.

SMITH: Yeah, it will. Okay, so you came back to just working on this farm at that point or what else did you do when you left?

MOUNTJOY: I came back and, and just worked on the farm, but I still had a few horses with, with Joe Smith.

SMITH: Joe Smith.

MOUNTJOY: And then we've kind of evolved into what, the stage in the game of where we are right now.

SMITH: Which is?

MOUNTJOY: I bought these mares and studs back and we've gone back to breeding horses and raising colts and showing colts and, uh, just back in the horse business somewhat.

SMITH: Now do you have many people helping you now? Do you employ many people?

MOUNTJOY: Uh, I have one boy that helps me on the farm. We, me and him do most of the farm work. Now Joe and Harry Gilmore right now is helping him, does most of the horse end of things. I'll help him once in a while, but not, not all the time. Most of my time is spent with these cows and calves. I've got two hundred and fifty cows and calves and, and all and, and, uh, that's, that's what takes up the biggest end 65:00of my time.

SMITH: So is your health better? Are you feeling better?

MOUNTJOY: Oh, I feel fine, yeah, yeah.

SMITH: Okay, good.

MOUNTJOY: I've been blessed because I've had every darn malady in the world.

SMITH: That's what it sounded like in the other interview--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --you'd hurt your back and.

MOUNTJOY: I had polio when I was little. I had a hand cut off in a bulldozer fan. I had cancer twice. I almost lost a arm from gangrene, and, uh--

SMITH: --oh, dear.

MOUNTJOY: --had all my shoulder and all my ribs broke up one side with a, got caught in an elevator shaft. And, let's see, had the, first person in Kentucky to have Lyme's disease; that almost killed me.

SMITH: Oh, no.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah. And, uh, I had, uh, oh, spinal meningitis.

SMITH: My gosh.

MOUNTJOY: I've had a little bit of everything. Horse tried to, to bite my head off, hit me here in the chin and knocked me out and I didn't come to for a couple of days.

SMITH: Oh, no.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Well, it, um.

MOUNTJOY: That was a real interesting thing, it was the Premier 66:00Starheart horse and he made a dive at me and meant to, meant to bite me take, taking a picture of him that Shirley Paulette took.

SMITH: Oh, no.

MOUNTJOY: And he hit me in the, in the jaw with his teeth when he run at me real hard, and it knocked me out. Well, he took across the road and run down through the golf course. And it was kind of raining that morning and he came back up through the, through the golf course and run out on the highway and there was a tractor and trailer headed towards town and he tried to stop and couldn't, feet flew out from under him and he went underneath the truck and out on the other side and it running fifty miles an hour and never touched a hair on him.

SMITH: Oh, you're kidding.

MOUNTJOY: Unh-uh.

SMITH: Oh. So what happened to the horse after that?

MOUNTJOY: Well, he got up and my dad and them caught him.

SMITH: Oh, gee.

MOUNTJOY: He came, there was an old mare over the fence and he came back running down there to her and went up and got on the other side and got a hold of him and got him and took him back to the barn.

SMITH: Oh, gosh.

MOUNTJOY: Oh, yeah.

SMITH: Have you had a lot of accidents with horses over the years?

MOUNTJOY: Oh, I've been kicked a time or two and stuff that a way, but 67:00as much as I've done and with as many wild and crazy darn horses, uh, uh, no, I've been pretty lucky.

SMITH: Were you ever involved personally in breaking the horses; was that part of your job?

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah, shoot yeah. I broke the horses all the time; broke them to jog and used to, when I was young, I rode all the time.

SMITH: So you did just about everything?

MOUNTJOY: Did about all of it. I bred the mares, rode the, rode them, trained them, and the whole nine yards worth.

SMITH: Now how many horses do you have on the farm now?

MOUNTJOY: I've probably got forty.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Soon to have, uh, uh, maybe sixty--(laughs)--.

SMITH: Oh, okay getting ready to buy some--

MOUNTJOY: --We got twenty something mares in foal that'll have colts here in the next little bit.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: So that'll, that'll, uh, jump the darn, uh, uh, bunch up considerably.

SMITH: Now you own all these horses?

MOUNTJOY: Yes, uh-huh.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Most all of them that are here belong to me.

SMITH: What kind of, um, if you look at the Saddlebred as a business 68:00today is this a pretty good time?

MOUNTJOY: Yes and no.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: There, the worst trouble with things is there's no in between. You got to have really a good one or you don't have anything.

SMITH: Oh, all right.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, there's not much market for just the, the average horse. You got to have a stem winder if you gonna, gonna come out very good. And it seems like everybody, if it doesn't have Callaway on it, nobody wants it.

SMITH: All right.

MOUNTJOY: But that, that is, that is the way it's been, uh, you know, for years though there'll be one particular breed that'll get to be real popular and everybody wants that particular horse and nothing else.

SMITH: Yeah, yeah.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, uh, it makes it hard on the other fellow unless you, just like what I say, you got one that can beat everybody in sight and then, then the next thing some, some other horse will take the, 69:00take the reins and, and, uh, take off. But I don't think there is the market for the young horses that there was, the mares and colts and stuff that a way that there was a few years ago.

SMITH: Okay, but you're still selling some?

MOUNTJOY: Still sell one every now and then.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Every now and then. And it's a lot of fun. I like to, like to do it and like to be around the horses and like to fool with the young horses.

SMITH: Now you're expecting twenty, twenty new horses this, uh, spring.

MOUINTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: Um, is, what percentage of them are born healthy and no problems, and, uh, or do you have difficulties?

MOUNTJOY: Well, sometimes there's difficulty.

SMITH: But generally its, its?

MOUNTJOY: Last year our, all, everyone of our colts were born healthy and in good order, but one. The first colt we had to come was a red bag.

SMITH: What does that mean?

MOUNTJOY: Well, uh, it doesn't get uh, uh, the blood end of things 70:00doesn't work right.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And anyway it, it was born dead. Now when I worked at, at High Point, we probably foaled twelve hundred colts in the eight years that I was down there.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: Alrighty, uh, out of that twelve hundred we only lost one baby.

SMITH: Oh, that's excellent.

MOUNTJOY: That's an un-, that is an unbelievable record and that one was born alive, but it didn't take but about three breaths and it was a, a maiden mare that had him and he took about three breaths and that was it. But all the others, we managed to save every single one of them.

SMITH: Now, um, I assume that you don't have veterinarians around every time a, a foal is born.

MOUNTJOY: No, unh-uh, not here.

SMITH: That's something that you do personally to try to?

71:00

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah, yeah we, we had a night watchman and the night watchman when the mare would get ready to have a colt he would call me. And then I would go down there and, and, uh, you know, we'd doctor it and do whatever we had to do to it, but, you know, we didn't have the vet around.

SMITH: It seems like a lot of the care of horses is done by the owners, the managers, the workers, um; is that, uh, still--I mean, how did you learn to take care of a horse that way?

MOUNTJOY: Well from my dad and my grandfather. I was born into it, you know. And just like when I went to High Point, I was very valuable to them because I knew the whole darn process of everything. I knew all about the farm all about the farming end of things, I knew about, about breeding the mares, keeping the mares healthy, and, uh, uh, uh, all of it and, and had a damn good eye for a horse and knew what to tell him 72:00to do to, to, to, you know, get ones to get rid of or what to do that a way. Could pick the ones out that we needed to go and show. Like, uh, now, at the last he, he didn't want to come back here and I guess he didn't trust my judgment, but he called me one Friday night and said, "Here's forty horses. There'll be four trucks in there Monday morning. Load these forty horses up, ten on a, on a, on a, uh--

SMITH: --truck--

MOUNTJOY: -- truck." It cost him, uh, forty thousand dollars to send them out there; ten thousand dollars a load and ten thousand back, so that's eighty thousand dollars he spent. But he hauled every damn one of them out there and unloaded them and looked at them. "Well," he said, "Mountjoy told the truth. Ain't one of them worth a quarter." So he put them back on a truck and sent them all back, back to Kentucky. He spent eighty thousand dollars just to look at them.

SMITH: Oh, no. That's a waste, waste--

MOUNTJOY: --But that's, that's the way he was.

SMITH: Well, okay. Um, let's go back and you talked about, uh, the fire 73:00that happened here in the nine, what was it, early 1980's?

MOUNTJOY: Well, the, uh, there was one here in about '29 or so. Now there was a barn that was over here, uh, uh, across that field there and it, you used to be able to see where it run out through there and it was about two hundred feet from the road. That was the first one that burned in maybe 1926 or so. And then there was one, uh, in the '30's I think and it was-- (coughs)--up here where this barn is. There were three barns that's burned right there.

SMITH: Oh, dear.

MOUNTJOY: Now I don't know what the first one over there burned up about, but now this the, the first one that was here, lightning went in there, went in the door one summer day and went right down through the hay.

74:00

SMITH: Oh, my.

MOUNTJOY: And set fire, they got all the horses out of there that time. Fire broke out all over that loft and that hay and they couldn't stop it. Walter Murphy was working here then. And then, uh, lets see now, the next one was the old barn that I remember that you saw the picture of--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --when I was a kid. Now the stove blew up in the center of the, of the barn and burnt it up. --(coughs)-- I came in the barn it was cold as the devil about like it was this morning and me and this boy. Well, I saw smoke coming out of the office door. I walked over and kicked the office door open and the damn thing exploded in my face. It burned my hair; it burned me all in the face and one thing another. Well, uh, we start, uh, taking things out of there, turning horses loose and got them all out of there but four, and called the fire department. And the, and that morning the fire department went down the road here almost to Glensboro and some kids had climbed up on top 75:00of some horses in a barn poured gasoline on them and set them on fire, and turned them loose and they run until they fell.

SMITH: Oh, how awful.

MOUNTJOY: Killed them, yeah. But they didn't get back up here in time to put the fire out and I had a garden hose and I kept the fire down for a long time, but they were down there with that and if they had been here in town they would have got the fire put out. But they didn't make it back in time and the time they got back up here it was done, just about gone. They said they could put part of it out and I said let it go, there ain't no use in trying to put it out.

SMITH: So you lost four horses then and?

MOUNTJOY: Lost four horses. So then we built an Umbel (??) barn back and it was supposed to have been treated materials and stuff. And there wasn't any darn uh, uh, hay or nothing in that barn period. But, uh, the, in the office, there, uh, was a heater in there and they think that darn heater or the current, the current wasn't right here because the current is what burned this house up.

76:00

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: And it was, uh, the guy that, that worked for KU was sent out of here the next morning to North Carolina, nobody's heard from him since. And, uh, the insurance company was after him to beat the devil over, over things and then all of the sudden it just shut up and I think that the darn, uh, insurance company paid the, uh, --(coughs)-- oh, the--

SMITH: --the electric--

MOUNTJOY: --the, uh, electric company paid the insurance company off 'cause they never said another word about it.

SMITH: And you lost--

MOUNTJOY: --and then, and then two weeks later my uncle's house caught on fire and, uh, uh, it almost burnt up. And it was all in the fuse box.

SMITH: Did the barn and your house burn at the same time or were those separate?

MOUNTJOY: In a week's, a week apart.

SMITH: Oh my, that is pretty suspicious.

MOUNTJOY: The barn burned and it got caught in the fuse box and stuff. The house got on fire and it was in the fuse box and all and my uncle saw what was going on and it caught on fire in the fuse box and 77:00his house down there caught on fire in the fuse box. We was up here putting a post in and saw it and went down there and we got it put out and it didn't do any damage there.

SMITH: But you lost your house completely?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, everything.

SMITH: And what about the, did you lose many horses at that point?

MOUNTJOY: Twenty-nine.

SMITH: Twenty-nine--

MOUNTJOY: --yes--

SMITH: --that's a lot.

MOUNTJOY: There were four in there by New Yorker; one out, out of Miss Helen.

SMITH: Oh, how sad.

MOUNTJOY: And there was a stud in there by New Yorker that's, there's just no darn telling what he was worth. He was out of, uh, Oman's Desdemona Denmark dam and next dam to Genius Bourbon King.

SMITH: Oh, gee.

MOUNTJOY: Really pretty. There was the only colts that, uh, oh, uh, Anna Marie ever had by Chief of Greystone. Donna Moore, a day or two before hand, offered me, uh, thirty-five thousand dollars for her and I wouldn't sell her. I told her I wanted to think about it and the barn 78:00burned up that night.

SMITH: Oh, how awful.

MOUNTJOY: Let's cool it for again for just a minute I've got to run to the bathroom.

SMITH: Okay, we're going again. Um, so how do you come back from something like that? That had to have been pretty rough losing the house completely, and.

MOUNTYJOY: Well, the interest rate--

SMITH: --Now your dad and mom were still here then?

MOUNTJOY: Huh?

SMITH: Your dad and mom were still?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, yeah. The interest rate was, uh, uh, 22% at that particular time.

SMITH: Yeah, bad time.

MOUNTJOY: And it was costing me five thousand dollars a month for about three years. And believe me I had to pray damn hard to come up with that money every month to pay that, that thing, but I was lucky enough, the good Lord blessed me enough to, to, get, to take care of it.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: But I was getting on really low limbs and then we had that sale and sold all those horses and they brought a darn fortune and got me out of hot water and everything cleaned up and then everything 79:00really took off after that, after we built the new barn and got every thing back going good.

SMITH: So you haven't had any more problems since?

MOUNTJOY: No, no, I haven't.

SMITH: Well, it sounds like you had enough.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: So. Um, you talked a little bit about, uh, some of the trainers who have been on the farm, who do you think were some of the best; in your opinion?

MOUNTJOY: Well, Walter Murphy was, was probably, uh, uh, the very best.

SMITH: Okay, now how long was he, he was here with your grandfather?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah he was here with my grandfather.

SMITH: Okay, did you know him?

MOUNTJOY: Oh, yes. I knew Walter real well.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah his daddy, his daddy lived here on the farm forever and he worked for the McCormicks and trained Chester Dare when he was a, a young man.

SMITH: Now, uh, back in probably the '40's, '30's and '40's, did you have a lot of African Americans working on the farms?

MOUNTJOY: Primarily that's what it was.

80:00

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: There was, almost 90% of the black people that's in Lawrenceburg worked here at one time or another.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: There was a lot of those old families and, and things that, uh, worked here. Two of Bill Penny's boys worked here forever and ever. One of them is still living and he's my age, but, you know, he looks like he's a hundred and ten years old instead of what he is.

SMITH: Now how has that changed over the years and why do you think that's the case if it has in terms of African Americans working on the farms?

MOUNTJOY: Well, mostly now days working with the horses it's Mexicans. And I raised all the tobacco, I had fifteen Mexicans that stayed here on the farm pretty much. And then when I was working for Dr. Scott at, uh, High Point down there, there was fifteen people that worked down there and, and, uh, out of the fifteen twelve of them were, were Mexicans.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And then in California we had Mexican help all out there. I 81:00can't say enough nice about them. They were, they were the workingest fools you've ever seen. They, they got the job done.

SMITH: Now do you, uh, have they become involved as trainers or?

MOUNTJOY: Some of them have gone on to make trainers. Now Lupe Valencia, uh, that was kind of second in command to me at High Point is working for Barbara Von Borries up here at Harrodsburg now and doing a darn good job and a, and a hell of a nice fellow; made a good horseman. And one, another one that worked for me, uh, down there to uh, uh, High Point was Ramundo Garcia. And he went to work for, uh, Alliance Stud worked for them for a long, long time and now he's working for Stonecraft, -croft. I couldn't say enough nice about that boy. He was, he was a smart, smart fellow. Out of all the, the people that's 82:00taken, uh, citizenship test and its quite a, quite a test--

SMITH: --yes--

MOUNTJOY: --believe me I've seen it, he's the only one that's ever got a perfect score on it.

SMITH: Oh, my.

MOUNTJOY: So that gives you some idea of how smart he was. And then there was one in California, Magdalena Cortez, he was just as good a horse trainer as there was around here any darn way, white, black, green, or whatever.

SMITH: Yeah, yeah.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, a lot of them are very talented with the horses and like I said they've got the gumption and stuff to go, go get it done.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Raphael Perez always helped me with the colts and things; good as you'd ever want to see. And then there was, we did have a black boy that worked there--what the devil was his name--I called him Boochie all the time, but, but now he was, he was really good. And he'd come up from a family that worked with horses all their lives and all.

83:00

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: The, the worst thing that I would say about the, the, the, the black people, most of them they weren't very responsible for the most part and they, they thought about getting drunk and running around raising cane. The Mexicans were always on time and you never saw one-- they'd get drunk I guess off in their, their way, but they didn't, they didn't do it, uh, uh when they were supposed to be working or something.

SMITH: Okay, okay. So, at this point within the industry at least from the farms perspective, you see an awful lot of Hispanic workers.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, the blacks won't work as hard, and well, some of them will. Now don't get me wrong. There's a lot of good, there's a lot of good blacks--

SMITH: --oh, absolutely--

MOUNTJOY: --I'm not, I'm not saying that any which way you fix it.

SMITH: Well--

MOUNTJOY: -but as a whole, the Mexicans will work circles around them.

SMITH: Well they've had other opportunities open up from the '30's, and 84:004'0's, and '50's so.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah a lot of them have gone on to other jobs and other things; they have.

SMITH: Okay. Is anyone just kind of stand out though? Maybe it is Walter Murphy, as just really knowing horses and the horses would respond to.

MOUNTJOY: Walter Murphy was, was about it. He was a horseman's horseman. He trained, trained over six hundred world's champions in his career and I don't think any of these others can start to even say that. And, and he was, he was really wonderful. Miller McAfee was a hell of a good horse trainer. Uh, Dudley Abbott was, not Dudley Abbott, but, oh, Dudley Walker was here for a while. And Dudley was a whale of a horse trainer. Kenny Walker worked here for me for three or four years. Kenny was noted as being one of the best horse trainers around and all. And there was a lot really, really a lot of famous 85:00horse trainers that come from here in Anderson County. Al Brown, under the table, Al Brown never was known to show any horses, but as far as making them and breaking them there wasn't no better ever said on one a day in his life as he was.

SMITH: He was from Anderson County?

MOUNTJOY: He was from Anderson County, yes. And Al, Al Bailey, the man that started Wing Commander he was, he was from here and Audy Shouse (?) was from here. There was just, uh, uh, uh, person after person that I could name to you that come from here in Anderson County that trained horses.

SMITH: Now, course now all I hear is that Shelbyville is the, uh, Saddlebred capitol--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --of the world. Was, was that true in your, your grandfather's time?

MOUNTJOY: No, absolutely not.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: No.

SMITH: How's that changed?

86:00

MOUNTJOY: Well, uh, there's just gotten to be a lot of big stables and things in Shelbyville, but back in my day, my grandfather's time and day there wasn't that many around.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: About one of the biggest ones was Hayfield's Farm and, uh, also, uh,--oh, I can't think of it, but they had Plainview Julia. And they, they had, had several really good horses, but they were in Louisville, they wasn't in, in, uh, Hayfield, but Hayfield was in Simpsonville. It wasn't in, uh, Shelbyville. Crabtree's and, and some of those have come in to Shelbyville and made Shelbyville a big, a big thing, but, and Hoppy Bennett.

SMITH: Um-hm. All names I've heard.

MOUNTJOY: All names you've heard and know and all but, uh, now, uh, Anderson County other than the farm here has been about the only one until here just lately. Now Melinda Moore's building a whale of a big 87:00barn just right up the road here,--

SMITH: --so--

MOUNTJOY: --in Anderson County.

SMITH: So you were one of the first, or the first Saddlebred farm in Kentucky, in particularly in Anderson County and now you're one of the last?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And like I told you even in the background of the family, now my grandfather was, uh, great-grandfather was a blacksmith in Alton. And, uh, uh, his, he had two, uh, brothers that were, uh, my grandfather had two bro-, brothers that were both blacksmiths. And, uh, the family, uh, background was always horse oriented even back, uh,--they said that some of them came over on a, on a boat right shortly after, uh, the Mayflower.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: And, uh, going on back through the history of things, uh, my 88:00grandfather's mother was a sister to chief justice John Marshall. And, uh, also George Marshall the, the general that did the, the, oh, what was it the,--

SMITH: --oh--

MOUNTJOY: --some kind of big deal in World War II.

SMITH: Marshall Plan.

MOUNTJOY: The Marshall Plan in World War II was from the Mountjoy family. All right, Mrs., uh, uh, uh, Markey that owned Calumet, her mother was a sister to them too. I didn't know that until here just the last little bit. One of the governors of Kentucky come from, Garrard, came from the Mountjoy family. Uh, there's a--let me see now, get things straight--there was two brothers that came from Virginia to Kentucky back during the early times. And they brought two of the best Thoroughbred studs to Kentucky that there's been. And then you 89:00go from there, uh, back to, to George Washington, George Washington was best friend and partner for twenty years was Thomas Mountjoy. And they were in the surveying business together. All right, Thomas Jefferson's mother, uh, had the Mountjoy in her background and, uh, John Hancock's daughter married a Mountjoy boy. Uh, from that--and also three of George Washington's top generals during the Revolutionary War were all three, three were, were Mountjoys and neighbors of his.

SMITH: Oh my.

MOUNTJOY: Then from there it goes back to England. Oliver Cromwell's mother, the prime minister of England at one time was from the Mountjoy family. William, uh, uh, William Shakespeare's best friend for a long time was Lord Mountjoy and he even lived with him for five or six years.

90:00

SMITH: Oh my.

MOUNTYJOY: And wrote a lot about him. And, uh, Lord Mountjoy was the most valued advisor to the Queen of England at that particular time and was sent to, uh, uh, England, I mean sent to Ireland to subdue the Irish and he built Mountjoy Prison and locked them all up and that's what started that darn, uh, war that's still going on today between the Protestants and the Catholics. And he's a, and Mountjoy is a hated name in Ireland still today and they, they still burn him in effigy. And then, uh, it goes back to William the Conqueror. William the Conqueror's mother came from the, from the Mountjoy family and he, he was the king of England at one time.

SMITH: My gosh.

MOUNTJOY: So there's quite a, quite a,--

SMITH: --quite a family history there--

MOUNTJOY: --quite a family history in behind it.

SMITH: That's right, but now your family has been in Kentucky for about, how far back? Your great-grandfather, is that?

91:00

MOUNTJOY: Yeah they've all, I can't tell you that exactly.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: But they, uh, they came around here with some of the first end of it. The Mountjoys have always been proper, uh, uh, very, uh, famous and what not here in, in Kentucky. You got all kinds of big land grants that they had--

SMITH: --right--

MOUNTJOY: --and, and things that they did and, and all and this county had a lot of Mountjoys in it.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: A lot of the famous people here, uh, the Gilberts for instance. Uh, their, their mother all was a Mountjoy. And the Rippey's that started all the distilleries here and all, their, their mother was a, a Mountjoy.

SMITH: Yeah.

MOUNTJOY: And the Mountjoy family is very, very, uh, uh, deep seeded in the history of, of the United States really.

SMITH: Yeah, it sounds that way.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: But are you the only part of the Mountjoy family that you know of that was involved with horses?

MOUNTJOY: No, now there was another, W.C. Mountjoy in, uh, uh, Chicago 92:00that was really good with the Saddle Horses. Now he's been dead a long time now, but now he was from the Mountjoy end of things.

SMITH: Now, uh, we talked about the farm, now at one point what was the largest acreage that you had in the family and what do you have today?

MOUNTJOY: Well, I had a thousand acres at one time.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And today I've probably got five hundred and fifty left.

SMITH: Okay, is that what's happened to a lot of farms? They've sold off the property for?

MOUNTJOY: Oh yeah, there, there's, you know it got to where, where it was too much I just couldn't keep up with all of it and it was better to sell some of it for this that or the other reason. I sold some to the school up here to get the water and sewer out here. So this just triples the price of all this other.

SMITH: Absolutely.

MOUNTJOY: This land that we've got right here right today is very, very valuable, uh, property for, for building and what not.

93:00

SMITH: Yeah, there's been quite a, um boom in, uh, --

MOUNTJOY: --oh, yeah--

SMITH: --Anderson County.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, Anderson County is the fifth growingist place in the United States according to Fortune Magazine.

SMITH: Wow.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, 'cause you can look around and every where you're looking they're building. The golf course was just sold here in the last little bit for mega bucks and I can remember when it sold for, uh, uh, three thousand dollars.

SMITH: Oh my.

MOUNTJOY: There's sixty acres that are the main part of it here and then the main part of it here and then there's another hundred and two acres on the other side. That hundred and two acres came off of this farm.

SMITH: Oh.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, when my grandmother died, she left it to my uncle Rice and he sold it to Bob Evington that built the golf course for fifty thousand dollars.

SMITH: All right.

MOUNTJOY: Well, the next morning he cut enough walnut logs off of it to pay for it. And then sold all those housing lots up there and--

SMITH: --yeah--

MOUNTJOY: --half of it's in the golf course.

94:00

SMITH: Okay. Now did you tell me that used to be a farm across the way--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah, it was--

SMITH: --was it the McAfee's?

MOUNTJOY: No. It was part of this farm.

SMITH: Part of this, oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: Now on behind it is where the McAfee farm is, was.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: There's still about four hundred acres of it left and all of them are dead now, but, uh, it was left to Allen Hanks and he's about gone.

SMITH: All right., a lot of changes in this county then over your--

MOUNTJOY: --oh, yeah. There's been a lot of changes around here from one end of it to the other. They've built up all the way around us and, and see all of that on the other side of the road clear down, way on down here is in the city limits now in Lawrenceburg.

SMITH: Oh, I wasn't aware of that.

MOUNTJOY: This is the only piece here that's not the, that's not in the city limits. And you can bet they'll annex this before it's done with.

SMITH: Probably, seems to be the way it goes.

MOUNTJOY: Then probably, you know, someday, uh, uh, when I get tired of farming and horsing around, you know, it'll, it'll wind up with the 95:00rest of it probably.

SMITH: Do you think that'll happen anytime soon or you enjoy?

MOUNTJOY: I hope, I hope not; I hope it doesn't happen anyway soon. No I don't want that to happen.

SMITH: Good. So will you be showing horses in Louisville this year?

MOUNTJOY: Oh, yeah.

SMITH: Okay, good.

MOUNTJOY: Oh, yeah, we'll be showing the horses all over devil's half acre. We'll be, we'll, I know we'll, we'll go to Louisville and Indiana, and, uh, let's see, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri--

SMITH: --Was there any particular time--

MOUNTJOY: --and Wisconsin.--

SMITH: --that you showed in, uh, at the world championship that really stands out in your mind as being, uh, a great experience?

MOUNTJOY: Well, when I won with Night Prowler. And that was, that was really wonderful. That was one of my first big hits you might say.

SMITH: When was that?

96:00

MOUNTJOY: In '73 I believe.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Uh, and then I've had some others that's been awful, awful rewarding in that light. A lot of people want to say that, you know, showings the only thing, but I don't look at it that a way. There's a lot of other things in life and what not that are very important and all that but, uh, you know, all of us like to win and all, but I think you lose sight of your humanity when you, when you put everything into, into having to win showing. But, there's a lot of times the next two months you can ask somebody, said "Who won?" They can't tell you. But your friends and one thing and another will be there from now on.

SMITH: That's right.

MOUNTJOY: You better pay a little more attention to them then you do winning that blue ribbon. It's not the all, all important thing in, in everything.

SMITH: When you look back over your career with horses, um, uh, how, how 97:00do you feel about having spent your life working with horses? What does that mean to you?

MOUNTJOY: Well, I went to school for about two years and studied to be a draftsman and was damn good at it. And one day I just woke up and I said, 'To hell with this I'll be damned if I'm going to spend my life sitting in the, behind a desk drawing, uh, drawings of buildings.' And, uh, I came home and went to work, uh, you know, farming. You know, I was in the Navy for awhile too. But, uh, I've always liked the farm and liked to fool with the darn horses. And it's always been very rewarding from the people standpoint and all and, and, uh, uh, you can ask anybody that's worked for me or worked around me, uh, it's always been fun. It's been a fun thing to do and I always made it fun. You know, we did it as the, the Mexicans all at, at High Point love me and, 98:00and, uh, I like them and we all got along, you know, as more, not as much as uh, uh, uh, boss and, and, and what not, as, as, as a darn, we worked as a darn team.

SMITH: Right.

MOUNTJOY: And we did a lot of work and a lot of hard, hard damn things that other people wouldn't have got done and all. And I think the reason why we got it done is we all liked each other and we were all happy at what we were doing and, and did it in a happy way.

SMITH: Makes a difference.

MOUNTJOY: Oh, it makes a big difference. And all the ones that's ever worked here, you know, we always had a good time at what we did and laughed and joked and, uh, uh, did a lot of hard work, but did it in a fun way.

SMITH: Yeah.

MOUNTJOY: And that's the secret to, to, to all of it and being successful and in doing it.

SMITH: Okay. Well, maybe we will end for, uh, on that note for today, but as I said I'd like to go back and listen to this. You've put out 99:00a lot of names and a lot of things that, uh, I've got to learn a little bit more about to know how to ask you some better questions about the industry. Um, but I will have one final question for today. Now if, if, we're just starting this project. We want to work for three years to interview people in all aspects of the industry; now who would you recommend we would interview?

MOUNTJOY: Who would I recommend?

SMITH: Um-hm. I've got a list of a few names already, but it needs to grow. You want to think about that and tell me next time?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah probably. Well, I know you've got Donna Moore.

SMITH: Yeah I've got her on the list.

MOUNTJOY: Need to talk to Donna. She's, she's very, you know, knows a lot of this stuff and all and can tell you, tell you, uh, uh, you know, tons of it and all. I'd tell you to go talk to, to Judy Whitney.

100:00

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Judy, you know, was married to, to, uh, Bob Whitney and Bob did an awful lot in the horse business and bred a lot of good horses and stood a lot of good studs and all and was there from the start. And she's married to Don Harris today and you'd want to talk to Don, too.

SMITH: Okay. Where does she live?

MOUNTJOY: Uh, they live in Bardstown.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And one you'd better get off the stick and go talk to right now would be Glyndle Tabor.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: From Scottsville. You know, his son got killed here just in the last little bit in that gas thing blowed up and killed him.

SMITH: I heard that.

MOUNTJOY: And they were one of the largest breeders here and, and Glyndle's been around a long time and one of the older, older people in the Saddle Horse business and has bred umpteen number of horses and all.

SMITH: Okay, okay. I had heard that he'd, he had lost his son and might 101:00not quite be up to an interview yet--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --but its, its been a little while now hasn't it?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah. There's one here and he's in the nursing home and I don't know how good he would be right now. They say sometimes he knows what he's talking about and other times he doesn't, but Kenny Rogers. And Kenny come from Missouri though and, and his brothers and all were here in Kentucky.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And he knows, and he's, he's an old one and he knows all of the old ones from one end of it to the other. Now there's somebody else that you need to, you definitely need to talk to and he's in the nursing home up here in, in, uh, at the Heritage Hall here in Lawrenceburg.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: Kenny Walker. Now Kenny's one of the, was a premier horse trainer in the day, in the day when he was training and all. He's an invalid now but he's still got his mind and he can talk and all.

SMITH: Okay.

102:00

MOUNTJOY: And his uncle was Dudley Walker and all the whole family and all was connected with the horse business. And he worked for Alvin Ruxer for a while that had Supreme Sultan and he worked for Frank Bradshaw and he worked for Donna Moore there for a good while.

SMITH: Now he was a trainer or just?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah he was a trainer. Kenny knows a lot about the old people and the old horses and he can tell you a lot of these older ones that I, that I didn't know even from Anderson County that, that trained horses and all and a lot of the stories about that.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: I go--he worked for me for four or five years.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: And I go up every now and then and sit down and me and him will talk about this stuff and all. But now Kenny Wal-, Kenny Walker and, and Glyn Tabor, and, uh, oh, Kenny Rogers are two, three that you need to talk to fairly quick.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: 'Cause Kenny's fade, fading fast and, and, and Glyndle Tabor from down there at Scottsville, uh, he's not going to be here much longer because its, its tore him a new one, his boy getting killed.

103:00

SMITH: Yeah, that, that would do it.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: If, um, Kenny Walker, I would just contact the nursing home

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, uh-huh.

SMITH: Okay and could I use your name? Could you give me your name?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah that's fine, that's fine; whatever you want to do.

SMITH: Maybe you could even go with me--

MOUNTJOY: --That's fine I'd be glad, I'd like to go, tell you the damn truth.

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: That'd be fine--

SMITH: --okay we will try to do that.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah.

SMITH: You, if you go, do you go see him often; do you want to mention it to him?

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, I go see him every now and then, yeah.

SMITH: Okay, what's the name of the nursing home?

MOUNTJOY: Uh, Heritage Hall.

SMITH: Okay, that sounds like a plan. All right I will go ahead and end this for now--

MOUNTJOY: I can probably go--

SMITH: --and I really appreciate your time.--

MOUNTJOY: --with you up there to see, I'd be glad to go with you to see Kenny or, or Glyndle either one--

SMITH: --okay--

MOUNTJOY: --if you went, when you went.

SMITH: That, that would be great. Like I said I am still learning and there's some questions that I am sure you can think of that I'm not gonna think to ask.

MOUNTJOY: Yeah, there's, and there's another one up the road here now he's getting older too, is Julian Thomas.

104:00

SMITH: Okay.

MOUNTJOY: He's been in Kentucky all of his life and he, he had Attache and, and, uh, uh, At-, uh, oh, uh, I can't think of the horse's name that he had now and he's got another whale of a good horse right now.

SMITH: Okay, and he's in Lawrence, in Anderson County?

MOUNTJOY: He's in Lawrence; he just lives up the road here just a little ways.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

MOUNTJOY: I forgot about him.

SMITH: (laughs) Get you started you're going to remember a lot of them here.

MOUNTJOY: Oh, yeah.

SMITH: Okay, well thank you so much for spending--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --this time with me and I look forward to, to seeing you again and, um, you've given me a lot to think about--

MOUNTJOY: --yeah--

SMITH: --so thank you very much.

MOUNTJOY: And no doubt there's a lot more that, that 'cause every time I do this, you know, you'll leave and then I'll think of a lot of important things that I should have said that I didn't.

105:00

SMITH: Well then, uh, you, you try to remember what those are and we'll, we'll get to them.

MOUNTJOY: Alrighty.

[End of interview.]

Search This Transcript
SearchClear