Frank Scripter: Lord of The Leopards

Appaloosa Territory


Appaloosa History
Lord of the Leopards: Frank Scripter

I became aware of Frank Scripter and his leopard horses through the newsletter publication of the Sundance 500 organization. Frank contributed many articles and photographs, and perhaps most mesmerizing were his opinion pieces. I tended to agree with many of Frank's ideas, and learned a great deal about breeding Appaloosas from him.


How I Knew Frank

Chub's Powderface

Chub's Powderface

In 1985, after several years of reading the Sundance Newsletter, we were camping in Ohio when we got the notion to visit Frank Scripter and see his horses. A phone call later we were on our way to Michigan. Upon arriving, we immediately went to the field to view his herd, passing through his barn on the way out. At one stall Frank paused, and said, "This was Powderface's stall. He died last winter - you just missed seeing him." You could tell this man truly missed that horse. And indeed we had just missed knowing Chub's Powderface by a few months. He died in February 1985 at age 23. Chub's Powderface, the stallion Frank felt had made his program - perhaps as Money Creek's Rockledge made Money Creek... the stallion that had "bought the farm".


1986 herd scene by Frank Scripter.
Mare in foreground is Leopard Boots.

We walked out into this large field, populated with a pond, wild Canadian geese and the most marvelous herd of spots one ever saw. Beautiful spotted leopard mares everywhere, leopard foals, solid foals, a blanket or two, and one black leopard stallion - Apache Polar Star. Polar Star was a big baby. Frank said when he was a little foal he just picked him up and held him in his arms. He said ever since that, Polar Star always thought that Frank could do that to him anytime. We had a chuckle over that.


the herd

Pepper Ridge left foreground,
Angel Many Spots far right foreground.
Ambition's Toots behind Angel. [©WOA July 1985]

the herd
More spots on the horizon.
Apache Polar Star is the tall leopard in the center.
[©WOA July 1985]

We photographed as we walked among the horses, trying to keep straight who was who. Looking, drooling, looking and drooling to our hearts content. Then Frank took us on a whirlwind tour around the neighborhood for what seemed like hours. I remember it was a very hot day, sweat rolling off of all of us, but we didn't seem to notice as we went from farm to farm looking at leopard offspring that Frank had sold or their descendents. It was amazing, and totally unforgettable in scope.

At his house we poured over hundreds of photographs. I had never seen so many leopard spotted horse photos in one place before. Then he brought out the hide of Chub's Powderface. He had died in the winter, so it was his winter coat. It was both awesome and repulsive at the same time. So very neat to have, so horrible to comtemplate how it came to be. He also had the hide of a beautiful bay leopard filly out of Brown Deer by Powderface, who had reared over backwards for a farrier, and killed herself - you might say. This hide was prime - so silky and smooth, so spotted and so sad that such a thing had to happen.

fall herd scene

Chow time! Angel Many Spots again.
Can you tell I was entranced with her coat?
[©WOA Fall 1985]



herd by Frank

Apache Polar Star left.
Money Creek's Rockalena and her foal right.
[Photo by Frank Scripter]


Back at pasture, we looked again at the herd and was amazed when he said some of the mares were for sale. What!? You would PART with ANY of these superb animals? Next: Can we afford one? Or Two? Or... Well we ended up buying Money Creek's Shameila, a daughter of Pepper's Shamrock out of a black ID daughter of Woodrow Sheik. Sham was Sundance (a great granddaughter!) and Ghost Wind!

Sham and 1985 filly

Money Creek's Shameila and her 1985 filly,
one of the two mares we purchased from Frank.

The other one we managed to wheedle from Frank was Brown Deer, a solid bay ID daughter of Money Creek's Rockledge... something I had always wanted. As an added plus, Brown Deer was the dam of Chub's El Bucko, an awewsome black leopard stallion that we had seen that afternoon. Frank had gotten Brown Deer in a trade with the Weber's son for a firearm. At the time Sham had a solid black filly by her side and I seem to remember that Brown Deer did not have a foal. Both were exposed to Apache Polar Star.

Frank's herd

Apache Polar Star on the right,
with the bay Brown Deer behind him. [©WOA July 1985]


I had wanted Money Creek's Pepper Ridge as well, but we could not afford that. She died later that summer, so I guess we made the right choice. We came back in October after Sham's foal was weaned, and brought Shameila and Brown Deer home. Thus began our acquaintence with Frank Scripter, Lord of the Leopards.

Frank and Dazzling Sun Dot

Frank Scripter, Lord of the Leopards,
with the young filly, Dazzling Sun Dot, in 1985.


Frank's Journey

MC Rockolette

Money Creek's Rockolette,
one of Frank's purchases from Money Creek Ranch.
[Photo by Frank Scripter]

Frank was one of those people who knew exactly what he wanted. When he didn't know, he studied. Frank wanted leopard Appaloosas, and before buying, he studied - in depth - the early stud books of the Appaloosa Horse Club. What he came away with was a healthy regard (or should I say - passion) for what later became known as the Ghost Wind horses. He found the motherload of Ghost Wind horses at Money Creek Ranch, the "Leopard Capital of the World."

The Weber's at Money Creek Ranch had purchased a colt named Pepper's Shamrock from California, who sired Money Creek's Rockledge from the mare Babe Warrior. Pepper's Shamrock F-4090 was a son of Siri Sheik F-1833, who was a son of Arab Toswirah Alkhar F-2417, who was a son of Desert King (pre-registry), whom Frank eventually traced back to Spotted Eagle of George Long Grass/Ghost Wind fame.


The Rockledge line

Rockledge

Money Creek's Rockledge F-4092, sire of some of Frank's broodmares



Rockledge portrait

Rockledge portrait



Pepper's Shamrock

Pepper's Shamrock F-4090, sire of Money Creek's Rockledge and sire of some of Frank's broodmares

Shamrock ad

This was part of a Money Creek Ranch ad
in the January 1965 issue (page 7) of the Appaloosa News.

Babe Warrior

Babe Warrior F-1309, dam of Money Creek's Rockledge



Siri Sheik

Siri Sheik
Paulla Cooper Korsten's daughter riding.



Siri Sheik

Siri Sheik F-1833, sire of Pepper's Shamrock

Arab

Arab Toswirah Alkhar F-2417, sire of Siri Sheik



Desert King

Desert King Pre-registry,, sire of Arab Taswirah Alkhar


For several (many?) years he would purchase the finest of the 'right' leopard fillies from the Webers' at Money Creek - mainly those sired by Pepper's Shamrock and Money Creek's Rockledge. I imagine at the time that Frank was one of their premier customers.

Sham and Angel

Money Creek's Shameila (foreground)
and Money Creek's Leopard Angel
at Money Creek Ranch.

Money Creek's Shameila and dam,
Sheila Warrior, at Money Creek Ranch.


These purchased Money Creek fillies became the core of Frank's herd. Money Creek's Rockalena, Money Creek's Rockolette, Money Creek's Leopard Angel, Money Creek's Shamiela, and Money Creek's Pepper Ridge were just a few of the fillies from Money Creek that came to make up Frank's Ghost Wind herd.

Ad from Money Creek catalog

This was the listing for Money Creek's Rockolette in the 1970 Money Creek Catalog.

Money Creek's Rockalena

This photo graced the cover of the 1969 Money Creek Ranch catalog. This is Money Creek's Rockalena with her dam, Rainbow Two F-1752. Rockalena was a full sister to Rockolette. (Both Rockledge daughters)


A Sire Worthy of the Mares: Chub's Powderface

Chub's Powderface

Then it was time to find a stallion as his herd sire. Frank really investigated what was available and finally chose Chub's Powderface, bred by John Taylor of Montana. Powderface had been the high selling colt at the National Sale as a yearling - selling for $3700 to Hayes McDole of Lousiana. He was later sold to Tennessee, when Frank found him for sale. I imagine he came with a hefty price tag, which may explain why Frank purchased Powderface in partnership with another friend in Michigan. Frank always harbored the thought that those folks used Powderface on many more mares than the stud reports showed, and certain other stallions standing there produced more color than their pedigrees indicated.

Chub's Powderface

Chub's Powderface at the National Appaloosa Sale in 1963.




Chub's Powderface and Shatka

Chub's Powderface with Shatka Bearstep, taken in Sweetwater, Texas, 1966.




Chub's Powderface

Chub's Powderface at the Wilson County Fair, Lebanon, Tennessee in 1969.
He earned a 1st in Most Colorful, 2nd in Get of Sire,
4th in 1964 and older Stallions.


This photo from Appaloosa News advertising Chub's Powderface for sale.


Charles Scripter aboard Chub's Powderface in Tennessee.


Chub's Powderface

Chub's Powderface in Michigan


Anita Scripter up on Powderface.


Mark Scripter up on Powderface.


This photo details Powderface's coat pattern


Chubby Pawnee

Chubby Pawnee, sire of Chub's Powderface



Black Maggie, with foal Chub's Powderface.


Frank thought Powderface was near perfect. He thought his coloration was near perfect. It was Powderface's butt that was used for the background of Mary Hare's article: From Stripes to Spots - and Back Again? [published in Appaloosa News July 1967]. For Frank it was a snow white coat with Black spots widely spaced. He did not care as much for the roan type leopards, or bay leopards or red leopards, or leopards with too many spots. (Is there such a thing?) It was black. But if it had spots from nose to toes it was pretty darn good in Frank's book. After a time he bought his partner's ownership in Powderface and owned him until the day he died.

Leopard Boots

Leopard Boots,
(Chub's Powderface x Money Creek's Shameila)

Chub's SUn Dazzle (Chub x Sham)

Chub's Sun Dazzle
(Chub's Powderface x Money Creek's Shameila)
Full brother to Shyloc's Cody.
Sun Dazzle was owned by Mary Manley
the Sundance 500 Secretary,
of Small Acres Appaloosas in Wyoming.

Gemfire

Chub's Gemfire, a son of Chub's Powderface.
Frank said this colt was Powderface's double.

Angel Many Spots and Solar Flair

Angel Many Spots (Chub's Powderface x
Money Creek's Leopard Angel)
with foal, Solar Flair Eclat. 1982.

Frank would keep the best of Powderface's daughters (read best as leopard), in turn breeding those Powderface daughters to Apache Polar Star, Shyloc's Cody and Solar Flair Eclat. In time, he would keep the Polar Star, Cody and Solar Flair (leopard) daughters. Frank used Polar Star on Flair daughters and vice versa, as well as using them on the original Money Creek mares and Powderface daughters.


Shyloc's Cody

Shyloc's Cody

Shyloc's Cody as a three year old - 1984

Shyloc's Cody (Chub's Powderface x Money Creek's Shameila) was sold - as he and Apache Polar Star were both born in 1981. Frank did use him for a time when Cody "came home". He was eventually sold again. Cody bounced around from owner to owner until his final home with Betsy Bloom in Florida.

Shyloc's Cody

Shyloc's Cody as a youngin'

Shyloc's Cody

Shyloc's Cody
at B Bloom N Spots Farm in Florida



Apache Polar Star

Apache Polar Star

Apache Polar Star


For Polar Star, he sent Powder's Polka Dot #185122 (Chub's Powderface x Ambition's Toots) to the court of Butana's Orbit #20778, a leopard horse that excelled at games. What interested Frank in him was his pedigree - he was by Butana F-2158 who was a grandson of Utah F-1131, which made him a relative of Chub's Powderface through Black Maggie ( double bred Utah).

Apache Polar Star

Apache Polar Star, July 1985

Butana's Orbit Butana's Orbit

Butana's Orbit, sire of Apache Polar Star.
Butana's Orbit was the 1967 Pennsylvania State Barrel Racing Champion.

Butana

Butana, sire of Butana's Orbit.


Utah

Utah F-1131, great grandsire of Apache Polar Star,
Lew Ferguson at halter.

Boots 86 filly

A 1986 filly sired by Apache Polar Star
out of Leopard Boots. Frank said he had
waited 20 years for this filly.
She was heavily leopard bred.

filly by Polar Star x Birdsong

Filly by Apache Polar Star
out of Chub's Birdsong.



Solar Flair Eclat

Solar Flair

Solar Flair Eclat and Frank in 1985

For Solar Flair Eclat, he sent Angel Many Spots to the court of Coyote's Apache, and ended up with the awesome Solar Flair Eclat. This horse was huge - Frank said he was 17 hands. He towered over most of Frank's other horses, and indeed towered over Frank. Frank sold a part interest in Solar Flair to Garrit Hamstra, and Garrit kept Solar until Garrit died, Frank then got Solar Flair Eclat back.

Coyote's Apache

Coyote's Apache, sire of Solar Flair Eclat.
This was a stallion flyer
for "Patch" while owned
by Kathy Maynard.

Coyote's Apache

Coyote's Apache at Kathy Maynards'.

Angel Many Spots and Solar Flair Eclat

This 'famous' photo of Angel Many Spots and
young Solar Flair Eclat was published by
the Appaloosa News, and was photographed
by Garrit Hamstra at his farm.
It is an awesome shot.

Solar Flair Eclat

Solar Flair as a yearling.
Still a leggy colt.
Frank crowed that he
was 44" tall at birth.


Chub's El Bucko

Chub's El Bucko

Chub's El Bucko in 1982 as a three year old.

Chub's El Bucko was the product of Chub's Powderface and the solid bay daughter of Money Creek's Rockledge, Brown Deer. Seeing El Bucko in person was the main reason why my tongue was hanging on the ground over Brown Deer. (I wanted her to make me one of those!) At one point we contacted El Bucko's owner to see if we could buy him, but he was out of our price range.

I was recently contacted by Sheila Kaminski of Kaminski Foundation Appaloosas, who owned El Bucko his later years until he died. Sheila sent me photos of some of Buck's daughters and a son that they own. These pictures below confirm for me that Buck was a sire of outstanding Appaloosas–and that Buck represented another one of those missed opportunities in life. It is good to know that he had a long and good life with Sheila. She said "he sure was a grand old man."

El Bucko has left quite a legacy for us to admire.

Daughters of Chub's El Bucko


A bay daughter of El Bucko - Shades of Brown Deer?



Son of El Bucko

Chub's Bluesnow Eagle, son of Chub's El Bucko.


Update January 2016. I was contacted by Amanda, the owner of the last son of El Bucko. His name is Chubs El Lobo Sun. His barn name is Moonshine (the name fits to a "T"). His dam is Art Sun Gem.

Amanda says "He's like my best friend. We just click. He's a perfect steed and he has a good mind." Which says to me that he is indeed a perfect steed...and he is one lucky hoss to have come across his human soulmate!

chubsellobosun1
chubsellobosun3

Another descendent of Frank's program is a stallion who traces five times to Chub's Powderface, through Apache Polar Star, Shyloc's Cody, Powder's Image and Solar Flair Eclat. This is concentrated Frank! He is Galahad's Magnificent ["Magnum"], #607579, a black leopard owned by Jan Dockery in North Carolina.

Of Magnum, Jan says: I can assure you that Magnum is the greatest horse on earth !!!  I know we all say that about our steeds, but I swan, he is hard to beat. His spots are merely the icing on the cake. I'm so in love with the heart n soul of this horse !!!  He is my best friend.  He is a good boy, and he is adorable.  He has such a personality !!!  For example, right now he is in with Jaz, my oldest and first ever horse. She is expecting her first foal late this fall, and I do pray for a perfect delivery for her. She is 17 years old and a maiden mare, so this birth will be "historic" for me !!!  But just to give you an idea of Magnum's personality, when I go up to them and start cooing over the fact that they're "going to have a baby!!!" .. Magnum will look at Jaz, lean over towards her, and will ever so gently barely touch her belly with his muzzle !!!  He's done it a number of times, so I know its not just a "coincidence" -- he knows what Im saying, and he knows she's going to have a baby !!!  He's going to be such a great Papa !!!!   I can't wait !!! Jaz is a bay snowcap, so this should be a loud tri color foal. [spring 2012]

While on lease to Whiskey Dan's Ranch in Pennsylvania, he sired several foals, a few of which are pictured below. Those that are spotted "nose to toes" would just tickle Frank to no end. Three of these foals now reside in Switzerland.

WD Magnificent Candy Dam: SLA Shalako's Candi

Whiskeydan's Yukonjack Dam: Sweet Tulsa Time

Whiskeydan's Ladylove Dam: RA Speculation

WD Magnificent Sunrise Dam: SRU Navajo Sunrise

Magnificent Jubilee Dam: Ulrich's Jubilee


Frank's Legacy

The following is a letter from Frank to Mary [Manley?]. It was published in the Sundance Newsletter, March 1982, pages 5-11. Frank formed his theories from the horses in front of him...the research on Appaloosa genetics available now, was not in existence then.

franktomary1
franktomary2 franktomary3 franktomary4 franktomary5 franktomary6 franktomary7

Although he seldom advertized in the Appaloosa News, he did advertize in the Sundance Newsletter, and word spread of Frank's horses. He was President of Sundance when Mary Manley, the secretary/treasurer and editor (the heartbeat of Sundance) died unexpectedly. Frank was the single person responsible for keeping Sundance going during this trying time, spending his own money to keep it afloat. It wasn't that he was pushing the Sundance line, it was that the Sundance organization was the only "safe" (or should I say welcoming) place for Appaloosa owners of the "foundation" type. Frank often got into caustic letter exchanges with ApHC Directors (and others) of the time, challenging them on their decisions, theories, and what was best for the Appaloosa. He most especially despised the CPO, labeling crossbreds as mongrels. After CPO, Frank only used the ApHC to register his horses for the express purpose of certiftying their pedigree.

The book that was ghost written
by Frank Scripter, from the oral
history told to him by Don LaLonde.

It was during the mid 80s that Frank met Don LaLonde, the owner of Double Heart's Kid. The Kid descended through Siri Sheik's Double Heart, Siri Sheik, Arab Toswirah Alkhar, Desert King - back to Spotted Eagle, the horse owned by George Long Grass, the Nez Perce that Don LaLonde had befriended as a kid. Frank learned the entire oral history of George Long Grass, which precipitated Frank's obsession with finding out all that he could to prove or disprove this story. He became the ghost writer for The Story of The Ghost Wind Stallions, published in 1990.

I received a couple of manuscripts from Frank while he was working on it, and the recipient of many hours of long phone calls. He was also thinking about making a new organization, The American Leopard Association, and I was to be a secretary. Alas, that never got off the ground. What did come of that - eventually, and after a fashion - was the creation of FAHR (Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry).


Frank was the ultimate proponent of the true Appaloosa. He was a gifted writer, a good photographer, a meticiouls researcher, and a mentor for many, myself included. Frank's knowledge of Appaloosa history, and his breeding experiences, made him an excellent teacher to those willing to listen. As with anyone, not all his ideas were 100% correct. However, Frank had an uncommon desire to offer and share information with those who would listen.

Frank did not care for solids, nor did he care for fewspots and blankets. Those he tended to dispose of cheaply, at least in the 80s before their value was more widely accepted. Other breeders were thus able then to obtain a Scripter bloodline much cheaper than a leopard would cost them. One of those was Lois Williams, and she used her solid black, Scripter bred fillies to great success.

While I never bought any horses of Frank's breeding, I was let into his circle with the purchase of two of his Money Creek mares. He visited with us two times, and seeing how he thought only his horses were worthy, it was a real honor to have him as a guest, and see our horses.

Frank died of cancer June 8th, 1999 at the age of 81. Before his death he gave away his entire herd of horses to those who were currently listening to him.


Afterword

I hope you have gleaned from this essay and photographs, that Frank Scripter was one of the greatest spokesman for the Appaloosa in the last part of the twentieth century. He exerted a positive influence over many Appaloosa owners and breeders. I would hazard to say he exerted an influence over others as well, who have an interest in the Appaloosa horse. That legacy lives on, at least in the memories of those of us who listened to Frank. His horses and their descendents continue to contribute to other breeders' programs in the 21st century.

End of the Frank Scripter, Lord of the Leopards

The above information is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Bringing any errors or discrepancies to my attention will be appreciated.


Top
Back to Appaloosa History Index

This page last updated January 2016.