Appaloosa Territory

Appaloosa History
Lois Williams, the Lady of the Leopards, and Wildwish Farm
Part One

Anyone who has been "in" foundation Appaloosas for more than a few years, and who was perhaps also a member of the Sundance 500 organization, surely recognizes the name Lois Williams. She was not only a longtime member of Sundance, but a vocal participant in Sundance through her letters, articles, and artwork. She and I became friends in the early 90s, after having admired each others' horses for a decade prior. Lois was a genuine believer in the 'true' Appaloosa, she loved her spotted horses and worked very hard to promote them, not only in Sundance.

On my one visit to Wildwish Farm in 1999, Lois told me much about her life with Appaloosas. Unfortunately my memory fails about her early years. Perhaps someone else will fill in the blanks somehwere on the internet someday. I will just relate what I knew of Lois (and can remember).

Lois and Mr.

Lois and Mr.

It turns out that probably the big reason Lois and I liked each others horses was that our herd sires turned out to be closely related through Simcoe's Sarcee F-1634. Her stallion, known as "Mr." was out of Golden Leopard sired by Simcoe's Sarcee. My stallion, "Candy", was out of Weeping Water, also a daughter of Simcoe's Sarcee. So Mr. and Candy were at least half brothers. (With the infamous "Charley W. Peterson mare" behind them, any further discussion of pedigree is rather moot.) "Mr." was a black leopard with big spots, Candy a bay with big spots. The "big spots" was the pattern that Lois and I both swooned it seems we were fated to be friends from the start.

Simcoe's Sarcee

Simcoe's Sarcee as a two year old.

It was through the Sundance Newsletter that I had become aware of Lois and Wild Wish Farm–both her ads and her contributions of letters or articles or opinion pieces. We shared a common philosophy at that time, and a common passion for leopard Appaloosas.

A friend of Lois' stopped by our farm one time. She had a photo of "Mr." and I just fell in love with him. She told me about Lois and her horses. After that visit I felt I really knew Lois. Later when I was going through some hard times, Lois called and offered to keep some of my mares, in exchange for foals, if I needed. It was very gracious of her to offer. That was the first time we had spoken.

It was when Lois and I became Board Directors of ICAA (International Colored Appaloosa Association) that our friendship came into its heyday. We were both really excited to be on the Board and working for the foundation Appaloosa through the ICAA. The U.S. mail was the method of communication, as well as long conversations on the telephone. We wrote multi-paged letters back and forth, discussing ideas and ways to promote the ICAA Appaloosa. Lois was a constant advertiser, and as editor of the ICAA Report, I was able to see all her original photos, and came to know her horses.

I had picked out my favorite mare, Sarcee Bunny Spot, now owned by Indian Spirit Horses. When I visited Lois in 1999, my favorite did not disappoint me. She was awesome, but the others were also mind boggling as well. What a fabulous group of leopard horses. They were a blend of Simcoe Sarcee through "Mr." with the Scripter influence through a black mare and a few spot stallion, Ghost Wind's Echo, both of Scripter breeding. Lois had owned fewspot stallions before, but fate had always interevened and she never got to use them until Echo.

Like me, Lois got her share of solids from Mr. But Lois had a theory. The theory was that solid Appaloosa mares, when bred to leopard bred fewspots, would give the best 'rate of return' for producing leopards. Remember this was the early-mid 90s. Frank Scripter had no use for solids and little use for few spots. Lois and Frank went round and round on this, but I think time has proven Lois to be correct. [See her article here: Study in Black] She used Echo on her orginal solid black mare, and the solid black daughter this mare produced with Mr., as well as her other Mr daughters. From these crosses Lois got outstanding color and conformation. Lois did note that the more she concentrated the breeding, the more often fewspots resulted.

Lois wrote the poem, The Birth of a Black Leopard Foal and it pulls at the heartstrings of many who read it. It has made its way around the world via the internet. I found the poem, among other places, in the publication of the Appaloosa Horse Breeders Society of South Africa, Appaloosa News Spot, July 2011 issue. She would have been so pleased...


The Birth of a Black Leopard Foal

From High in the clouds, they look down on Earth,
Spring is the time for many a birth.

"This Horse is my favorite, Help me Good Chief,"
The Great Spirit asks,
"I need you to spot the Appaloosa I love."

And so the Nez Perce Chief gladly takes over the task,
to color each foal's pattern different, from high up above.

As He paints the blankets with all kinds and colors of spots,
big, small, and some only dots.

The Chief misses his spotted beauties and it makes Him sad,
with memories of the plains where he roamed as a Lad.

So sometimes as the tears of Chief Joseph, wiped by his hand,
still fall toward the Earth.

The Great Spirit guides them through dark clouds,
and they land at a birth.

To a selected few, snow-white hides they will fall.

To only the chosen ones, not to all.

They spot the pure white, with tears of jet black.

Spots shaped like tear drops, bear paws, or maybe an animal's track.
See the handprint of a Chief that spots the white?

The completed painting - Oh! What a sight!

Seen by the human eye, brings a cry of joy,
A Black Leopard Foal!
the Brightest of the bright!

The Chief looks down, a smile replaces the tears,

He has spotted a special one,
someone has waited for, for years.

A Black Leopard Foal!

The Great Spirit paints only a few foals with the Chief's grief,
these are the ones that can take away the Chief's grief,

And replace it with magic, and make these foals stand true,
A Black Leopard Foal!
prized by Breeders like me and you.

Their births are wished for, they seem not to be planned,

The Great Spirit gives them only,
From the Tears off Chief Joseph's Hand...

Lois died of breast cancer a number of years ago. I do surely miss her friendship, and think of her often. I see her horses spread, not only across the U.S., but in many foreign lands as well. Lois would be extremely proud to see what her babies and her philosophy has accomplished.

Golden Leopard

Golden Leopard, dam of Cedar Ridge Spot

Wild Wish Farm flyers that Lois sent over the years...

flyerlate80s2 mrpedigree

from 2002...

2002flyer1 2002flyer2 2002flyer3 2002flyer5 2002flyer6 2002flyer4

Part 2 will focus on Lois' horses and their descendants.

End of the Wild Wish Part One

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


This page last updated February 2013.