Sundance Breeders History


Sundance Breeders History

Appaloosa Heritage Articles

Charles O'Bryant III
456 Waynick Road
Reidsville, NC 27320

 Sundance F500

The following article was written by me and was originally published in May 2002 in the Sundance 500 Newsletter.  It tells of the beginnings of Ralph and Joyce Cannon and Sunspot Revel F1904.  

Charles O'Bryant, III

Sundance Breeders History

Much of the historical information about the very early beginnings of our organization was given to me by the creator of the Sundance 500 Breeders Association, Ralph Cannon. Additional information regarding Wayne Wyant was given to me by Lois Wyant. Previous Sundance 500 Newsletters, articles from the Appaloosa News and Sundance 500 Breeders Association documents from Ralph Cannon's personal files have been used as references to complete this article.

Ralph Cannon - Painting of Sunspot Revel by Joel Hetley I visited Ralph and Joyce Cannon on March 23, 2002, just one month before Ralph Cannon's 92nd birthday. The interview for Sundance 500 International was held in the Cannon's beautiful mountainside home in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. Ralph explained in detail how he got started in the Appaloosa business. It is relevant and necessary to tell the story of his beginnings with Appaloosas and how his daughter's love of the breed sparked his interest that resulted in the start of our 30-year old Sundance 500 International organization.


Our organization really began in 1963 when Ralph Cannon conceived the idea and a group of Sundance 500 breeders came together to promote their horses. In fact, this would make our organization 40 years old in 2003. It is wonderful that Ralph Cannon is able to witness this great organization's accomplishments and see the renewed interest by the current membership. Ralph is credited with being one of the two founding fathers and is still a member in good standing of Sundance 500 International. 

The story of the famous red leopard stallion Sundance F500 has been told in articles by Harry Edwards, Mary Hare, Phil Jenkins and Mary Manley. We know of the magnificent leopard bloodlines from Sundance F500 that were found in the early Sully Appaloosas of Lee Warne and WayLo Appaloosas of Wayne and Lois Wyant. The Sundance F500 bloodline was also present in the early days of the Weber's Money Creek Ranch, the Ulrich Ranch and many other breeders, such as Ben Johnson, Carl Follmer, Clyde Knowlton, Harold Christie and the Swaynes.

The story must now be told of the humble but brilliant, hard-working man Ralph Cannon, who was a geologist by profession and a true horseman at heart. Ralph Cannon, born in 1910 in York, Pennsylvania, has seen many changes in his lifetime-the transition from horse to automobile, two world wars, the Depression, and now the age of the computer. Sundance 500 International has grown far beyond the original fellowship that Ralph Cannon envisioned and began many years ago with Wayne Wyant. 

This organization was conceived as the result of the Cannon and Foreman families training and showing the Sundance F500 bred bay leopard stallion, Sunspot Revel, in the Mountain and Plains Appaloosa Horse Club during the early 1960's. Ralph Cannon's curiosity led him to to research the lineage of Sunspot Revel's dam, Rocking Chair Sun Dance F587, and led to a desire to establish a fellowship of breeders of Sundance F500 bloodline Appaloosas. Ralph also had the opportunity to watch the success of various Sundance 500 bloodline Appaloosas in regional and national events. It was during those early years that Ralph created the concept of the Sundance bloodline association and talked to breeders who ran the larger operations producing Sundance F500 bloodline horses. The story of Sundance 500 International cannot be told without first telling the story of Sun Appaloosas and the famous stallion Sunspot Revel F1904.

Sun Appaloosas

Annual Mounted Easter Sunrise serviceThe Sun Appaloosas program was born in the 1950s in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The Cannons lived near Sante Fe, New Mexico in Seton Village next to an 800 acre horse ranch where they rode horses and attended the rancher's classes on horse handling. In 1954 the Cannon's daughter, Susan bought her own horse with parental consent. Susan began riding her horse with a friend who was a very experienced rider. One day when they were riding through the pinon pines, Susan fell and was injured, which focused her parents on locating kid-safe horses. The next winter in a new home on Lookout Mountain overlooking Golden and Denver, Colorado, while riding horses from a nearby stable, the Cannons found a perfect kid-safe horse. She was a speckled roan mare named Rocking Chair Sun Dance F587.

Rocking Chair Sundance

Later in 1956, Susan pleaded to her parents, "poor old Rocking Chair, eight years old and never had a baby." Reluctantly the parents gave in. Ralph told Susan, "but just one." His daughter's request led him to look for a stallion for breeding. Revel Jr with 10 year old Terry Walker on board They went to the Annual Mounted Easter Sunrise service in search of anyone riding an Appaloosa. Ralph found a man who turned out to be an old time Appaloosa breeder, Cliff McMurtry, President of the Mountain and Plains Appaloosa Horse Club (MPAHC).  Ralph explained their needs and after asking Cliff about a stallion he said, "Have I got the stallion for you!" That young stallion was Revel Junior F1728. So that spring, Rocking Chair Sun Dance was bred to Revel Junior, who in later years became a famous performance horse.

Revel Jr

On May 16, 1957, a pink leopard colt was born in a puddle of water melted from a recent two foot snow fall. Rocking Chair Sun Dance was staying at a friend's ranch on Lookout Mountain and foaled the colt during a sunspot cycle, so he was named Sunspot Revel. That June Cliff convinced the Cannons to take the pair to the big Estes Park show of the MPAHC. The amateur Cannons did well for their first time and Rocking Chair Sun Dance received Reserve Champion Broodmare and their leopard colt placed fourth place. George Hatley registered the colt that day at the show, but when his registration papers came in the mail, it listed Sunspot Revel F18xx sired by Revel, his grandsire. The certificate was returned to Moscow for correction. When the new registration certificate came back, Sunspot Revel was registered F1904. The recent stud book had already gone to press ending with F1899.

The Cannons were impressed at Estes Park show when all the old time breeders tried to buy the bay leopard colt. In August 1957, Cliff persuaded them to show their horses at the Colorado State Fair. At both shows they were deluged with help and advice from many old time breeders. So much interest in their leopard colt and roan mare told the Cannons they had hit the jackpot and needed to research Rocking Chair Sun Dance's ancestry. Ralph learned that she was the only registered foal of Rocking Chair Porter, one of the original 13 registered get of Sundance 500, making Sunspot Revel a great grandson of Sundance F500. Soon he discovered that Rocking Chair Sun Dance had been sired by Fox CRHA #10. Through the Colorado Rangerbred Horse Registry, Fox's ancestry was traced back to Leopard #3, son of Max #2, son of the mysterious leopard stallion, the Waldron Leopard. Sunspot Revel's pedigree goes back through two unbroken lines of leopard ancestors. Ralph also realized that Sundance F500 was in the pedigree of almost every Colorado bred National Champion at this point in time. It was right about then that Ralph named his program Sun Appaloosas.

Sundance F500

Sundance F500His driving interest in the Sundance 500 bloodlines led Ralph to meet a number of people with Sundance F500 connections. He made opportunities to talk to Phil Jenkins, Sundance's breeder, and Doc Edwards, his last owner. He had many conversations with Ben Johnson of Grand Junction, Colorado, a Director and Vice President of the ApHC. Ben had leased Sundance F500 from Doc Edwards for a breeding season in the late 1940s, resulting in two Sundance fillies: Leopard Lady, the dam of Patchy Jr, and Sunshine, who won a title of National Champion Mare. Ralph credits Ben Johnson with helping Doc Edwards register Sundance with the ApHC, and with focusing Ralph's attention on the exemplary qualities of this great Foundation sire.

Ralph also talked with many other breeders who had no connections with Sundance F500. He met Dave Ruby, son of the famous horseman Mike Ruby, who founded the CRHA. Dave shared with Ralph pertinent information about Rocking Chair Sun Dance's lineage. Star Buck Leopard Dave knew that Fox #10 had bred the mare Porter before she was sold to E.P. Deahl, the owner of Rocking Chair Ranch in southern Colorado. E.P. Deahl then registered her as Rocking Chair Porter and her new foal as Rocking Chair Sun Dance.  Dave executed an affidavit that allowed their ApHC records to be corrected. Ralph also visited Idledale, home of the Starbuck Leopard and birthplace of Daylight, the sire of Sundance F500. One son of the Starbuck still roamed the valley with his band of mares.  Mrs. Starbuck gladly showed Ralph the famous oil painting of The Starbuck Leopard.

Sunspot Revel, the horse who inspired Ralph Cannon to dream of a Sundance organization By spring of 1958 the Cannons had bought Sunspot Revel his first ranch he could claim as his home - 55 acres of pasture and woodland with a quonset barn and slabwood cabin, down in Cody Park, 1000 feet below the Cannon's mountaintop home. Sunspot Revel spent his teenage years growing up on the Cody Park Ranch. 

Patchy Jr In 1958 the Cannons purchased a second broodmare, Piance Creek F996. Her sire was Norell's Little Red, who was first registered as a Quarter horse, but re-registered as an Appaloosa when he turned color. Piance Creek was in foal to Patchy Jr, a grandson of Sundance F500, a National Champion Stallion and Reserve Champion Performance Horse.


Patchy Jr

The Sun Appaloosa program started with these two fine mares. In 1959 Piance Creek foaled a colt with very little color, which Ralph sold to Jo Warren, President of the Appaloosa Horse Club of Canada. Jo Warren said he was buying the colt for his bloodlines. He was registered as Warren's Red Dog. This stallion went on to produce some excellent sons in the northwest region. 

Sunspot Revel bred his first mares in 1959, including Piance Creek. The summer of 1960 Ralph's profession required him to visit scientific laboratories in Europe. That spring a new Paradise Hills Ranch opened for business within a mile of the ranch in Cody Park. Sunspot Revel was boarded at Paradise Hills Ranch where the staff started his training. It was at this facility that Ralph first began promoting his own Sundance F500 bloodline stallion. Ralph joined with Ben Johnson, the owner of Patchy Jr., to advertise their two stallions as Sundance F500 stallions. Patchy Jr. was billed as the senior Sundance F500 stallion and Sunspot Revel as the junior Sundance F500 stallion. Ralph created a motto for Sun Appaloosas which he began to use in his advertising, "Horses to match our mountains."
Immediately thereafter, big changes occurred that would result in the future success of the Sundance 500 Breeders Association. When Ralph returned from Europe in September, the Paradise Hills Ranch manager said that Sunspot Revel was very difficult to handle, indicating that Sunspot Revel was so wild that he could not leave his stall. Ralph Cannon had recently stopped the training of Sunspot Revel by the Paradise Hills personnel, causing the owners to shun Sunspot Revel. It was shortly after that Ralph heard Monte Foreman had been recently hired to manage the Paradise Hills Ranch. In less than one month, Monte Foreman contacted Ralph and said that Sunspot Revel was a wonderful stallion in need of some training. In November of 1960, Monte Foreman and Ralph Cannon began training Sunspot Revel together. After less than two weeks, Mike Foreman took Ralph's place riding Sunspot Revel in training and two months later, in January 1961, Monte Foreman rode Sunspot Revel in the Denver National Western Stock Show. Sunspot Revel placed 3rd in the Men's Western Pleasure Class. This was the first time that an Appaloosa had ever placed in this event. 

Sunspot Revel at his first show with Monte on board and Ralph in front The photo with Ralph in front of Sunspot Revel and Monte on board is only one of few photos ever taken of Monte Foreman on Sunspot Revel.  With that photo, Ralph began the promotion of his Sundance F500 and Colorado Rangerbred stallion Sunspot Revel. The Sun Appaloosas program rapidly gained notoriety with Sunspot Revel's performances in the many western events and shows around Colorado. It also sparked Ralph's dream of an organization for Sundance F500 bloodline leopard breeders.

From 1961 to 1963, Ralph, along with Mike and Gary Foreman, traveled with Sunspot Revel to shows in Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada and Texas. Sunspot Revel was Grand Champion Performance Appaloosa of the Mountain & Plains Region in 1961 and Reserve Champion in 1963. The diversity of the Sundance F500 bloodline could be seen in Sunspot Revel's performance in Western Pleasure, Trail, Reining, Costume, Calf-Roping, Stake Race, Stump Race and Rope Race. At the Denver Western Stock Show, Sundance 500 bred Appaloosas won three of the first four ribbons-Sunspot Revel, his first son, Red Sun, and Patchy Jr's Mokena. Sunspot Revel also raced in 1961 and 1962 and helped establish Appaloosa racing in Colorado. 

During those years, as Sunspot Revel's successes mounted, the concept of a Sundance F500 bloodline organization continued to evolve. Ralph had the opportunity to meet and get to know a number of other Sundance F500 breeders, including John L. Baker of Pennsylvania, Gene Carr of South Dakota, Arlo Edwards of Kansas, Mary Ann Fox of Indiana, Ben Johnson of Colorado, Len Melville of Oregon, Harold Tyner of Indiana, Frosty Vroman of Wyoming, Floyd Ward of Illinois, Lee Warne of South Dakota, Jo Warren of British Columbia, Ed Weber of Minnesota (Money Creek Ranch), Wayne Wyant (WayLo Acres) of Pennsylvania and several others.

In 1963 in Boise, Idaho, Ralph initiated efforts to test the waters for interest in a Sundance F500 bloodline group. At the time, there were several Appaloosa associations starting up in the United States, such as the Toby Breeders, Mansfield Comanche Breeders and Patchy Breeders. Six of these Sundance breeders banded together to promote their Sundance F500 horses. This group eventually became known as the Sundance 500 Breeders Association.

Wayne Wyant Several Sundance F500 bloodline breeders showed interest in promoting their horses during the next few years, but the more formal organization of the Sundance 500 Breeders Association did not take hold until 1966 when Ralph joined with Wayne Wyant to form the group. 

They are recognized and accepted as the two founding fathers of Sundance 500 International. Prior to his association with Ralph, Wayne also began breeding and showing Sundance F500 bloodline Appaloosas. Wayne, who was from Pennsylvania, had traveled west on several occasions to purchase several fine Sundance F500 leopards from Lee Warne's South Dakota ranch. Wayne and Ralph got acquainted at various shows and the two began talking about promoting the Sundance F500 bloodline and encouraging breeders of Sundance F500 Appaloosas to join together. 

Waylo's Sully by Sully Pattern

Waylo's Sully by Sully Pattern

In 1966, Ralph Cannon as President and Wayne Wyant as Secretary drafted a letter seeking out members for the Sundance 500 Breeders Association. Wayne Wyant's February 4, 1966 letter, which was directed toward the larger Sundance F500 bloodline Appaloosa ranches, took their shared dream from concept to reality. It read as follows:
There has been talk to form a group of Sundance Breeders and I have decided to stick my neck out in hopes of getting one going. This will be along the lines of Toby, Mansfield's Comanche, etc., and I hope with some new thoughts. Tentative plans are as follows:

The group will be of ones who own Appaloosa Horses with Sundance Breeding.

Our aim will be to promote Appaloosa Horses in general and the Sundance Breeding in particular, at the local and National level.

Material is being collected on Sundance horses, more is needed, pictures, pedigree, show records, human interest stories, anything that will arouse interest in the bloodline. The material will be used in National Horse Magazines for several months to acquaint people with the bloodline. Some we hope to get in as stories, some will be in the form of an ad and list the breeders.

The material will be worked into a brochure that can be used by any breeder in promotion. Each member will receive a given number of these to start and then buy future quantities as he needs them.

As this will be a non-profit group, any work that I do or any one else, will be on a donation basis only.

The ads which will come later will be paid by each member at the time his ad is used and will be worked out when our membership is set.

Postage, printing, etc. will be paid out of the treasure. Since the group will be widespread, we will have to do most of our work by mail. A progress bulletin will be sent listing treasure balance, money spent, etc.

If interested I would like the following:

1. $25.00 to start the treasure.
2. Suggestions on a name for the group.
3. All possible material and ideas that you may have.

Wayne R. Wyant, Waylo Acres
Fairmount City, PA"

March 1968 ad in the Appaloosa NewsFrom this letter approximately twenty Sundance F500 bloodline ranches expressed an interest in joining the group. The primary focus of the group was to advertise the Sundance F500 bloodline horses. 

 In March 1968 the first Sundance Breeders Association ad was published in the Appaloosa News. Although the ad was published with some significant errors, it pushed the organization into the public arena and the organization's membership grew significantly during the next four to five years. 
1972 Sundance Breeders Association adNumerous ads were published in the Appaloosa News and The Western Horseman from 1968 to 1973 in an attempt to educate the public about the bloodline. Although the organization's membership grew steadily for some time, it had begun to dwindle by 1972. Sundance F500 horses were sold to several ranches around the world in the 1970's. Prominent international Appaloosa owners, including Jo Warren, President of the Canadian Appaloosa Horse Club, and J. Noel Cook, President of the Australian Appaloosa Association, owned fine Sundance F500 leopard Appaloosas at this time. Ralph and Joyce Cannon had successfully moved their Sun Appaloosa operation to North Carolina. Wayne and Lois Wyant's WayLo Acres operation in Pennsylvania was growing tremendously during this time. Both ranches along with Lee Warne's Ranch were active in promoting Sundance F500 bloodline Appaloosas.

The Birth of SUNDANCE 500 "International"

In the summer of 1973, the Cannon's first grandchild was born. This event turned out to be a blessing to both the Cannons and the soon-to-be Sundance 500 International. Ralph and Joyce Cannon left their Spruce Pine, North Carolina home for a month and went to Phoenix, Arizona to stay with their daughter Nancy, who was awaiting the arrival of her first child. Nancy's husband Bob was stationed in Korea and they went to take care of their daughter. During this four week period, Ralph devoted a majority of his time to getting Sundance 500 Breeders Association back on track. 

He contacted approximately 50 Sundance F500 breeders who were previous members, customers, and ApHC presidents in the United States, Australia and Canada. Just prior to the Cannon's trip to Arizona, Ralph had corresponded with one of his best customers, George and Mary Manley of Cheyenne, Wyoming, about the revitalization of the Sundance 500 Breeders Association. During this time, Ralph contacted Wayne Wyant several times to discuss the revitalization of the organization on more of an "international" basis. This is documented in letters dated February 18,1973, April 7, 1973 and July 25, 1973 written from Ralph Cannon to Wayne Wyant. The severity of the situation can be seen in Ralph's comments: 
"I feel very strongly that a time has come again when the Sundance Breeders Association must either grow, enlist a bunch of new members, or die." Ralph shared his opinion that the Sundance 500 Breeders Association had been dormant since the last ad was published in the January 1973 Appaloosa News.

In his letter, he also commented on his contacts overseas and the sales of Sundance F500 Appaloosas to clients in Australia and Canada and of the potential for the current Sundance Breeders Association to now become a worldwide organization. Ralph stated: "I've been in touch with all 3 Australian owners of Sundance stallions and with our Canadian customers. All are enthusiastic about the idea that we join forces in a Sundance promotional association with an international flavor and a name something like Sundance Worldwide Appaloosas. The time has now come to take positive action in this direction, either by reorganizing the existing Sundance 500 Breeders, or by just launching a new association." Ralph went on to say: "My proposal is to devote the rest of 1973 to organizing (membership drive, election of Directors, adoption of Bylaws) and be ready to roll in January issue, with something in [the] Appaloosa News each month thereafter. I've found a candidate for the job of Secretary, Mary Manley of Small Acres Appaloosas, Cheyenne Wyoming." 

During the summer of 1973 the winds of change began to blow. Several letters written from Ralph Cannon to Mary Manley resulted in the changing of the guard of the Secretary's position. A letter dated July 26, 1973 from Ralph Cannon to Mary Manley outlined the proposed revival. In August, a letter from Ralph Cannon was mailed to the old membership informing them that Wayne Wyant was retiring as Secretary and announcing that Mary Manley would be the new Secretary. It outlined the new movement and asked for Charter memberships in this new worldwide organization. 

Mary Manley drawingA September 24, 1973 letter written from Mary Manley to Ralph Cannon indicates that the new International Sundance 500 Association is on track with the membership drive and the newsletter is about to go to the printers. At this same time, plans were made to advertise the "International Sundance 500 Association" in the December Appaloosa News. As of this date there were 8 charter members enlisted.  The new revitalized International Sundance 500 Association, an organization geared toward all sizes of Sundance F500 breeders and open to all, is about to emerge. 

Mary Manley drawing

The New Direction

In late August 1973, Ralph issued a "Sundance Progress Report" to the current Sundance 500 Breeders Association members and all parties involved with the change at hand. 

He reports: "I have talked at length with Wayne Wyant by phone, and we have agreed as follows: That the Sundance 500 Breeders Association will be replaced by transition into a new international Sundance bloodline association; that Wayne will turn over to Mary Manley and myself the records & mailing lists of the old association; and that Mary and I will carry the main load of new membership campaign. Charter Members to be enlisted via a monthly Sundance Newsletter, first issue September 1 if possible, by an ad at the earliest possible opportunity in Appaloosa News, and by personal contacts. Our proposal is $25 dues to become a Charter Member. As soon as we have 50 (or better 100) Charter Members, we will mail to each a ballot for election of Directors and for indicating personal choice of a permanent name for the organization. My suggestion is that we have 9 Directors: 3 ex officio Directors - Phil Jenkins, the breeder of Sundance 500; Wayne Wyant, the founder of the Sundance Association; and Mary Manley, the new Secretary-Treasurer. Six to be elected: 3 from the 48 conterminous States; 1 from Australia; 1 from Canada; and 1 from elsewhere in the world, Alaska, Hawaii, Latin America, Europe, Asia, etc. As soon as the Directors are elected, they will organize, choose the most preferred name, adopt By-laws, and set the program. I believe this will be the first truly international Appaloosa organization of any kind."

This "progress report" also stated that Ralph and Joyce had returned home from Phoenix, Arizona in August, 1973. Interestingly, the report stated they attended an Appaloosa Horse Show in Greensboro, North Carolina where they took the opportunity to launch a local Sundance 500 campaign. Ralph stated there were seven Sundance F500 owners in attendance at the show. "It was clear that the worldwide association is going to be greeted with enthusiasm by the owners of Sundance horses."

First Sundance Newsletter

In October of 1973, the first newsletter was published by Mary Manley titled Sundance Newsletter, Issue No. 1 by the Sundance "500" Association. It included another letter dated October 1, 1973 written by Ralph Cannon and signed by Ralph Cannon and Wayne Wyant. The letter, "An Open Letter To Sundance Owners and To All Horsemen Of Goodwill," outlined the history of the Sundance 500 Breeders Association and encouraged the formation of a worldwide organization. The letter stated: "The time has come for proud owners of Sundance Appaloosas everywhere to band together in a new worldwide Sundance bloodline association. This time around, we predict that in 3 months far more will happen than we were able to accomplish during the past 5 years, for momentum has been building up." 

They set a goal of 100 charter members for the new Sundance 500 organization. The first 17 charter members were listed in the first newsletter. Those initial charter members were as follows:

Ralph & Joyce Cannon 
Sun Appalooses - Cannondale Farm
Spruce Pine, North Carolina

Richard R. Roberts
Weaverville, North Carolina

George & Mary Manley 
Small Acres Appaloosas
Cheyenne, Wyoming

Elaine E. Chapin 
Cream Ridge, New Jersey

R. Maurice Robinson 
Mountain Top Appaloosas 
Spruce Pine, North Carolina

Wayne & Lois Wyant 
WayLo Acres
Fairmount City, Pennsylvania

Louie & Barbara Lawrimore
Lawrimore Farms 
Hemingway, South Carolina

Mr. & Mrs. H. Larry McPherson
Ramseur, North Carolina


Sharon Hutchinson 
Burns, Wyoming
Sheridan, Wyoming

Gene Carr
Santee Appaloosas
Oldham, South Dakota

David P. Lutz 
Trisun Appaloosas/Brentwood Rest Home
Louisburg, North Carolina

Elaine Koehler
Pine Forest Appaloosa Ranch
Lillian, Alabama

Rodney B. Ligon 
Roan Meadow Stables
Danville, Virginia 

Dr. & Mrs. C. Norman Shealy
Brindabella Farms
La Crosse, Wisconsin

G. Donald & Mary Rockey Ulrich 
West Alexandria, Ohio

Thomas E. Harris 
T & J Appaloosas
San Bruno, California

Our New Name - Sundance "500" International

The group was known initially as the International Sundance 500 Association. There was a contest during the early months of 1974 to select the new name and logo of the worldwide organization and in March of 1974, the group adopted the new name Sundance "500" International. Ralph Cannon told me he had hoped that his suggestion of "Sundance Appaloosas International" would be adopted. Soon after, in a May 14, 1974 letter from Mary Manley to Ralph Cannon she states: "The Charter Membership has now reached 99." In less than one year's time, Ralph Cannon and Mary Manley had successfully jump-started the Sundance 500 group to a new worldwide organization. The group, now almost a year old, was known as Sundance 500 International and had a membership that surpassed 100 members.

Author's Notes and Closing

This completes the first in the series of articles on the Organizational History of Sundance 500 International. This article was written to enlighten and inform the Sundance 500 International membership and to create a recorded history of the earliest days of our organization. To date, most of the information published has focused from the year 1966 forward. I wanted to produce more of a "behind the scenes" look at how it all began; the human interest perspective about the creator, his thoughts and ideas on the promotion of the Sundance F500 bloodline and how Ralph Cannon and Wayne Wyant began the predecessor association to our current organization. At the beginning of Sundance 500 International, the person who emerged as the prominent force behind Sundance 500 was Mary Manley. If it was not for her commitment and dedication to the growth of Sundance 500 International, the organization we know today might not exist. This leads us into the next article on the leadership from 1974 to 1985, where Mary Manley was Secretary and Charlotte Shealy, John L. Baker and Frank Scripter were Presidents of Sundance 500 International. These officers and many other leaders carried the torch for the next decade.

Ralph with Sunspot Revel's racing silks

Ralph Cannon & Charles O'Bryant III

Ralph Cannon with 
Sunspot Revel's Jockey racing silks

Ralph Cannon & Charles O'Bryant III

[Editor: My sincerest appreciation to Charles O'Bryant for researching and writing this piece on Sundance history.  And a heartfelt thank you goes to Ralph Cannon and Wayne Wyant for having the vision to create a Sundance 500 organization so many years ago, for all of us to learn from, enjoy, rally round and to serve as a 'Foundation' Appaloosa community.  Thank you, Ralph & Wayne!]

The following references were used to create this time line of events that lead to the birth of Sundance 500 International:

1. Interviews with Ralph and Joyce Cannon (June 16, 2001 and March 23, 2002)
2. Photo biography text on Sunspot Revel by Ralph and Joyce Cannon (June 14, 2001)
3. Article "Accent on Spots" by Mary Hare (June 1969 Appaloosa News)
4. Article on Sun Appaloosas by Mary Manley for Sundance Breeders Association
5. 1980 Sun Appaloosas Sales Catalog by Ralph and Joyce Cannon
6. Various Articles from Sundance 500 Newsletter Archives
7. Letters from Sundance 500 Breeders Association, Ralph Cannon's personal Archives
8. Sundance 500 Breeders Sales Flyers 1968-1969
9. Appaloosa Horse Breeders 1963 Guide, by Sun Appaloosas
10. 1983 Sun Appaloosa Sales Flyer 
11. Appaloosa News, October 1961
12. Appaloosa News, January 1972
13. Appaloosa News, December 1964
14. Article on Sundance 500 by Mary Manley

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