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It was said back then that invariably the best son or daughter of any sire would be the one from a Tar Heel mare.

Tar Heel, a son of Billy Direct and the Volomite mare Leta Long, had a dual-gait siring career as initially many of better sons and daughters like Tarquinius, Tar Boy, Bengazi Hanover, and Gamecock were from trotting-bred mares. Stars produced in his later years like Steady Beau, Laverne Hanover, Nansemond, and Isle Of Wight occurred when he began servicing pacing-bred mares--especially those by Adios.

Tar Heel was a leading sire--though not necessarily an enduring one--as his male line has virtually dried up. His daughters, however, can still be found in the extended pedigrees of contemporary pacing stars particularly through Romola Hanover.

Photo from USTA archives
Tar Heel, winner of the 1951 Little Brown Jug, went on to sire two Jug winners (Laverne Hanover in 1969 and Nansemond in 1971) and was the broodmare sire of seven more (Vicar Hanover in 1964, Bret Hanover in 1965, Romeo Hanover in 1966, Armbro Omaha in 1974, Keystone Ore in 1976, Ralph Hanover in 1983, and Colt Fortysix in 1984). 

Romola Hanover out of the Hal Dale mare Romola Hal, is arguably the greatest pacing broodmare of all time, accounting for three distinct age group champions in Romeo Hanover, Romulus Hanover, and Romalie Hanover. All were by Dancer Hanover. It goes without saying that without Romola Hanover, Dancer Hanover might not have survived his first two siring seasons. Take Romola Hanover from his book and he’s not even a marginal stallion.

Another daughter, Romona Hanover, produced the brilliant filly Rodine Hanover, who is responsible for all those Wordly Beauty and Captaintreacherous contemporaries.

Adios was unquestionably the best sire of his day and his all-time best son was Bret Hanover, from the Tar Heel mare Brenna Hanover. She had two other noteworthy Adios performers in the great mare Bonjour Hanover and the excellent Ohio stallion Baron Hanover.

Adios did not get to service Tar Heel mares until late in his siring career or that nick would have been much more profound.

Now let’s check some other stallions who are not exactly household names.

Henry T. Adios was not a major stallion, but his all-time best was Silent Majority, from the Tar Heel mare Hobby Horse Tar.

Scarlet Skipper had but one major performer: Forrest Skipper, from the Tar Heel mare Camden Caroline.

Remember Tarport Effrat? Probably not, but you may have heard of his two best sons in Millers Scout and Millers Effort, both from the Tar Heel mare Keystone Saphire.

Despite standing at Hanover Shoe Farms, Columbia George was not an outstanding sire, though you may remember his two best in Le Baron Rouge and Dorado Hanover from the Tar Heel mares Lincoln Land Dream and Double Jewel, respectively.

Columbia George’s stud mate and fellow Good Time son, Best Of All, got his richest son in Boyden Hanover from the Tar Heel mare Bouquet Hanover.
Just a week or two after lowering the speed record to 1:52, Steady Star got whipped in a Liberty Bell overnight by Buckeye Bill--he a son of Buckeye Champ from the Tar Heel mare High Heels.

Armbro Omaha was sired by the modest Adios son, Airliner, though his dam was a Tar Heel matron named Imperial Armbro from Countess Adios, no less.

The best son of Direct Scooter was world champion Matt’s Scooter. He was not from a Tar Heel mare, but Direct Scooter’s next-best, In The Pocket, was by Tar Heel daughter Black Jade.

Would Most Happy Fella have gotten on the siring map without Tar Heel on the broodmare side?
Most likely, but the likes of Silk Stockings, (out of Maryellen Hanover) Tarport Hap (Tarport Cheer) and Precious Fella (Precious Newport) from his first two crops certainly aided the cause considerably.

Of those, Tarport Cheer is in any discussion of all-time great broodmares, being also responsible for Tyler B, Cheery Hello, and Jamuga.

While Albatross had a special affinity for Bret Hanover mares, his results with the Tar Heel ladies were impressive as well. The likes of Praised Dignity, Royce, Jonquil Hanover, Armbro Wolf, Cheery Hello, Albaquel, Coal Harbor, and Colt Fortysix were from assorted Tar Heel daughters.

Meadow Skipper revolutionized the pacing breed. His all-time richest performer, Ralph Hanover, was from the Tar Heel mare Ravina Hanover. Meadow Skipper had another good one from Ravina Hanover in Raven Hanover, one of the few times he ever managed repeat quality from the same mare.

And then there was Knight Dream’s son, Torpid, whose two best, Truluck and Vicar Hanover, were both from Tar Heel mares.

Of course, the times and earnings achieved from Tar Heel’s daughters in the ‘60s,’70s and early ‘80s may seem modest in comparison with today’s numbers, but there’s little denying his impact on the breed. Invariably, most stallions active back then would achieve their best results when given Tar Heel mares.

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