Merry Legs was a bay mare with four stockings (probably sabino). She was foaled in April, 1911, out of Nell Dement F-3 by Allan F-1. She was a big mare, standing 15.2 hands and weighing in at 1,200 pounds.
After four years of less than satisfactory results of breeding Nell to four different studs, Dement selected Old Black Allan (Allan F-1) to cross with Nell. Dement purchased Allan F-1 from his good friend, J.R. Brantley, in 1901 for $140. Allan died at the Dement farm near Normandy on Sept. 10, 1910, having produced only one colt from Nell. The result was Merry Legs F-4, foaled in April of 1911. She began her show ring career as a weanling under the direction of Henry Davis and was undefeated. Nell Dement died at the age of 28 and foaled her last colt at 26.
Merry Legs was referred to by many fans as "the greatest show mare that ever lived." Horseman Bob Murchison of Wartrace fondly remembered Merry Legs. "She did one thing that mares do not do nowadays. She would foal a colt in the spring of the year, then Mr. Dement would wean that colt two of three weeks before the State Fair in Nashville and would enter her in the show, where she would win first place."
In 1914, Merry Legs became the first three-year-old to not only win the Three-Year-Old championship, but also the Grand Championship Stake at the Tennessee State Fair. The only three- year-old to match her title was Merry Legs’ granddaughter, Dement’s Merry Legs II 360021 in 1936 with Floyd Caruthers, trainer.
“Those who knew Merry Leg’s F-4 during her heyday, recall unmatched action in the show ring that enhanced her prowess as a versatile performer. Then, the fact that her offspring have given the breed masterpieces of perfection adds to her glory as a brood matron of unlimited quality.” - Jimmy Joe Murray
“Merry Leg’s F-4 was a straight-going mare with no amble whatsoever. She had lots of head motion, a good long neck, perfect ears and large eyes. Her canter was perfect, and her flatfoot walk and running walk were truly as great as any ever displayed by Tennessee Walking Horses. Anybody could ride her, because she had perfect manners, and was a gentle as could be.”
“Merry Legs F-4 was without doubt the greatest show mare I’ve ever seen,” asserted Davis in 1946. (Biography of the Tennessee Walking Horse by Ben A. Green.)
On at least one occasion MERRY LEGS was bred to GREY LAD, whose sire was BRAMBLETT, by BUFORD, by BOONE’S GREY JOHN. From this cross MERRY LEGS foaled a filly colt named SNIP. SNIP was later bred to LAST CHANCE, and the resulting foal was SNIP’S CHANCE. After Albert Dement’s death, SNIP’S CHANCE was purchased by W.S. “Audie” Dean of Rutherford County, Tennessee. Dean bred the mare to MIDNIGHT SUN on several occasions but was not pleased with the results, therefore he decided to breed her to his own stallion, WILSON DEAN. From this cross came the famous “four sisters,” whose offspring made Walking Horse history. From these four mares came SUN’S HERO, JOHNNY MIDNIGHT, MIDNIGHT IKE, MACK K’S TRIGGER, DELIGHT’S CHANCE, DELIGHT’S SUNBEAM, DEAN’S BOSS MAN, and the incomparable SUN’S DELIGHT D. the World Grand Champion Walking Horse in 1963. SUN’S DELIGHT and BUMIN AROUND are the only World Grand Champions to trace to MERRY LEGS through GREY JOHN blood. (p. 79. The Echo of Hoofbeats by Bob Womack)
Dement-bred Walking Horse out of Merry Legs F-4 and by
Hunter’s Allen was
the stallion, Last Chance
350034. Mrs. Olive Caruthers Diekroger credited Dement and his belief in
Last Chance with returning her husband Floyd Caruthers to the show ring.
"It was Dement who persuaded Floyd to start training again," she said. "He called Floyd and asked him to
train Last Chance. Dement had good horses and many consider him to have been a Master Breeder."
Westwood Farms - Locust Dale, Virginia 22948 - email@example.com - 540-825-1300