JACKSON, MS – Sam Stockett died last night, and with him died a lot of knowledge. Sam did a lot of listening in his life, and he didn’t forget a thing. He didn’t talk much, but when he did, what he had to say always meant something.
He sought no glory – just showed his horses and took whatever ribbon the Judge gave him. He was a polite quiet person, but still waters run deep. He also had a dry wit and keen sense of humor.
In the early 1980s when Pride of Midnight died, the big breeding farms were trying to establish a successor. The combination back then was a Pride stallion out of a Sun’s Delight mare. Harlinsdale Farm had a couple of them: Pride’s Gold Coin, stud fee $400, and Pride’s Hallelujah the 1980 Two Year Old World Grand Champion.
Sam Stockett owned a Pride horse out of a Delight mare, named Pride’s Royal Master. None of the big farms wanted Sam’s horse, so he quietly went about establishing him as a breeding horse. Sam accumulated a blue ribbon set of broodmares from the old bloodlines and then supported the people and their colts who bred to his horse. Sam would show up at sales and bid on the colts to be sure they brought a decent price. He was loyal to a fault.
The results of his breeding program are more World championships than you can count in both Flat and “Big Lick” competition.
Past that, Sam as a person was the complete package. If he told you something, you could take it to the bank. His family lived in Jackson for over 100 years, and they had the respect of all they met, and treated everyone the same. He took care of his Mother and Father until the end of their lives. Sam was quiet, but intensely loyal, and if he was your friend, you had a friend for life. He had a lot to do with the Miller Coliseum being built and the endurance of WHOA over time where the Tennesee Walking Horse was concerned.
Sam was a good one and we won’t see his like again.
Here are some words when he was recognized by TWHBEA as Master Breeder:
“Our next honoree, who hails from Jackson, Mississippi, began riding when he was five. He made his first show ring appearance aboard a Shetland Pony when he was eight and three years later he made the transition to Tennessee Walking Horses under the direction of J. H. Noblin. Influenced by a childhood spent immersed in the Tennessee Horse World, Sam Stockett has spent the years since that time working towards the betterment of the breed he loves.
In February of 1979 he purchased from Tom Jones of Franklin, Tennessee, a three-year-old son of Pride Of Midnight. This talented young stallion was named Pride’s Royal Master. After a successful show career, Royal Master was retired full time to the breeding barn where he quickly made a name for himself as a top choice among knowledgeable breeders. His first crop of seven foals arrived in 1981 and all seven made successful show horses. When Stockett acquired Pride’s Royal Master, he owned only three mares, and he had been adding, very selectively, to his broodmare band. The success of the stallion’s first foal crop stressed, even more strongly, the importance of assembling a group of top caliber mares.
Stockett intensified his search and by the mid to late 1980s his broodmare band included such standouts of Tiger Lilly K.C.H.C., Rock’s Romance, Lonely Little Star, Delight’s Star M., Delight’s Caper, Bum’s Caper, Senator Special Babe, Delight’s Kay M. and Delight’s Ideal among others. Crossing these mares with Royal Master, Stockett produced successful contenders such as Royal Label, Royal Seal, Royal’s Dark Bum, Royal’s Kay, Royal Deal and Royal Sparkle. Stockett also proved successful when crossing his mares with his second stallion Pride’s Last Recall and other prominent stallions.
Today, Stockett continues to seek out only the best mares and to produce top quality foals that are full of potential.’