CH IMPERATOR (1974- 1997)
CH Imperator achieved legendary status in the Saddlebred world as four-time Five Gaited World's Grand Champion and by becoming the oldest horse to win that title at age 12. He was World's Champion Five Gaited Gelding a record eight times, World's Champion Amateur Five Gaited Horse and World's Champion Junior Five Gaited Horse. After living nine years at the Kentucky Horse Park, the gelding was laid to rest behind the Hall of Champions, near his arch rival in the show ring, CH Sky Watch, who was also a former resident of the park.
CH IMPERATOR (1974- 1997) Imperator was one of the all time greatest five-gaited American Saddle Horses. He was foaled March 14, 1974 at Peacock Farm in Illinois. Imperator is by Supreme Sultan, out of Empress Wing by CH Wing Commander. Imperator?s stable name was ?Perry? and he responded to it. He loved attention and loved to show.
Imperator was purchased by Finisterre Farm of Glen Ridge, New Jersey in 1976. He was sold to William Dutel of New Orleans in 1983 and then to Ron and Paula Kirsch of California. In 1987, Finisterre Farm repurchased Imperator. Don Harris exhibited Imperator, in all his victories for Finisterre Farm and for Mr. and Mrs. Kirsch. Imperator was renowned for his presence and brilliance, especially the slow gait. His crowning glory was his full natural tail, four feet of which dragged the ground
As a five-year-old, Imperator was grand champion at Lexington and New York. He was never defeated in a gelding stake at either the World?s Championship Horse Show or at Lexington. He was Five Gaited World's Grand Champion in 1980, 1981, 1985 and in 1986, at age 12, became the oldest horse ever to win the title. He was also World's Champion Five Gaited Gelding a record eight times World's Champion Amateur Five Gaited Horse in 1984 and World's Champion Junior Five Gaited Horse in 1978.
CH Imperator died October 20, 1997 as a result of post-surgical complications. He was buried near the Hall of Champions where he had delighted visitors since 1989.
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American Saddlebred Chestnut Gelding (foaled, March 11, 1974 in Illinois) by Supreme Sultan - Empress Wing by CH Wing Commander Owners: Peacock Farm, Wilmette, IL; Finisterre Farm, Glen Ridge, NJ;Dutel Farms, New Orleans, LA; Mr. & Mrs. Ron Kirsh, Beverly Hills, CA; and Dr. Geraldine Meanor, Glen Ridge, NJ Breeder: Wanda Wilkinson, Peacock Farm, Wilmette, Illinois Trainers: Don Harris, Simpsonville, KY; John Champagne, Ashland City, TN; Billy Greenwell, Waterloo, IL; and John Fry, Bradbury, CA
Accomplishments World's Grand Champion Five-Gaited Horse at the Kentucky State Fair 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986 World's Champion Five-Gaited Gelding - a record eight times 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986 & 1988 World's Champion Amateur Five-Gaited Horse, 1984 World's Champion Junior Five-Gaited Horse, 1978 Five-Gaited Grand Champion National Horse Show, New York 1980-1984 Five-Gaited Grand Champion Lexington Junior League 1979-1983 Five-Gaited Grand Champion Rock Creek Horse Show 1979-1983 Five-Gaited Grand Champion American Royal, Kansas City 1982 & 1985 Five-Gaited Grand Champion Pin Oak, Houston Texas 1985 Shown 86 times at 44 horse shows over 11 years: 68 firsts, 13 seconds, 2 thirds, 1 fourth, 1 fifth and 1 sixth. Oldest horse ever to win the Five-Gaited World's Championship at age 12 in 1986 Estimated Earnings: $85,000 cash plus silver trophies. CH Imperator was sold four times for a total of over $600,000, a record for an American Saddlebred gelding.
Retired to the Hall of Champions at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1988. Perry's 12 foot long natural tail had to be cut off so he could be cared for more easily. He died October, 1997 at the age of 23.