Billy Clegg’s breeding is a controversial subject, but the fact that he sired many great horses is not.
Right at the tail-end of the Great Depression, a Texan named George Clegg had the nerve to put a price of $500 on his young stallion Billy Clegg. Guy Troutman, an oil company leasing agent and horseman from Oklahoma, twice offered less for the horse, but was rebuffed and drove away. Troutman phoned to offer less a third time and when rebuffed again, he gave up and closed the deal.
In April 1941, Troutman registered Billy Clegg with the newly formed American Quarter Horse Association. Billy Clegg was registered as No. 427. It is believed that he was foaled in 1932.
Billy Clegg’s breeding is a bit on the controversial side, as often happened before horses were registered as foals. His listed parentage states that the stallion was by Paul Ell by Hickory Bill by Peter McCue, and out of Bivorita by Billy Sunday. However, Bernard Adams, who bred Billy Clegg and sold him to George Clegg, said Little Joe, not Paul Ell, sired the horse.
As a stallion, Billy Clegg sired 241 registered horses. He passed to his offspring both his conformation and ability. Probably the most famous was Chickasha Mike, a 1944 stallion out of Millie M by Old Mike, a son of Chickasha Bob (though it has been written that Millie M was sired by Starke). Chickasha Mike was the NCHA Reserve World Champion in 1956.
At the 1948 New Mexico State Fair four of the top five horses in the aged stallion class were Billy Clegg sired. The other, which placed second, was a grandson. Before his death in 1958, Billy Clegg changed ownership nine times. His last recorded owners were F. B. Witcher of Elkhart, Kansas, and Duane Ackley of Walsh, Colorado.
Billy Clegg was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 1998.
Biography updated as of March 1998.