2006 bay silver gelding (gelded 2015)
(Gone Gold X Foxton Frosty Dawn)

May 2007 videos of Connor at 15 months
(High speed connection only; longer videos may take up to several minutes to load. All are in Real Player format- download Real Player here, it's free)
Connor walking (880 KB)
Connor trotting (1464 KB)
Another of Connor's trot (1055 KB)
Connor cantering and feeling good! (3114 KB)

August 2006 videos of Connor at 6 months old

Connor trotting (2653 KB)
Connor getting a shower (17,483 KB)
Connor getting a quick grooming and feet checked (20,880 KB)

Foaled February 17, 2006, Unconventional represents a huge part of my dream to see the silver dapple color saved in the Morgan breed, where it is very rare. When this colt was foaled, he became #13 on a very short list of confirmed silver dapple Morgans!

I was scheduled to present a lecture on foal color at the 2006 AMHA Convention, as part of a seminar on color that our AMHA Director At Large Loretta Brown and I were giving. Loretta kindly offered to present my part of the lecture for me if it should happen that I could not make it. When Frosty went overdue, I just could not leave her. It was a good thing we planned ahead! The folks on the Morgan Colors list thought the colt's name should have "Convention" in it, since he was born during Convention. I said "well for me, he was my UnConvention since I didn't get to go because of him!" Then it hit me- "Unconventional", because he IS- this is just not your basic everyday color!

"Connor" is a friendly boy who is very smart. His personality is calm and methodical; he seems to think through each new situation carefully. He is personable yet respectful, a trait of his sire. His quiet dignity comes from his dam.  Connor is a beautiful mover, as well. He is such an outstanding individual that we hope will contribute greatly to the future of the silver dapple Morgan.

Connor tested "Ee" (heterozygous for black), Aa (heterozygous for Agouti), N/N (meaning he did not get his sire's cream gene), and Z/n (heterozygous for silver dapple). Click here for a copy of Connor's UC Davis test results.

With some very old breeding on both sides of his pedigree, including the midwestern/Sweet's lines, Archie O, Broadwall Brigadier, many generations of Kennebec breeding (from the respected sport Morgan breeding program of Margaret Gardiner), and such famous Western Working Family stallions as Classy Boy, Californio and H-Ken, Connor is a nice combination of many of the historic old bloodlines found in the Morgan breed.

Connor was the first Morgan to be registered as a bay silver dapple under the AMHA's new color choices (2006). In addition, he and his silver dapple dam provided hair samples and photographs for the Uppsala University (Sweden) study of the silver dapple gene. This study, which may be seen here, resulted in the silver dapple test now offered by testing facilities such as UC Davis (October 2006).

Connor stood at stud for eight years at Coulee Bend Morgans in Galahad, AB Canada. He sired quite a few silver foals that have been sold to new homes as far away as Australia and Austria. In 2015, Connor was gelded, and is now owned by Ruth Burke, Hesler AB. 

Gone Gold

Adiel's Casino Gold Sweet's Dexter
Eden Rose
Kennebec Topaz Medomak Cavalier
Kennebec Opal

Foxton Frosty Dawn

Foxton Society Beau Society Statusmaster
Dores Day
Foxton Smokey Dawn Topside Midnight
Foxton Felicia

You can view Connor's complete pedigree here.
It includes pictures of many of his ancestors.

For more information on the silver dapple gene in our breed,
and to see many pictures of Connor's ancestors and relatives, please visit:

You can also read the article on silver dapple Morgans
in the April 2003 issue of THE MORGAN HORSE magazine.

Some of Connor's offspring
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)
If you own a Connor son or daughter, I'd love to include him or her here.
Just email me a few pictures.

Coulee Bend Talisman
(x Mirabellas Mesmerized) 2014
silver bay  dun stallion, and owner Rosita Hamar, Shropshire, United Kingdom. Talisman has sired several silver foals to date. (photo: Helen Prentice)

Connor's first foal, the late Coulee Bend Orion (x Coulee Bend Contessa), shortly after his arrival at Sterling Morgans in CO, December 2009. He was last owned by Kathy Clemens of Camas Mist Morgans in ID. This pretty boy was chestnut with a hidden silver gene (the silver dilution only affects black base color horses). An accident claimed Orion's life at much too young an age, but he did leave a few silver offspring.

Coulee Bend Pure Silver with his dam Dody Little Bell SRDA, is a 2010 chestnut (carrying silver) stallion who now lives in Alaska with Pat Kearney. He has sired several silver foals so far.



Coulee Bend Quasar is a palomino carrying silver filly, foaled in 2011 out of Dody Little Bell SRDA. She was sold as a weanling and became the first silver Morgan in Australia.

Coulee Bend With Bells On
(x Coulee Bend Quintessence) 2016 bay silver mare owned by Elke Mattevi-Muller, EMH Morgans, Austria.


Edgefield Uncommon Storm (x HCTF Catch the Storm), 2010 bay dun mare now owned by Adrienne Dymesich. Photo courtesy of Jodi Thorpe.


Coulee Bend Silver n Gold (x Coulee Bend Nirvana) 2016 palomino (carrying silver) mare owned by Kristal Homoki, MtnTop Morgans.


More photos of Connor
(click on thumbnails to enlarge)

Connor as a newborn, 3:20 AM on February 17, 2006. A lot of folks commented on the 3 AM delivery time as being a hardship. Nope, since I am a night owl and am usually up until at least 4 AM, which extended later during the last month of Frosty's gestation as I went on foal watch. My mares have tended to foal at a time of day that someone would be around; for example, Topaz foaled Coral at 3 in the afternoon when I was doing my regular daily cleaning of her drylot (also the time of day I would groom her, etc.- same time every day); she foaled Roadie at 7 AM which is when Jim normally came to put her out for the day. For her last month of gestation, Frosty had been getting a snack of alfalfa between 2:30-3 AM. While she ate I would groom her and talk to the foal in her belly and tell Frosty how she HAD to foal when I was around because I was so worried something might go wrong. Night after night, this was our routine. It seems she obliged me by foaling when she knew I'd be there!

Up on his second try! At this point, still wet, he was so dark I thought he might be seal brown. It was darker in the stall than it looks here (since this was a flash photo) which made it hard to see, as well. As he started to dry, it was apparent he was a weird deep chocolate color all over. A black or black dilute foal would be some shade of black to grayish-silver, so I knew he had to have agouti of some flavor, at the time I thought probably brown. But brown foals have countershading and there is some true black coloring on them. There wasn't on Connor, he was just all red-chocolate; I could see that his mane was a pewter gray and Jim noticed his tail was light, but most foals of any color have light feathers on their tails. So it wasn't until he was fairly dry that I was sure what color he was. I suspect that the more silver dapple foals that you see, the earlier you know for sure!

Outside on his first day. It is easier to see that he is a silver here.

3 days old. He is still a bit down on his heels behind, which makes his hind end still look a little crumpled. But I like the overall balance I am starting to see emerge. My vet complimented his long, laid back shoulder. He has his sire's beautiful head and tiny, tipped in ears.

The light eyelashes are typical of silver dapple foals.

A lot of people asked how we can tell this colt is a silver dapple instead of a bay or a chestnut. First of all, his dam is homozygous for black, so he cannot be chestnut! Here's a close-up of his mane. It is a gunmetal gray-brown, not black as it would be if he was a bay without the silver gene. His light eyelashes and light tail (the center of which is the same gray-brown color as his mane) are other indicators. All of the areas that would be black on a bay foal- mane, tail, eyelashes and eartips- have been diluted by the silver gene. His hocks and knees, which would be a silvery gray if he were bay, are instead pale chocolate because the darker hair has been diluted by the silver gene. After he sheds his foal coat, his lower legs will be some shade of chocolate instead of black. His body color will remain rather reddish.

5 days old, socializing with his Aunt Coral through the fence.

Connor seemed really interested in seeing if the camera was edible. When I posted this picture to the Morgan Colors group, Lois Sauer quipped, "He doesn't want to eat the camera. He's a Morgan; he wants to LEARN how to take pictures."

Ya gotta love foals. Everything is "new and exciting" to them! Here is Connor sacking himself out with my jacket. The tarp will be next!

Connor could not figure out what Mom was doing. Frosty was having a good roll, thus ensuring that although I groomed her before I turned them out so she'd look nice in pictures, she WOULDN'T be in any of them today! (Well, OK, just this one!)

Day 13. Connor has three beautiful gaits, including an airy, light and suspended trot. I've never had a foal who used the trot so much. The others have had basically two speeds: walk and flat out run!

I loved the forsythia and Bradford pears in the right background. Connor was watching my dogs, whom he had not seen before. Our little man is two weeks old here.

Frosty is getting tired of Connor using her for a jungle gym!

Collected canter. I can definitely see this guy doing dressage at some point!

Connor's official two week old conformation shot. He is standing with his butt up a hill a little bit here, and his long, ruffled fur makes him look less smooth over the croup than he actually is, but I love the way all his "parts" fit together.

Hopefully you can see in this picture that his mane isn't black, but a silvery gray-brown. It is particularly noticeable where I clipped a now-growing-out bridlepath on him, as the hair is coming in even lighter at the roots.

Two studs, one young and one... ahem...*mature* ;-) Connor, age 15 days, and Jim. March 2006.

Connor is a very friendly colt, respectful of people, and he learns things quickly.

I had put a blanket on the fence, which got their attention. Frosty has almost regained her pre-pregnancy figure- in fact I think she's slimmed down some and right now, she looks pretty good!

Although this was mostly in shadow, I liked it. One of those quiet moments between a mare and her foal. Connor is 26 days old here.

Connor loves to trot. He is the "trottingest" foal I've ever had! Since my primary interest is dressage, I've always WISHED my foals would trot more than a few strides so I could evaluate the quality of that gait early on, but with the others it just rarely happened until they were a few months old. Not a problem with Connor- he has shown me all three of his GORGEOUS gaits- he would make a beautiful dressage horse someday!

I got quite a few pictures of Frosty and Connor trotting on one particular pass down the fenceline, and the interesting thing was they both were completely synchronized- in the same phase of the trot and on the same diagonal in each frame that I took! You can get some sense of the amount of suspension Connor has in his stride in this picture.

You can see how his mane is coming in a lighter silver now. 26 days old, March 2006.

One month old and doing the same pose his daddy and granddaddy do, which was the inspiration for a sculpture I did a few years back called "Frolic". You can see it on my Resins and Sculpture page.

He was actually climbing on the mounting block, but I was too slow with the camera! You can see how very correct and straight his front legs are in this picture. March 17, 2006.

Five weeks old, 3/25/06. Getting to be quite the little butterball- his mama feeds him well and he is also making the best use of early spring grass and our good hay!

Six weeks old. I usually integrate my foals in with the main herd when they are about a month old. Mimi, as the herd leader, was the first to be added in with Frosty and Connor, and she was her typical queenly self, ignoring the foal and going off to eat. Next I added Coral. Connor has really enjoyed playing with over her stall guard at night when I bring them in, so I figured they would really have fun with  each other. Poor Coral! She had no idea what she was in for once let loose with the boy! Here Connor is using her for a chew toy.

After playing, foals' thoughts turn to food. It always cracks me up when they think EVERY horse they meet must surely have a faucet! The look on Coral's face is priceless :-)

Connor at six weeks old.

Connor just gets more and more handsome. It is so interesting to study him and notice the traits that come from each parent. He is a little bit over 7 weeks old here, April 2006.

Such a pretty mover, too! April 2006.

Nine weeks old, late April 2006. Connor is in the "patchy shedding" stage. He is shed out around his eyes, and you can see that he will be approximately the same shade of bay when he is completely finished shedding, possibly with a bit of countershading. His mane is getting even lighter!

Left: I love it when horses mutual groom. It is particularly touching when it is between a mare and her foal. 9 weeks old, late April 2006. Right: Artist Linda McSweeny's stunning painting from this picture. The painting was the second piece Linda did of Connor and Frosty; the first can be seen on Frosty's page. The original sold on ebay, where Linda regularly markets her incredible artwork, featuring horses, dogs and other animals. I love the feeling in this painting, and how Connor's face looks just like him! Thank you Linda for allowing us to use this image on our website!

On May 21, 2006 we hosted the Georgia Morgan Horse Club's spring meeting here at Brookridge. Connor met lots of new people and was a well behaved young man throughout. One club member even picked up each of his feet as she checked him out- with him just loose in the pasture! Shown in this picture are (L-R) Sue Martin, Connor, Jill Missler, and Laura. Photo by Lisa Algarin.

Another shot of Connor with Sue Martin. Connor, who is now 3 months old, was trying his best to be fully shed in time for the meeting, but didn't quite make it, as you can see ;-) His darker lower legs are starting to peep through the remaining white foal fuzz. You can see the striping on his hooves, in his case concentrated towards the heels - another silver dapple characteristic. May 21, 2006.

At about four months of age, foals start to look a little more mature than "baby-ish". Connor is going to be a beautiful stallion one day. May 31, 2006.

Another May 31 picture.

It's a hot June Saturday in Georgia. All is quiet in the pasture. Suddenly, something gets Connor's attention. See the next photo for what it was!

I have problems finding novel items to get the horses' heads and ears up for pictures. I tried using the lunge whip to try and get Connor a bit motivated, but he could care less about it. You know all the things you see the Natural Horsemanship trainers do- flipping ropes over the horse to get them used to seeing things moving from side to side through their blind spot, running ropes or flags all over them, twirling a lasso over their heads, you know- desensitization type things? Well, Connor has them all down pat. You can run the whip all over his body, tangle it around his legs, pick up each foot with the rope around his fetlock, twirl it over his head, and crack it from side to side in front of him. You can put it around his girth and put pressure on it. And all this with him standing loose in the pasture! He doesn't even stop grazing! It's such fun playing with him, but I wanted some pictures of him looking alert! So- out came my secret weapon. Here it is. You know, if you have a husband that is a bicycling nut, you might as well get some use out of it ;-)

Connor is now officially a weanling. Here he is protesting the removal of the all-you-can-drink milk bar. Late June, 2006.

"Where did my mama go?"

Isn't it amazing when foals (and sometimes adult horses as well) balance themselves in a tripod like this and then proceed to delicately scratch a sensitive part of their head with a hind hoof? Late June 2006.

Five months old, July 2006. A bit of a family shot since Roadie and Frosty are in the background, a couple of paddocks over. The pair wasted no time in getting Connor's 2007 full sibling on the way!

Theresa Slotte of Lazy S Morgans in Grass Valley CA is one of Connor's fans. She carried his picture around the 2006 Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, CA and one of the folks she showed it to was Marjorie Hazelwood. Marjorie writes a Morgan News column for California Riding magazine. Next thing we knew Connor was making a cameo appearance in the pages of the magazine's July 2006 issue, bringing some good publicity to this beautiful and rare color. He was in good company as Lisa Horning's gorgeous buckskin stallion NVS Midas also was pictured. THANK YOU so much Theresa and Marjorie!

Connor is now 6 months old, August 2006. We have had a lot of gloomy weather lately (unfortunately we don't seem to get much rain out of it!) which doesn't make for ideal lighting for picture-taking. I did not expect to get any useable pictures on this evening but was pleasantly surprised... they're only a little blurry. Isn't this guy a pretty mover!

I don't think I've posted any pictures of Connor in the walk. Here is one. You can see how well he is engaging his hind end and really overstriding. Late August 2006.

Another late August picture.

Morgan breeder Jennifer Robinson and her children Emily and Abel of Angels' Dance Farm in NC visited us in late August 2006. Connor was very happy to lap up all the attention! Photos courtesy of Jennifer Robinson.

It's late October and Connor is getting too wooly to be really photogenic. I'd actually planned on only taking photos of Roadie on this day, but seeing his father showing off for the camera inspired Connor to put on a show of his own!

Connor was doing laps on his side of the fence, and Roadie on his. Every so often they'd approach the fence and sniff noses before taking off again. October 2006.

Our wooly yearling, January 2007. As you can see, Coral is doing a great job of teaching Connor manners. A few weeks after this picture was taken we had to remove Coral from Connor's herd, to prevent an accidental pregnancy.

I guess getting older makes us all a bit sentimental. Here is the first product of our breeding program, Willy Remember Me, foaled in 1986, with the (then) most recent,  Connor. February 2007.

May 2007- Connor's head has an aristocratic, "old world" look to it. It's definitely not a filly head. I love his eyes- they remind me of black button eyes on a stuffed toy :-)

May 2007- Connor got his first bath of the year so I could take his official yearling pictures!

Our "secret weapon" for getting heads and ears up! Though Connor has gotten pretty desensitized to it by now. This is the third time we've used it and I guess I had better find a new "novel object" now! The good thing is that he gets exposed to a lot of different things that many horses would be quite spooked by. Pat and Mimi, who were in the field with Connor, never even lifted their heads out of the grass.

Connor follows me all over the pasture. Typical Morgan- it's hard to get them off of you long enough to get a good shot! What I liked about this picture was that you can see how straight and correct his legs are and how he tracks straight when he moves- no winging or paddling.

Two pictures of Connor's amazing, "uphill" trot. Late July 2007.

Soon my little buddy will be leaving for his new home in Canada. I will sure miss him, but I look forward to watching his career as a breeding stallion develop- and someday, I'll breed a few mares to him. Late July 2007 photo.

I took this picture a few nights before Connor left. He looks so young and innocent- but you can see the stallion that he will become, too. July 31, 2007.

He was coming down a hill here but even so, he is a beautiful mover.

I'm glad to see him frolicking while he can, because for four or five days he'll be stuffed in a trailer!

Connor's shipping day has finally arrived. He and our dog Stormy play regularly, each on their respective sides of the fence. Only they know what they were talking about here.

Connor sees the huge trailer approaching. When the time came to leave, he willingly loaded although he had never been out on our road before nor on a trailer. He was very scared, but he quietly did exactly as he was asked. I felt bad for putting him into what from his point of view must have seemed like a big dark box on wheels. Like his grand-dam Kennebec Topaz when she came down from Maine as a yearling, he will be riding alone for the first part of trip. Quite a lot for a youngster to handle. I cried for a good long time after he left; you'd think I'd get used to this. I told a friend I hope I never stop the crying when they leave part, because I don't want to "get used to it"- they are all so special to me and I put so much care into the creation and upbringing of each and every one of them. And that caring doesn't go away just because they aren't my horses any more. I will sure miss him. August 2, 2007.

Connor is now a Canadian! Here he is stretching his legs  on his first day at Lyle and Cindy Dietz's Coulee Bend Morgans in Galahad, AB. 

September 2007: Connor gets a pasture mate, another 2006 colt named Coulee Bend Law and Order (Arboria Top Gun X Promise Me an Echo). The two boys immediately acted like long lost buddies and were soon out to pasture grazing happily together.

March 2008: Cindy sent me a BUNCH of great pictures of Connor enjoying the Alberta snow. He's now officially 2, and the plans are to breed him to a few mares this year as well as get him evaluated for semen transport. I am so excited to see his first foals in 2009!

June 2008.

September 2008.

Connor is growing up! The Dietzs sent Connor off for a brief intro to saddle work late last month and he is now back home until spring when he'll pick up where he left off. He learned to be lunged, carry a saddle and was sat on a few times. We couldn't be more proud of how he is maturing.

Connor under saddle, May 2009. Riding Connor is Cindy's friend Trish Klein. Trish owned Connor's maternal great-grandfather, Society Statusmaster, and stands two sons of his as well, and as Cindy said "so it was kinda neat for her to ride him. She said Connor is so smooth and she could ride his lope forever!!" I just love getting reports about "my" kids and I am so grateful that Connor landed in such a SUPER home! Thank you Cindy for the regular updates and pictures!

January, 2014- Meanwhile, in Canada... while the rest of us were frozen by the artic vortex... those hearty Canucks just get out and ride! What a good boy Connor is- Cindy says he thoroughly enjoys the snow!

Connor as a mature stallion, 2014.

September 1, 2017- Last fall, Dr. Phil Sponenberg, author of EQUINE COLOR GENETICS, contacted me about using some of my photos in the fourth edition. Of course, I was thrilled! Equine Color Genetics is the oldest authoritative book on horse color, and to be featured in its pages is quite an honor. Today my copy arrived! Ten of my photos are in the book- three of my own Morgans  and seven of my friends' Morgans. Since the Dietzs have several rare colorful Morgans, including Connor, I also sent Dr. Sponenberg their way- which resulted in Connor making the book as well! To see all of the Morgans in ECG, you can visit the album on Facebook here. The album is public, so even if you don't have a Facebook account you should be able to see the pictures. WAY cool for the breed! This is the THIRD major book on equine color that our Morgans have been featured in! Kinda excited... if you can't tell :-) To purchase the book- it is pricey, but worth every penny- go here.

October 2019- Connor (now a gelding) has had a new home with Ruth Burke for a few years. Ruth enjoys trail riding Connor everywhere, including to the local library to return some books! In true Morgan fashion it appears that Connor is more interested in what plants might be edible.

Fall 2021. Ruth has logged a lot of miles on Connor this year.

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Back to Brookridge Morgans home page

Learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene at the Silver Dapple Morgans Project.

To learn more about color in the Morgan breed, visit the Morgan Colors website.

Join the Morgan Colors group on Facebook

Jim and Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 385-1240
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