Southern Sunrise has sired around 788 registered horses and produced more champions than any other sire in the history of the MFTHBA. “’Sunrise’ passes on the whole package: great disposition, good conformation, and a willingness to please,” said Karen Leighton. That people want these traits in their Fox Trotters is evident: the 2013 Stallion of the Year, Southern Playboy, and the 2013 Breeding Stallion of the Year, the late Sensation’s Southern Gentleman, are both direct sons of Southern Sunrise. Sunrise is by Southern Jazz and out of Lad’s Misty. The breeder was Larry Stevens. “Sunrise’s best asset is siring offspring with excellent dispositions,” said Stevens.
Sunrise’s sons and daughters and their sons and daughters shine in the Model, Performance, and Versatility arenas in both regular and Youth classes, as well as in other venues. Sunrise son, Absolut Sunrise, was one of two Fox Trotter finalists in the televised 2011 American Competitive Trail Horse Association competition. Southern Playboy is the oldest horse to win the Open Senior World Grand Champion title. The list of champions directly sired by Sunrise or produced by one of his offspring goes on and on.
Wayne, Gordon, Bub, and Tyler Lewis at Lewis’ Foxtrotters, the home of Sensation’s Southern Gentleman, are admirers of Southern Sunrise horses. “Look at all the offspring that have been winners in the show ring, not only with professionals, but also amateurs. They are horses that anybody could train,” they said. “I honestly believe that Sunrise played a big part in the success of our breeding program,” said Lola Moberly of M&M Foxtrotters. “Sunrise babies were easy to work with and certainly easy to market.”
Sunrise is owned by Harry Patterson’s 4Ps Ranch, where he stands at stud. “What he has accomplished is mind boggling,” said Patterson.