Phil Morrison judged the Jubilee Morgan Regional in 1980 and proclaimed the Futurity Weanling Champion to be “the most beautiful Morgan Colt I have ever seen.”
Competitive from day one the little bay stood ready to take on the world. He just knew from the beginning that he was the GREATEST. Something he would prove year after year. His show ring career was stellar with many championships in hand, harness and under saddle. He won at the Jubilee Regional, the Gold Cup Regional, the Michigan All Morgan Show, the American Royal, the Illinois State Fair and managed to accumulate 23 World or Grand National Titles before retiring at the age of eighteen.
Thunderbay lived all but the first year of his life with Renee Page at Silver Maple Stables. Bob Gibbs purchased the nice old mare, High Mist Cindy in foal to Beamine. Cindy was the last mare bred to Beamine, as he became ill the very next day and died shortly after. Her little bay colt epitomized Morgan with an ego as big as the world. He loved life and he loved to show with a competitive spirit seldom seen. When his owner failed to name him after several months, Renee told him if he didn’t come up with something, she was going just call him Bobby Beamine. So Bobby it was. Then one evening Bob called and asked what she thought about Thunderbay for a name. And so the little bay had a name that would live on and become known throughout the Morgan World for years gaining the respect of all.
Thunderbay was owned by Bob Gibbs until 1987 when Robert Brinkman purchased him. Bobby continued his winning show ring career and sired several foals, including one of his most famous sons, Amabayous. When Dr. Brinkman decided to go onto other venues, he made it possible for Renee to purchase the horse she loved and trained his lifetime - a dream come true.
Thunderbay sired some grand offspring, however he saved the best ‘til last. Debi Donoho (Keepsake Stables) had the foresight to breed two wonderful mares, Aspenglow's Sakura and HVK Noble Melody to Thunderbay. Melody was sold to Barry Laub and produced By The Bay. Keepsake’s Be-Attitude (out of Sakura) was purchased as a foal by Renee and joined SMS Bay Lilly, a lovely bay filly out of the Bell Flaire daughter, Stony Hollow Dot Com at Silver Maple. Thunderbay not ony continued the legacy left by his sire but has left his own legacy to the Morgan breed through these exceptional offspring.
Carolyn Firch and her sister Kathy Firch Creighton brought the beautiful Merriehill Isabella be bred to the grand old champion and she produced a precious bay colt, on his sire’s birthday on April 17, 2009 (just two days after Thunderbay's passing)
By The Bay resides in the stall that was his sire and grandsire’s the first stall in the aisle and is a constant remembrance of the two Morgan Horses who claimed my heart. Like his sire and grandsire before him, By The Bay is also an expression of Morgan excellence.
Tribute to Thunderbay written by Renee Page, December 2009.