Ep.3 - The Thoroughbred

  Original Airdate: September 26, 1974
Writers: Michael Russnow & Tony Kayden
Director: Harry Harris


  "Waltons Mountain meant many things to my family. It was a source of food for we took game from its forests and fish from its streams. It was a refuge in time of trouble, and a link with the history of our family's past. And once it became the setting for a race that none of us would ever forget."



John-Boy is out riding Ole' Blue and when he crosses paths with his Daddy who is returning with a saddle for Blue that John-Boy will use in the up-coming cross country race that he is entering.  He challenges his Daddy a race back home and although John wins in his truck John-Boy is right on his heels the whole way.  Blue wants nothing to do with the saddle though.


At school, John-Boy has lunch with his friend Carl Jensen and is introduced to Selena Linville who grandfather sponsors the race.  Later Carl shows John-Boy his pure bred stallion Thunder Bay who is bred to race.  John-Boy is bothered that Carl wants to enter the race as well.  The family though supports John-Boy as they hope to get their name back on the cup again since Grandpa won the race back in 1915.  John-Boy assigns jobs for each of his siblings to help out.

At school Selena makes a date with John-Boy for lunch but then unexpectedly is expected to write a history make up test and misses her lunch appointment.  Carl runs into her and she reluctantly agrees to go with him to the sweet shop. John-Boy sees them and drives home in a jealous rage.  In his frustration he yells at his siblings for what he believes to be poor care of Blue's grooming and training. His Daddy threatens to pull him from the race stating that if he can't do it for the sportsmanship then he doesn't want his son entering.   John-Boy has a change of heart and at the race Selena explains her absence for their lunch date and asks him to be her escort after the race.  This boosts his confidence. The race begins and it obvious that the other horses are faster than Blue. John-Boy uses Blue's mule breeding to climb and descend the hill's steep incline rather than take the graded road that the other racers use. Although it is very close John-Boy crosses the line first and the Walton name is restored back on the cup.


  "That sense of pride and confidence that my mother and father instilled in us as a family was shaken occasionally. But in all, it stood us in very good stead. When we left Walton's Mountain and went to make our way in the larger world, we were always able to fall back on those rich and true feelings that we learnt as children."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Selena and Col. Linville reappear in "The Collision" (s4-ep24)
  • The term thoroughbred has many points of reference; it refers to Carl Jensen horse, it is inplied by Carl in reference to Selena and although not mentioned in this episode it is a staple statement frequently made by John Walton of his children. The term can be heard in The Homecoming and Spencer's Mountain as well.

Additional Cast:


Guest star: Carl Jensen (Brendon Burns); Selena Linville (Kathleen Quinlan) with: Colonel Linville (Frank Janson); Mr. Roswell (Jim Gammon); Professor Foster (Glen Gordon), Ike Godsey (Joe Conley)


Music from this episode:

Race Theme


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