Much of the credit for Pumpkin Rumble's stamina and soundness can certainly go to his sire English Channel, but the dam's side of his pedigree deserves a shout out as well, for he traces back to Natashka. A descendant of the great foundation mare Frizette and the outstanding matrons Valkyr and Vagrancy, Natashka proved a remarkable producer in her own right and stands at the head of her own branch of Frizette's family.
Like her granddam Vagrancy, Natashka was an outstanding race mare in her own right, her five stakes wins including the 1966 Alabama Stakes and Monmouth Oaks. She was better still as a broodmare, earning the title of Kentucky Broodmare of the Year in 1981 after producing five graded stakes winners including 1972 Irish co-champion 3-year-old filly Arkadina (a first-rate producer who founded a strong European branch of the family) and Irish Group I winner Gregorian. In addition, Natashka threw three daughters who failed to win stakes but became stakes producers and the second or third dams of Grade/Group I winners.
Truly Bound (by In Reality) was the last of Natashka's stakes winners, winning the 1980 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (USA-II) as a juvenile and the 1981 Ashland Stakes (USA-II) at 3. While not up to her dam's mark as a broodmare, she did not do badly in the paddocks, producing Irish Group III winner Shell Ginger and two listed stakes winners. She also produced Bound to Dance (by Northern Dancer), dam of 2000 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) winner Silk Prima Donna (by Brian's Time), and Secret Truth (by Secretariat), second dam of 2013 South Australian Derby (AUS-I) winner Escado.
Shell Ginger, a daughter of Woodman, failed to train on after her juvenile season and produced only five foals, of which two won. One of those winners was the Storm Cat filly Clarins, and she was also the sole stakes producer among Shell Ginger's foals, producing Pumpkin Rumble as the last of her four foals.
As all of Clarins' foals were males, Shell Ginger's branch of her family appears to be a withering twig that will snap soon unless one of her granddaughters by her other two daughters proves to be the connecting link to an outstanding racer or producer. Why this should be the case is one of the mysteries of racehorse genetics, for Shell Ginger had excellent opportunities and was bred to horses who for the most part have proven top broodmare sires. Nonetheless, if Pumpkin Rumble is the last runner from his branch of Natashka's line to make some noise, there are far worse endings to have.