Episode 39 needs no introduction. LAET speaks for himself. This great stallion accomplished perhaps more in his time than any stallion before or after, living or dead. LAET was a sire of sires, a massive, great stallion with pedigree, performance and dominance in the ring and the breeding shed.
This week we are joined by Steve Haxton, the grandson of Dave Haxton who was the herdsman at Woodside Farm for Watson Butler, the owner of Laet. Steve gives us a first hand account of his grandfathers experiences with the horse and shares with us some amazing information and history. This is one every draft horse enthusiast needs to hear! Below are pictures from the book Laet: A Percheron Legend, written by Charlotte Livingston for Elizabeth Hubbard Butler II.
A Poem by Laet’s handler, Dave Haxton:
In memory I see him still,
Great Chieftain of his clan.
Yes, it is he in his heyday,
Oh, picture him, if you can!
His great stately form
With magnificent air,
His kind hazel eye
And his ear snug up there;
His towering crest
And dense flowing mane,
Just slightly tipped over;
That’s him, just the same.
The old man with the scythe,
Addressed him and said,
“You have won your last blue.”
That kind hazel is dim,
His smart little ear now is still,
And I see, through mist-filled eyes,
The mound of a grave on the hill.
The last of your days
With pain and despair
And our watchful waiting
Is no more a care.
Old Boy, how we miss you,
How much cannot be told;
A warm spot in many a heart,
I know you safely hold.
He was King amongst his kindred,
Sired champions near a score,
Let’s hope a worthy sire may win
The crown the “Old Horse” wore.
Our hope that some day
A son may be foaled,
With his powers as a sire
And his greatness untold.
By Queens of his kin we have laid him,
On that hill by that sycamore tree,
With Syncopation, Rozelle, and Perfection-
By La Belle, that was sacred to me.
When I pass there my eye seems to fill
As I glance at the hallowed spot on the hill
But-Oh, how deserving he is of his rest.
LAET, Old Boy, we loved you the best.
At Laet’s grave site reads the following inscription:
A poem penned by Dave Haxton in memory of the great mare La Belle.
Thank you to Steve Haxton for providing these images of invaluable Laet memorabilia: