Episode 39- LAET

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,
Somewhat overdue,
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.

woodside farm
Woodside Farm where Laet would go to live after leaving his place of birth on Selma Farm in Leesburg, VA. The farm was owned by Watson Butler and managed by David Haxton.
Laet
The great Laet, known as the Sire of Sires. Undoubtedly the most influential stallion in the early years of the registry.
Laet and Treviso
Laet’s mother (Left), Couceorous, with her two Grand Champion sons, Laet’s brother Treviso and Laet.
Laet Pedigree
Laet’s Pedigree
Dragon
The stallion Dragon, whose daughters would prove to have the “nick” to cross with Laet and produce some of the best horses of the time.
Woodside Farm brood mares
The band of broodmares purchased and brought to Woodside after the acquisition of Laet. L-R are the famous mares Syncopation, La Belle, Perfection, Intrepid, Couceorous, Belle Dragon, and Perfect.
La Belle
La Belle, Dave Haxton’s favorite mare, she was said to have never been out of position. She is a mare that has the style and femininity to compete even today.
Perfection
Perfection, a mare that would produce some of the most winning get of Laet, shown her with her daughter Perfect.
Hesitation
Hesitation, one of the celebrated sons of Laet.
Premier Laet
Premier Laet, one of the best show sons of Laet.
Get of Laet
Perlaet, Dralaet and Hesitation.
Laet champion get 1936 international
Champion Get at the 1936 International, sired by Laet. L-R, Milaet, Cy Laet, and Sir Watson.
Laet Painting
A painting of Laet later in his life.
Laet's Magic Queen
Laet’s Magic Queen, a phenom in the show ring, 2x champion at the Chicago International.

Additional Information:

 

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:

The name plate on one of Laet’s Champion Get trophies from the Ohio State Fair.
Laet's foot
One of the hooves amputated from Laet after his death.
Laet's hoof
The underside of Laet’s hoof.
Trophy present to Watson Butler for his breeder achievement.
Dave Haxton’s Honor Groom trophy presented by the Percheron Horse Association of America in 1941.

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