Sunday, July 28, 2013

1953 Lexington Jr. League Horse Show

The program from the 1953 Lexington Junior League Horse Show is oh so cool for so many reasons.  It is the oldest of my horse show programs, and it is 60 years old this year.  Since Lexington just finished a week or so ago, timing is pretty good too.  From a standpoint of pictures, it isn't great.  The cover is an illustrations of a Saddlebred by JR Horst, the photographer.  Who knew he was also in illustrator? The only horse photograph in an ad was the 1947 photo of Wing Commander also done by John R. Horst.  The other ads are pretty amusing, and some companies, like Budweiser, Old Heaven Hill Whiskey and Ashland Oil are still going strong today.  Others, like Joyland Amusement Park and the Phoenix Hotel have been swallowed up by time. 

So what's great about this program, especially if there aren't many photos?  Many of the classes had the results marked down, and the horses read like the Who's Who of Saddlebred greats.  Even though there weren't pictures in the program, the horses are represented here thanks to the photos ASHA has on its website.  Also thanks to Virginia Griffith, whose name is written on the program.  Undoubtedly it was she who marked down the results.

The people also are noteworthy.   The advisory committee consisted of 19 people including farm owners Miss Clara Peck of Winganeek Farm, Miss Nola Minton of Hickory Minton, Mrs. Josephine Abercrombie Segura of Pin Oak Stables, Mrs. Frederick Van Lennep of Dodge Stables, Mr. Max Biederman of HIgh Point Farm, Mr. C.P. Edwards of Ridgefields Farm, Mr. C. E. Falls of Rosa-A-Lee Farms, trainers C. Leake Fain, Shine Ogan and Cape Grant, Mr. Lewis Tierney of Leatherwood Farm and Mr. H. G. Whittenberg of Hayfield Farms.  Mr. June Cronan was one of the stewards and Dutch Morris was official photographer.  And then there were the four judges.  Shirley Drew Hardwicke was the equitation judge.  The remaining judges were David Neil of Blythewood Farms, trainer Owen Hailey, and Dr. Robert Elrod of Ottawa Creek Farm, the man who sold me Buddy.  I am guessing he is one of the few non-professional horseman to judge at Lexington and Louisville. 


Maternity fashion from 1953 and a nylon tulle designer wedding dress. 
The show ran from Monday through Saturday night, just like present day, but there were only 83 classes.  Could that be one reason the classes were better filled in those days than they are now?  Thre were no morning sessions, only evening classes.  Virginia Griffith didn't start recording results until Wednesday night.  The Junior Fine Harness Stake had 7 entries.  First went to Miss America, aka CH Moore's Miss America shown by a 19 year old Tom Moore!  Third place went to Hi-Note, aka Crebilly's Hi-Note shown by Frank Bradshaw.  Both of these trainers eventually owned these mares. 

Miss America and Tom Moore


Hi-Note and Frank Bradshaw

The five gaited gelding stake was won by Stonewall's Duke of Dixie, 2nd to Master Genius for High Point Farm, and 3rd went to Sam Spade ridden by Marion Brown.
Sam Spade

 Thursday night was the Ladies Fine Harness Stake.  The winner was Peavine's Genius' Queen, shown as Genius Queen. 

Genius Queen
The Juvenile three gaited class was won by Gay Gallant and 2nd went to (Magnolia's) Ann Rutledge.  Gay Gallant was 15 years old in 1953 and a very seasoned campaigner.  He has earned his CH designation.  Read more about Ann Rutledge in the Carolina post.   Seems like half the horses back then weren't shown by their registered names. 
Gay Gallant

Ann Rutledge
There are many more classes to report and more pictures to post, so that will happen next week.  Today it's off to the Monroe County Fair to work as Masterstockman Superintendent.  

1 comment:

  1. Hey you bought that program from me on ebay! I just loved the cover illustration too.