Purchased in 1947 for $5000 as a 5 year old mare, she was at that time called Wait For Me. Her original name, Dazzling Queen, gave reference to her breeding, being sired by Dazzling McDonald. Dr. Elrod renamed her Ottawa's Empress, which stuck with her the remainder of her life. She was shown extensively in fine harness by both Dr. & Mrs. Elrod, as well as their son Bob. She was apparently the last horse shown by Martha Elrod, who became ill. Bob Elrod stated without hesitation that she was his favorite of all the horses they had throughout the years. Ottawa's Empress was well-mannered and could always be counted on to give a good show, but sometimes she went a step above. According to one eyewitness, in the Championship at the Ohio State Fair, she was making her usual excellent show and, it seemed she was well on the way to winning it; but just as they were reversing across the ring, a fireworks display started up at the fairgrounds and on the first BOOM, some of the horses jumped off their feet and became a bit unruly; but not the Empress! She just became twice the horse she had been She was breathtaking. Another horseman who knew Ottawa's Empress said he thought she and Doc Elrod beat Garland Bradshaw and Kate Shriver when they showed against one another. It must have been on one of those days when she went "a step above." However, as with all the horses at the farm, even the Empress was for sale. That day came on August 30, 1950 when Ottawa's Empress sold to J. Brooks for $12,000. The sale took place in a hotel room during a show, and it was transacted in cash. According to Bob, they were hiding bills everywhere. That was a lot of money for the times, and it wasn't your typical method of payment.
Dr. Elrod would eventually purchase Ottawa's Empress' dam and re-breed her to Dazzling McDonald, but he never succeeded in raising another colt of her caliber. Ottawa's Empress continued to show for a few more years and then became a broodmare for Brookmont Farm. Her second foal, CH Double Indemnity, ended up as a Reserve Word's Champion (RWC) when he placed 2nd in the stallion/gelding Fine Harness Stake at Louisville. He earned his CHampion status.
Dr. Elrod, although an amateur, was a highly qualified and sought after judge. He judged Louisville three times in 1954, 1957 and 1960, as well as Pin Oak, Lexington, and the Missouri State Fair. Other shows he judged included Miami & Tampa FL, Los Angeles, Harrodsburg KY, Lancaster & Harrisburg PA, Ft Wayne & Auburn IN, Springfield MA, Greenbrier WV, Nashville TN and South Africa. His last show as a judge was River Ridge in 1974. In his role as horse show judge, he traveled throughout the country and interacted with many other trainers and breeders. Dr Elrod had numerous friends in the saddle horse industry and routinely purchased horses from, or sold to many well-known horsemen including Chester Caldwell, Garland Bradshaw, Frank Bradshaw, George Gwinn, Howard Dickey, Mark Dickey and Eli Long.
His knowledge of bloodlines was nothing short of phenomenal, and it was apparent he had his preferences for the bloodlines of San Juan, Chester Dare, and Lee Rose McDonald. As time went on, Anacacho Denmark stallion lines gained favor. He loved the discussion of pedigrees and would enthusiastically share his opinions and stories of great horses. Dr. Elrod fostered the interest in saddlebred bloodlines with many people over the years and was happy to share his knowledge.
Although Dr. Elrod was an accomplished horseman, his occupation demanded much of his time and he often employed a trainer. Over the years they included Marvin Wood, Earl Combs, JR Ragsdale, Claude Alexander, Bill Robinson & Neil Leitner. At other times, he would work his own horses with utmost competency and great results. He also mentored young people who had an interest in horses and taught them how to green break, gait, and finish horses.
His son Bob Elrod said Dr. Elrod never required much sleep, and it’s apparent in his work routine. He would get up early and go to the farm to work horses, and then go see patients and have a full day of work. Then it was back to the farm to spend more time with the horses. A friend said, “He wasted no time.” Sometimes horse shows entered the equation and it was still the same, show a horse, return to the hospital and see patients, back to the farm and work horses.
Dr. Elrod had hoped his son would follow his footsteps into the medical profession. After one year at Vanderbilt, Bob Jr decided it wasn’t for him. He came home to train horses for his Dad. This went well for a while until he was drafted into the Army in 1950. After coming back from the service, he attended The Ohio State University and became a veterinarian.
The early 1950’s were a difficult time for Dr. Elrod. His stallion, Jean LaFitte, died just 3 short years after his purchase from Spindletop Farm. His wife Martha, who shared his passion for horses, passed away at age 46 just a few days after Christmas in 1951. Grey Mac, his main breeding stallion for 13 years and a horse he had shown widely, died on November 7, 1952. Things slowed down for a time, and he gave away a number of his broodmares to Eli Long in 1953. Among these horses were Korena Juan and Lady Middleton. Soon however, he acquired a new stallion and it was back to the breeding, training and showing of horses. In fact, Dr. Elrod always had a stallion or two in residence at OCF. Over the years, they included Grey Mac, Dr. McChord, Jean LaFitte, Gay Kalarama, Mercer’s Copper King, Clear Creek Prince, Bellaire’s Anacacho King, and Grand View’s Matinee Idol.
Jean Lafitte was purchased from Spindletop Farms sale in 1948 at age 12.
He was sired by Jean Valentino by Jean Val Jean out of Lillian Monroe by Rex Monroe
Here are pictures of some of Dr.Elrod's horses from the 1950's through the 1960's. At the end of this time period, Dr. Elrod was in his early 70's, but still showing horses. He was also still active in his career as a physician.
Ottawa's Gold Glamour sold as a 2 year old in 1950 to
area car dealer Cliff Dunn.
Ottawa's Mastermind was sired by Grey Mac
and out of the mare Korena Juan by San Juan
Ottawa's Perfection was registered as Sugah Valley Rose.
Sugah Valley was a breeding farm in operation during the 1940's and 1950's.
Ottawa's Supreme Command winning a 3 gaited class with Dr. Elrod
Jean Lafitte X Whyworry Chieftess by Chief of Longview
This portrait of Ottawa's Supreme Command was painted in 1956.
Ottawa's Sweetheart was a full sister to Ottawa's Mastermind.
Grey Mac X Korena Juan by San Juan. She was purchased in 1953
and is shown here by her new owner Mrs. McConnell.
Ottawa's Elegant Lady at the Grosse Pointe Michigan show in 1959.
Sired by Grey Mac out of Independence Girl by San Juan,
she was the second to last colt sired by Grey Mac.
CH Lafitte's Gay Scandal was sired by Jean Lafitte and out of Lady Middleton.
He's pictured here with his owner Judy Kaufmann and eventually earned CH status.
Lafitte's Gay Scandal was a home-raised, home trained three-gaited gelding. Dr. Elrod felt the horse had a lot of potential but he despaired of ever getting it out of him so he sent him to Chester Caldwell and Mark Dickey who were in business together at the time. After working him for some time Mark called Doc and told him that, in their opinion, he just wasn't going to make the big time they had all hoped for, so he was sold for $3000 in 1955. He ended up in the hands of Art Simmons, who then sold the horse to Judy Kaufman. Evidently Mr. Simmons was able to turn the key on this horse which showed with great success at the big shows around the country. One day, Doc opened his mail to find a Hamilton Electric Watch (an expensive and very new thing at the time) from Mark and Chester as a mea culpa in judging Lafitte's Gay Scandal
Lafitte's Sweetheart was a full sister to Lafitte's Gay Scandal.
She's shown here by Dr. Elrod at Bloomfield Hills in Michigan.
Presenting the ribbon is Honey Craven. This mare sold to
JL Younghusband of Valley View Farm for $10000 in 1959.
Mighty Prince was purchased from Cliff Dunn in 1952 and
resold in 1953 at a profit.
Star So Rare, a grandson of King's Genius is shown by Bill Curran.
He was purchased in 1950 for $235 and resold in 1955 for $3500 to Cliff Dunn.
Vztop Realization was shown as Ottawa's Realization.
He was sired by Nawbeek's Highland King out of a Gallant Knight mare.
Vztop Realization and Dr. Elrod at Bloomfield Hills MI in 1952.
He sold to Joan Jacobs of Beverly Hills CA in 1953.
and now the decade of the 1960's
Ottawa's Denmark at Ft. Wayne IN in 1964 with Dr. Elrod.
He was sired by Clear Creek Prince and out of a mare by Jean Lafitte,
2nd dam by Grey Mac and 3rd dam was a horse Dr. Elrod purchased in 1931.
This horse was sold to Dr. Geraldine Meanor in 1969.
Ottawa's Summer Song was sold to Dave Bedell in 1962.
Sired by Mercer's Copper King, she was a half brother to Ottawa's Denmark.
Both were out of Lafitte's Delightful Miss.
Summer Song was a two time Amateur Five-Gaited Champion of Michigan for Dave Bedell.
Dave purchased several other horses from Dr. Elrod including Ottawa's Fancy Style,
shown as Wheel of Fortune (Grey Mac X Lady Stonewall by Stonewall King)
and The Ohioan which was a 5 time Amateur 3-Gaited Champion of Michigan.
The Ohioan showed as Grandwood Grenadier, but he was unregistered
Ottawa's Fancy Style showed as Wheel of Fortune
Grand View's Matinee Idol in front of the barn.
Golden Thunderbolt X Maid of Orleans by King's Genius
Grand View's Matinee Idol
He was the last stallion to stand at Ottawa Creek Farm.
Ottawa's Liberty Born shown by Dr. Elrod in 1964 at Ft. Wayne.
Sired by Mercer's Copper King, his dam was by Grey Mac and his 2nd dam was Korena Juan.
My Floradora was purchased from Mrs. JR Sharp's dispersal sale in 1965.
The Red Rambler X Ridgefield's Flora BHF by Ace O'Goshen.
She was sold, repurchased and then resold.
Yes, always at a profit.
Society Born was sired by Society Rex.
Stonewall's Genius Sparkle aka Stoney
He is shown here in the late 1960's with Dr. Elrod.
Dr. Elrod aboard an unidentified horse at Ft Wayne Indiana
Coming up next time will be the final installment in the life of this remarkable horseman.
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