Wednesday, April 19, 2017

One of Maureen's Favorite Horses ~ Lippitt Morman

LIPPITT MORMAN and MAUREEN LOVE

In looking through the drawings by Maureen Love the subject of this blog, Lippitt Morman 8211, appears at least 11 times and was apparently a favorite model of hers.  She definitely used the sketches as reference to sculpt the Hagen-Renaker Designer Workshop Morgan stallion Lippit/Lippet/Lippett (HR's spellings), and probably the HR mini Morgan stallion.  HR first produced their Lippet (I'll use this spelling for the HR reference) figure in 1959, so we can date the drawings to before that.
 

Hagen-Renaker Lippet, Forever Amber and foal Roughneck  Morgan family
The real horse Maureen used as a model was actually a chestnut stallion with a star, a long thin blaze and white right hind sock, named Lippitt Morman 8211, foaled May 30, 1939, bred and owned by Robert Knight of Randolph, VT.  His sire was a famous government farm stallion Mansfield 7255, and his dam was Lippitt Kate Moro 04785.  He does not officially qualify as an official "Lippitt Morgan" now since his sire was not one, having some Arabian blood.
 
In 1945 he was ridden by his then owner Wilfred A. LeBoeuf of Montreal, Canada and placed second in the heavyweight division carrying over 175 lbs. in the 100-mile Trail Ride of the Green Mountain Horse Association in Vermont, and was also chosen for 2nd place among registered Morgans in the ride.   


The August 1945 issue of The Morgan Horse Magazine where that ride is described and all historic photos of Lippitt Morman in this blog are courtesy of the American Morgan Horse Association.  On August 6, 1945, the Morgan Horse Association of the West group was formed at the home of Merle Little, El Rancho Poco in Monrovia, CA, where Lippitt Morman would live a bit later.

The next year Lippitt Morman came in first place in the 1946 Green Mountain Horse Association's 100-mile trail ride in the heavy division.  He is the only stallion to have won that ride and was declared the best horse of the ride and sweepstakes winner.  Owner and rider was still Mr. LeBoeuf.  He was then purchased by Roland Hill of Horseshoe Cattle Company from Tres Pinos, CA, then sold to Merle Little in Duarte, CA. 

In The Vermont Horse and Bridle Trail Bulletin, Oct. 1946, he is shown on the cover as Lippitt Morman, Sweepstake Winner of the 1946 Trail Ride, also winner of the Heavyweight Division.  He was described as 5 years old, 1050 lbs., owned and ridden by W. A. LeBoeuf of Montreal, Canada.  He was, incidentally, only the fourth Morgan to be registered in Canada. 



Lippitt Morman 8211
Stallion.  2nd in 100-mile Ride, Heavyweight division.  Owner and rider, Wilfred A. Leboeuf, Montreal, P. Q.
Roland G. Hill of the Horseshoe Cattle Company in Tres Pinos, California (and the TS Ranch in Nevada), purchased Morman to become a herd sire along with his all-time favorite, Sonfield, planning to cross Morman and his Sonfield mares. Sadly Mr. Hill did not live many years after this and Morman went to Merle Little’s El Rancho Poco at Duarte, California. 

In a 1949 ad for Merle Little, Monrovia, California, it announces a New Morgan, Lippitt Morman No. 8211 Standing in 1949.  Only stallion of any breed to win the 100-mile Vermont Trail Ride, won 3 awards in 1946, fee $50.  It shows his photo and also has photos of Sundown Morgan, Senor Morgan and Midnight Sun the palomino Morgan.

Lippitt Morman also appears on the cover of The Morgan Horse, March 1953, National Stallion issue.  

"Merle Little holds the headstall of Lippitt Morman in the picture, which is appropriate to this issue and, incidentally pays tribute to a great horseman as well as a great horse.  The other Little horse in the picture is the wonderful mare, Senorita Morgan.  The pair, stabled in Duarte, California have won so many ribbons  in west coast shows  that a groan usually arises from competitors when Little and his Morgans show up for the event."  

There are also many photos of him on the great blog Old Morgans.

In 1957 Lippitt Morman is still at the Merle Little ranch on 1457 S. Mountain in Monrovia, California.  It is very likely that Maureen visited him there to sketch, as the Hagen-Renaker Pottery was also located in Monrovia at that time.

Lippitt Morman sired 47 foals and is regarded as an important influence on the Morgan horse breed.  He was never defeated in the Vermont or California show ring.
ML0080a

ML0080b
In Maureen's sketchbook #4 there is no cover with identifying names, but picture ML0080a looks very much like Lippitt Morman, and ML0080b looks like a Morgan but perhaps not Lippitt Morman.  This is among several other Morgan sketches of HR Heather, Scamper and Roughneck, but I have no cover notations by Maureen for any of them as to the original real horse names.  I'm not sure if they were all at the same ranch as Lippitt Morman, however the sketches are near each other in the sketchbook.  

On the cover of sketchbook #42 Maureen wrote "Morgan St. Lippit" and sketches ML0859b, ML0860a and ML0860b are certainly him and used for the HR Lippet sculpt.
ML0859b, used for HR Lippet sculpt
ML0860a, used for HR Lippet sculpt

ML0860b
On the cover of sketchbook #7 is a notation of "Morgans (horse show)" and sketches MLO146b, MLO147a, MLO147b, MLO148a and MLO148b look to be Lippitt Morman.  
Sketches MLO149a and MLO149b may be him.
ML0147a
ML0146b





 














ML0147b
ML0148a



















 
ML0148b
ML0149a











 








ML0149b
ML0150a



















ML0150b
ML0151a



















 
ML0151b
ML0152a


















In the unbound loose drawings of Maureen's there are several more finished drawings that are obviously Lippitt Morman:
ML01028a, signed by Maureen
ML01032a
ML01036a

ML01064a, signed by Maureen

The Hagen-Renaker DW 6" tall sculpture of Lippet was released in 1959-1974 and also 1983-1986 in chestnut and palomino.  Maureen sculpted a different version of Lippitt Morman in a walking pose, probably in the late 1950s, but sadly it was never produced by Hagen-Renaker.  Maureen made at least one pottery copy of him in a wonderful gunmetal black glaze finish, photo courtesy of the Hagen-Renaker On-Line Museum and the Maureen Love Calvert estate.
Maureen Love Original alternate version of Lippitt Morman.
Due to popular demand the walking Lippitt was molded, re-detailed and produced in earthenware by Maureen and Laurilyn Burson in their joint "Made With Love" business under the "Molds From Maureen's Garage" series, which used old molds Laurilyn found stored in Maureen's garage.  The gunmetal glaze hid some detail but was used to cast a new wax model, which Maureen re-detailed to be used to make the new production mold.  They were made in 2005 in a very small limited edition run of approximately 30-35, each decorated in a unique color with a few sold in undecorated white bisque.

The bodies were cast by Laurilyn and decorated and glazed by Joan Berkwitz, owner of Pour Horse Pottery.   More pieces can be seen here.

 
One example of this glorious horse:


In August of 2015, a gorgeous pastel portrait of a chestnut horse by Maureen Love came to light, and speculation as to the identity of the horse centered around an Arabian stallion.  This was actually a portrait of Lippitt Morman, and the historic photo below shows his distinctive face markings very well.  


In the following images of Lippitt Morman and the Made With Love walking Lippitt head a comparison can be made to the pastel portrait and preliminary sketch, and the wavy mane is an additional confirmation of this Morgan characteristic seen in her other Lippitt sketches.


 

Preliminary sketch of Lippitt Morman from the 
Maureen Love Calvert estate.
Lippitt Morman did have some Arabian blood, through his government farm sire.  This probably accounts for his slightly more refined ears and muzzle shape, and it is easy to understand the Arab attribution in trying to identify this portrait.

The sketchbook drawings by Maureen are with the permission of the Maureen Love Calvert estate.

The photo of the pastel portrait of Lippitt Morman was generously supplied by Elizabeth Bouras and can be seen at her website here.   Thanks to Elizabeth we have added another wonderful drawing by Maureen Love to Maureen's total inventory, and have now been able to add it to the list of drawings by Maureen of the great Morgan stallion, Lippitt Morman!


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Will the Real Sespe Violette Step Up?

This blog is actually an update of the extensive article on the Belgian mare, Sespe Violette, from Kristina Lucas Francis' wonderful blog, Muddy Hoofprints.  
Hagen-Renaker collectors have often wondered about and tried to identify the actual live horse that Maureen Love sketched and sculpted for Hagen-Renaker Potteries and that was released by them in 1954 as Sespe Violette.

Sespe Violette
 Photo of Sespe Violette courtesy of James Richendollar.
The 'real' Belgian mare, Sespe Violette 32116, foaled May 11, 1944, was first owned by Rancho Sespe in Fillmore, CA.  She was 8 months old at her registry date of January 17, 1945, and described as dark sorrel, star in forehead, light short stripe below eyes, black feet, light mane and tail.

Her sire was Sespe Rowdy Junior 19959, he by Rowdy II 10570 out of Burge de Maeter 16492.
Rowdy II  10570, was by Baron de Chaussee 7584 (78644), out of Valdia de Keyem 1768 (67549 Brussels) who was foaled May 29, 1909.
Burge de Maeter 16492, was by Lucifer de Maeter 7276 (Vol.XIX,p.1884), out of Bru? 6736.

Sespe Violette's dam was Nancy Crotti Brown 19287, she by Dr. Crotti 14118, out of Betsy de Hemel 12715.
Dr. Crotti 14118, was by Walthar 8489 (91442), out of Violette's Last 8757.
Betsy De Hemel 12715, was by Distinction de Hemel 12957, out of Betty B. 11088.
 Photo of Sespe Violette's registry card courtesy of James Richendollar.
Photo of Lucifer de Maeter courtesy of James Richendollar.
 
Owners of the 4,000 acre Rancho Sespe were Eudora and Keith Spalding, heir to the Spalding family of baseball and sporting goods fame.  Sespe is the name given to the area in the Santa Clara Valley of Ventura County near modern day Fillmore, California, by indigenous inhabitants allegedly of that name.  The ranch was the largest in California, purchased by M. B. Hull in 1888 and inherited in 1895 by his son and daughter Eudora Hull Spalding, wife of Keith Spalding.  Along with serving as the head of several industrial corporations Keith Spalding was one of the most prosperous and successful agribusiness men in Ventura County.  Influenced by the Progressive and Country Live Movements, Keith turned Rancho Sespe into one of the largest private producers of citrus in the country and a model scientific operation.

Early on in his life he was manager of his father's horse ranch in San Diego where he bred Kentucky gaited saddle horses until 1905, and in 1909 started to manage the Sespe Ranch.  They were enthusiastic animal lovers, kept many exotic animals and had an extensive rare bird collection.  They did experiments using draft horses to work the land, and may be why the Belgians were bred there.  When Eudora Spalding died in 1942 she bequeathed the property to Caltech in Pasadena, which used it for agricultural experiments, with her husband a trustee of her estate.  Since Sespe Violette was born in May, 1944, could she have been bred in collaboration with Caltech?  In researching this it is very interesting that the Kellogg ranch grant to Caltech is heavily mentioned, but the Rancho Sespe gift is not mentioned at all.  An intriguing area for more research...
Photo courtesy of James Richendollar.
Sespe Violette was sold around 1948-9 to Dewey Hobson Burden, another fascinating man, who started the Owl Trucking Company in Compton, CA in 1919, owned Rancho Jo-Nita and raced a string of thoroughbred horses maintaining a thoroughbred breeding farm, Rancho Tecolote, at Buellton, CA.  He is most known for selling Emperor Hirohito of Japan the white horse the Emperor was often pictured riding during WWII that was actually a cow pony Dewey found.  


Dewey owned the team of Belgians at the Santa Anita and Hollywood Park race tracks used to draw the starting gate into position between races and to harrow the track.  The gate had to be hauled from the track to the infield after each start on the main track.  It was feared that a tractor might stall, leaving the gate on the track as they came into the stretch and of piling up a field of horses.  He sold his prize team of enormous Belgians, Don and Leo, the wheel horses of the eight-team hitch for seven years, to Rillito Park in Tucson, AZ in 1953 and bought an even larger pair in 1956.  Dewey Burden died in 1958 and his estate was sold in 1967.

Photo courtesy of James Richendollar.

It is likely that Maureen drew Sespe Violette at the Santa Anita race track around 1953. Kristina mentions Sespe Violette as being in the ownership of Kellogg Ranch at Pomona in 1960, so perhaps she was sold, donated or loaned to them after Dewey's death, before her last recorded sale in 1961.  After all, she had originally been bred during the time Rancho Sespe was donated to Caltech where the Kellogg Ranch was located.

Photo courtesy of James Richendollar.
Dewey Burden's Belgian 8 horse hitch exhibited at the August 1960 Sheriff's Rodeo in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, produced by Montie Montana.  They were mentioned as being owned by Dewey's son Joseph L. Burden of Owl Trucking Co. of Compton and driven by Harry Ogden.  Sespe Violette may have been there, as her last known sale was in 1961 to Darrell and Jan Livesay of Clinchport, VA.

 Photo courtesy of James Richendollar.

There are postcards that appear occasionally of the 8 horse Belgian team driven by Howard Long, the trainer of the Owl stable, or by Harry Ogden.  Sespe Violette may be in those photos, but her distinctive face marking would be the only way to perhaps verify that.  
 Dewey Hobson Burden's Belgian Horses
Photo courtesy of CynthiaMH4, Ancestry.com

Sespe Violette's sister was Sespe Suzette 30726, also owned by Dewey.  They were both used in his 8 horse hitch which was shown in at least 7 fairs and was in the ring 52 times, winning 37 firsts, 11 seconds and 4 thirds.  They appeared at the Santa Barbara Fair and Horse Show, Santa Barbara County Fair, San Joaquin County Fair and Fresno County Fair, among others.






Side note - Dewey also owned the team of four high stepping Hackneys which transported the judges to and from their posts and around the track before the first race and between the others in a tooling English Brake at Santa Anita track in the 1940s and leased them during the winter season to the Los Angeles Turf Club.  Jimmie Booth, an actor who appeared in The Rifleman series, at some time drove the team of four Belgians and the fancy carriage pulled by the team of four high stepping Hackneys at the track. The veteran leather worker in Pomona, Z. C. Ellis,  made the harness work for the Belgians, Hackneys, and association horses at Santa Anita. The Scotch housings worn by the big work horses owned by Dewey Burden and managed by Harry Ogden are Ellis' handiwork.  
Dewey Hobson Burden driving his Hackney Ponies


Photo courtesy of CynthiaMH Ancestry.com

The Hackney pony Brookside Stella, her name known to Hagen-Renaker collectors but unknown if she was, indeed, the horse Maureen actually sketched, was owned by Mrs. J. A. Smith of North Hollywood in 1955, a noted Hackney breeder.  Perhaps she had also been owned by Dewey and used at the race track around 1953 when Maureen was there drawing the racehorses and Belgians?  

I have transcribed this beautifully written newspaper article about Dewey's hackneys which was published March 8, 1946 in the Burlington Daily Times News, as well as several other papers across the country.  Because the draft horses at the track were very well known I was tickled to find any information on the hackney ponies.   


~~~
Hackneys Tooling English Brake Add Romantic Touch 
to Racing at Picturesque Santa Anita 
in Shadows of Sierra Madres

by Ned Brown, NEA Staff Correspondent - Arcadia, Calif., March 16 - (NEA)

     This is a beautiful spot, all right, this Santa Anita park in the purple shadow of the majestic Sierra Madres.  And it's overrun with beautiful thoroughbreds, representing the bluest blooded equines in America.  Although these gorgeous animals strive for the richest stakes ever the broad track in this poetically named town, they are not the only attraction for the visitor.  The magnificently landscaped walks, picturesque gardens comprising more than 3,000,000 brilliantly colored plants form a spectacle to delight the eye.  

     But the elite racers are not the only oat-burners here.  There's another horse department that is seldom, if ever, visited by the turf fan, majority of whom find more hectic interest in the mechanical adjuncts of the track - the paramutuel machines.  

     The hackney pony department is a neat, roomy barn presided over by Dewey H. Burden, of Compton, who leases his hackneys for the winter season to the Los Angeles Turf club.
      
        Every racing afternoon these hackneys jauntily tool an English brake around the track before the first race and between the others.  Harness brass-work shining in the sunlight, the compact ponies' coats glistening, their dainty high-stepping feet moving rhythmically, the coachman in his spotless livery and gray topper, red wheels spinning, this four-in-hand turnout cuts a dash and charm reminiscent of bygone, romantic days.

     They might be bowling along through an old English countryside, and bring up visions of a roadside tavern and a spot of ale.  Actually they are used in carrying the judges around the track to their various patrol stands, and a very snappy and efficient job they make of it.

     Both the four-in-hand which pulls the brake and the pair that draws the smaller hunting cart, average some 15 miles per afternoon, and they do it at a spanking trot, never once getting out of step. 

     There are nine hackney ponies stabled at the track and they are in charge of Harry Ogden, a "whip" of note, who handles the ribbons and supervises the care of equipment and the horses.  Harry, a slender, dappr chappie with dignified mien and gray hair, well remembers the old days when he used to take four-in-hand road coaches from Los Angeles out to Baldwin's hotel in Arcadia for dinner and drive back to the city through the moonlight, so he's no green hand at tooling a team.
  
     "There's a lot of work goes into that daily show we put on," Ogden will tell you.  "We start getting ready every morning at five and are not hooked up and ready to go till noon.  All the harness has to be cleaned and polished, wagons washed, horses' manes and tails braided with colored yarn - a tough job in itself.  When we get through the braiding, we put roses in it.  The ponies have to be specially shod so as to coordinate their action.  That's how you get that rhythmic high-stepping.  They're born high-steppers and are all show stock, have won prizes up and down the Pacific coast."
   
     Then Harry Ogden let us in on a secret.  On Saturday, March 16, when the meeting closes with the $50,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap featured, he's going to drive six hackneys to the brake, something rarely seen.

     Our gray topper off to 'em even though half the patrons don't give these picturesque hackneys a tumble.

     A few more breaks like an English brake on the open road and the world might be better and safer.
~~~
Dewey Burden Hackney Ponies at Santa Anita Race Track

In my next blog chapter I will concentrate on Maureen Love's drawings of Sespe Violette and other Belgians, perhaps her sister, Sespe Suzette?