We Ride Sport and Trail Magazine November 2018 - Page 40

Lippitt Morgan

A Rare All-American Horse

By Heather Smith

The Morgan horse breed is very unique in that all its members trace in direct male line to a single foundation sire. The horse, known as Figure or Justin Morgan, after his owner, sired horses that bore an amazing resemblance to him, both in stature and in performance. This resemblance led to the Morgan becoming the most popular American breed of the 19th century.

As the dominant social climate changed from rural to urban, the horse became a luxury. The demand for pleasure horses increased while the demand for working horses diminished. Some breeders, in order to meet market demands, attempted to replace the Morgan’s “blue collar” image with a more “aristocratic” type by introducing outcrosses to other breeds. In the early 1900's a gentleman named A. Fullerton Phillips traveled from Pennsylvania to Vermont in hopes of acquiring a number of the "original" Morgan horses. Finding horses that lacked versatility, stamina and overall beauty, he spent a great deal of time and money searching the hills and back woods of New England, gathering as many of the old type as possible.

Mr. Phillips passed in 1927 and his precious herd was dispersed after 17 years of careful breeding. Word of the dispersal spread to Robert Lippitt Knight, who also had an appreciation for old, rare breeds. He purchased two stallions and four mares from the estate and began building his own program at Green Mountain Stock Farm in Randolph, Vermont. He was considered a major breeder of “old type Morgans” from 1927-1962, and the old type Morgans gradually became referred to as “Lippitts.” To honor Mr. Knight’s contribution to the Morgan breed and old type, his name was formally chosen for the family of horses and the Club that supports them.

In the early 1970’s a number of Vermonters gathered together in an attempt to preserve the wonderful, prepotent icon of the past. After months of meetings, discussions and painstaking pedigree research, twenty-five horses were identified as being as close as possible to the original Old Vermont Morgan Horse. The horses chosen had a minimum number of known out crosses to other breeds in the 19th century, and no out crosses to any other breed in the 20th century. All were registered Morgans with close crosses to Peters' Ethan Allen 2d 406, the “cornerstone” stallion of the Lippitt Morgan, and had produced one or more lines of descent that is present in today's Lippitt population. These were then entitled the Foundation Stock.

Today’s Lippitt Morgan is the visible descendant of the Morgan horses that fought our wars, cleared our land, plowed our fields, herded our cattle, carried us westward and drove us to church on Sunday. They have the highest percentage of original blood available today and possess the type and qualities of the original Justin Morgan horse. They are known for their versatility, willingness to please, pleasant disposition, Morgan type, and presence. They are enjoyed by all family members for trail riding, jumping, pleasure driving, dressage, gymkhana, mounted shooting, combined driving, and therapeutic riding, just to name a few! Lippitts are typically bay, black, brown or chestnut in color and range in size from 13.1h to 15.2h.

Today, it is estimated that there are fewer than 2000 living Lippitt Morgans, many of which are no longer breeding or producing to carry on the bloodlines. They are considered to be endangered by The Equus Survival Trust and The Livestock Conservancy.

For more information on these incredible horses, please visit www.LippittClub.net or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LippittClubMorganHorse/

“To touch a Lippitt is to touch history”

The Morgan horse breed is very unique in that all its members trace in direct male line to a single foundation sire. The horse, known as Figure or Justin Morgan, after his owner, sired horses that bore an amazing resemblance to him, both in stature and in performance. This resemblance led to the Morgan becoming the most popular American breed of the 19th century.

As the dominant social climate changed from rural to urban, the horse became a luxury. The demand for pleasure horses increased while the demand for working horses diminished. Some breeders, in order to meet market demands, attempted to replace the Morgan’s “blue collar” image with a more “aristocratic” type by introducing outcrosses to other breeds. In the early 1900's a gentleman named A. Fullerton Phillips traveled from Pennsylvania to Vermont in hopes of acquiring a number of the "original" Morgan horses. Finding horses that lacked versatility, stamina and overall beauty, he spent a great deal of time and money searching the hills and back woods of New England, gathering as many of the old type as possible.

Mr. Phillips passed in 1927 and his precious herd was dispersed after 17 years of careful breeding. Word of the dispersal spread to Robert Lippitt Knight, who also had an appreciation for old, rare breeds. He purchased two stallions and four mares from the estate and began building his own program at Green Mountain Stock Farm in Randolph, Vermont. He was considered a major breeder of “old type Morgans” from 1927-1962, and the old type Morgans gradually became referred to as “Lippitts.” To honor Mr. Knight’s contribution to the Morgan breed and old type, his name was formally chosen for the family of horses and the Club that supports them.

In the early 1970’s a number of Vermonters gathered together in an attempt to preserve the wonderful, prepotent icon of the past. After months of meetings, discussions and painstaking pedigree research, twenty-five horses were identified as being as close as possible to the original Old Vermont Morgan Horse. The horses chosen had a minimum number of known out crosses to other breeds in the 19th century, and no out crosses to any other breed in the 20th century. All were registered Morgans with close crosses to Peters' Ethan Allen 2d 406, the “cornerstone” stallion of the Lippitt Morgan, and had produced one or more lines of descent that is present in today's Lippitt population. These were then entitled the Foundation Stock.

Today’s Lippitt Morgan is the visible descendant of the Morgan horses that fought our wars, cleared our land, plowed our fields, herded our cattle, carried us westward and drove us to church on Sunday. They have the highest percentage of original blood available today and possess the type and qualities of the original Justin Morgan horse. They are known for their versatility, willingness to please, pleasant disposition, Morgan type, and presence. They are enjoyed by all family members for trail riding, jumping, pleasure driving, dressage, gymkhana, mounted shooting, combined driving, and therapeutic riding, just to name a few! Lippitts are typically bay, black, brown or chestnut in color and range in size from 13.1h to 15.2h.

Today, it is estimated that there are fewer than 2000 living Lippitt Morgans, many of which are no longer breeding or producing to carry on the bloodlines. They are considered to be endangered by The Equus Survival Trust and The Livestock Conservancy.

For more information on these incredible horses, please visit www.LippittClub.net or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LippittClubMorganHorse/

“To touch a Lippitt is to touch history”

“To touch a Lippitt is to touch history”

The

Brook Hill Illumination Grand Champion Mare

40 / Sport and Trail Magazine