Agricultural History Series

Missouri State University

 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair

Percheron Horse Shows

The strongest display of any draft breed at the World’s Fair was the Percheron.   The exhibition consisted of some of the most distinguished horses from worldwide fairs, and also included prize winners from various French shows.  The Percherons were presented in very attractive bloom.  “Tail-enders could be found in every class.”  It was said that the Percherons "consisted of a uniformly good lot of high order of quality and weight".  Many of the Percherons had been recently imported and apparently withstood the trip without any trouble.

The initial judge of the Percherons was Professor John A. Craig, of College Station, Texas.  Unfortunately,  S. Noble King,  judge of French draft horses, and Mr. Charles Aveline, of Nogent-le-Retrou, France had to take his place.  Craig became sick before the show and had to cancel.  The two judges were successful in agreeing with one another. 

An important quality the judges looked for was a horse that was well-balanced.  Other qualities included horses with smooth, strong loins and level hindquarters.  A horse presenting many of those qualities,was sure to go home with a prize.  The total cash prizes offered for the Percherons was $6,205.00.

Winning Percheron Horses

Ad from a successful exhibitor.

The blue badge of victory fell to the black Casino, the son of Theudis, from the aged stallions.  Theudis had achieved a distinguished career in horse shows.  He had strong competition from Univers, son of Castelar, for first place.  Castelar was the winner of the Percheron show in 1903.

Casino 27830, at 8 yrs old. Owned by J.W. and J.C. Robison, Towanda, KS

Of the younger stallions, six of the seven awards fell to the McLaughlins, the seventh going to Crouch and Son.  Victor Hugo, the first prize colt at the French Percheron show in France that year, was the runner-up.  The third place went to Tarquin, a horse that was said to have a pleasing quality about the head.  Artilleur, a black colt, was fourth.

The black Zaza was the winner of the mare classes.  Castille, a black sweet mare, who was very refined, came in second.  The third place went to Lady Montrose.

Zaza 24618. Grand Champion Mare owned by J.W. and J.C. Robison, Towanda, KS

Another highlight of the 1904 World's Fair Draft Horse show was the hitch classes.  Not many huge hitches were entered but the Percheron team of Pabst Brewing Company of Wisconsin won the prizes.  Fair visitors were amazed by this fine group of horses.  They first competed as a four-horse team.   No local St. Louis Companies were willing to put their teams in competition with that from Pabst.  One remarked, "What on earth could compete with that?"   The driver of the team circled the team about the Forum arena making figure eights and other serpentine patterns.  He had a big coach dog riding as a mascot.   After the four horse demonstration, two more horses were added and the six-horse team went through a similar series of movements.

 The Pabst Percherons

The Pabst Percherons

First prize winners were:

Reference:   Breeder's Gazette,  August  1904, Farmer Stockman, September, 1904, and  World's Fair Bulletin, October 1904.  Report of the Kansas World's Fair Commission. 1905.

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