Agricultural History Series

 Missouri State University

 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair

Saddlebred Horse Show

The top saddle horses were brought out from the breeding farms and show stables to the World’s Fair.  Unfortunately,  it was not considered to be the large show that everyone expected. A train from the state of Kentucky arrived in the evening of August 21st .  It brought twenty-five carloads of show horses. Ninety-eight saddle horse entries were part of that entourage. Nearly half the Kentucky entries stayed in their home state to compete in the smaller county fairs, rather than make the trip to St. Louis for fear that the prize money would not actually be paid out to the winners. In St. Louis, the Kentucky horses competed mainly with saddlebred horses from Missouri and Illinois. They vied for $4,390 in cash, ribbons, and the American Saddle Horse Breeder’s $200 cup. The East, as expected, brought no entries.

Judging of a Saddlehorse class

Saddle Horse Class

The four-inch-deep mud prevented the saddle horses from showing off their flashy gaits. The draft and coach breeds were not the only ones to have disagreements over the judging. Those of the saddle horses wanted two Missourians to assist C. L. Railey, of Lexington, Kentucky, in the judging. Charles F. Mills, Chief of the Live Stock Department, was hesitant about the decision, but consented to the requests. Railey would have been given  extra help if it had not been for Kentucky’s Live Stock Commissioner, J. B. Bowles. Chief Mills was told by Bowles that Railey would leave if the other two men entered the ring with him.  Therefore, Railey judged alone.

Well-known exhibitors from Missouri included Thomas Bass, John T. Hook, Kirkpatrick and Co., S. Y. Sanders, T. B. Small, and J. A. Potts. Bass not only exhibited his own horses, but also those of Missourians J. A. Potts, Thomas Dunn, and Wallace Estill.

Gypsy Queen was brought to St. Louis for another successful showing. It was noted that Gypsy Queen had won "every prize in every show in which she was ever exhibited."  She was owned by Thomas W. Lawson, a copper millionaire from Boston.  She was ridden by Ernest Ball of Versailles, Kentucky.

Montgomery Chief

Montgomery Chief, Champion Gaited Saddle Stallion, owned and exhibited by Ball Bros.

First place winners were:

References: The Horse Show Monthly, 1904; World's Fair Bulletin, July & October 1904; The Breeder's Gazette, August 31 & September 7, 1904; St. Louis Republic, August 21, 1904.

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