The Lippitt Morgan Horse (part 2)
When I originally was asked to write about the Lippitt Morgan, I tried to put all of it in one article…now that a second article has been requested, the task becomes harder, not impossible, just harder!
Just as a reminder, the Lippitt Morgan horse takes its name from a breeder of these Morgans, Robert Lippitt Knight. The Lippitt Morgan is a family of Morgan, a bloodline, a gene pool. The entire family has resulted from the efforts of farmers in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, selling their foals as a cash crop. Before horse trailers or trucks , a person would use a stallion that was near enough to ride to in a day, thus “pockets“ of bloodlines were established and family lines began to evolve.
Todays breeders are only carrying on what was established before,, a responsibility handed down to them by the very farmers who used their foals as a cash crop in order to pay the bills.
Records were not kept very well, mares were not named, and the stallions often carried their owners name which changed when the animal was sold…tracing pedigrees is quite a challenge sometimes!!! There are many Justins, Black Hawks, Ethans, Billies, etc in the registry which was first printed in 1894. Often stallions were required to be recorded in town record books which helps in pedigree searches. The Registry itself was not always accurate or even complete, as farmers thought the ten dollar fee way too expensive so just did not send in any information…many horses were lost due to that reason.
Keep in mind that some 200 years later, we still have a horse that goes back to Justin Morgan himself , in 12 generations sometimes. This is an incredible feat in itself…Mr. A . Fullerton Phillips of Windsor, Vt. Collected information and began buying up what he considered the true Morgan horse, he kept a manuscript titled, The Morgan Horse As I Found Him. This manuscript was printed in book form and are hard to find. After Mr. Phillips passed away in 1927, he left two stallions, Ashbrook and Moro as well as four mares. These were the original six horses Mr. Robert Lippitt Knight acquired from the Phillips estate and used to establish a Lippitt breeding program which spanned 40 years. One of the mares, Croydon Mary, was in foal and thus the first Lippitt prefixed horse arrived in 1927 and was appropriately named Lippitt Welcome. During this time, Mr. Knight purchased two mature mares who did not have names and he registered them with his prefix, Lippitt Trixie and Lippitt Sallie.
The horse industry today is changing and the Lippitt Morgan, being versatile, changes with it. Smaller breeding farms, some with only one or two mares are evident. Larger breeding farms do exist, five that come to mind right off are located in British Columbia, Canada, Alabama, Washington state , Wisconsin and Michigan. Even these breeders have reduced the annual numbers of foals currently.
Once bitten by the “Lippitt bug”, no one can lessen the passion these people have for their horses. Many of us still consider adding a good mare or stallion to the herd, even when we know the barn is full!! Economic hardships have made some Lippitts available which may not have ever been offered previously.If you have the passion, no one, nothing can take it away,,,financial, personal, health, regardless, we all seem to find a way to continue, perhaps on a smaller scale but nevertheless, on we go. A big concern in the Lippitt world is the lack of young folks to carry on the breeding end of the business. There are youngters riding and even a Lippitt Drill Team has evolved due to the efforts of a personable woman, recently lost to us but the kids are keeping it going with the help of adults in memory of Crescent Peirce…also, they have a lot of fun and do a fine job of it! She would be proud for sure.
Recently a young rider using Gramma’s Lippitt mare entered 14 classes( lots of games) at a show and many folks came up to the owner to ask what kind of horse that was, the mare had been in about every class and was still going strong,,, something like an equine energizer bunny!! “That is a Lippitt Morgan” , the proud owner replied.
If you think you would be interested owning or just learning about the Lippitt Morgan, the following map is included. Feel free to check out the two websites and go on a farm visit near you or far away if you are on vacation,,, Lippitt folks are always willing to show off their stock or just plain talk Lippitt.
Click here for part 1.
Click here for a map of Lippitt Morgans in the United States.
The Lippitt Club Inc. net