Draft Horses

The Draft Horse Program at Michigan State was one of the finest in its day. From 1910 to 1930 draft horses competed in 20 state fairs and 8 international competitions winning 211 firsts and 155 championships. This is a phenomenal amount of success and illustrates just how exceptional the breeding program was. Following 1930 the draft horses were still shown, but as tractors slowly became more available the draft horses slowly faded away. Michigan State successfully breed Clydesdales, Percherons, and Belgians.

Clydesdales

The Clydesdales were the first breed on the farm and the first breed to leave. The first Clydesdales were purchased in July, 1907. The Clydes were bred and shown successfully, however Michigan farmers were uninterested in the breed and the remainder of the herd was sold following the 1923 International. Some of the known mares are: Margaret, Queen Thyra, Langwater Fair Maid, and Osceola Duchess. Some of the known stallions are: McAlpine, Prince Fortune, Amaryllis, and Langwater Model.

2 horses and man

The first two Clydesdale mares: Margaret and Queen Thyra

horse

The first stallion used:  McAlpine

horses and men

Group of Clydesdale Mares 

Belgians

The Belgian breeding program was started much later and it wasn't until 1918 that the first Belgian mares foaled out on the farm. These mares were imported and became the foundation for Belgian breeding at MSC. These mares produced a number of grand and reserve grand champion horses. Another great mare was Pervenche who was purchased in 1922 and remained at MSC for four years. During her time at MSC she produced three fillies and won a substantial amount of money at shows. There were also a number of other mares including Manitta de Rubis and Naome de Rubis who won many honors for MSC. The first Belgian stallion was Jupiter who was acquired in 1921. Then in 1923 Jupiter was traded for Range Line Phoenix another Belgian stallion. Range Line Phoenix was successful sire. In 1927 Preston Wolfe was purchased as a yearling and went on to win a number of championships. He produced exceptional offspring and eventually replaced Range Line Phoenix as the main sire for MSC.

After WWII horses were quickly being replaced with tractors. There was no longer a need for them to plow and harvest. The last draft horse show a MSC owned horse competed in was the American Belgian Show in 1946. In that show, Ginger's Pervenche, a mare by Ginger and out of Pervenche, won championship honors. The draft horses remained at MSU until 1963; however those last 20 years were nowhere near as impressive as the first 30.

Pervenche 9030

horse

Belgian Mare foaled April 11, 1921
Sire:  Rubis 8004
Dame:  Quenea 4887

Placing
1922

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st - Mare 1 year and under 2
  2. 1st - American Bred Yearling
  3. Reserve Junior Champion Mare under 3
  4. American Bred Yearling

Michigan State Fair

  1. Reserve Junior Champion
1923

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. Junior Champion Mare under 3
  2. Grand Champion Mare

Michigan State Fair

  1. Junior Champion Mare

Ohio State Fair

  1. Belgian Special

New York State Fair

  1. 1st - 2 yr old Mare
  2. Junior Champion Mare
1924

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st - Mare 3 year and under
  2. Senior Champion Mare 3 and over
  3. Grand Champion Mare all ages

Michigan State Fair

  1. Senior Champion Mare
  2. Grand Champion Mare
1927

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st - Mare 5 years and over
  2. Reserve Senior Champion Mare 3 years and over
  3. Reserve Grand Champion Mare
Produce

Phoevenche 11298 by Range Line Phoenix

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  March20, 1925

Livenche 11847 by Range Line Pheonix

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  April 13, 1926

Ravenche 12218 by Range Line Phoenix

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  April 17, 1927

Ginger's Pervenche 22933 by Ginger

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  June 9, 1937

Range Line Phoenix

horse

Preston Wolfe 14607

horse

Belgian Stallion foaled May 9, 1926
Sire:  Walther 8489
Dame:  Elsie Houston 8756

Placing
1926

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st - Foal
1927

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st place Stallion 3 years and under
  2. Junior Champion Stallion
  3. 1st Futurity Class Yearling Stallion

Ohio State Fair

  1. 1st Stallion 1 yr and under 2 
  2. Junior Champion Stallion
  3. Grand Champion Stallion

Indiana State Fair

  1. 1st Stallion 1 yr and under 2
  2. Reserve Junior Champion Stallion
1928

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st Stallion 2 yr and under 3
  2. Junior Champion Stallion

Ohio State Fair

  1. 1st Stallion 2 yrs old
  2. Junior Champion Stallion
  3. Reserve Grand Champion Stallion
  4. Champion Stall Bred in Ohio
  5. King Albert Cup
1929

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 2nd Stallion 3 yrs and under 4

Michigan State Fair

  1. 1st Stallion 3 yrs and under 4
  2. Senior Champion Stallion
  3. Grand Champion Stallion

Ohio State Fair

  1. 1st Stallion 3 yrs and under 4
  2. Senior Champion Stallion
  3. Reserve Grand Champion Stallion
1930

International Livestock Show, Chicago

  1. 1st Stallion 1 yr and under 2

Michigan State Fair

  1. 1st Stallion 4 yrs old
  2. Reserve Senior Champion
  3. Reserve Grand Champion

Percherons

Shortly after the arrival of the Clydesdales MSC purchased two pairs of Percheron mares. One of these mares, Arlene, formed the foundation for the Percheron breeding program. In May, 1908 Arlie a filly out of Arlene was the first purebred foal born on the MSC farm. Arlie remained on the farm and was used as a broodmare through the 1930’s. Maplegrove Leila was another Percheron mare who made history by winning 23 championships three of which were at the same International. Another exceptional broodmare was Coreen whose get won substantial prize money at the state fairs and the International.

The most outstanding Percheron sire that MSC stood was Treviso. Although there were many others his performance as a stud was superior. The Percheron Society of America rankings for superior sire Treviso ranked fifth in 1928 and third in 1929. Sir Laet replaced Treviso as the main sire for MSC Percherons in 1929. Sir Laet  was an exceptional sire and was bred to many Treviso daughters. Sir Laet was the popular Percheron sire owned by MSC. In 1929 he was grand champion at the Ohio and Michigan state fairs and at the International. Sir Laet remained at MSC for just over 10 yrs before he was sold.

horses, black and white photo

horses, black and white photo

Maplegrove Leila

horse

Percheron Mare foaled April 15, 1919
Sire:  Lagos 99093
Dame:  Maplegrove Polly 132537

Background

Purchased from J.O Singmaster at a public sale on October 21,1920 for $300

  • First showing was at Michigan State Fair in 1921 where she won a blue ribbon
  • Won 23 championships, 10 Grand Championships
Produce

Leviso 197516

  • Stallion
  • Foaled: April 19, 1928
  • 1928: 2nd Place Stallion foals
Placings
1922
  • International Livestock Show, Chicago
  • Mare 2 years and under 4 years
1924
  • 1st Place for Mare 5 years and over Reserve Senior Champion Mare
1925
  • Senior Champion Mare
  • Grand Champion Mare
1926
  • 1st Place Mare 5 years and over
  • Champion American Bred Mare
  • Senior Champion Mare
  • Grand Champion Mare
1928
  • 2nd Place Mare 5 years and over
  • Reserve Senior Champion Mare
  • Reserve Grand Champion Mare
1929
  • 1st Place Mare 5 years and over
  • Senior Champion Mare
  • Grand Champion Mare

Coreen 117580

horse and man

Percheron Mare
Dame:  Glendale Pride 56304

Background
  • She was purchased for $225 from J.M. Hicks and Sons of Williamston, MI Fall 1923
  • She was breed to well known stallions:  Treviso and Sir Laet
  • She foaled a number of price winning horses
Produce

Corvisal 188303 by Treviso 144394

  • Stallion
  • 1926 was Furturity Winner at both Ohio State Fair and International 
  • Later sold to Alex Galbraith of Edmonton, Canada for $1,250

Colene by Sir Laet 190277

  • Mare
  • Foaled:  April 8, 1926
  • 1927 Futurity Winner at both Ohio State Fair and 1st place for Mare 1 year and under 2 at International
  • 1928 won 2nd place Mare 2 years under 3
  • 1929 won 1st place Mare 3 years and under 4, Reserve Senior Champion Mare, and Reserve Junior Champion Mare
  • 1930 won 1st place Mare 4 years and under 5
  • 1931 won 3rd place Mare 5 years and over
  • She produced prize winning mare Mediator's Colene 232731 and stallion Colen Laet 216073

Colo 194276 by Treviso

  • Mare
  • Foaled:  April 2, 1927
  • 1927 won 2nd place Filly Foal
  • 1928 won 3rd place Mare 1 year and under 2
  • She produced prize winning mare Coet 212838 

Coro 197515 by Treviso

  • Mare
  • Foaled:  March 25, 1928 
  • 1928 won 3rd place Filly Foal
  • 1930 won 9th place Mare 2 year and under 3

Colet 206992 by Sir Laet 192077

  • Mare
  • Foaled:  April 4, 1931
  • 1932 won 5th place Mare 1 year ad under 2
  • 1933 won 7th place Mare 2 years and under 3
  • 1934 won 2nd place Mare 3 years and under 4

Coreenet 213803 by Sir Laet

  • Mare
  • Foaled:  April 3, 1934
  • 1935 won 4th place Mare 1 year and under 2

Corvisal 188303 by Treviso

  • Stallion
  • Foaled:  April 7, 1925
  • 1926 won 1st place Stallion 1 year and under 2, Reserve Junior Champion Stallion
  • 1927 won 3rd place Stallion 2 years and under 3

 Chief Laet 209521 by Sir Laet

  • Stallion
  • Foaled:  April 1932
  • 1933 won 2nd place Stallion 1 year and under 2

Col. Laet 207619 by Sir Laet

  • Stallion
  • 1933 won 4th place Stallion Foal

Laeteen 210908 by Sir Laet

  • Stallion
  • Foaled:  May 17, 1933
  • 1933 won 3rd place Stallion Foal
  • 1934 won 3rd place Stallion 1 year and under 2
horses in field 

Daughters of Coreen

horses 

Treviso 144394

horse

Percheron Stallion
Sire:  Dragon 5215
Dame:  Couceorous 948525 (63516)

Background
  • Half-brother of Laet 133886
  • 5th in Premier Sire Group for 1928
  • 3rd in 1929 by Special Committee of the Percheron Society of America
Get

Deliala 188301 out of Dorothea 169630

  1. Mare
  2. 1926 won 2nd place Mare 2 years and under 3

Quenala 188302 out of Queen 29320

  1. Mare
  2. 1926 won 10th place Mare 1 year and under 2

Grace Anna C.  189634 out of Nellie 112764

  1. Mare
  2. 1927 won 9th place Mare 2 years and under 3
  3. 1928 won 5th place Mare 3 years and under 4

Colene 191001 out of Coreen 117580

  1. Mare
  2. 1927 won 1st Mare 1 year and under 2
  3. 1928 won 2nd Mare 2 years and under 3
  4. 1929 won Reserve Senior Champion Mare and Reserve Junior Champion Mare
  5. 1930 won 1st Mare 4 years and under 5
  6. 1931 won 3rd Mare 5 years and over

Colo 194276 out of Coreen

  1. Mare
  2. 1927 won 2nd Filly Foal
  3. 1928 won 3rd Mare 1 year and under 2

Doritea 199930 out of Dorotheo 169630

  1. Mare
  2. 1930 won 7th Mare 2 years and under 3
  3. 1931 won 5th Mare 3 years and under 4
  4. 1932 won 1st Mare 4 years and under 5
  5. 1933 won 7th Mare 5 years and over

Claudie 200053 out of Dunham's Claudia 176703

  1. Mare
  2. 1929 won 4th Filly Foals
  3. 1930 won 4th Mare 1 year and under 2
  4. 1931 won 2nd Mare 2 years and under 3
  5. 1932 won 3rd Mare 2 years and under 4

Sir Laet 1190277

Percheron Stallion
Sire:  Laet 133886
Dame:  Tozelle 123963

Background
  1. Purchased from Watson Butler from Woodside Farms, Columbus, OH
  2. Took the place of Treviso at Michigan State College
  3. Professor R.S. Hudson commented "Sir Laet is without doubt the very best young Percheron stallion in America.  He has size, quality, good feet, legs, and tru Percheron type."
  4. Booked to breed mares from Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and many other part of Michigan
Placing
1928
  1. Champion Stallion at International
  2. Champion Stallion at Ohio State Fair
1929
  1. 1st place Stallion 3 years and under
  2. Champion American Bred Stallion
  3. Champion Senior Stallion
  4. Champion Stallion
Get

Col. Laet 207619 out of Coreen

  1. Stallion
  2. 1932 won 4th place Stallion Foal

Lateen 210908 out of Coreen

  1. Stallion
  2. 1933 won 3rd place Stallion Foal
  3. 1934 won 3rd place Stallion 1 year and under 2

Etola 204812 out of Betsy 115604

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  May 1, 1930
  3. 1932 won 4th place Mare 2 years and under 3
  4. 1933 won 2nd place Mare 3 years and under 4
  5. 1934 won 4th place Mare 4 years and under 5

Loet 206422 out of Leola 191002

  1. Mar
  2. Foaled:  March 24, 1931
  3. 1931 won 5th place Filly Foals

Colet 206643 out of Coreen

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  April 4, 1931
  3. 1932 won 5th place Mare 1 year and under 2
  4. 1933 won 7th place Mare 2 years and under 3
  5. 1934 won 2nd place Mare 3 years and under 4

Reno 206992 out of Sandelm Flossie 185171

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  April 21, 1931
  3. 1935 won 2nd place Mare 4 years and under 5
  4. 1936 won 3rd place Mare 5 years and over
  5. 1937 won 2nd place Mare 5 years and over
  6. 1938 won 5th place Mare 5 years and over
  7. 1939 won 4th place Mare 5 years and over

Cladudaet 207618 out of Dunham's Claudie 176703

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  February 23, 1932
  3. 1932 won 4th place Filly Foal

Coet 212838 out of Colo 194276

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  March 20, 1933
  3. 1935 won 4th place Mare 2 years under 3
  4. 1936 won 6th place Mare 3 years under 4

Coreenet 213803 out of Coreen

  1. Mare
  2. Foaled:  April 3, 1934
  3. 1935 won 4th place Mare 1 year and under 2
horse

On left is Maplegrove Leila and on the right is Sir Laet.

The Return of Draft Horses to Campus

In 1963, the last draft horse left the MSU campus and it wasn't until 36 years later that one returned. In April of 1999, the Stewart family donated a team of Belgian geldings to the Horse Program. Dr. Russ Erickson accepted the responsibility of the draft horses. One of the geldings died from cancer shortly after his arrival so in order to find a replacement Russ journeyed to the Topeka, IN draft horse sale, but couldn't find a suitable replacement and ended up purchasing a team of Belgian geldings. These geldings, Coronel and Duke, became the cornerstone of the Draft horse Program at MSU. Coronel and Duke help teach ANS 141 Draft Horse Basics and ANS 490 Advanced Draft Horse Driving. In the spring of 2000 two pregnant Belgian mares were donated to MSU by Dan Creyts. Greta and Flora each produced a live filly. Those fillies, named MSU Millennium and MSU Memory, were ground broke and sold as yearlings in the fall of 2002. In the spring of 2002 MSU sponsored a Plow Day and it was the first time in over 40 years that draft horses had plowed on MSU ground. In the spring of 2004, the program sponsored another Plow Day and 18 teams of horses and mules came to plow. We are striving hard to ensure that the Draft Horse Program will continue for years to come.

Coronel and Duke

Coronel and Duke at MI International 2000

Photo: Coronel and Duke in the MAC harness at the Great Lakes International in October 2000. 

The Draft Horse Endowment

Gift code: A10536 

The Draft Horse Endowment Fund was established by Dr. Russ Erickson in 2000 to preserve the future of the program. The interest generated by the endowment provides 95% of the funding for the class and equipment. This money is used to repair harness parts, purchase new harness and general supplies, and repair vehicles. The endowment ensures the longevity of the program and increases the quality of the students' experience in the class. Your gift to the MSU Draft Horse Endowment Fund will help ensure the continuity and growth of the draft horse program at MSU. Your investment in these gentle giants will help maintain a link to our agricultural heritage as we educate the next generation of industry leaders.

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