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Tuesday, 17 August 2010 09:10

50 Years Ago Late Winter/Early Spring 1956

Written by  Maurice Telleen
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(From my memory in this case.)

As usual for those times, virtually nothing (good, anyhow) was happening in the draft horse world. Even the parade of stock trucks heading to the kill plant in Estherville up in northwest Iowa, filled with perfectly serviceable drafters, was petering out. The reason I didn't use "young" in that description of their loads is that breeding had gone to pot way back in the '40s. So a "young" draft horse had become somewhat of an oddity, except at the home of a breeder.

So many dog food cans to fill–and so little time. I suppose that plant simply turned to ponies (they were on a roll at the time) and saddle horses. I further suppose a few old stallioners such as Bill Harris from Quasqueton, near the Amish settlement, traveled a stallion, more to catch up on the news and from force of habit than anything else. Besides, that is what some folks are supposed to do in the spring.

I suspect the stallion board and the licensing of stallions for public service was simply ignored by our State Department of Agriculture–and yours, in other states as well. And maybe that indifference was just a little premature.

As for our Amish friends, I think the days of picking up good, young drafters for peanuts (as you could do in the late '40s and early '50s) were about over. So, from that standpoint, I guess you could say there was some reason for hope for renewed breeding.

Let that be it for this time.

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