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race horse - Allerton


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 10/6/2017 at 21:13:45

Horse named Allerton

Allerton Is Laid To Final Rest - Buried on Hopper Farm at Indianola Under a Spreading Elm

Indianola, Ia., July 10 - On Thursday the great racing stallion, which died Wednesday night of old age, was given a better burial than many men receive. Lying on his right side, covered with the finest woolen blanket, with his legs drawn under him just as asleep in his stall, the body of the once king of the turf was placed in a large, well bound box and lowered into the ground by loving hands.

His owner, Harry E. Hopper, the real estate and timber man, was in Chicago when the old horse died, but he telephoned his instructions for the burial to his superintendent, Joe Heather, and the grave was dug under the trees on the old Warren county fair grounds, where Allerton has lived for the past two years, close to the main road leading west from Indianola, and there his monument will be erected

In 1892 Allerton, then 6 years old, was retired from the turf, the greatest racing stallion of all time. His best record was 2:09 1-4, taken at Independence, Ia., the fall before. He was retired because of going lame in a $10,000 match with Lobaasco at Davenport.

Allerton was bred and raced by C.W. Williams, then of Independence, Ia., later of Galesburg, Ill., and the glorious days of the Independence race track, which was built on the fame of Allerton and his stable mate, Axtell, are race track history. The horse had but the two owners in his life-time.

When Allerton retired from the track his career was in its infancy. Other horses have lowered his record on the track; but in all standard bred history only one other horse has beaten his record as a sire of fast harness horses. Only three horses have crossed the 200 mark as sires of horses with records of 2:30 or better. They were Allerton, 202; Gambetta Wilkes, 209; and Onward, with 200.

It was as a sire of distinctly trotting horses that Allerton was most noted. In this field he was king of them all. At 23 years of age he had 50 per cent more trotters to his credit than either Gambetta Wilkes or Onward.

Allerton was a son of the famous sire Jay Bird, who was a son of George Wilkes and grandson of Hambeltonian 10. His dam was Gussie Wilkes, a mare that Mr. Williams bought for $75, a granddaughter of Mambrino Patchen and of George Wilkes.

Chief mourner at Allerton's funeral was Jim Maple, for Allerton and Jim were friends, if horse and man can be such. When Allerton was in the hey day of his racing, the property of C.W. Wiliams, Maple was Williams' head groom and horseshoer, and the success of Allerton and his secure place as King of the high wheel sulky is due to no small extent to the perfect shoeing and care which he received. It was in those days that Maple fell in love with Allerton and the names of Allerton, CW. Williams and Jim Maple were names to conjure with among racing men. From that day to this, the man who wanted trouble had only to speak against Allerton in Jim's presence. He always referred to Allerton as the "old colt".

When Harry E. Hopper came into possession of the Williams' stud of race horses two years ago, Maple appeared in Mr. Hopper's office one day with the remark: "I see you've bought the old colt. I thought I might get a job taking care of him." Hopper is a good judge of men and took Maple on. Since then his official title has been that of blacksmith at the Hopper farm, but his chief business has been to see that the old age of Allerton was made easy.

Last winter and spring, Jim drove the old horse to town on farm errands nearly every day and he was fat and sleek as a colt, but the recent hot weather has told on him badly. He got very thin and it soon became apparent that only his remarkable vitality, could carry him through to the cooler season. Until a few weeks ago his vigor seemed almost equal to that of his prime. Up till the end he never lost the brightness of eye and general alert appearance which have always characterized him.

Tuesday night at 6 o'clock Maple turned him in his paddock for exercise. Such has been the regular custom, and it was here that the care taker of Allerton usually said good night, for Jim would go home and Mr. Heather, who lives near the barn, would slip the old horse into his stall for the night. Allerton took his customary roll, got up and vigorously shook the dust from his coat, and went to nipping grass. When Heather returned from supper he noticed the horse lying down and rubbing his nose on the ground in an unnatural manner. Soon he broke into a cold sweat and Heather knew the end was near. A veterinary was called, but it was only a formality. Maple was notified but he said he could do no good and couldn't see the "old colt" die. At nine-thirty the end came. The horse apparently suffered no pain.

Yesterday morning Jim went to the farm. He had not much to say to anybody. He went into the paddock where lay his old friend just as if asleep in his stall; he sat down by his side and did everything [illegible]. He spent the morning in grooming the [illegible] for the last time. Many times he brushed the satin coat and caressed the mane and tail. No body was ever more lovingly prepared for interment than was that of Allerton.

Among others present at the death of Allerton was the sculptor, B.D. Cable of Chicago, who had come Monday for the purpose of making a bronze statue of the horse. He was, of course, too late to complete the model from life; but he had thoroughly studied the shape and form and will finish the model before leaving, as he will here have the advice and suggestion of several who have been most familiar with the subject. Yesterday morning Mr. Cable made a death mask of Allerton's head. He will be helped in his work by the fact that he is himself a lover and breeder of fine horses.

An Illinois farm boy, Mr. Cable took to the sculpturing of equine form as a labor of love; and some of his pieces have been among those most admired at the Chicago art institute's exhibitions. Last fall Mr. Cable won the Mrs. Lyman Walsh prize for the best ideal composition in sculpture with the piece entitled "Homeward." It is the figure of an old man and by his side a faithful horse which he is leading by the mane. Another of his designs that has attracted attention is "Maternity," a mare watching over her foal, which lies in the grass at her feet.

~Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Sunday morning edition, July 10, 1910


Warren Documents maintained by Karen S. Velau.
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