Assorted goods which are sold at Government surplus sales may occasionally include a horse. One such was an important ribbon winner last week at Northampton's (Mass.) National Morgan Horse Show (SI, July 30). U.S. Panez (bought from the Government at a bargain price this summer by Mr. Alton Gray), a 6-year-old bay stallion, showing for the last time under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts, began an afternoon's work by winning, in the versatile tradition of the breed, the Justin Morgan Performance Class. This award was for showing at three gaits, for running a quarter-mile race, for trotting another quarter mile, and then for pulling a stone boat with 500 pounds on top of it. A short time later Panez returned to make a near faultless round to place second in the jumping event (won by Mrs. Winthrop Dakin on Junior Miss), then placed fourth in the frenetic trailer race, and again reappeared to capture the same spot in the show's final event, the Pleasure Horse Stake (again won by Mrs. Dakin's Junior Miss).
Busier even than U.S. Panez was Trainer Dick Nelson, charged with the University of Massachusetts' 14 horses. Nelson was summoned to the ring for an additional appearance and awarded a special citation for his efforts on behalf of the Morgans at the university. Panez had been under Nelson's care, on behalf of the Government, from the age of eight months.
Panez won the most (11) ribbons at the show, but Mrs. Antoinette Kelley's 6-year-old bay mare, Windcrest Dona Lee, was the only 100% winner, copping three blues and three championships in six tries. Dona was victorious under saddle, in harness and as a model. The Kelleys, who have a representative of just about every breed of horse on their farm, have been most successful with Dona, who, before her recent triumphs at the National, was named high-point Morgan of 1955 by the American Horse Shows Association.
Dona's sire, 13-year-old Upwey Ben Don, was the winner of the Stallion-with-Two-to-Four-of-Get Class for the fourth year in a row. Moreover, the first four horses in the Saddle Stake were his sons and daughters. Although reaching equine middle age, Don still finished second in the half-mile road race which he won last year.
But the younger horses also received their due. Mr. and Mrs. David Brocket's chestnut 3-year-old, Pentor, was named Junior Model Stallion (see cut). Pentor, New England's champion colt as a yearling and reserve junior champion last year, is no pampered matinee idol between shows. During the winter he is hitched to the sled and carries the Brockett family around a farm of several thousand acres near Ipswich.
Another former Government horse, U.S. Menmar, a 15.1-hand bay now owned by Mr. James Mitchell of Wakefield, Mass., was named Model Stallion of the show. Reserve was Waseeka Farm's Windcrest Donfield, Grand Champion in 1953. Besides this Reserve Championship, Waseeka's entries took home eight blues to Ashland, Mass. One blue was awarded to their saddle pair which has yet to be defeated.
By accident, horses were not the only animals to enter the Northampton ring. Kiem, a St. Bernard, used to accompanying Owner John Procter's mare, made a mistake in identity and entered the ring with another horse. He trotted happily when that gait was called for, cantered on the correct lead in each direction and then lined up proudly with the horses. He left the ring with obvious reluctance when the announcer, Dr. Russell Smith, firmly reminded him this was a horse and not a dog show.
CHESTNUT CHAMPION junior stallion Pentor, with Owner Mrs. David Brockett, also placed in parade event, first time under saddle. A Brockett filly also won her class.