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'An ideal charger'

When the late philanthropist James Sheldon decided to give a heroic monument to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. his instructions were simple: "The greatest American on the greatest American horse," to be done by the finest animal sculptor of our time. The result is this magnificent statue of George Washington on Man o' War which Sculptor Herbert Haseltine has just finished casting in bronze.

Haseltine was born in Rome 81 years ago, the son of a distinguished American painter. When Herbert was 12, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show visited the Eternal City and Haseltine was hooked for life. Following the show he wrote and illustrated a "newspaper," The Cowboy Gazette, and ever since has bent his artist's gaze on horses and horsemen. Of horses he gossips as of old friends: Gallahad had the nicest manners, Royal Minstrel had a tendency to toe out, Cavalcade gritted his teeth coming into the stretch.

The thought of Man o' War as Washington's mount delighted him. "An ideal charger," says Haseltine, an old friend and admirer of Big Red. "He could have carried weight too. He was a very vain horse and, if he saw visitors coming, his neck would go up. I changed him because I did not want him competing with Washington."