As you may have realized by now, I’ve been digging through old issues of Bit & Spur, from a box in the CMA’s library and archives, which are housed here in our CAA office.

Today, I offer the following installment in that magazine’s “Portraits of Champions” series, which was sent as a supplement to the October 1905 issue:


"a six-in-hand of Percheron geldings, owned by the Pabst Brewing Co."


From page 253 of the October 1905 issue:

Apropos of the nearing American Royal and International shows — famous for their wonderful display of heavy draft horses — we are pleased to bring before our readers this month [number] seven in the supplements of Portraits of Champions from the George Fred Morris portfolio, this depicting the heavy six-in-hand of the Pabst Brewing Company, considered the six best all-around Percherons in this country. At the International and World’s Fair Shows last fall these geldings swept everything before them, and carried away an unbroken string of rosettes, testimonial of their quality in the pair, four and six classes, defeating the best competitors in heavy horses that money could buy in the entrants of Nelson Morris, Armour, Swift and other big commercial firms.

Star and Big Bill, the two wheel horses, were four years old last spring. They were shown in Chicago at the International last year as three-year-olds and won in the heavy six the first time they were ever put together. They were both raised in Illinois. One of them is a purebred Percheron, and the other a three-quarter-bred horse.

The swing (middle) pair were six years old last spring. Harry, the near horse, was raised in Iowa and is a perfect type of a Percheron. His mate, George, is claimed to have been bred in South Dakota. He was purchased at the stockyards in Chicago. On a recent trip to Minneapolis the buyer met a South Dakota man who claimed to know George and his breeding, and he stated that he is a three-quarters-bred Percheron. George never was outside the ribbons. He was shown in the heavy cart class at the International in 1903, winning fourth place when he weighed less than 1,800 pounds. When he was shipped to the International last year he weighed 2,140 pounds and defeated imported Scottish horses.

Dan, the near horse of the lead team, and Tom, his mate, won in the light class in 1903 at the International as a pair, and at the International last year (1904), as a pair in the light four and on the lead in the heavy six. These same six horses are the ones that were shown and won everything at the World’s Fair in St. Louis last year, with the exception of the off-wheel horse.

The harlequin Great Dane, New York, which accompanies the Pabst six-horse team, but is not shown in the drawing, stands thirty-two inches high at the shoulder and is of a very rare marking, being of a species seldom seen. His blood lines are of the very best breeding from imported stock, and he is valued at a thousand dollars. As a puppy he took first prize at the Madison Square Show, New York, and now, at the age of two years, is a very handsome and well-matured dog.