Happy Friday! Here is your Friday Flashback, a piece on Welcome, written by historian Betsy Curler. Welcome is one of the Morgans chosen as foundation stock for the Lippitt Morgan strain:
After moving to Vermont, A.F. Phillips purchased the mahogany bay mare Dollie Burke 0566 from Joseph Murray of West Burke, VT. At the time, she was in foal to Morgan Dan 4342. The resulting colt, Welcome, foaled in 1907, was one of Phillips’ first. Phillips had a penchant for naming horses that he bred after people he knew. It is thought that he might have named Welcome in honor of Welcome Bemis, who was a locally renowned “trainer of Morgan horses.”
Welcome would mature into a stallion that was highly respected for his quality. G.L. Church considered his conformation to be “perfect” and his “wonderful perfect type” to be “AAA1.” As a foal, Phillips was offered $5,500 for him as the buyer wanted him as a sire of polo horses. Phillips believed that he looked like Royal Morgan 11.
Major Frank Tompkins, of the 13th U.S. Cavalry, wished that he had had Welcome as his mount during the campaign against Mexico’s Pancho Villa. Tompkins felt that Welcome “had the requisites, more than any horse he had ever seen, for a cavalry charger.”
Instead Welcome served as a driving horse for Phillips, often paired with Alexander the Great 5698. On one occasion, the pair covered 36 miles in five hours with four people weighing a combined total of 800 pounds. The drive was in a brake over very hilly terrain, which varied from 400 feet above sea level to as high as 2,500 feet above sea level.
At the Vermont State Fair, he was pinned Grand Champion Stallion multiple times and proved to be a consistent winner at that show for several years. He first appeared there was a two-year-old in 1909. In his critique of the fair that year, Wardner noted that Welcome had a “finely chiseled head, a neck with pronounced arch and is as smoothly bodied and as well limbed an animal as was shown on the grounds.”
Although he was bred in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Welcome did not possess the high concentration of Sherman Morgan breeding generally found in that region. In addition, one branch of his pedigree contained one planned breeding to produce a foal that “combined the four great branches of the Morgan blood.”
Welcome’s sire is Morgan Dan 4342. There is some controversy over the horse registered under this name with this registration number; ‘Billy’ is the other name or horse: as Phillips referred to the sire of Welcome consistently as Morgan Dan, I have done so here. Morgan Dan was by Borden’s Ethan Allen 3rd 3987.. Ethan Allen 3rd represented the breeding of the Peters family crossed on a mare of Cushing’s Green Mountain 493 and Charles Watson breeding, with a touch of Billy Root 9 through the Dr. Abel Brown Horse 3473.
The dam of Morgan Dan was the Orcutt bred mare Kitty 01272, Her sire Morgan Tiger 816 was by Black Morgan 810 and out of a mare by Wood’s Comet 682 (x Billy Root 9). This Wood’s Comet mare was out of a mare by Royal Morgan 11. The dam of Kitty was by the Dr. Abel Brown Horse and out of a mare by Blue Morgan 723 by Royal Morgan 11. Thus, Kitty possessed a high concentration of Sherman Morgan blood through the Billy Root (x Sherman Morgan) sons Wood’s Comet and the Dr. Abel Brown Horse and the Sherman son Royal Morgan.
The dam of Welcome was Dollie Burke 0566, a mahogany bay mare, sired by McGinnis’ Comet 3992 out of Nellie c by Village Boy 5383. The dam of Nellie C. was by Mascoma Chief 2894 by Flying Morgan 44 by the Hackett Horse. Through the line behind Village Boy is Farmer’s Beauty (foaled 1840), who was the horse bred to combine the four major families of the Morgan breed, including the Hawkins Horse.
(Photo from Dave Ladd’s “Old Box o’ Morgans.”)