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History of the Lippitt


The Lippitt is descended through a "cornerstone" stallion, Ethan Allen 2d #406, foaled in 1877 and bred by the Peters family of Bradford, Vermont. Every Lippitt shows numerous crosses to this great stallion. He in fact bears the same relationship to the Lippitt as the original Figure does to the entire Morgan breed.

Ethan Allen 2d remains a symbol of the fundamental precepts of Morgan breeding for the Lippitt Club, tracing back to Figure in a direct line of descent. This direct line was almost lost to us on several occasions, and preserving it is as fascinating as the horse itself.

The early 1900's were the darkest days for the Morgan horse. As the automobile arrived, the need for harness or road hack horses disappeared. Only the U.S. Government Farm, with its program of outcrossed Morgans, and a few dedicated breeders kept the Morgan breed from extinction. When Mr. A. Fullerton Phillips came to Vermont in the early 1900's to raise Morgans, he had a difficult time finding the pure-blooded Morgans. Only in eastern Vermont was he able to find individuals with the pedigree and type which he felt represented the early Morgans. His program produced a wonderful herd, including the legendary Ashbrook, which was admired and respected by many of his comtemporaries. About 10 years into his program, a tragic lightning strike killed 12 of his precious broodmare band. Although many others survived, it was said that he died of a broken heart three years later.

In 1921, Mr. Robert L. Knight of Rhode Island purchased the Green Mountain Stock Farm in Randolph, Vermont. Six years later, he purchased from Mr. Phillips' estate. These horses might have been lost to us forever had it not been for a nameless feed delivery man who persuaded Mr. Knight to save the Phillips breeding program. These horses, as well as Morgans bought that same year from other sources, were to become the foundation for his "Lippitt" breeding program.

The Lippitt Club has taken its name from Mr. Knight's breeding prefix, because in the early 1970's the name Lippitt was still closely identified with "old type." It is also a fitting tribute to Mr. Knight for the major role he played in saving the traditional Vermont Morgan from extinction. The Lippitt Club recognizes many horses of the old bloodlines, however, which do not necessarily carry the Lippitt prefix. Other bloodlines, such as those of Sealect, Ethan Eldon, and John A. Darling, show the same origins and are considered Lippitts by The Lippitt Club. On the other hand, Mr. Knight occassionally outcrossed to other Morgan strains. The Lippitt Club does not consider the produce of these matings to be full Lippitt, despite the fact that they carry the Lippitt prefix.

Robert L. Knight's 40-year breeding program established a recognizable herd with a high concentration of clean-blooded Morgans. As a result, today's Lippitts tend to look, as well as act, like the legendary Figure.

Lippitt Foundation Stock Chart

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