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Black Hawk
submitted by Joanne Curtis

An interesting account by Benjamin Thurston, who at one time owned
Black Hawk, from Vol 1. It is also interesting that back in the 1800s they
called fifteen hand and fifteen and a half hand horses "little". There are
numerous references to this throughout these old books. Black Hawk was
described as being just under fifteen hands.

"Mr. Benjamin Thurston, of Lowell, who for several years, was the owner of
Black Hawk, under whose training he was brought out on the trotting course,
and by whom he was sold to Mr. Hill in 1847, thus speaks:
'I bought Black Hawk when he was five years old; for six years used him as
my family horse, and think him, without exception, the finest horse I ever
knew... In the first place, he is the best roadster I ever drew a rein
over. I have frequently driven him fifty miles in half a day, and once
drove him sixty-three miles in seven hours and fifteen minutes. He did it
with perfect ease, and indeed I never saw him fatigued. .. In the second
place, he has the best disposition of any horse I ever knew, and is
perfectly safe for any lady to ride or drive. Thirdly, he will draw as
kindly as any team horse. His stock is unequalled.'."
(Info listed from his stud book shows that he bred 1772 mares in the seasons
1844 to 1856 after coming to Vermont.).

"In describing the young horse (Black Hawk), Thurston said to me:
'He trotted so fast that I was scared'. He became so well known, on account
of his style and power, in all the region. Once a week, Thurston used to
lead or drive him into my native town, North Andover, a graceful and
resolute little horse, which attracted great attention.'."

"He was one of the strongest horses I ever knew. His dam was said to be of
English blood. They used to say that Justin Morgan, as small as he was,
could at a dead lift pull more weight than any other horse in Vermont; and I
have no doubt that Black Hawk was capable of the same performance. He was
admirably balanced. His stifles and gaskins were immense and beautifully
formed. His back was short and strong. His shoulders and arms were very
muscular. At the same time he was symetrical and had no superficial flesh.
No horse had a handsomer head and neck than he had, and his intelligence was
great. His power in harness was apparently equal to his weight. His gait
was always level.. That a handsome, cheerful, powerful, well-made,
good-gaited horse like this should have laid down the foundation of a good
family is perfectly natural."

In Volume 1, Black Hawk was described by eyewtnesses and his owners as a
"square, open trotter, and with "an easy,open gait.". And, "Black Hawk,
when a colt, was a square-gaited, easy moving, natural trotter, and very
fast for that day.".
"Mr. Linsley says: In size, compactness, style of action, great muscular
development, temperament and endurance he exhibits the Morgan traits to a
high degree."


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