La Belle

Updated: May 6, 2021


The mare, La Belle; one of the all-time greats of the Percheron breed. Raised by Selma Farm of Leesburg, VA, La Belle was a great show mare that went on to have a solid career in the broodmare herd at Watson Butler's Woodside Farm- the home of the famed stallion, Laet. She was champion at the 1911 International, as well as winning championships at state fairs in Ohio, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, New Jersey and Virginia. La Belle was reportedly the favorite mare of Dave Haxton, the renowned groom of Woodside Farms. Dave is pictured with La Belle and his young sons, John and David Jr. On December 11th, 1925, at 22 years of age, La Belle was laid to her final resting place at Woodside Farm. Later, Laet would be laid to rest next to her. Upon her passing, Dave Haxton penned a poem in memoriam of the great foundation mare. The text of the poem is as follows:

Say a kindly word, boys, That grand old mare has passed; She was a tan-bark beauty, And a champion to the last.

May her offspring carry on, Her banner held so high. And win in well-fought battles, Where grooms and owners vie.

If in St. Peter's pastures, She meets old Dragon there, Tell him the famous story, Of the noted Selma mare.

Horsemen there will love her,

More than even I;

But, alas, we cannot keep her,

Goodbye, La Belle, Goodbye.