World War Equine Hero: Gallant Part Played by Bavard III. Bred by Late August Belmont, Daily Racing Form, 1926-04-29


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WORLD WAR EQUINE HERO * Gallant Part Played by Bavard III. Bred by Late August Belmont. How Son of Ethelbert — Bivouac "Was Ridden ns a hareer at Rattle of Marne — ow ia French Gorerament Stnd. NEW YORK. K, Y.. April 28.— The thoroughbred horse Ilavard III., now a member of the French Governmental Stud, and sire of IJcrneuil II., winner of the recent lrix du Casino Municipal Steeplechase at Cannes was one of the equine heroes of the World War. The pallant part played by Bavard III., whose sire and dam were both foaled in this country, is told by Hon. Perry Relmont, who is spending the winter in Washington. Mr. Belmont got the news at first hand in Paris last au;umn from Vicomte Guy de Dampierr*». now a steward of the French Jockey Club, eleven years after the battle of the Marne. in which the son of Ethelbert was ridden by him as a charger. Bavard III. was bred in France by the late- Major August Belmont. His sire. Kthcl-bert. by Eothen— Maori, was owned by his brother Terry, while his dam. Bivouac, by-Hastings, was a matron who traced to Ber-nice. by Stockwell, one of the imported mares that were the foundation of the Nursery" Stud, when it was owned by the first August Belmont. Ethelbert was ser.t to France about 1909, along with drafts from various American studs, following the stoppage of racing in New York. He had been a great race horse, winning some of the best prizes and defeating Jean Bereaud in a sensational match race at Gravesend. His fame has endured through his children, notably Fitz Herbert, which was almost as good a race horse as his sire. One of EtheJ-berfs daughters. Quelle Chance, sold for Jtn.OOO to Joseph E. Widener at the Belmont dispersal sale last May. She is the dam of Chance Play, the crack three-year-old by-Fair Play, owned by the Log Cabin Stable. FOALED I* lill. Bavard III. was foaled in 1910 and during 1913 and 1914 won 101,302 francs in the Belmont colors, his last race being on July 28 wlun he ran third at Chantilly in the Prix de la Uoute. Racing ended in France on August 2 when there was a call to arms to repel the invading Germans. Shortly afterwards the vanguard of the enemy reached Oiantilly. Most of those in charge of the thoroughbreds at this historic racing and training center became panic stricken and fled. A few Americans remained with their horses and one of them, a colored man in the employ of the late Hermanus B. Dur-ye:i, draped the Epsom Derby winner Durbar in an American flag and defied anybody to molest him. Later when the thunder of the German cannons was heard the horses were removed from Chantilly. Some were conveyed in safety to the south of France, while others were abandoned or given to the French troops. The story of how liavard III. became a charger is best told by Vicomte de Dampierre in a letter to Hon. Perry- Bel- , mont. The officer recites in detail the incidents leading up to the coming of Bavard III. into his hands and how he was unaware of the identity of the animal until srtmo time after he had carried him through the battle of the Marne as intrepidly as any of the more seasoned war horses The following is the text of Vicomte de Damjyerres letter : -on September 2. 1914. I received the command to form, with my Dragoons, the extreme rear-guard of the fifty-fifth division which was retreating on the Oise. On sev- cral occasions I was obliged to exchange some shots with the advance units of the enemy, particularly at Liancourt ; thus when 1 reached the Oise the infantry had termi- natcd its movement and those in command had ordered the bridges to be blown up. To the south of Liancourt a bridge of boats remained, which was beginning to burn. I hastened towards this place on horseback, accompanied by all my men save three, who were detained to perforin a liaison service. ABONDONED THEIR MOISTS. Of those three persons left behind, two re- i joined me at Cove during the night. These i two men had attempted to swim across the Oise with their horses. Not being able to accomplish this on account of the steepness , of the river bank and being exposed to the firing of the Germans, they abandoned their mounts and throw themselves into a boat. Some hours afterward, almost dead of I c fatigue, they were crossing Chantilly when I a lad hailed them and offered them a superb i chestnut horse, completely saddled. This horse, none other than Bavard III. I learned this several weeks afterwards was brought I to me at Coye in the property of M. de Neuflize. where we stationed as an advance watching post, at 1 a. m. I must here state that there was not a i question of horses having been stolen by ; the French troops at Chantilly. The trainers were absent and the lads, frightened at the news that the Germans were approaching, offered the horses left in their charge to passing troops. This same night of the second-third September at half past three a. m. I set out to reconnoitre with the view to resuming contact with the Germans. My mare being exhausted, I ordered the horse which had been brought during the night to be saddled, and it was thus that I was mounted on Bavard III. during all the battle of the Marne. He was a fine horse, very steady, and paid no attention to the mares. The noise 1 of the firing did not frighten him. 1 had him regularly enter.Kl on the register ; being ] a stallion, the horse could not be requisitioned for the rigiment. On Sunday, the sixth of September, I was on the point of i abandoning Bavard III. I had to carry an urgent order to the colonel of the 246th, ■whose regiment was engaged at Chamhry. Bayard 111. refused to crops a small clit.h which ran M far as the eye could see through a meadow battered by German balls. .With, r slowly, nor at a trot, nor at a gallop; neither • mounted nor led would Bavard III. cross this .small obstacle, l was on tin- point of going to the colonel „f tu. 246th on loot. I when a mounted soluier appear* d in the meadow; I attached myself to him ami crossed the ditch without hindrance. On the twelfth of September Bavard III. was one of the first to enter Soi»sons behind the retreating enemy, and then theffW was a , i i , I c I i I i ; long period of repose for him. The war in the trenches began, and my duties as staff officer to the Mainbray Infantry necessitated my going more often on foot than on horseback. The horse, however, remained at the military station of the brigade between Soissons and Crouy. It was there that, in October 1914. I learned of the efforts made by Mr. Belmont to recover his horse. The idea came to me that the thoroughbred sought might very well be the one in my possession and I wrote at hazard to Arthur Carter. After an exchange of correspondence I was soon certain of the fact and through regular channels I requested permission from General de Iamaze, who was in command of my division, to return Bayard HI. The horse not having been requisitioned, permission was easily granted and on November 9, 1914, I despatched Bavard III. to Villers-Cotterests. I afach to this short statement, the letter which Arthur Carter sent to me, nearly eleven years ago, acknowledging the arrival of Bavard III., which he believed he had lost forever." The French government naturally lost little time in securing Bavard III. for their stud. His fearlessness under fire is a characteristic of his type, but the superb disposition that made him so dependable in a conflict like that of the Marne, only a month after he had come from the race course, makes the story of Bavard 111. of interest to every lover of the thoroughbred. Hon. Perry-Belmont has reason to be proud of the stallion as a scion of Ethelbert, whose services he once placed at the disposal of the Soeiete dEncouragement a lElevage du Cheval de Guerre. Francais Society for the Encouragement of the Breeding of French War Horses. The same pride should be felt by everybody back of the Federal Remount movement in tho United States, which now embraces practically every commonwealth in the Union. Mr. Belmont has done the thoroughbred cause a distinct service in bringing the facts in connection with Bavard HI. to light

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