George and William D.Lee- Saddlehorse Trainers & Salesmen
The nationally known firm of Lee Brorhers, almost a household name wherever saddle horse enthusiasts gather. was established in Mexico in 1906 and since that rime has done much to build and maintain the reputation of Mexico and Audrain County as the “saddle horse capital of the world.” In 1906, the Lee Brothers, George and William D., purchased their present West Boulevard stables from Cyrus F. Clark and Fred Panhorst.
It was already a home of champions, but under their tutelage, saddle and show horses who received courses in the etiquette of the tanbark ring,, have gone forth to win blue ribbons before brilliantly attired audfences. at Madison Square Garden, the Chicago International, American Royal at Kansas Gry, and other national shows.
George and W. D. Lee acquired their knowledge and love of good horses as a direct heritage from their Kentucky-bred grandfather, David Hubble pioneer Mexico resident, who spent long hours teaching his interested grandsons. The mutual interest of the brothers in fine saddle horses resulted, naturally enough, in their almost lifelong partnership.
Previously, George Lee had a stable of trotters and pacers at Moberly, and had operated the Hisey Stables with Bob Hisey on the present location of the Hotel Hoxsey and Liberty Theatre. And likewise,W. D. Lee spent several years at Macon, building up a noted saddle horse stable for the Missouri millionaire, Colonel Bleese. During those years he purchased Audrain Counry’s own Rex McDonald, the all-time saddle horse champion, for $5000 from Col. Hughes of Kentucky, and showed the fine coal black stallion, then twelve years old, for those years without defeat.
The Lee Brothers have handled as many as 30,000 horses and mules, among them many saddlers that have gained national fame. Two were saddle horses owned by presidents of the United States, including a five-gaited mount purchased from Pick Hawkins of Bowling Green for President Taft, and New Deal, five-year old bay, purchased frond Archie Dickey, of near Mexico, in 1932, for presentation by Missouri admirers to Presiclent Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The famed Roxie Highland, purchased as a yearling from Jim Hamilton, was developed, under their supervision in part, to become the kind of a champion in the walk-trot class that Rex McDonald was in the five-gaited classes.
Lady Glenn, Miss Hunt, Lou Ann, Mr. Dooley, Rex Blees, King Forest, Panama, Lady Margaret, Lady Mildred, are among the many other top horses trained in the Lee stables to become later winners in famous rings, for big stakes.
The Lees have also developed many well-known trainers and riders, including such men as Ode and Ed Willingham, Hugh Dempsey, Luther “Splint” Barnett, and Jimmy Victor.