Saint-Gaudens was equally demanding of himself in details, such the horse. He first bought and worked from a beautiful gray, which he kept in a nearby stable and rode daily. But as a result of the casting process, the horse developed pneumonia and died. Saint-Gaudens continued his work on Shaw's mount with a sorrel he hired for modeling from a local riding club.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Shaw Memorial (detail), 1900, patinated plaster, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire