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8 Things You Didn’t Know About The Quarter Horse

by ihearthorses
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The American Quarter Horse is one of America’s most popular breeds. Today, the breed is used for almost every discipline – from barrel racing to dressage, and everything in between. But how well do you know the history of the Quarter Horse?  See if you know the following facts about this versatile breed.

#1 – America’s Horse

The Quarter Horse (QH) is one of the oldest recognized breeds from the United States. It originated in the 1660s as a “cross between native horses of Spanish origin used by the earliest colonists and English horses imported to Virginia from about 1610.” (Britannica.com)

qh1 cowboy-746992_640

#2 – The Quarter Mile

Why a Quarter? The QH was originally used as a sprinter, running races that were a quarter-mile in length in Rhode Island and Virginia . They excelled at it, hence the name. (Britannica.com)

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#3 – Pushed out West

When the Thoroughbred entered the racing scene, the QH became less popular. However, the breed traveled West and was found to excel as a stock mount for the cowboys, who also continued to race them, making them an all-around mount.

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#4 – The First 20

On March 14, 1940, the American Quarter Horse Association was founded. The first 20 horses, were all stallions, were chosen based on their parentage, conformation and performance. (americashorsedaily.com)

qh4 joe reed

Joe Reed, one of the 20 First Studs. Image source: AmericasHorseDaily.com

#5 –  Peter McCue

Do you know Peter McCue? He’s a horse, and not just any horse. Born in 1895, his bloodlines appear in almost every Quarter Horse today.

"Petermccuewithcaudell" by Unknown - From Speed and the Quarter Horse by Nelson C. Nye. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -

“Petermccuewithcaudell” by Unknown – From Speed and the Quarter Horse by Nelson C. Nye. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

#6 – One of The Largest Registries In the World

The AQHA is one of the largest breeder’s organizations in the world. The 2014 registration numbers were 2.9 million, which of course doesn’t include grade or appendix horses.

#7 – Germany Loves The QH

After North America (The U.S and Canada), Germany has the most registered Quarter Horses of any country, with just shy of 20,000 horses. They hold 76 shows a year there for the breed as well.

#8 – Note The Red Coat

According to registration numbers, sorrel and chestnut at the most common colors in the Quarter Horse. Originally, there were just 13 accepted coat colors, though that has changed over the years to accept colors like cremello, perlino, and smoky cream. (horse-genetics.com)

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