american quarter horse

In the 1600s, American colonists on the eastern seaboard began to cross imported English Thoroughbred horses with assorted "native" horses such as the Chickasaw horse (a breed developed by Native American people from horses descended from Spain, developed from Iberian, Arabian and Barb stock brought to what is now the Southeastern United States by the Conquistadors). One of the most famous of these early imports was Janus, a Thoroughbred who was the grandson of the Godolphin Arabian. He was foaled in 1746, and imported to colonial Virginia in 1756. The influence of Thoroughbreds like Janus contributed genes crucial to the development of the colonial "Quarter Miler," or "Quarter Mile Horse." This was a speedy working man's racer, sometimes referred to as the "Celebrated American Quarter Running Horse." The resulting horse was small, hardy, and quick, and was used as a work horse during the week and a race horse on the weekends. As flat racing became popular with the colonists, the Quarter Miler gained even more popularity as a sprinter over courses that, by necessity, were shorter than the classic racecourses of England, and were often no more than a straight stretch of road or flat piece of open land. When matched against a Thoroughbred, local sprinters often won. As the Thoroughbred breed became established in America, many colonial Quarter Mile mares were included in the original American stud books, starting a long association between the Thoroughbred breed and what would later become officially known as the "Quarter Horse," named after the distance at which it excelled.

The American Quarter Horse is an American breed of horse bred for sprinting short distances, typically races of a quarter mile or less. The American Quarter Horse is the most popular breed in the United States, and the American Quarter Horse Association is the largest breed registry in the world, with nearly 5 million American Quarter Horses registered worldwide. It has been clocked at 55 mph. The American Quarter Horse is well known both as a race horse and for its performance in rodeos, horse shows and as a working ranch horse. The compact body of the American Quarter Horse is well-suited to the intricate and speedy maneuvers required in calf roping, reining, cutting, working cow horse, barrel racing and other western riding events, especially those involving live cattle. The versatile American Quarter Horse is also shown in English disciplines, driving, and many other equestrian activities.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "American Quarter Horse".