- a forgotten breed-
The American Running Horse is a forgotten breed. Most of us in the equine community have heard little or nothing about this amazing breed. Yet it was America's first light horse breed, documented from 1624 as a breeding population, intentionally bred for racing. It existed into the early 1900s, where we find some small mentions of it in college livestock textbooks, but it was already almost extinct then, having in large measure been absorbed into its descendant breeds.
This book is written to preserve the history and the contribution of this wonderful breed, because it is the base of all our important light horse breeds, and most of us have never heard a whisper about it. For example:
*It was a racehorse breed 60 years before the English Thoroughbred was created, and 100 years before the Thoroughbred arrived in the colonies.
*This racehorse could race at both the pace and the gallop, sprints to stamina contests (heat races), to grueling endurance rides of 100 miles or more.
*It was also a valued hunter horse, reported to be able to jump 4' fences and obstacles from a standstill with rider; as well an excellent saddle horse, renowned for its smooth gaits, its surefootedness, its endurance, its gentle nature and its soundness.
Discovering its traits and accomplishments is only part of the story, for the contemporary records revealed that its contribution and its history were intentionally hidden from us. There was an organized movement by the most powerful breeders in our country to remove the Running Horse from the races where it excelled, by removing the prizes for its races, removing the races themselves, with many great racers forced into retirement. Worse, when efforts began to create a stud book (c1800) its ancestry was erased from the best racers, and in many cases replaced with fraudulent Thoroughbred extensions. And when the best racers still had significant Running Horse ancestry when the 'official studbook' came out in 1868, more than half the entries had their breed identification changed from Running Horse and even Saddle Horse to 'Thoroughbred', thereby canceling out all knowledge of our breed. Fascinating also is this same cancel culture practice happened in England 100 years before, with their eradicating and erasing of the Hobby-Running Horse from the lineages, adding false Oriental extensions as well, and what is more disturbing is we are experiencing a similar movement in our day with the sport horse segment.
This book is a compilation of the actual historical records and a commentary on this marvelous breed, presented to you in one place. The historical evidence is laid out in time blocks and eras (from 1609-present day), in chronological order with the actual contemporary accounts reproduced whenever possible; there is a full bibliography and huge index to assist in your study. 434 pages, illustrated with period work, all sources cited so you can verify and expand the history on your own. Available at all online booksellers.