Horse Breeds Trivia

Whatever breed you happen to favor, here are some facts that are fun to learn and pass along.

Some Kinda Shine, a 2005 Appaloosa stallion by Shine Of A Kind and out of Precious Lady D is the NRHA’s highest-earning Appaloosa, and his score of 225.5 at last spring’s Level 4 NRBC Open Classic, ridden by Matt Mills, was the highest score for an Appaloosa in the NRHA. Some Kinda Shine, owned by Frank Marley, III, of Florida, has more than $30,000 in earnings. Watch him online.

High Hand, bred in the late ’50s by rodeo clown Buddy Heaton, was a fixture in Heaton’s performances. He was a talented trick horse, but also competed and won in reining and cutting. It appears, however, that you can take the clown off the horse, but not out of him. High Hand was retired from shows when his clowning skills made themselves known: He had begun cutting cattle on his hind legs.

You probably wouldn’t expect to see an Appaloosa cut buffalo. Watch Earthquake Ike show off at

For many years, Arabian history and artifacts were displayed at the Arabian Horse Trust Museum in Colorado. In 2001, the contents of the museum were boxed up and archived until 2009, when the Al-Marah Arabian Horse Galleries opened at the Kentucky Horse Park. The exhibit features interactive exhibits that transport visitors back in time, through the history of the breed. Go to to explore the galleries and watch an introductory video.

Missouri Fox Trotter
President’s Stardust Princess, a triple-registered Missouri Fox Trotter, Pinto, and Spotted Saddle Horse, regularly competes in 4′ to 4’3″ open jumper division. Here she’s competing at an open jumping show in 2011 where she won six firsts and four division championships.

Figure’s grandson, Black Hawk, was foaled in 1833 and sired more than 1,200 foals. Black Hawk’s son Ethan Allen-50 became the world’s fastest trotting stallion in 1867 when he won a race against the famous trotter Dexter.

In a book published in 1857, 10 years before Ethan Allen’s race with Dexter, an author mentioned the stir Ethan Allen and the Morgan breed was causing with his match races, saying, “The reputation of these horses since that period has spread incredibly, until at this moment, the rage for Morgans is comparable only to that which, a few years since, possessed the popular mind for the Morus multicaulis [mulberry tree] and still more recently, for Shanghai poultry or lop-eared rabbits.”

The University of Vermont is home to the UVM Morgan Horse Farm, which is dedicated to the breed’s preservation and improvement. Check out this video on the UVM Morgan Horse Farm.

Wild Horse Annie (whose name was Velma Johnston) dedicated her life to the preservation of America’s Mustangs. She founded the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs & Burros, and a 2010 book about her life, Wild Horse Annie & The Last of the Mustangs, is being adapted for the silver screen.

BLM Mustang Cheatgrass and Teryn Muench won the 2010 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover event. Watch their performance here.

Five Paint Horses with similar markings were selected to play the star of the movie, “Hildago.” Actor Viggo Mortenson bought his favorite, RJ Masterbug, and rode him at the movie premiere. Watch RJ Masterbug as he appears with his trainer in this short YouTube clip.

Colonels Nite Special (Gunners Special Nite, AQHA) earned Paint horses the international spotlight when Tom McCutcheon piloted the stallion to win the individual reining gold medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Watch the winning run at The pair also competed on the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the event.

After founder Leslie Boomhower acquired Black Hand (so named because the spots on his loin appeared to be in the shape of a hand), he gathered Appaloosa spotted ponies from all over the country by placing a magazine ad in 1954. He and a small group of Iowa friends screened the applicants, rejecting those that did not fit the qualifications and standards he had set up using Black Hand as the type standard.

Quarter Horse
Jack Anderson, an early resident of Grand Island, Nebraska recalled a race that ran in the late 1800s. He had 3-year-old mare he called a Quarter Horse, and a horsetrader from Missouri challenged him to a horse race. Each bet $100 on their horse. They chose a wagon road that happened to pass by the courthouse, which was in session (and distracted by the race). The judge had the two men brought to his courtroom as the race ended. “The old judge fined us $10 a piece for running on a public roadway. But I won the $100, and it cost the other fellow $110.” (From the history of Hall County, Nebraska.)

Quarter Horse speed lends itself well to many disciplines, and Bill Brewer points out that While Easy Jet is a legendary racing Quarter Horse, his bloodlines are favored by many rodeo cowboys who find they make great roping horses because of their speed and disposition.

Wild Card Dun It appeared in the Robert Duvall movie “Seven Days in Utopia.” Watch the trailer here.

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