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Horses of the Month for 2017

December 2017

The Peruvian

Horse of the month for September 2017
Photo courtesy:

The Peruvian bred transfers its smooth gait to all purebred foals. No artificial devices or special training aids are necessary to enable the horse to perform its specialty – a natural four-beat footfall of medium speed that provides a ride of incomparable smoothness and harmony of movement. This breed also has incorporates a brilliant action typified by lift as the knee and fetlock flex, combined with “termino,” a movement of the front legs similar to the loose outward rolling of arms of a swimmer doing the crawl.

“Brio” and stamina give the Peruvian its willingness and ability to perform tirelessly for many hours and many miles in the service of its rider.

This breed offers riding comfort, strength and stamina for the avid trail rider; calm tractable disposition so important in the family mount; arrogant, flashy presence and action which set the exhibitor and parade rider apart from others, and investment potential solidly supported by its relative rarity and increasing popularity.

Physically, the Peruvian is a horse of medium size, usually standing between 14.1 and 15.2 hands tall, with a powerful build. Coloring characteristics are chestnut, black, brown, bay, buckskin, palomino, gray, roan or dun, with the solid colors, grays and dark skin considered most desirable. The mane is abundant with fine, lustrous hair that may be curly or straight.

The Peruvian horse was born entirely within the borders of the country for which it was named while the Paso Fino was developed in and around the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Peruvian became the “National Horse of Peru.”

More at this link:

November 2017

The Waler from Australia, New South Wales

Horse of the month for November 2017
Waler (Australian Stock Horse) Unbelievable Beauty

One stallion, two colts and four mares from the Cape of Good Hope were shipped to Australia in 1788, thought to be Barb horses. In 1795 the breed was introduced to other breeds such as Cleveland Bay, Lincolnshire trotter, Norfolk Roadster, Yorkshire Coacher, Hackney, Timor pony, Arabian, Thoroughbred, and other stock.

From cross-breeding a uniquely Australian Colonial horse was established, the Waler.
Color varies and their characteristics include a good shoulder, strong back and hind quarters, particularly good hocks, willing to take on any task and a good companion.

Due to the versatility of the breed the British thought the Waler to be amongst the finest cavalry horse in history through WWll and almost became extinct in the 1960’s.

At home Walers proved to be the ideal utility and stock-horse also being used by New South Wales mounted police. Their abilities include hacking, jumping, endurance and all round good mount.

More information is available at these links:

Horse of the month for November 2017
Til Buster in Light Horse gear
Horse of the month for November 2017
The Memorial to the Australian Light Horse (Waler)

October 2017

The Finnhorse

Horse of the month for October 2017
Photo courtesy:

The Horse of the Month for October, 2017 is the Finnhorse who has been a real native horse for hundreds of years in Finland, it is sometimes called the Finnish Universal.

With an average height of 15.2 hands, the utilitarian horse was used extensively in farming and in the military. From a population high of over 400,000 in the late 19th century down to slightly over 85,000 when last counted in 1987, the breed is making a strong comeback. Today, the Finnhorse is still used in agricultural and forestry work, harness racing, and riding.

September 2017

The Holstener

Horse of the month for September 2017
The picture is of the medium Holstener jumper, “FOREVER,” by NAES

This month’s horse is very special for several reasons.

1. He’s a Holsteiner named “FOREVER”.
2. He’s 19 years old.
3. Had a very successful show career showing in California in the medium height jumper classes.

In fact, when the Dickey family, the owners, mentioned he was up for sale, there literally a line of potential buyers.
This should point out how wonderful it can be to own a somewhat older horse who’ll teach the novice rider so much.

August 2017

The Shagya-Arabian Breed

The Shagya-Arabian has been bred to the same requirements for over two centuries. 
The breed was developed in the Austro-Hungarian Empire over 200 years ago.

Originated from the need for a horse with the endurance, intelligence and character of
an Arabian but with larger size and carrying capacity required by the Imperial Hussars.
Over time, Shagya-Arabians were utilized both as carriage and light riding horses.
The registry of the breed is the oldest next to the registry of the English Hunt Club.

Horse of the month for August 2017

This historic breed combines the Desert Arabian (elegant, great hardiness and toughness, endurance, and an easy keeper) with the qualities of today’s riding horse giving this breed sufficient height, a big frame, including terrific movement and jumping ability.

Shagya-Arabians are typically 15 to 16 hands in height and with a minimum of 7 inches of bone at the cannon. Grey is the most common color; bays, chestnut and black Shagya-Arabians are produced.

Shagya-Arabians were relatively unknown in America before the 1980s, although a few had been imported both before and after World War II. Prior to the founding of the North American Shagya-Arabian Society (NASS) no registry for Shagya-Arabians existed in America.

DNA Verification is required - that the parentage of all purebred Shagya-Arabian, Shagya Arabian (Book II) and Appendix Shagya-Arabian (previously "Part-Shagya-Arabian") foals be verified by DNA typing the sire, the dam, and the foal. The Shagya-Arabian competes in the following disciplines: Sport Horse In Hand, Sport Horse Under Saddle, Combined Training, Dressage, Driving (Combined & Pleasure), Hunter, Hunter Pleasure, Jumper, Competitive, Trail Riding, Endurance Riding, Meritorious Sire and Meritorious Dam.

Horse of the month for August 2017
Photo Courtesy - clbailey

Here is the current U.S. Shagya approved PB Arabian stallion
multi-national champion KB Omega Fahim++++//.
He can be seen at along with other Shagya's and offspring.

July 2017

The Welsh Pony

Horse of the Month for July 2017
Fox Cry Whinny the Pooh. Welsh Section B Stallion owned by Loafers Lodge Welsh Ponies.

The Welsh Pony and Cob Society founded in 1901 and published the first volume of its Stud Book in 1902.  There are four Sections: The Welsh Mountain Pony, under 12 hands (Section A), The Welsh Pony, under 13 hands 2 inches (Section B), The Welsh Pony of Cob Type, also under 13 hands 2 inches (Section C) and the Welsh Cob, exceeding 13 hands 2 inches with no upper height limit (Section D).

Horse of the Month for July 2017
Pony of Cob Type – Section C Height – not to exceed 13.2 hh (137 cm)
The Welsh Pony of Cob Type is a stronger counterpart of the Welsh Pony, with Cob blood.

The Welsh breeds are known world wide, and are in great demand for crossing with other breeds and a Welsh Part-Bred Register is contained within the Stud Book. Recognizing horses, cobs and ponies with a minimum of 12.5% registered.

June 2017

The Murgese

Horse of the Month for June 2017
Image courtesy of

The Murgese is of Italian decent and its lineage comes from the Arabian, Barb, and Neapolitan; Italian Heavy Draft and Avelignese bloodlines.

The breed was developed in Murge Plateau, Italy during the 15th-16th centuries; later re-established in the 1920s.
A warmblood with black and blue roan color patterns are common in this 14-15 hands high horse.

Well mannered, willing, obedient, lively, high endurance, and good-natured the Murgese is a versatile breed; it has been traditionally used for light draft and farm work; an ideal riding horse for the novice, as well as for trekking, cross-country, jumping and riding sports.

The Murgese is recognized and registered by the ANAMF
(Association of Breeders of the Murge Horse and the Donkey of Martina Franca)

May 2017

The Califa

Horse of the Month for May 2017
Image courtesy of Marcelo Bianchi

Califa - A Gelding that Loved the Game. Elected 2016 – Polo Museum Horses to Remember.

Bred in Argentina and foaled in 1996 as part of the famed Pieres breeding program, the famous bay gelding, Califa, is owned by Peter Brant of White Birch Farms and has served as a durable war horse for Mariano Aguerre in many memorable contests.

Gathering numerous honors along his way, Califa ultimately earned the Hartman Award for Best Playing Pony after his gritty and intense play in two chukkers under Aguerre at the 2004 U.S. Open Championship.

Aguerre called on Califa again for the 2005 high-goal season and the gutsy gelding didn’t disappoint as they fought together through crucial games helping the team sweep all three 26-goal tournament victories.

A horse of incredible power and stamina, Califa was recognized as the 2006 Horse of the Year, was a member of 2006 APHA U.S. Open best string, 2003 BPP of the Butler Handicap, and the 2004 BPP of the Mercedes Benz Cup.

Horse of the Month for May 2017
Photo courtesy of Melinda Brewer

Having proven himself as a polo superstar and of impeccable breeding (Califa’s dam, La Luna, was a famous polo mare out of Top Secret and Gaucha), the owners realized that cloning Califa would be a way to try to perpetuate his legacy that, being a gelding, he would not otherwise be able to fulfill. His first clone arrived on April 22, 2010, and is now being successfully played in Argentina. 

Horse of the Month for May 2017
Califa with Mariano Aguerre up - 2009 Argentine Open
(photo courtesy of American Polo Horse Association)

April 2017

The Percheron

Horse of the month for April 2017
2015-2016 NASHHCS Finals Champions - Six Horse Hitch Classic Series
Mark Messenger Memorial Percheron Hitch owned by the Messenger Family from Cheyenne, WY, Driven by Brian Coleman

Horse of the month for April 2017
2015-16 Champions – Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch

The horses making up these classic 6 horse hitches are Percherons, a draft horse breed from France
generally weighing up to 2500 pounds. Commonly used during WW2, these popular draft horses dropped dramatically but have now increased greatly.

March 2017

Horse of the Month for March 2017

The very talented, Spooky Whiz ridden by Andrea Fappani.

The pair were winners of the 2016 NRHA Open Futurity Championship in the Limited Non Pro division.
Proving again how far European AQHA competitors have come in the show pen.

February 2017

The Driving Horse

Horse of the Month for February 2017

Driving horses are popular all over the world but the huge cost associated keep the sport out of the reach of most folks interested in the sport. The example pictured below shows a US driver, Suzy Stafford who ended up in 2nd place at the 2016 Single Horse World Driving Championships held in Piper, Austria.

January 2017

The Tennessee Walking Horse

Horse of the Month for January 2017
Soring - Note front hoofs
Photo Courtesy
Alyson Wright/Chattanooga Times
Free Press/AP

Horse of the Month for January 2017
Photo Courtesy USDA
X-ray image of a "performance package" on a Tennessee Walking Horse, showing shoe, "stacks"- multiple pads, multiple extra nails placed in pads to add weight and possibly pressure (known as "pressure soring") and band across hoof to hold it all on.

Horse of the Month for January 2017
Natural movement - no soring
Photo Courtesy
Jose DeElrey,
A Walking Horse Ranch
More at this link

The Tennessee Walking Horse is a tall horse with a long neck. It has been described as “refined and elegant, yet solidly built.” This breed is also known for its calm disposition and smooth gait. For this reason you will not only find it showing off its sure footedness in the show ring but it also popular as a pleasure or trail riding horse.

Tennessee Walking Horse show competitions include two categories:
1) flat shod – the horse wears regular shoes which cause it to show less exaggerated movements.
2) performance – the horse wears built up pads or “stacks” to create the very animate “Big Lick” style.

The use of stacks is, however, prohibited at USEF sponsored shows. For this reason The Tennessee Walking Horse breed is the most affected by the Horse Protection Act of 1970 which prohibits abusive practices such as the use of stacks and the application of chemical agents which create acute pain causing the horse to elevate their steps.

In addition, I received a case a few years ago that is not all that common…but it does happen.
A client and purchaser of a supposed very competitive Tennessee Walking Horse was about to sue the seller of the horse. The reason was that the show records of the horse were a bit fuzzy, as in it was impossible to find them. The reason was that the point giving associations were balking at providing stats on the Tennessee Walking Horse at all. All this because of soring the shins of these very nice horses.

The horse had been shown in the Country English Hack Division, which was very competitive indeed. Now if you’ve been asleep for many years you’d know that the Tennessee Walking Horse has to be shown under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture which required a DQP, (Designated Qualified Person), be on hand to examine the specified horses to determine there was no evidence of soring.

Soring had been widely used for many years and encouraged the horse to step his front legs very high since they hurt so much. Obviously, the national governing body, (The American Horse Shows Association now the United States Equestrian Association), kicked the Tennessee Walkers out since they continued applying the soring agents when showing, and at the time would not change.

The “BIG LICK” Walking Horse Shows in Tennessee where hundreds of hopeful spectators protested and then just didn’t show up at the 2015 shows forcing shows to all but cancel their performances. When you’ve got some time look up “Big Lick Tennessee Walking Horse Shows” and you’ll learn lots about why and how these very nice horses have been abused through the years and how it’s being brought to an end by thoughtful citizens.

Be prepared to see evidence of cruelty perpetrated by supposed “horsemen” who should be caring for their horses, not making them sore to try and get a higher.

Previous Horses of the Month:
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022    

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