9/21/2008

A little appy history

Since the DOR can not participate in training I am doing some research about Appaloosas and my family. It is really interesting.
Did you know that Secretariat's first foal was an Appaloosa? First Secretary, a 17 hand chestnut with a white blanket, socks and a blaze, was foaled November 15, 1974. He sired 247 foals including 39 race starters and 33 point earners. First Secretary lived into old age and died in 1993 after suffering from colic.
We have been around for a long time, roaming the earth since before prehistoric times. Pictures of spotted horses on cave walls can be found in many caves across Europe, some of which are 20,000 years old. Ancient artists painted these pictures as part of special rites, hoping for successful hunts and plentiful food.
In ancient Persia, Appaloosas were worshipped as the sacred horses of Nisca, the great hero of Persian literature. Rustan rode a spotted horse name RAKUSH. Rakush was chosen from among thousands of horses brought to the regions that are now Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan. He was known as a "Great War Horse" and sired many beautiful spotted foals.
Spotted horses also could be found in China as early as 206 B.C. and before. In western Europe, the spotted horse appears periodically throughout history. The famous Lippizzaner Horses often exhibited spots during the 16th through the 18th centuries. The same spots still crop up to this day, and the Lippizzaner often displays evidence of mottled skin, one of the Appaloosa's characteristics.
The Spanish explorers introduced the spotted horse to North America. Spanish Andalusians often had spotted coats. The spotted horse spread northward until most of the Indian populations were mounted (around 1700).
The Nez Perce Indians of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho became highly sophisticated horsemen in the use of their horses, and their mounts were highly prized by other tribes. Unlike most tribes, the Nez Perce carefully selected the spotted horses they were to breed. Only the best horses were allowed to produce offspring. One of the first white men to visit the Nez Perce was an explorer and horseman, Meriwether Lewis. He described the Appaloosa in his journal dated February 15, 1806: Their horses appear to be of an excellent race. They are lofty, elegantly formed, and durable.
The Nez Perce horses performed tasks according to their value. The most precious horses were ridden during buffalo hunting and war. The war horse needed strength, speed, courage, and intelligence. Horses with these qualities and flashy or unusual markings had the most value. Spots helped to camouflage the horse and rider, for the splashy coat patterns helped to break up the horses outline and made it difficult to see from the distance. The short tail and ratty mane did not get tangled in the brush.
In the late 1800s, war broke out between the U.S. Calvary and the Nez Perce Indians. The Appaloosa was the reason the U.S. Calvary was deprived of victory for many months, as the Nez Perce fled over 1300 miles of rugged, almost impassible terrain under the guidance of the famed Chief Joseph.
This is Read Eagle, his is one of my famous ancestors. He won the 1951 National Grand Champion Stallion title, Reserve Champion Stallion at the 1957 National, as well as several Get of Sire honors.
Prince Plaudit is another of my relatives. He won grand champion stallion countless times at stock shows from Colorado to Texas as well as several champion get of sire titles. He won the National Champion Get of Sire title at the Appaloosa National Show in 1969, 1975, and 1976, and won the World Champion Get of Sire title at the Appaloosa World Show in 1975
Another one of my relatives, Joker B had an interesting start in life. Once he was valued for less than a vacuum cleaner. He spent his early years as a rodeo horse. He changed owners and his life changed also. Twelve year old Joker came away with a first place in the 220 yard race. In 1954, Joker started in eight races at Los Alamitos, and won six of them, all running against Quarter Horses often half his age. He continued to win and place at shows, and finally, at the age of fifteen, Joker B. won grand champion stallion honors at the 1956 Calizona Appaloosa Horse Show, his son Joker’s Flying Star taking reserve. Joker also won a first place in Get of Sire. He repeated his Get of Sire win again the next year, and placed in halter and several performance classes as well, winning high point honors at the 1957 Calizona show. At age 17, he placed high in get of sire, aged stallions, reining, and won a jackpot stake race at the International Appaloosa Show in San Antonio, Texas.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

4 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

Hey Cactus Jack Splash- I have owned and ridden horses with your breeding for many years, and can say in all honesty, there are very, very few finer horses to share time with.

Wonderful breeding there CJS, and your talents shine through!

Keep taking care of your DOR!

Rambling Woods said...

Hi Jack..thank you for the history lesson. I am not the horse person in my family, that would be my sister, so this was all new to me...Tell your DOR to take it easy and rest up..

Cheryl said...

Cactus, that was very interesting about Secretariat's first foal! I never knew that! I enjoyed reading about your ancestors, too! I've always loved appys! My Sunni used to be next to an appy and he was a real nice horse.

Andrea said...

That was great! I never knew that about Appys!! WOnderful old photos too. I definatly learned something new today.

 

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