Sugarbush Draft Horse
The Sugarbush Draft Horse has an interesting story to tell, as against all odds the colorful breed has persisted throughout the years.
The breed began when the US calvary disbanded the glorious spotted herds of the Nez Perce. These animals were crossed with draft animals and their progeny was dispersed as plow & work horses. They were useful and tough so their breeding persisted up until the early 20th century when draft breeds worldwide succumbed to the mechanization of agriculture.
As their use declined on farms, draft animals were often picked up for use pulling tourists & wedding carriages. One of the carriage companies that adopted this practice was run by a man named Everett Smith. Mr. Smith decided that a more colorful animal might make his business stand out so he looked to the newly developed Appaloosa breed for inspiration. Many of the animals he found displayed draft characteristics & suited his purpose perfectly.
This actually did inspire Smith to begin his own breeding program by crossing quality Percheron animals with appaloosas that displayed his desired traits. His breeding was strict and specific and he chose animals based on certain characteristics.
In the 1960’s a man named Michael Muir began to breed a similar cross called the Stonewall Sport Horse, his goal was a colorful draft harness type. The two joined forces and by 1982 Smith finally felt as though he had achieved his breeding goals and the foundation of the Sugarbush Draft breed. They managed to survive the advent of the 20th century simply by being comfortable enough to ride as well as strong enough for draft work.
Although they have survived this far, their numbers are sadly very small today – the black appy pictured above is the last remaining stallion and including him there are about a dozen left.
Neck is long
Shoulder is sloped
Back is medium in length
Hooves are upright
Willing Attitude & strong work ethic
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Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry