Quarter Horse Blood Lines
Back in the "old" days of the mid 1700's this special breed was labeled a "Quarter-of-a-mile-Runner, therefore the name Quarter Horse. The A. Q. H. A. was organized some 60 years ago to perpetuate this strain of horses that were so superior in speed, athletic ability and type.
The English Thoroughbred Race Horses were the fore-runners of these and when crossed with native American Colonial Horses, sprinters were known as Quarter Horses and distance horses who ran from a mile or more became known as Thoroughbreds.
Short races were most popular since Colonial days and the pedigrees of many of these horses have been preserved thru the years, even before these "Quarter Horses" became a "breed". This was used for racing and also developed the highest class of ranch horses. These tough, athletic horses held up well for the need of Ranchers who demanded a horse with cow sense, speed, endurance and a trainable disposition.
The Grandson of The Godolphin Arabian named "Janus" was the ideal type. He was a little over 14 hands, very strong boned, compact, with a short back with strong muscles. He was imported from England in 1752 and became the first Stallion to popularize the Quarter Horse type and he was a very successful sire who passed on his speed with great consistency. His influence carried on for many generations and most Horses of the A. Q. H. A. breed can be traced to this dominant early sire. It is probably a sure bet that Quarter Horse aficionados and breeders are not aware of the fact that most quarter Horses trace back to the Arabian Breed. Many of the early breeders infused the best thoroughbred blood they could get as the basis for their herds. It is a well known fact that all Thoroughbreds trace back to three Arabian Stallions, The Godolphin Arabian, The Byerley Turk, and The Darley Arabian. Broodmares also had heavy concentrations of this blood which was successfully infused into the first "Bulldog" type of conformation.
When the American Quarter Horse Association was in its formative stages, many thought that the "Bulldog" type was ideal. The association developed rules that encouraged the development of the "Bulldog" type. Ancestry demonstrates a surprising amount of Thoroughbred blood infused into the Quarter Horse.
60 years of hind-sight demonstrates that these early breeders knew exactly how to get the best. Select Thoroughbred out-crosses thru periodic infusions thru the blood of Janus, Sir Arehy, Peter McCue, Traveler, and Three Bars have given us the Quarter Horse that is the versatile athlete of today.
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