Known as the Peacock of the Show Ring, the American Saddlebred is described
by the American Saddlebred
Association as having traced its roots to the natural-gaited Galloway
and Hobbie horses from the British Isles and eventually developing into
the Narragansett Pacer. The Narragansetts were crossed with Thoroughbreds
imported to America in the early 1700s and by the time of the Revolutionary
War, a horse called simply "the American horse" was a recognized
According to ASHA, these horses had the size and beauty of the Thoroughbred, but retained the ability to learn the easy-riding gaits. They were prized for a pleasant temperament, eagerness, strength and stamina and were continually crossed with Thoroughbreds, Arabians and Morgans and came to be known as Kentucky Saddlers.
Today, the American Saddlebred is known as a show horse with high-stepping gaits which, for
many, include the rack and slow gait which they inherited from their ancestors.
Pictured is the stallion Valley View Supreme (Genius Bourbon King x Diana Gay) foaled in 1953.