In the early 1900’s, invention of the automobile and tractor meant that horses were no longer in high demand for farm work. Instead, many of the remaining draft horses were used by carriage companies, often pulling decorative weddings for carriages. Everett Smith of Ohio operated the Sugarbush Hitch Company. Wanting to increase business, Smith thought that a flashier looking horse could make his company more appealing.
Smith turned to the Appaloosa for its flashy appearance and dramatic coat colors. He paired the Appaloosa influence with the best Percheron bloodlines he could find, and bred with the goal of producing a quality draft horse which possessed ideal conformation along with the Appaloosa coloring.
Smith’s plan was a success, and the horses he bred became known as Sugarbush Horses. Their popularity spread and others began to breed these horses, so Smith created the Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry in 1982. The bloodlines that Smith had originally produced were greatly sought after. At the same time, though, draft horses began to fall out of popularity as people looked for lighter horses which were more comfortable to ride.
Smith continued to breed on a small scale until 2008, when he retired and the Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry relocated to Whitesboro, Texas. The last horses that Smith had bred were sold in the hopes that their new owners would continue the breed. Just one registered stallion remains, named Sugarbush Harley’s Classic O.
Today only twelve Sugarbush Draft Horses remain in existence, making this a seriously endangered breed. Today’s Sugarbush Draft Horses are smaller than the average draft, standing between 15.2 and 16.2 hands and weighing around 1,700 pounds. They are very social and are versatile, making excellent driving or riding horses. And, of course, their characteristic colorful coats make them stand out from the crowd wherever you take them.
For more information on this fascinating breed, visit the Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry’s website.
Check out our Classic Equine Equipment’s Facebook page for more information!
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 at 7:31 am and is filed under Breed Profiles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.