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Origins of the Breed

The Appaloosa Horse

The Appaloosa is the world's oldest identifiable breed, the pride of ancient monarchs of Europe and Asia and the favoured mount of the Nez Perce Indians of the Palouse Valley of Idaho. Today they have reached a new popularity for the same reasons they were prized in the past - disposition, intelligence, easy keeping qualities, speed, the hardest of hooves and the ability to go all day without tiring. Appaloosas are being used in ranch work, show, parade, endurance, youth programs, trail rides, jumping, pleasure riding, polo etc. In fact in all fields of equestrian endeavour the Appaloosa can do it and do it well. At the prestigious Masters Tournament in Calgary, Canada the Appaloosa has won the multi-facetted Battle of the Breed three times against ten other breeds!

Like snowflakes no two Appaloosa coat patterns are alike, making each an easy to see individual. Breeders in border areas can vouch for the fact that the brightly marked members of a herd are hardly ever taken by stock thieves. Coat patterns vary from simple white snowflakes on the hips to white hindquarters covered in dark spots (spotted blanket) and leopards where the whole body is white and covered with clear dark spots. All are colourful. To help them stand out even more they have other distinguishing characteristics such as white sclera encircling the eye like a human, striped hooves and mottled skin especially round the nose.

This colourful and versatile horse is growing in popularity in South Africa, not only as a safe family horse but in all competitive fields.

The Appaloosa Horse Breeders Society of South Africa has nearly 2600 horses registered to date and the Appaloosa has been accepted as a Permanent Breed by the S.A. Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association. Foals resulting from Appaloosa matings to solid coloured horses from other approved light horse breeds are accepted for registration at the Appendix A level. Upgrading is encouraged with Stud Book Proper being accepted as purebred, the same status that is allocated to imported horses. As the Appaloosa is defined as "a breed with a colour preference" solid foals I.e. Bay, black and chestnut do result from time to time, especially from outcrosses and these are accommodated in the N/C ( non characteristic) section of the registry, but they must be bred to horses exhibiting one of the desired colour patterns (AHB Registered). We have our own National Show annually and we have been given classes at several top venues and the Horse of the Year Show, come and see these special horses for yourself.