The Morgan Horse A Vermont Natural and Cultural Heritage Caitlin Kincaid LS06143_000: Morgan Horse Statue, 1930-1970, Danville, VT America’s First Horse Breed LA11684_000: Example of Morgan Horse, 1910-1920 LS1687_000:Example of Morgan Horse 1910-1920 In 1795, a singer and composer by the name of Justin Morgan acquired a young horse by the name of Figure and moved his family and the horse from Springfield, Massachusetts to Randolph, Vermont.
Unbeknownst to Morgan, Figure would become the founding sire of the entire Morgan breed. The General Purpose Horse http://www.morganphotoarchive.com/1900.htm: 1900 carriage ride, 1900, East Burke, VT With his gentle demeanor and athletic prowess, Figure became famous throughout New England.
His most enduring quality was his ability to pass on all of his exemplary traits on to his fledglings.
By the early 1800s, farmers, businessmen, doctors and horse enthusiasts were clamoring to own Figure’s colts. His offspring became so well known and so widely used, that the Morgan became known as the general purpose horse.
From pulling farm plows, to carrying the family to Sunday church in a stylish carriage, Morgan’s could do it all. Farm & Family Appeal LS12302_000: Craig family farm, 1880-1900, Peacham, VT — LS05640_000: Race track, 1967, Turnbridge, VT As more mechanized modes of transportation and equipment emerged, the demand for Morgans, and horses in general, fell.
However, being the all purpose horse, the Morgan found wide success and popularity on ranches out west and on the Northeast’s race tracks.
To this day, the Morgan still holds world records in trotting and driving events. Creating A Breed http://www.uvm.edu/morgan/, Colonel Joseph Battell LS06151_000: Morgan Horse Farm,1950, Windsor, VT It was shortly after the turn of the century, when Morgan enthusiasts began to worry about preserving the breed.
Breeders were beginning to mix Morgan’s with other breeds in order to create more variety.
However, in doing so, they greatly diluted the Morgan’s genetics.
Vermonter Joseph Battell began a concerted effort to concentrate the Morgan breed.
He started both the Morgan Horse Register and what has since become the University of Morgan’s Today LS12553_000: Winter sleigh ride:1993, Woodstock, VT LS08885_000:Police officer and mount, 1959, Windsor, VT Today, Morgans are just as popular as ever.
While they no longer are clearing fields and forests, they have found homes across all fifty states in at least twenty countries world wide.
They still compete heavily in national and international carriage and driving events.
They can be found in 4-H lessons, and as mounts for police officers. UVM’s Morgan Horse Farm http://www.uvm.edu/morgan/: Morgan Horse Farm, 1995-2003, Weybridge, VT LS06146_000: Morgan Horse Farm, 1930-1970, Weybridge, VT Morgans and Morgan horse farms can be found in every corner of Vermont.
Today, the equine industry accounts for around $27 million per year in Vermont.
The Morgan farm started by Joseph Battell still exists today and is operated by the University of Vermont.
Today, the farm is used for educational purposes. Sources Background Information American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA). (2005).
Retrieved January 7, 2008 from http://morganmuseum.org/index.html. Brander, S.
Figure’s Stud Book.
The Morgan Horse; Official Journal of the Morgan Breed, 66, 7, 26-44. Curler, E.A. (2001).
Morgan Heritage Postings: A Compilation of History Articles on the Morgan Horse.
Brattleboro, VT: Morgan Heritage Press. Jespersen, S. (2007).
The Cowboy Saved the Breed.
The Morgan Horse; Official Journal of the Morgan Breed, 66, 9, 40. Mellin, J. (1973).
The Morgan Horse Handbook.
Brattleboro, VT: The Vermont Printing Company. The National Museum of the Morgan Horse (NMMH). (2004) Retrieved January 7, 2008, from http://morganmuseum.org/ index.html. Vermont Morgan Horse Association (VMHA). (2006).
Retrieved January 7, 2008, from http://www.vtmorganhorse.org/ index.htm. Picture Resources Self, M.C. (1967).
The Morgan Horse in Pictures. (2nd ed.).
Hollywood, CA: Wilshire Book Company.
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