Sports Equestrian Breeds Rocky Mountain
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Tradition has it that around the late 1890's, settlers returning from the west brought back to Virginia, and eventually Eastern Kentucky, a young stallion of distinctly Spanish lineage. This stallion was crossed with local mares, and one of the offspring was Old Tobe, the remarkable foundation sire of what was later to become known as the Rocky Mountain Horse. The basic characteristics are of a medium-sized horse of gentle temperament with an easy ambling four beat gait. This gait made it the horse of choice on the farms and the rugged foothills of the Appalachians. It was a horse for all seasons. It could pull the plows in the small fields, work cattle, be ridden bareback by four children to the fishing hole, or to town comfortably on Saturday. They even performed well hitched to the buggy Sunday morning to go to church. It tolerated the winters in Kentucky with a minimum of shelter, and for these reasons the breed was preserved, although in very small numbers. In 1986 The Rocky Mountain Horse Association was founded to oversee the practice of breeding the few remaining horses of the lineage at the time. From a start of only 36 horses registered that year, there are over 6,000 Rocky Mountain Horses on the books as of the end of 2000. Although that is an astounding jump in numbers, the breed is still considered rare. They stand between 14.2 and 16 hands tall, and exhibit a natural ambling gait (single-foot or rack), a solid body color with no white above the knee or hock, or excessive white markings on the face. The silver dapple, chocolate colored horse with the near white mane and tail have become almost synonymous with the breed, but chestnut, bay, and black are also common

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Rocky Mountain Horse Association
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