An almost forgotten and endangered American breed
The Sugarbush Draft Horse found its origin in an original way. Back in the 1950’s there was this carriage company called The Sugarbush Hitch Co and its owner, Everett Smith, thought it would be good advertisement if he came up with something which would distinguish his company from other companies in the same trade.
The one thing a carriage company needs are horses. Not any horse is suitable to pull a carriage, so he began an experiment in crossbreeding specific chosen Percherons with the lighter horses who carried the loud Appaloose color. Not only he managed to develop a horse with a very special color, but he managed too to give the horse the heavy bone and social character it needed to do its job well. At the same time there was another horseman called Michael Muir who had the same idea of developing a loud colored horse, only he was aiming on a somewhat lighter horse.
Evereth called his horses Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Horse and Muir’s horses were called Stonewall Sport Horses.
In 1982 the American Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry (SDHR) registry was founded.
Both breeders started to work together, but due to a decrease in the interest in draft horses and an increase in interest in the more lighter horses, the original Sugarbush Draft horses reached the edge of extinction. In 1999 Evereth reached his goal with the birth of the perfect Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Horse called Sugarbush Harley Quinne. Alas this horse died in 2006, but he left an intact colt called Sugarbush Harley’s Classic O. He’s the only original stallion left in the registry book and is now used to rebuild the almost extincted draft breed.
The breed never took a great flight and like so many breeds in the past, it is at the point of almost disappearing. As of 2008, when Evereth retired, there were only 12 pure Sugarbush Draft Horses left and only one couple is not related. The Foundation Registration made the questionable, but nescessary deciscion to open the studbook for crossbreeding in order to obtain more diversity in the genes, in hope to save this beautiful breed.
However, like in most organisations like this one, you have people who love the heavy draft horses and you have people who like the more lighter version. The heavy draft version wasn’t as popular anymore as it was before, so it became endangered in its existence.
Close to 50 years after Evereth began his breeding program there is now a group of entousiatic breeders who want to preserve what Evereth started. They’ve founded a new Association and in honor of Evereth they called it the American Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Association (ASHDA), who’s only goal is to rebuild and preserve the more heavy draft horses in this breed.
Sugarbush Harlequin Draft Horse Gifts:
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Draft Horse gifts in Amazon’s Kindle store:
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Draft Horses – Belgian Draft Horse – Clydesdale Horse – Friesian Horse – Percheron Horse – American Cream Draft Horse – Sugar Bush Draft Horse – Shire Horse – Haflinger Horse – Norwegian Fjord Horse – Gypsy Cob Horse