American Cream Draft Horses
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About American Cream Draft HorsesAbout American Cream Draft Horses

photo: ACDHA


American Cream Draft Horses arernthe only draft horse native to the U.S.

rnrnThey were developed in 1905 inrnIowa during one of the greatest declines in heavy horse use in history. The AmericanrnCream Draft originated in the United States in the state of Iowa in 1905. rnrn 

rnrnAmerican Cream Draft Horses standrnon average 15.2 -16.2 hands high and are a medium-heavy draft horse. They weighrnbetween 1600-1800 pounds and a large stallion can reach up to 2,000 pounds. Theyrnhave well-muscled shoulders, a large body and a calm and quiet demeanor. They arerneasy to train, strong, and eager to please people. They have a cream coat, pinkrnskin and amber colored eyes. American Cream Drafts are primarily used for drivingrnand agriculture work, but they can also be show and riding horses.

rnrnThe American Cream Horse Associationrnwas developed in 1944 & the breed was recognized officially in the same yearrnby the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

rnrnThe flagship mare “Old Granny”rn(who lived from 1905 to 1925) is considered the “grandmother” of this breed.rnPurchased at auction by Mr. Harry Lakin, “Old Granny” was bred to a number of different colored draft breeds in the hopes of maintainingrnher stature and creamy color. A Mr. C.T. Rierson is considered to be the founderrnof the breed. In the 1930’s Mr. Rierson and a handful of other breeders startedrnline breeding and inbreeding to establish the Cream Horse breed. They found thatrnbreeding a "palomino" draft, that is one with dark skin, to the creamsrnwho had pink skin created an undesirably too white horse, and lost some of the goodrncream qualities. So they concentrated their breeding to getting the pink skin, creamrncoat traits with superb results.

rnrnUnfortunately, the mechanization of the times, saw replacementrnof farm animals with heavy equipment such as the tractor in the 1940’s, which causedrna sharp decline in draft horse use and population, especially the American CreamrnDraft. Their numbers decreased sharply and the breed faced extinction. The US censusrnin 1925 showed more than 98,000 registered draft horses, but by 1955 there werernless than 2,000. Many good farm horses in the United States were hauled to auction,rnslaughtered for dog food, or sold due to hard economic times. It was a very sadrntime for draft horses and it is believed that the only reason America Creams stillrnexist is because a handful of dedicated horse farmers hung on to their horses throughrnthe tough times.

rnrnIn 1982 a revival attempt of the American Cream Draft was madernby the American Cream Horse Association. According to the August 1983 edition ofrnSmithsonian Magazine it was believed the Creams were extinct. The organization todayrnhas focused on restoring original bloodlines and is continuing that effort. Todayrnthe breed numbers of the American Cream are still under a hundred animals, theyrnare slowly increasing, but only time will tell if this original draft horse willrnmake a full comeback.

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