About American Quarter Horses
American Quarter Horses are one of the oldest recognized
breeds of horses in the United States. The breed originated about the 1660s as
a cross between native horses of Spanish origin used by the earliest colonists
and English horses imported to Virginia from about 1610. By the late 17th century,
these horses were being raced successfully over quarter-mile courses in Rhode
Island and Virginia, and hence received the name Quarter Horses. The Quarter
Horse was bred for performance and had considerable Thoroughbred blood as well
as traits of other lines. Important sires include Janus, an English Thoroughbred
imported to Virginia in 1756.
American Quarter Horses are an American breed of horse that
excel at sprinting short distances. Its name came from its ability to
outdistance other horse breeds in races of a quarter mile or less; some have
been clocked at speeds up to 55 mph (88.5 km/h). American Quarter Horses are
the most popular breed in the United States today, and the American Quarter
Horse Association is the largest breed registry in the world, with almost 3
million American Quarter Horses currently registered.
American Quarter Horses are well known both as a race horse
and for its performance in rodeos, horse shows, and as a working ranch horse.
The compact body of the American Quarter Horse is well-suited to the intricate
and speedy maneuvers required in reining, cutting, working cow horse, barrel
racing, calf roping, and other western riding events, especially those
involving live cattle. The American Quarter Horse is also shown in English
disciplines, driving, and many other equestrian activities.