Justin Morgan, the legendary progenitor of the Morgan horse breed, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1789. Reported to be of predominantly Thoroughbred and Arabian ancestry, this animal possessed the ability to transmit to his offspring characteristics unique to himself, and many generations later the sarne basic characteristics predominate.
Justin Morgan spent 30 of his 32 years in the state of Vermont and through his descendants became an institution in American heritage. It was this link to American history that inspired Walt Disney to personally select for production the film, Tustin Morgan Had a Horse.
Through Justin Morgan's three sons, Sherman, Bulrush and Woodbury, America's first breed of horse was founded. The popularity of the Morgan horse spread throughout the country when Justin Morgan's grandson, Black Hawk, achieved great fame. Black Hawk's celebrated son, Ethan Allan, champion trotter of the world, is depicted in the famed Currier & Ives print.
Morgan horses were used in the pioneering of the west; they served as cavalry mounts during war and peace, as ranch horses, stylish saddle, and road horses. Some were called on to till the soil. It is interesting to note that the Morgan is the only registered breed of horse ever perpetuated by the United States Government.
It was in 1907 that the U.S. Morgan Horse Farm was established in Middlebury, Vermont, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the farm was to perpetuate the Morgan breed and to provide breeding stallions for Remount Stations at various points throughout the nation. The Morgan horse was also used in establishing such breeds as the Standardbred, the American Saddlebred, the American Quarter horse and the Walking horse, all of whom enjoy high levels of popularity today.
The Morgan is known for its versatility. Its role and service to mankind has adjusted to the changing times created by evolution. Today the Morgan horse is many things to many people, from a working range horse and scholar of obedience, to a breathtaking, animated creature of precision, unparalleled in equine beauty. He excels in and out of the showring, under saddle or in harness; as a trail horse, roadster or jumper; with precocious youngsters he can be relied upon to have the patience of Job; and is willing to tolerate newly acquired masters during their apprenticeship in basic horsemanship.
As a breed organization, the Canadian Morgan Horse Club is dedicated to the perpetuation and promotion of The Morgan Horse.
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