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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: National Show Horse (NSH) [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
While this iconic American show horse was born in 1981 in the USA, its story actually begins two decades earlier in a completely different country: Poland.
*Bask++, the stallion who started it all:
The State Studs at Poland have been known for decades for producing some of the finest Polish Arabian horses (see 'Polish Arabian'). One of these horses was Witraz, who, in 1956, sired a bay colt named Bask.
In 1963, *Bask was imported from Poland to the USA by Dr. Eugene LaCroix (hence the '*' added to his name). Originally a Polish racehorse, the bay stallion proved to be an outstanding English Pleasure and Park Horse performer in his new American home (hence the '++' added to his name, *Bask++). *Bask++ turned out to be a spectacular stud, siring over one thousand foals, of them almost two-hundred proved to be exceptional show horses.
Even though he died in 1979, *Bask++ is still famous today as being one of the most influential Arabian stallions in the United States, thanks to his impressive progeny. Among his progeny were Crabbet Arabians, including some of the well-known Kellog Crabbet Arabians (see 'Crabbetbred Arabian'). As a token of respect, he was buried in Kentucky Horse Park along with other equally elite horses.
The quest for the refined show horse:
Back in the 1970s, Arabians weren't the only breed who shined in saddle seat shows. Another breed, the American Saddlebred, had also gained fame as an equally exceptional show horse (see 'American Saddlebred'). While breeders sometimes crossed the two together, it wasn't until 1981 that Dr. LaCroix' son, Gene LaCroix, wrote the next chapter in the history of American show horses.
In 1981, two years after *Bask++'s death, Gene decided to create the ultimate show horse, one that will combine the size, gaits, and disposition of the American Saddlebred, with the stamina, refinement, and lightness of the Arabian. He did so by crossing Crabbet Arabians, especially those who descended from *Bask++, with American Saddlebreds, and proceeded with careful selective breeding.
These efforts, together with the establishment of the National Show Horse Registry (NSHR) in 1981, along with the organization of competitions intended for the new breed, set the official birth of the National Show Horse.
The National Show Horse today:
Over the next three decades, the National Show Horse gained a reputation as an outstanding pleasure horse. Today, the National Show Horse is a popular breed in the USA, used primarily for saddle seat pleasure classes.
Originally, the only way to breed National Show Horses was by crossing Arabians with American Saddlebreds, or, after the stock of National Show Horses grew larger, by crossing National Show Horses with Arabians or with each other.
Starting from 2009, the NSHR eased its registration rules into accepting any horse who has at least 50% Arabian blood and whose conformation and performance are in accordance with the breed standard.
However, when it comes to Horse Isle, National Show Horses can be bred only by crossing an Arabian with an American Saddlebred or with a National Show Horse, or by crossing two National Show Horses. This, in order to comply with the breed's true origins, and because the conformation of the NSH in Horse Isle is based on these two breeds.
Many, although not all, National Show Horses are gaited, capable of performing supplemental gaits such as the rack. Regardless of gait, National Show Horses exhibit the high knee-action seen in American Saddlebreds.
Broadly speaking, National Show Horses can be described as a lighter, refined version of the American Saddlebred.
The head is short and has a concave or straight profile, small ears, and large eyes. The neck is long, arched, high-set, and connects to prominent withers. The back is short and connects to a horizontal croup. The girth is slender, and the legs are long and slender. The tail is high-set and is usually carried high.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered National Show Horses in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 15.2-16.6, 15.9 (0.4), 0.07.
Sprint: 41-56, 47 (4), 0.72.
Accel: 0.90-1.06, 0.98 (0.04), 0.01.
Decel: 0.77-0.95, 0.85 (0.04), 0.01.
Jump: 4.98-5.25, 5.11 (0.07), 0.01.
Pull: 1.51-2.40, 1.90 (0.17), 0.03.
Turning: 44.88-61.42, 54.04 (3.18), 0.62.
Reverse: 2.4-3.1, 2.7 (0.1), 0.03.
Stamina: 40.86-46.55, 43.87 (1.15), .0.23
Reaction: 0.70-0.81, 0.76 (0.02), 0.00.
Coats & Height:
National Show Horses come in all colors and patterns that exist in the Arabian and American Saddlebred breeds. This means that they come in all colors and patterns
Height: 14.3hh to 16.2hh.
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