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The Morgan Horse

The Morgan: An American Original

The Morgan is one of the first horse breeds developed in the United States. The breed excels in many disciplines, and is known for its versatility.

The Morgan has influenced several other breeds, including the Standardbred, Tennessee Walker, American Quarter Horse, and the American Saddlebred. Nearly 90% of Saddlebred horses today have Morgan blood.


The Morgan is compact and refined in build, with strong limbs, an expressive face, large eyes, well-defined withers, laid back shoulders and a well arched neck. Morgans come in a variety of colors although they are most commonly bay, black, brown, and chestnut. The breed standard ranges from 14.1-15.2 hands (1.45 to 1.57 meters) with some individuals over and under.

Breed history

Morgans trace back to one foundation sire named Figure, who was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts in 1789.

Figure is now believed to have been sired by the English Thoroughbred “True Briton,” also known as “Beautiful Bay” and “Traveller,” who had been sired in 1768.

His dam was of Wild-air breeding, sired by Diamond, and was foaled in 1784 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The bay mare was, in fact, bred by Justin Morgan, for whom the breed is named.

Figure is thought to have stood about 14 hands (1.42 meters), and to have weighed about 950 lb (430 kg). Figure was also known for his prepotency, passing on his good looks, conformation, temperament, and athleticism.

State Symbols

In 1961, the Morgan horse was named the official state animal of Vermont, and in 1970, it became the official state horse of Massachusetts

This article is licensed under the   GNU Free Documentation License.   It uses material from the   Wikipedia article “Morgan Horse”.

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