The Colorado Rangerbred's history began in 1878, when Ulysses S. Grant sailed to Europe and the Middle East, particularly Turkey, during his presidency. When it was time for Grant to leave, Sultan Abdulhamid gave Grant two young stallions–an Arabian by the name Leopard and a Barb called Linden Tree. Those two stallions helped diversify Grant's stock.
In 1879, Leopard and Linden Tree arrived in Virginia. There, they caught the attention of Rudolph Huntington, who wanted to use them to produce a light harness horse. Grant gave Huntington permission to use the horses in his breeding program. However, Huntington lost funding for the project just before the 20th century when the horseless carriage was introduced, so he had to sell the horses. General Colby, a rancher from Nebraska, managed to convince Huntington to lend him Linden tree and Leopard for one breeding season. It wasn't long before ranchers in Colorado heard of excellent cow horses with Barb and Arabian blood in them. A.C. Whipple, one Colorado's most respected ranchers, headed to Colby's ranch to buy a small band of mares, all sired by either Leopard or Linden Tree, and a stallion named Tony, who was the gray grandson of Leopard. These horses were bred with mixed bred stock horses, producing spotted offspring with amazing cow sense. Before long, there were many Appaloosa-patterned horses in Colorado.
|The Colorado Rangerbred |
In the 1930s, Colorado State University became interested in the breed. With the help of Mike Ruby and his stallions Patches #1 and Max #2, descendants of Linden Tree and Leopard, a breeding program was created. Foals received the refinement and stamina of the Barb and Arabian while still maintaining there dam's level-headedness and cow sense. In 1938, the breed was officially named the Colorado Ranger Horse and the Colorado Ranger Horse Association was founded. However, the association had a fifty member limit, and not all the horses could be registered at the time, so many were accepted in the Appaloosa Horse Club instead. Only in 1964 was the limit removed. Since then, many Appaloosas with some Rangerbred blood in them have been registered.
Today, all registered Rangerbreds must have either Patches #1 or Max #2 in their pedigree.
Breed Description and Uses
Standing from 14.2 to 16 hands high, the Rangerbred has a stock horse conformation: powerful haunches, clean legs, solid hooves, and a level topline. Because of this, they are generally used in western classes, particularly western pleasure, though they are used in ranching too.