About Racking Horses
Racking Horses come from the Southern United States, mainly
Alabama. They are known for a distinctive sugarfoot gait.It is believed that
they are related to Tennessee Walking horses. An Alabama business person
created this horse and worked diligently to maintain them for years to come.
Their ancestors were first bred on southern plantations
prior to the American Civil War. They could be ridden comfortably for hours
because of their smooth, natural gait. They were also bred for a good
disposition, intelligence, and versatility. Their development was similar to
that of the Tennessee Walking Horse, also popular in the southeastern US. In
the late 1800s, horse shows became increasingly popular in the southeastern
United States, as an alternative to the gambling associated with horse racing.
In the mid 1900s, Racking Horse enthusiasts formed their own
group, the Racking Horse Breeders Association of America, and their breed was
recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as separate from the
Tennessee Walking Horse in 1971. In 1975, the Racking Horse was designated the
official state horse of Alabama.
Two stallions who became well known in the early days of the
association were EZD Falcon Rowdy and Speck. EZD Falcon Rowdy was a dappled
buckskin owned and ridden by John Demetris. He was noted for his good
conformation, and he won two world championships in speed racking, in 1976 and
1983. He was a popular sire as well.
Speck, owned by Robert Skimehorn, was a red roan stallion
who won 14 world championships in speed racking and was also a very influential
sire. Although Speck died in 2000 as the result of a stroke, his and EZD Falcon
Rowdy's bloodlines are still influencing the Racking Horse breed today.
In the early 2000s, popularity of the Racking Horse went
down and many distinct bloodlines died out or became closely related, leading
to inbreeding. To counteract this, the Racking Horse Breeders’ Association of
America (RHBAA) has reopened the registry to horses that meet breed standards
for height, conformation, and gait. Some breeds often eligible for this are the
Tennessee Walking Horse, Standardbred, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse and Rocky
Racking Horses can be used for shows or competitions, for
harness work, or for riding. An Athletic creature, the Racking Horse can run
for miles without any fatigue symptoms. They can also be great earners and do
very well inside the competition circuit across the country.
Racking Horses are elegant and lean. They stand at around
fifteen hands tall and can be bred in various colors. They are considered to
have an attractive looking face, sloping shoulders, and a tall frame, they also
have a silky tail and short mane. They have clean joints and a very graceful
appearance that gives the Racking Horse a look all of its own.