Five Extinct Horse Breeds

Five Extinct Horse Breeds

Horse have existed alongside humans for as far back as civilisation has existed, and over those thousands of years, dozens of different horse breeds and species have existed. Some existed naturally before being discovered by humans, while others were bred over many years by those looking to create new types of horses for specific purposes.

But with the many breeds that have existed over the years, there have been almost as many that have gone extinct. Whether by disease, natural disaster, or due to mankind in some way, these are five horse breeds that are no longer around anywhere in the world.

  1. The Ferghana

This breed was around during the first and second centuries BC. of Ancient China, specifically when the Han Dynasty ruled the nation. The Dynasty imported the short-legged but strong horse from the Dayuan people of central Asia, where the breed was used specifically for the army. The horse helped the Chinese win the War of The Heavenly Horses, and became extremely popular throughout the Dynasty.

  1. The Old English Black

Traced back to the Norman Conquest of 1066, the old English Black were the results of William the Conquerors steeds mating with English mares. Often confused with the Lincolnshire Black, the Old English Black is widely believed to be the ancestor of the modern Shires and Clydesdale breeds, which have become as common as the bingo Canada has to offer.

  1. The Turkoman

The stories of the ferocity of the Mongols and Huns have been told throughout the centuries. The Mongols, in particular, were one of the most powerful empires ever to have existed, sweeping through most of Europe and conquering everything along the way. One of the reasons they faired so well in battle was due to their mounted combat, which was a form of combat that no other military had been able to emulate at the time. The Turkoman was famous as being sleek and muscular, and was the favoured mount of the Mongolian armies.

  1. The Narragansett Pacer

Not a natural species, the Narragansett Pacer was a breed of equine that was popular in the United States, being the first breed that the country independently created. The descendent of British and Spanish stock, George Washington famously owned one of these horses, and rode it often after the end of the Revolutionary War. The breed eventually became less popular over the decades, and interbreeding saw it ultimately disappear completely. While it hasn’t been seen since the 1800s, it’s believed that some of its genetic stock still exists in the American Saddlebred and Tennessee Walking Horse.

  1. The Norfolk Trotter

Similar to the previous entry’s association with George Washington, the Norfolk Trotter was famously linked to King Henry VIII. During the mid-1500s, King Henry ordered that all English nobles were to maintain a certain number of trotting horses, which were constantly on standby in case war broke out. It was a popular horse throughout the country thanks to its durability and speed, and its descendants consist of the Hackney and Standardbred.


About Doreen Cohen