Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry
Dedicated to Preserving one of the last American Draft Horse breeds
In the late 1950s, a creative carriage company owner decided to try something different. He began to breed draft horses with loud Appaloosa color. His project worked much better then he had expected. Not only did the color of these horses draw the eye, and set his company, The Sugarbush Hitch Co., above the rest, but the horses produced had a consistent type and personality traits. People soon began referring to the "Sugarbush Drafts" and the name stuck.
Now, nearly 60 years later, the ancestors of those first horses are still capturing the hearts and imagination of horse owners across the United States. and across the globe. The Sugarbush Draft Horse is a smaller breed of draft, averaging between 15.2 and 16.2 hands and weighing an average of 1700 pounds. The ideal Sugarbush Draft Horse has a sloping shoulder, moderate back length, long neck and muscular hind quarters. This combination of traits allows the breed to excel in riding or driving, and makes a wonderfully versatile horse.
The personality of the Sugarbush Draft is that of a very social horse. They do best as part of the family. These horses gladly ignore mistakes from their owners while still putting their all into any task asked of them. They make wonderful companions for first time horse owners, and never cease to amaze seasoned professionals. Many owners swear that the Sugarbush Draft is truly the perfect breed of horse.
The Sugarbush Draft Stallion "Sugarbush Harley Quinne" who inspired a new generation of Sugarbush Draft owners and helped to revive interest in the breed. His bloodlines can be found in most living Sugarbush Draft Horses today.
© 2010 Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry, all rights reserved. Website design by Spotted Horse Productions
This page was last updated: June 6, 2013
In 2010, there were only 12 Sugarbush Draft Horses left. These horses are all that remain of this once noble breed, and many trace their lineage back to similar family lines. There is currently one unrelated breeding pair in the entire registry.
The Sugarbush Draft Horse is in serious danger of being lost to the world. Because of this, the SDHR has thrown open the registration requirements. We are currently accepting applications for foundation registration for any horse of at least 51% draft breeding with ancestors of appaloosa coloring. Cross breeding is allowed until such time as the stud books contain what is deemed to be a viable genetic diversity within the registered population.
These are not new ideas. In the past various breed have fought the threat of extinction and won. From Friesians to Lippizanners, many methods have been tried, and many work. Of course, no solution is perfect, and when balancing the options between high coefficients of inbreeding, or slight alterations to the phenotype from cross breeding, the SDHR decided that cross breeding is the better option for the future of the Sugarbush Draft Horse.
Sugarbush O Rosamunde (left) and Sugarbush Harley's Classic O (right) heading out to pasture. This is the last unrelated breeding pair left in the SDHR at this time.
And yet, while trying to save this breed, we are working hard to encourage our breeders to always choose quality and correctness in their breeding animals. Quantity is never a substitute for quality.
The Sugarbush Draft Horse Registry appreciates all inquiries to help us revive this breed to greatness. We welcome you to contact us with any questions.
At this time, what the Sugarbush Draft Horses need most are people to help spread the word. No breed can thrive without owners to promote them and fans to cheer us on. The recent increase in awareness has made all the difference for this breed.
Due to popular request, we do accept donations: