New Brunswick Morgan Horse Club



The Morgan Horse

In 1789, a little bay colt was bom in Springfield, Massachusetts. As a two year old, he was given to teacher by the name of Justin Morgan as the repayment of a debt. Morgan took the colt back to his home in Vermont where he grew and worked and began to prove himself in every area of endeavor. He was named "Figure" but soon became known as "Justin Morgan's Horse" and finally "Justin Morgan" as was the custom of the time.


Justin Morgan was a solid dark bay, with black legs, mane and tail. He was a stylish, vibrant, powerful little horse who willingly performed any task asked of him. Before long the stories about him gave rise to many legends regarding his fantastic abilities to out-pull, out-run, out-trot and even out-walk any horse brought against him. And when he began siring foals people noticed a striking similarity between them and their sire. As succeeding generations came along, the family resemblance remained strong and it became apparent that this was no ordinary horse. He thus became one of the greatest breeding stallions of all time and the sole Founder of a Breed.


Justin Morgan lived for 32 years. He died in 1821 of an injury, having remained sound and healthy during his lifetime of hard work. Through his three sons, Sherman, Bulrush and Woodbury, America's first official horse breed and an American heritage were established.


The popularity of the Morgan Horse spread throughout the Country when Justin Morgan's grandson, Black Hawk, achieved great fame as a race horse. Black Hawk's celebrated son, Ethan Allen, the "Champion Trotter of the World," is depicted in a famed Currier and Ives print.


Morgans have evolved and developed slowly over two centuries, adapting to all kinds of terrain and climate. They thrilled early race fans; carried settlers Westward; tilled the soil; served as Cavalry mounts in war and peace; worked cattle on ranches; and were admired as stylish saddle and road horses.


It is interesting to note that the Morgan is the only registered breed of horse ever perpetuated by the United States Government. In 1907 the U.S. Morgan Horse Farm was established in Middlebury, Vermont, operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the farm was to raise quality Morgan horses and to provide breeding stallions for Remount Stations throughout the Country.

    The Morgan was also used as foundation stock in the establishment of other breeds such as the Standardbred, the American Saddlebred, the Quarter Horse and the Tennessee Walker, all of which enjoy high levels of popularity today.


Despite all the facts one can recite to show the importance of the Morgan Horse in the building of North America, no evidence can match the testimony of hundreds of owners who believe that there is no horse quite like the Morgan!


Today's Morgans differ little from their mighty progenitor. They may have few wildernesses to conquer and few wars to win, but they still accomplish great deeds, participating with their owners in every imagine able activity in the horse world. From the show ring to the cattle ranch, Morgans do it all and do it all well! The Morgan's willing nature and athletic ability enable him to be the perfect using horse - doing everything from pulling a sleigh full of happy faces through the winter snow to sharing a quiet time on a woodland trail, or competing successfully in any challenging activity attempted.


His stamina and durability make him ideally suited to trail riding - both for endurance competitions or just plain pleasure; his intelligence and agility make him a superb contender in dressage and jumping as well as in cutting cattle. In harness the Morgan is proving to be the best North American carriage horse in corn-petitions held around the world. It seems that any job that can be done by a horse can be done equally well - and possibly better - by a Morgan.


Morgans stand out in any group of horses. Look for the beautiful head with big expressive eyes and small active ears, the high head carriage, crested neck, short back, deep body, strong croup and quarters, high set tail carried with style, and a very proud bearing. There is no doubt. You're looking at a Morgan! Perhaps first and foremost the Morgan is a "family horse." The breed's well known kind disposition and good sense make it the ideal choice for even the youngest or most inexperienced horse lover, one that even an amateur can raise and train.

Breed Characteristics

     The Morgan Horse is distinctive for its stamina and vigor, personality and eagerness, and strong natural way of moving. In general, the Morgan should be compact, of medium length, well-muscled, smooth and stylish in appearance.

     In size, the Morgan ranges from 14.1 hands to 15.2 hands (a hand measures 4 inches) with occasional individuals over or under. The mature horse weighs from 900 to 1100 pounds.

The head has a straight or dished face; large prominent eyes set wide apart; small ears set rather wide and carried alertly; small muzzle with firm lips and large nostrils; prominent jaw. The head is carried proudly and meets the well-crested neck at a clean cut throatlatch. The mane and forelock are full.

In body conformation the Morgan gives the appearance of a very strong, powerful horse with great shoulder angulations and depth, deep and wide chest, short back, broad loins, muscular and well developed croup, and with full tail set high and carried gracefully.

The legs are straight and sound with short cannons, flat bone, medium length pasterns and an appearance of overall substance with refinement.

In action the Morgan has a flatfooted, elastic and rapid walk with a long, free stride; its trot is square, free-going, collected and balanced; and its canter is smooth, easy, collected and balanced.Colors are all shades of chestnut, bay, brown and black with occasional white markings on the lower legs and face.

Morgans in the Maritimes

     The eastern provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia lay in close proximity to early Morgan activity in New England. In the early 1800's agricultural societies imported high quality Morgan stallions to help improve their stock.


     Records show the first Morgan to arrive in the Maritimes was Bellfounder Morgan, a son of Sherman Morgan and thereby a grandson of Justin Morgan. In 1842 he was purchased by the Nova Scotia Central Board of Agriculture to improve the quality of the local stock. He was then ten years old, a 15.1 h.h. chestnut having great style and action. Under government control, he was a travelling stud, standing in various counties throughout the Province for the next seven years. He sired foals noted for their symmetry, action and large size; decidedly superior to the existing stock. In 1850, in his 18th year, he was sold at public auction to the Sydney area where he sired many fast trotting and running horses. All of his offspring were noted for great power, speed, and endurance.

     Hugh McMonagle of Sussex Corner New Brunswick, a prominent businessman and politician in the mid-1800s introduced the Morgan Horse to New Brunswick. His racetracks, one of them being the fastest half-mile track in North America, brought visitors from as far away as Kentucky.


     Morgans are now found throughout the four Maritime Provinces in ever increasing numbers, with the vast majority in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The original breeding stock was imported from the New England States. Although many are now Maritime bred, new imports are continually being added to augment present breeding herds.



     Canadian Morgans are registered with the Canadian National Live Stock Records under the Live Stock Pedigree Act of Canada.


The Canadian Morgan Horse Club (C.M.H.C.) oversees issues relating to the country as a whole, while Provincial and local Morgan Clubs take charge of direct membership activities, e.g., horse shows, trail rides, breed displays, clinics, etc. Morgan owners in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland form the Atlantic Zone of the C.M.H.C.

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