Draft (Draught) Horses – The American Cream
By Michael Russell
This breed is the only draft breed to originate in the United States. The granddam of the line was a draft mare (Old Granny) who was the first registered American Cream. She was purchased at an auction in Iowa in 1911. Her foaling date was estimated between 1900 and 1905. After her purchase she went on to foal numerous cream colored colts, which invariably sold for above average prices.
Nelson’s Buck, owned by the Nelson Bros. of Jewell, Iowa, is considered the progenitor of the breed. His only registered offspring was a cream colt named Yancy, whose dam was a black Percheron. Yancy would sire Knox 1st in 1926 and Knox 1st would sire Silver Lace.
Silver Lace is listed as the most influential stallion to the American Cream breed. He was born of a light sorrel Belgian mare in 1931. His owner hired him out for stud services from early spring until the end of November. His fee was $15 and was not due until the colt stood and nursed for the first time. He sired many colts during his seven years as a stud. He died, mysteriously, in 1939.
Another Iowa resident became interested in the breed and bought as many of Silver Lace’s progeny as he could find for sale. With the help of the horses’ owners, he began to carefully record the ancestry of each horse.
C.T. Rierson, that Iowa resident, is responsible for the name of the breed, and for being the driving force behind the breed being recognized by the state of Iowa as having originated there.
Description and Conformation
The ideal characteristics for the American Cream Draft is the distinct medium cream color, a solid white mane and tail, amber eyes, and pink skin. The modern mare weighs between 1600 and 1800 pounds (113.6 to 127.8 stones). Stallions may weigh in at 2000 pounds (142 stones) or more. The heights range from 15.1 to 16.3 hands (a hand is four inches. This means the height, at the shoulder, is 60.4 to 65.2 inches or 153.4 to 165.6 centimeters), making them of average height for a draft horse.
One very outstanding characteristic of the American Cream is its good disposition. This is an important trait if one desires to team a pair of them for pulling and showing. It’s also very trustworthy. And because there is uniformity in color and conformation it’s very easy to match teams which look great, and work together very well.
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