After seeing the news that there are now only 6 northern white rhinos left in the world with no hope for recovery this morning, I started thinking about all of the equine breeds and strains we are at risk of losing. I was lucky enough to get to experience several of these amazing breeds at the Draft Horse Classic this year. It would be a shame to lose them for good.
According to the Equus Survival Trust these are the following classifications for endangered breeds.
Critical/Nearly Extinct – Fewer than 100 active breeding mares
Critical – 100 – 300 active breeding mares
Threatened – 300 – 500 active breeding mares
At Risk – 1500 – 3000 active breeding mares
Akhal-Teke – Vulnerable – less than 5,000 world population
American Cream Draft – Critical – less than 100 world population
American Mammoth Jackstock – Threatened
Appalacian Gaited – Critical
Canadian – Threatened – less than 2,200 world population
Caspian – Critical – less than 2,000 world population
Cleveland Bay – Critical – less than 1,100 world population
Clydesdale – At Risk – less than 5,500 world population
Colonial Spanish – Critical – less than 2,200 world population
– Strains include the Abaco Barb (Critical/Nearly Extinct) Banker (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Belesky (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Carolina Mash Tacky (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Cerbat (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Choctaw (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Cherokee (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Coyote Canyon (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Florida Cracker (Critical), New Mexico (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Pryor Mountain (Critical/Nearly Extinct), Spanish Barb (Critical), Spanish Mustang (Critical), Sulpher (Critical/Nearly Extinct), and Wilbur-Cruce (Critical/Nearly Extinct).
Dales Pony – Critical – less than 3,000 world population
Dartmoor Pony – Critical – Less than 3,500 world population
Eriskay Pony – Critical
Exmoor Pony – Critical
Fell Pony – Vulnerable – Less than 6,500 world population
Galicenos – Critical – less than 300 in US, unclear worldwide population – under study to decide if distinct breed.
Gotland – At Risk – less than 8,500 world population
Hackney -Critical – less than 2,000 world population
Highland Pony – Vulnerable – less than 5,500 world population
Irish Draught – At Risk – less than 8400 world population
Kerry Bog – Critical
Lippizan – Threatened – less than 3,500 world population
Lippitt Morgan – Critical
Mountain Pleasure – Critical, less than 3,500 world population
Newfoundland Pony – Critical
Poitou Ass – Critical
Przewalski’s Horse – Critical – brought back from the edge of extinction in 1940’s, there are now more than 300 in the wild and more than 1,500 in the world.
Rocky Mountain – At Risk – less than 10,000 world population
Shire – Vulnerable – less than 2,000 world population
Suffolk Punch – Critical – less than 850 world population
Angevin – light calvery mount from western France
Anglo-Norman – extinct warmblood, studbook merged with others to create Selle Francais
Berrichon – Driving horse breed from central France
Bidet – a small horse breed from France
Charentais and Vendeen – Light cavalry mounts from western France. Vendeen imported from Netherlands.
Charolais – warmblood, studbook merged with others to create Selle Francais
Clay Trotting Horse – American trotting horse, Standardbreds are a descendant of this breed
Cushendale – native UK breed.
Ferghana – Ancient Chinese breed featured in artwork
Galloway Pony – Died out from crossbreeding. Pacing pony. Influenced Newfoundland, Highland and Fell POnies.
Goonhilly – native UK breed.
Irish Hobby – light cavalry horse. Used for developing racing breeds, the Connemara and Irish Druaght.
Spanish Jennet – a small gaited horse that served as foundation bloodstock for several horse breeds. More of a type than a breed.
Karacabey – a light riding horse from Turkey. Farm work, light draft, pack horse and riding horse.
Longmynd Pony – native UK breed.
Mazury – a light riding horse developed from the Trakehner breed.
Narragansett Pacer – The first breed developed in the US. A mix of English and Spanish breeds. The last pacer died around 1880. Influenced the American Saddlebred, Standardbred and Tennessee Walking Horse.
Navarrin – light saddle horse from southwestern France. Used for light cavalry and classical dressage.
Neapolitan – Italian breed that is arguably extinct. The Italian government is trying to revive from one stallion.
Nisean Horse – ancient extinct breed from Iran.
Norfolk Trotter – large harness horse from England. Was strong and a fast trotter. Used for racing and carriage driving. Influenced Standardbred and Hackney breeds.
Old English Black – crosses of mainland Great Horses with native mares. Not all black, but variying in color. Similar markings to Clydesdales (white face and leg splashes). Influenced the Shire and Clydesdale.
Pozan – an old Polish breed that was a misture of Arabian, Thoroughbred, Trakehner and Hanoverian.
Quagga – extinct subspecies of the plains zebra.
Syrian Wild Ass – an extinct subspecies of the Onager. Native to Syria, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Tarpan – aka the Eurasian wild horse.
Tiree – native UK breed.
Turkoman – ancient oriental breed from Central Asia. Influenced many breeds including the Thoroughbred and Akhal-Teke.
Yorkshire Coach Horse – a large bay or brown carriage breed. They were tall and elegant. Crossing of Cleveland Bays to Thoroughbreds produced this breed. The foundation breeds still exist, so it is possible to restart this breed if anyone was so inclined.