Many breeds of animals and birds produce from time to time pure white specimens, and the white or Albino horse, which is, of course, a colour type, not a breed, has since 1937 been fostered and developed in America by the American Albino Horse Club.
The foundation sire is said to have been “Old King”, foaled in 1906, with the breeding unknown, though he is believed to have been of Arabian-Morgan stock. With very careful selection, particularly in regard to colour, any type of Albino horse can be developed, whether for riding or for a draught.
Since “Old King” is regarded as the foundation sire, a great many Albino horses used for circuses and parades are descended from him.
Albino horses are bred for those to whom a white horse appeals and naturally many are used for ceremonial purposes and in the circus ring. Such being the case, a large number of these horses have been taught the traditional acts of the performing horse, and the claim that the Albino is a horse of exceptional intelligence may well be based on this.
That he is a beautiful horse is true enough, but it must be remembered that as a ceremonial or circus horse he is shown at his best and is exhibited in ideal surroundings and handles expertly – advantages which many other horses do not enjoy.
It is claimed of this line of Albino horses that the stock is very prepotent, particularly in regard to colour, and that even when crossed with coloured mares they produce many beautiful snow-white foals. If, as is supposed, “Old King” was of Arabian-Morgan stock, this prepotency can well be understood, for this is a marked characteristic of both these breeds.
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