Inspirational

This Breed Of Horses Only Existed In The 19th Century And The Story Behind Them Is Fascinating

By Boredom Therapy

Shortly before the turn of the 20th century, a new breed of horse emerged from the American West and took the country’s circuses and sideshows by storm. They were known as Oregon Wonder Horses, and they had beautiful manes and tails that grew over 10 feet long.

For about 20 years, they remained one of the country’s most popular attractions. However, as suddenly as they’d appeared, these majestic creatures vanished and are now only remembered in photographs.

Long-haired Oregon Wonder Horses were famous in the late 1800s for their rich chestnut coats, and more importantly, for their extremely long, soft manes and tails.

Blogspot / Circus No Spin

This one, for example, was named White Wings, and he had a tail that was 17 feet long and a mane that was 14 feet long! A 1902 book on extraordinary animals described him as the most beautiful horse that ever lived.

Messy Beast

Most owners of these equine marvels ended up braiding their horses’ hair or putting it in pigtails. This was actually less about style and more to keep their manes and tails from getting tangled and knotted while they slept!

The Campfire Chronicle

Despite their almost otherworldly appearance, these horses’ impressive locks were actually achieved through crossbreeding normal draft horses like Percherons and Andalusian horses.

Pinterest / Sarah Achterberg

This first of them to become famous was named the Oregon Queen, and she was bred in the 1880s on a farm in Oregon state. She was later moved east as a show horse and eventually died at Coney Island.

Messy Beast

The Oregon Queen’s foal Linus was the only one of her offspring to inherit her long hair, and he became a famous show horse in his own right. In 1890, he was sold for an astounding $30,000 (over $750,000 in today’s money) to the Eaton Traveling Circus.

The Campfire Chronicle

Linus’s son Linus II also inherited the long mane and tail, but he was the last in his family line to have it. Like most Oregon Wonder Horses, he spent his life travelling with different circuses as an “oddity.”

Messy Beast

Unfortunately, Oregon Wonder Horses were extensively inbred to try to maintain or even lengthen the beautiful locks of their offspring. This led to a number genetic problems for the horses as time went on.

The Campfire Chronicle

Today, these astounding creatures are no longer around, but thankfully, many pictures survive from the brief period of time where they were, and they help remind us of these animals’ stunning beauty and majesty!

The Campfire Chronicle

They really are very impressive creatures! I couldn’t imagine seeing a horse like this today.

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Source: Boredom Therapy

 

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