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HorseShowCentral > Horse Breeds > National Show Horse

National Show Horse - Breed & Info

Characteristics of the National Show Horse National Show Horse Article and Photos Copyrighted - see credits below


The National Show Horse began with crossing the American Saddlebred Horse and the Arabian. A need was seen for an athletic show horse, who would combine beauty, grace, refinement with height and a high-stepping attitude.

A natural presence and animated movement are desired in the National Show Horse. From his American Saddlebred heritage he inherits a good length of neck, set high on his shoulder and from his Arabian heritage a relatively small head with large eyes and possibly a concave profile.

His withers should be pronounced and he should possess a level top line and should carry his tail high. He should have long forearms, short cannons and angled pasterns.

Although the National Show Horse should show refinement, he should also show substance in his chest, girth, shoulder and hip. From the Saddlebred, the National Show Horse has also inherited the possibility of colour. Pintos can be found in both breeds and often pinto National Show Horses will command a high price.

There are no minimum or maximum heights to the National Show Horse, although most will fall in the 15hh-16hh range.


The National Show Horse must have between 1 and 75% American Saddlebred blood. Another way of viewing this is he can be as little as 25% Arabian, or as much as 99%, although the vast majority are a straight 50:50 cross.

Obviously those National Show Horses that have a lot of Arabian blood will resemble Arabians and those with a lot of Saddlebred blood will resemble Saddlebreds there is no right or wrong to this. Your National Show Horse will resemble the breed that appeals to you the most. The two separate breeds are shown in a similar fashion in America and so is this exciting new crossbreed, the National Show Horse. Exhibited with a full mane and tail, the National Show Horse is trotted into the ring, stood up for inspection and then trotted again. Often the breed has a trimmed bridle path and braids in his forelock and mane, reflecting his Saddlebred heritage.

In the UK a registry for National Show Horses was set up in 1986 by Mrs A Hawke and handed over to the United Saddlebred Association in 1997, who still run it today. The United Saddlebred Association recognizes the National Show Horse as a breed within its own right and all horses are dual registered and entered on both the partbred Saddlebred and the National Show Horse registries. A National Show Horse registered with both breeds (the Saddlebred and the Arabian) is eligible to compete in classes for either breed. The Arab Horse Society has its own Championship Show, as does the United Saddlebred Association.

National Show Horse English Class Western Pleasure Young National Show Horse

Article © HorseShowCentral.com Submitted by Lynn Jarvis - United Saddlebred Association UK, courtesy of Lynn Jarvis; Photo © and courtesy ofHorsePowerPhotography. Reproduction of any portion of this copyrighted website without written permission of the publisher is prohibited and subject to legal action.

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