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The American Cream Draft horse is born cream color, has pink skin that may later turn gray, and very light eyes that turn amber as a yearling.
The American Cream Draft Horse breed, basically traces to one mare named Granny ( appropriately as it turns out). And it was one of Granny’s sons who became a foundation sire of the breed. Old Granny was discovered in Iowa and there is where the breed was developed, with a breed association being formed in Iowa in 1944.
No one knows the bloodline history of Old Granny, but it is known that Percheron and Belgian crosses were made and one very important stallion in the formation of the breed was Silver Lace No.9 who was out of a Belgian mare.
At first, the unusual coat, eye and skin color were the main breeding goals, but draft horse qualities were also valued. In time it became clear to breeders that the truest results were achieved when cream was mated with cream. When American Cream Draft Horse stallions or mares were crossed with non-cream’s the result was nearly always a horse with dark skin, even if the coat was cream in color.
The American Cream Draft Horse is born cream colored. Their eyes are very light and only become amber colored in yearlings. As this horse ages, the coat can darken a little bit, but their color remains the same all year long instead of altering with the season as do many horses.
Most cream colored horses do not have the pink skin of this draft horse and this is a very distinctive breed characteristic. As they age, the pink skin of the nose and around the eyes can change to gray though. Such a cream coat, often with white mane and tail or other white marking, is what made the original breeders in the USA desire to create this type of draft horse to a standardized breed. yet of course a draft breed must meet other requirements too, such as be in possession typically of a certain docility of temperament along with a great willingness to perform needed work.
The American Cream Draft Horse ranges from 15.3 to 16.3 hands in height and weighs from 1500 to 1800 pounds, but some stallions go above a ton in weight. They have good draft conformation with muscular shoulders, are short coupled, with well rounded quarters and a very well rounded barrel. The head is flat or sometimes displays a bit of a dished profile, with wide set eyes and smaller ears. The Creams display a good gait and their willingness to work makes them easy to train for harness or hitching and many are ridden also.
While it might be assumed that the American Cream might be a color breed, genetic and DNA tests have proven that the American Cream Draft Horse forms a unique group within the draft horses.
With the establishment of a breed association, the standards are maintained with an eye to improving and perfecting the breed, using the time honored inbreeding and line breeding, with out-crosses as needed. Both conformation, size and quality have improved and the population of the American Cream Draft Horse is growing in number. The goal of course is for this American breed of draft horse to be ranked among the top draft breeds.