LeaderTelegram.com - Full Article
May 6 2019
By Carol Watson Correspondent
The Morgan horse has proven its worth in a variety of equine disciplines, including dressage, show jumping and driving. Known for its speed, courage and gentle nature, the Morgan also is America’s first native breed.
An unusual beginning
In 1789, a Middleton, Vt., schoolteacher named Justin Morgan acquired a small colt in payment for a debt. Giving him the name of Figure, the colt’s pedigree was uncertain, although there was some evidence to suggest that he was sired by English Thoroughbred True Briton. (a.k.a. Beautiful Bay).
Standing just 14 hands high, Figure was fast and smart with so much speed and stamina that he could out-pull a draft horse and outrun the speediest racer. Stories of his exploits spread throughout New England, and Figure was soon in demand for his stud services.
Known for his prepotency, Figure passed on his good looks and abilities to his progeny, including three of his sons — Bulrush, Sherman and Woodbury. They would become the foundation bloodstock of the Morgan breed.
In his later years, Figure was put out to pasture, although he did have one final moment of glory when he was chosen to carry then-President James Monroe on a July 1817 muster-day parade in Montpelier, Vt.
Four years later, Figure died at the age of 32 from the kick of another horse on the Levi Bean Farm in Tunbridge, Vt. He is buried on that farm under a a large gray stone just 15 miles away from the grave of his namesake and first owner, Justin Morgan...
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