Home / USA Horses / Spotted Draft Horse

By Smith Northam

Last updated: 3rd June 2021

Spotted Draft Horse


Smith Northam
Last updated: 3rd June 2021

The Spotted Draft Horse is a breed of American horses that developed in the second quarter of the 20th century. The primary aim of developing this breed was to create an equine that would be suited more for power than just action. These are versatile horses that have excelled in many fields and have been famous as a utility horse in a very short period.

Spotted Draft Horse Pictures

Quick Information

Behavioral Characteristics Intelligent, sensible, willing, hardy
Physical Traits The head is large with an intelligent expression, alert ears, and a powerful stature; the neck is well-arched ending in a cleanly-cut throat, upright shoulders, a short but solid back, and defined backbones; the long hindquarters are smooth, while the hip bones are wide apart; the tail is set higher up than most other breeds
Coat Colors Pinto coloration in tobiano, overo, or tovero patterns having a spots and coat color ratio of 2:3 respectively
Height/Size 16-17+ hands (adult)
Weight Heavy
Common Uses Commercial carriages, agricultural work, pleasure rides, logging, parades, and showing
Health Problems Healthy in general
Type Sports horse, Show horse, Work horse
Blood Type Warm
Ancestors (Bloodlines) Spotted Moroccan, Percheron
Popular Traits Good disposition, love for work, willingness to pull heavy loads
Feeding/Diet Normal horse diet including hay, grass, grains, etc.
Country of Origin USA
Associations and Registries Spotted Drafts Farm

Video: Spotted Draft Horse Racing Show

History & Development

The Spotted Draft Horses developed in the 1990s by breeders from Minnesota and New Mexico. One of such breeders named Leonard Tostenson once met the owner of a Spotted Moroccan, a saddlebred type that gained high popularity as a parade horse during the 1940s.

It was this stallion that Tostensen used to create the first Spotted Draft named Charlie, by crossing with a Percheron mare. Charlie proved to be a big success for its creator by competing in different pulling contests for two decades, creating a world record in Wisconsin, which remained unbeatable to date.

In 1976, Charlie, along with a younger spotted horse named Prince, broke an old Wisconsin state record by 25 pounds, pulling 3100 pounds on the dynamometer. Tostensen was so impressed with the dedication, willingness, and disposition of his creation that he went on with his initiatives and joined hands with another enthusiast from New Mexico named Gail Clark.

In 1995, Tostensen and Clark founded the registry for the breed – the North American Spotted Draft Horse Association (NASDHA). By this time, the new breed began to spread rapidly, and a Spotted Draft named Pecos Chief was the first to get registered with the association.

Later again, in 2013, The Spotted Draft Horse Society (SDHS) was also founded with an aim to maintain and promote the studbook for the Spotted Draft breed, and to popularize the breed among the horse lovers. Since then, the organization has taken vigorous initiatives along with its members by conducting new breeding programs, as well as preserving those that are already scheduled.

Interesting Facts

  • A few rare SDH specimens can exhibit blue eye coloration, though that is acceptable to the specified breed standards.


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