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Horse Breeds
First Posted: July 8, 2009
Sep 25, 2010

National Show Horse - A Gaited Horse



A very recent breed, the National Show Horse is the result of Gene LaCroix's passion for both the Arabian and the American Saddlebred. The National Show Horse Registry was opened in 1981, and the breed has since become popular in show rings.

Physical Description

The idea behind the National Show Horse is to combine the best features of both the Arabian and the American Saddlebred. The best horses stand between 15 and 16 hands high, having the Saddlebred's long neck and high-stepping action. The Arabian passes on its refinement, fine head, strength and stamina.


The first National Show Horses were produced by Gene LaCroix with the registry opening in 1981. By 1982, the NSHR had already begun to create specific competitions that would highlight the National's conformation. For a short time the registry opened to a wide pool of horses in an effort to secure the foundations of this new breed. Today the rules have changed and only nominated sires can be entered. These may include a purebred Arabian, Saddlebred, or National Show Horse.

Interesting Facts

For the show ring the National was bred and there it excels. It competes in pleasure driving and fine harness, but it is in the rack that the horse really proves itself. The rack is a gait in which the horse moves at a constant speed while maintaining a four-beat step. They are horses with high-stepping action and can be trained to move with a very elevated front end. Some can be trained to be five-gaited, adding the slow gait and rack to the traditional gaits of the walk, trot and canter. A versatile breed, they can also be used for show jumping, endurance, dressage, or western riding.


  1. Arabian
  2. Saddlebred

For More Information:

National Show Horse Registry


Permission given by my dear friend, Cowboy Frank, to use his breeds section.
Oklahoma State University list of livestock breeds
The National Show Horse
The National Show Horse Registry

Horse Breeds