The Morgan Horse!
It begins with the foaling in 1789 of a bay colt called Figure, who was obtained by a New England school teacher named Justin Morgan in payment of a debt. "Figure" became locally famous for his feats against all others in pulling, trotting, short racing, and "doing everything everyday" for his Vermont school teacher owner, and being a beautiful horse while doing it all. His fame and reputation spread throughout the country at that time. Upon the death of his owner, the horse Figure became known as "The Justin Morgan Horse", and eventually Justin Morgan. He is the only stallion known to beget an entire breed. The old Vermonters and New England farmers who cherished this horse's qualities and bred his stock, linebred for years to maintain and solidify the "Morgan Type" and breed identity.
The New Englanders who owned and bred this pure stock didn't agree with a Morgan registry being started that leaned towards "trotting blood" and Messinger blood, and the fee was too high for most of them to afford to be able to register their horses, even if they chose to do so. Much of this cherised and pure Morgan horse blood was hidden away in local hillside farms and difficult to find in the mid to late 1800's. A man named A.Fullerton Phillips who located in Windsor, Vermont, much of his life, spent his life tracking down and purchasing these fine examples of pure old Morgan blood. If he couldn't buy a certain horse of the quality he demanded, he would arrange the owner to breed a mare to a stallion of Phillips's choosing and buy the resulting foal. Phillips's horses were the epitomy of true Morgan type, personality, beauty, soundness, and way of going. In 1927, however, the events in Phillips's life and the life of the true Morgan horse, turned tragically. A severe lightning storm hit, killing all but 6 mares and 2 stallions left in Phillips' s breeding program. Devastated, Phillips also soon died.