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CHRA Stallion owned by Wicked Pony Ranch
The Rangerbred horse

The Rangerbred horse is registered with the COLORADO RANGER HORSE ASSOCIATION, INC. —the oldest of the western horse breed registries still in existence in the United States. To meet the requirements for registration with the CRHA, a horse MUST SHOW A DIRECT DESCENT from one of the two foundation stallions 'MAX #2' and/or 'PATCHES #1'.

The CRHA is NOT A COLOR REGISTRY. The founder wisely decided that a horse's ability has nothing to do with his hide. Because of this, Rangerbreds come in a wide variety of color patterns: from solid bays, classic blacks, grays and roans all the way to colorful blankets and vivid tri-colored leopards. The Rangerbred may be outcrossed on horses of other recognized breed registries including, Jockey Club, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa (USA, Canadian & Foreign), The Arab Horse Club, ARA-APP and the ICAA (with certain reservations). The outcrossed mare must be registered with one of the above registries or show positive proof of parentage tracing to one of the registries accepted or a combination of the above registries (with approval). There is a hardship clause for geldings and spayed mares only.

In 1878, during a World Tour, General Ulysses S. Grant developed a friendship with the Sultan Hamid of Turkey. Before leaving Turkey, the  Sultan presented Grant with two horses whose descendants continue to make an impact on the horses of the World today. One was a desert Arabian named LEOPARD and the other a Barb named LINDEN TREE. Both of these stallions are listed in studbooks of two American breed registries, The Arabian Horse Club and the Jockey Club. Their impact on the horse world touches almost every breed in the United States today.

These stallions arrived in 1879 in Virginia, where they spent several years with Rudolf Huntington perfecting what Mr. Huntington hoped would become a new breed of light harness horse. The introduction of the "horseless carriage" contributed to the demise of that project. Near the turn of the century, LEOPARD and LINDEN TREE moved west to the ranch holdings of General George Colby in Beatrice, Nebraska. Here the two desert stallions left an indelible impression on the foals of the native mares on the Colby holdings. A new type of versatile horse resulted whose reputation as GOOD USING HORSES "WITH A LOT OF COW" soon spread.


Linden Tree
The Ira J. Whipple family introduced these horses to Colorado through a group of mares and stallions purchased from General Colby. The stallion was a double-bred grandson of LEOPARD, and the mares all sired by either LEOPARD or LINDEN TREE.
Early in the 1900's, Mike Ruby, one of the greatest horsemen the plains ever knew, developed an interest in these lines for their reputation of working ability, good disposition, and stamina.

He acquired PATCHES, a son of the stallion from the Colby Ranch, and MAX, a halo-spotted son of the Waldron Leopard out of an Arabian mare, as his herd sires.  Mr. Ruby was different in many ways than many of the ranchers of his day.. Well before most of the prominent registries were founded, he maintained accurate written records of his mares, stallions and their offspring. At this time these records including foaling dates, colors and their complete pedigrees was indeed an 'unusual' practice. These handwritten records have been preserved as a part of CRHA Corporate records. 

Mike Ruby

(1965) From Lorne & Vera Knisley's Ranch - Southwest of Fort Collins, Colorado near Horseshoe Mountain.

In 1934, Mr. Ruby was invited to display two of his stallions at the DENVER STOCK SHOW. The two leopard patterned stallions (LEOPARD #3 AND FOX #10) were seen by thousands of visitors. Encouraged by the faculty members of what is now COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY, the new breed of horse was officially named COLORADO RANGERS, horses originating in Colorado bred and raised under range conditions. Verbal references to those "range bred" horses eventually led to their being more commonly known as Rangerbreds, although the official name remains.

With the naming of the breed came a breed registry. Mike Ruby founded the Colorado Ranger Horse Association in 1935. Two years later he applied to the State of Colorado for corporate charter which was granted on January 4th, 1938. Due to registration only being available to CRHA members and a fifty member limit imposed, many horses with Rangerbred heritage were not able to be registered with the CRHA at that time. Those horses with color patterns, however, were gladly accepted by another breed registry that came into being several months later, The Appaloosa Horse Club. 

Dun Roven Chelsea
CHRA Stallion owned by Tanglewood Farm
The drought years in the mid-30's drove the aging horseman from the Plains. Grass and water were gone. Refusing to see a lifetime's endeavor destroyed, Mike made a trail herd and drove the J Bar Horses from the eastern Colorado the new leases on the Western slopes of the Rockies, a distance of over three hundred miles. He made horse history on that drive. This man who could face adversity without flinching, but who also had tears in his eyes as he told of a drought mare who had been on the drive and whose newborn foal had died due to lack of mother's milk. Four months later, in the lush mountain meadows, the mare began giving milk for her colt that lay dead three hundred miles back on the prairies. Two years later, the rains began, he made another long drive back to home range.

In 1964, The Colorado Ranger Horse Association lifted the fifty member limit and registration was opened up to all horses meeting pedigree requirements, regardless of owner membership status. Since then, the CRHA has registered many of the Appaloosas with Rangerbred heritage that were "lost" to the organization for so many years. Additional Appaloosa bloodlines with Rangerbred connections are still being recognized through continued pedigree research.

Most recent research indicates that one out of every eight Appaloosas is eligible for CRHA registry. Appaloosa pedigrees are checked for Rangerbred heritage by the organization at no charge to the horse owner.

Myth & Fact

A special Thanks to Paula Mayes, Zone D Director, for this little bit of factual information.

MYTH:   Rangerbred horses are a cross between Appaloosas and Paints or Pintos
FACT:   The CRHA (Registry for Rangerbred Horses) is a bloodline registry. As with the ApHC there are some approved outcrosses. PAINTS & PINTOS ARE NOT AMONG THESE APPROVED OUTCROSSES.
MYTH:   Rangerbreds are always small in stature
FACT:   Like most popular breeds, Rangerbred sizes range from 14.2 to 16+ hands
MYTH:   Rangerbreds must have Appaloosa Color and Characteristics
FACT:   Although many Rangerbreds do exhibit the color patterns associated with Appaloosas, again, the CRHA is a Bloodline Registry. COLOR AND MARKINGS ARE NOT CONSIDERED FOR REGISTRATION ELIGIBILITY, ONLY ANCESTRY. All Registered Rangerbreds carry equal registration status regardless of color.
MYTH:   The COLORADO RANGER HORSE ASSOCIATION was formed to compete with the Appaloosa Horse Club, Inc.
FACT:   The CRHA is an older registry than the ApHC. About 90% of all registered Rangerbreds are also registered with the ApHC.
MYTH:   The Colorado Ranger Horse Association promotes only "foundation" Appaloosa Breeding
FACT:   The CRHA recognizes the same outcrosses as the ApHC and offers its members the same choices as to preferred horse type.
MYTH:   There are no benefits to CRHA Registry and Membership
FACT:   The CRHA tries to offer something for everyone, no matter what your interest in horses. There is an ANNUAL NATIONAL SHOW, FUTURITIES, DISTANCE & ENDURANCE PROGRAM, LOGGING PROGRAM, OPEN SHOW PROGRAM AND YOUTH PROGRAM and LIFETIME RECOGNITION AWARDS. There are REGIONAL CLUBS that offer their own activities of interest to their members such as trail riding, driving clinics, picnics, sponsoring of local shows & events, etc.
MYTH:   Very few Appaloosas are Rangerbred


This article was kindly provided by the Colorado Ranger Horse Association, Inc
All Contents Copyright © 2000-2001 by Colorado Ranger Horse Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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