Robert (Bob) Peckinpah was a nine term ApHC (Appaloosa Horse Club) president. His central accomplishment of his first term revolved around needing to more clearly define the Appaloosa breed standard, for both judging purposes and the ensuing result of maintaining the action and versatility of the breed. A man named George Phippen was carefully selected for his true artist's knowledge of anatomy, and was commissioned to paint a horse exhibiting the Appaloosa breed standard in every line. The final painting, known as "the Phippen horse,” became the official breed standard. When a Dr. William Linfoot first saw it, he said "This is a horse that can do anything. He has withers, a good shoulder, long muscle and shows good balance." Dr. Linfoot was considered to be an exceptional horseman who knew what he saw from first hand, hands-on experience.
Many generations of registered Appaloosas bred to registered Appaloosas does not at all make an Appaloosa Foundation bred. Many think this, but as I will explain, that is not the case at all! As I have said, Foundation Appaloosas are the very first ApHC registered Appaloosas, most having F (for Foundation) before their registration number. Unless an Appaloosa today has a HIGH percentage of F numbered Appaloosa blood, it is not Foundation Bred, and most likely will not fit the Phippen horse description which is what this Appaloosa "breed" was meant to be! Here is why: A registered Appaloosa can be bred to a registered Thoroughbred Arabian or Quarter horse, and the resulting foal will be a registered Appaloosa. So, say a person breeds a registered Appaloosa to a registered Quarter horse. Its foal will be a registered Appaloosa, but by blood that foal is at LEAST half Quarter horse since one of its parents was a Quarter horse (if that registered Appaloosa parent already had Quarter horse in it, then this foal is MORE Quarter horse by blood than it is Appaloosa). This is just ONE Appaloosa in that generation.
As Robert Peckinpah, the nine term ApHC president stated: "What we must vigilantly guard against are those that refuse to except the Appaloosa as a breed and what he stands for,and who continually exert pressure in the attempt to convert him into a Quarter horse, an Arab, or a Morgan, etc., with spots."
You have to start somewhere with a breed, and the F numbered horses are it, no matter what. Some F numbered Horses were half thoroughbred or half Arab, but were given tentative registration papers (they had a T prefix verses the F) until they had enough prodigy on the ground to prove themselves as Appaloosa producers (including having a certain number with color). If these tentative papered early Appaloosas proved themselves worthy as Appaloosa producers, THEN they received F numbers.
However, once that F numbered pool was big enough (when the F numbers were no longer given out), that is what people should be breeding from- the F numbered decedents. We no longer need to add other blood (Thoroughbred, Quarter horse, Arabian). All breeds started this way!! Adding any more blood from other breeds after the F numbered Appaloosas, is just changing the Appaloosa from what they first were, and what they were meant to be (which was the Phippen horse--he was declared the Appaloosa breed standard!!).
The Nez Perce People were noted as one of the first breeders of the Appaloosa horses. They used the practice of gelding inferior males and trading away poorer stock to remove unsuitable horses from the gene pool. The early Nez Perce horses were considered to be of high quality by the late 1800s.
Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition wrote in his February 15, 1806 journal entry about the Nez perce horses: "Their horses appear to be of an excellent race: they are lofty, elegantly [sic] formal, active and durable: in short many of them look like fine English horses and would make a figure in any country”.
Do not just own a registered Appaloosa, instead own a registered Foundation bred Appaloosa with a high F numbered blood percentage. There is a BIG difference.
Go to our Purebred Appaloosa page to see how the high percentage (75% or more) of F numbered Appaloosa blood is the only way to get a purebred Appaloosa.