Maggies Irish Rebel, Crowndale Farm, Sealy, TX
Long before the cowboy rode the wild west, horses were used all over Europe for transportation, working the land and in warfare.
In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, donkeys, and mules. She was particularly a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, cornucopia, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures suggested that the goddess and her horses were leaders of the soul in the after-life ride.
Étaín is a figure of Irish mythology, best known as the herine of Tochmarc Étaíne, one of the oldest and richest stories of the Mythological Cycle. She is sometimes known by the epithet Echraide, ("horse rider"), suggesting links with horse deities and figures such as Rhiannon the horse goddess of Welsh mythology.
White horses (which are rarer than other colours of horse) have a special significance in the mythologies of cultures around the world. They are often associated with the sun chariot, with warrior-heroes, with fertility, or with an end-of-time saviour, but other interpretations exist as well. Both truly white horses and the more common grey horses, with completely white hair coats, were identified as "white" by various religious and cultural traditions. White horses are the most common type of hill figure in England. Though many are modern, the Uffington White Horse at least dates back to the Bronze Age.
The White Horse is the sign of the House of Hanover, adopted by many Eighteenth-Century inns to demonstrate loyalty to the new Royal dynasty. A white horse is also the emblem of the County of Kent. The name can also refer to the chalk horses carved into hillsides.
In Scottish folklore, the Kelpie or Each Uisge, a deadly supernatural water demon in the shape of a horse, is sometimes described as white, though other stories say it is black.
The Irish Sport Horse, also known as the Irish Hunter, is mainly the result of a cross between the Irish Draught and the Thoroughbred and has been given recognition as a separate breed. It is commonly bred from parents who are also Irish Sport Horses, in addition to being bred from the definitive parent breeds. It is traditionally used for all purposes, from transportation, to riding, and working the land. However, it is becoming increasingly popular as a competition riding horse. Its natural athletic ability and fantastic jumping talents means that it excels in the show jumping arena, as well as competing at the highest levels of eventing.
Draft Horses may have originated with primitive ancestors such as the Forest Horse or wild subspecies that may have descendants as diverse as the large Shire horse and the small but sturdy Shetland pony. These wild prototypes were adapted by natural selection to the cold, damp climates of northern Europe. Humans domesticated these horses and needed them to perform a variety of duties. One type of horse-powered work was the hauling of heavy loads, plowing fields, and other tasks that required pulling ability. A heavy, calm, patient, well-muscled animal was desired for this work.
The Clydesdale is a breed of draft horse derived from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland, and named after that region. Thought to be over 300 years old, the breed was extensively used for pulling heavy loads in rural, industrial and urban settings, their common use extending into the 1960s when they were still a familiar sight pulling the carts of milk and vegetable vendors. The Budweiser Clydesdales are a famous example of this breed of horse.
The Irish Cob is one of the oldest recognized breeds in Ireland, along with the Connemara Pony and Irish Draught horse. It was established over many generations in Ireland by the Travellers (gypsies), and world wide has been called by many names like the Gypsy Cob, or Gypsy Vanner, although this is not what the Gypsies called their horses. Travellers in Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland, who bred their horses very selectively for a hundred years or more, did not keep written records, but have passed lineages on to proceeding generations verbally.
Horse performances will be announced in 2014.