July 11, 2007

Brocade, a morocco spotted horse mare, at time of rescue (top), and below, a few months later.

Members of a rare American breed of horse known as the Morocco Spotted Horse have been saved from neglect by Frontier Ranch, a Nevada-based equine rescue facility that also helps disabled and troubled children.

Among the horses rescued from a Missouri boarding facility were several members of the also-rare "War Paint" strain of Morgan horses.

About 30 horses had been boarded in Missouri but were the subject of a court case over about two years of unpaid board. In the event of winning the case, the facility owner would not have been able to keep all the horses, and was reluctant to send them for slaughter.

Frontier Ranch agreed to help and a trailer-load of horses needing immediate medical care were sent. A Frontier Ranch spokesman said "they wouldn't have lived long due to the extreme neglect by their then owner."

Crown Jewel, a "War Paint" Morgan, and nine of her siblings came to Frontier Ranch at the same time as the Morocco spotted horses.

Crown Jewel is by War Paint, the first purebred Morgan with the overo gene registered with AMHA, says Frontier Ranch.
While they had been warned of the situation, Frontier Farm president Thomas Smith said "what was unloaded was beyond belief. The mares where on twenty-four hour watch until the vet was able to arrive. Their health issues may have lasting effects on them but most have recovered fully, a couple will always look thin due to damage to liver and other internal organs.

The Morocco Spotted horse originated in the cross breeding of the Morocco Barb with two imported horses, an English hackney and a French Couch Horse. The Morocco Barb brought the spotted colouring that now distinguishes the breed.

The colors recognized by the Morocco Association are black and white, bay and white, chestnut and white, sorrel and white, blue and white, and palomino and white. The majority of registered Morocco Horses being either black and white or bay and white. Originating with overo pattern foundation horses, today the tobiano pattern is dominant.

The breed's registry has been resurrected after being disbanded several years ago.