Choosing a National Show Horse

The Arabian and the American saddlebred are beautiful and strong horses. Wouldn't it be great if you could combine the best of both? Actually, in 1981, Gene LaCroix decided to do just that.


In 1981, Gene LaCroix decided that breeding Arabians and American saddlebreds would result in a marvelous new breed. The purpose was to produce a horse that had the beauty, refinement, stamina and strength of the Arabian and the long neck and fascinating show attitude of the saddlebred. The end product is a new breed of horse known as the National Show Horse.

The founders of the breed did not want to create just a registry for the new breed. They also wanted to create a way for horse breeders to continue to improve the breed and develop a new show ring atmosphere. Since its inception, the popularity of the breed has rapidly increased and the National Show Horse is now a favorite in the show ring.

The registry for the National Show Horse began in 1982. This registry initially permitted open registration to increase the pool of horses that would be considered foundation stock for this new exciting breed. Today, the rules for registry are more specific. The foals must be sired by a National Show Horse nominated sire. A nominated sire may be a purebred Arabian, saddlebred or National Show Horse. The mare can be Arabian, saddlebred or National Show Horse but she must be bred with the appropriate stallion.

Currently, there are a couple of prominent bloodlines used consistently. As more stallions are nominated and mares introduced, the gene pool will continue to be diversified.


The National Show Horse's slow gait and rack are four beat gaits with lots of style. The gaits are smooth and at the trot, the rider can easily ride in the saddle instead of posting. The rack is a gait in which the horse moves at top speed while maintaining the four beat gait. The National Show Horse is primarily a show horse but is also an excellent pleasure riding horse.