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They Raise American Cream Draft Horses
"They're the only breed of draft horses to originate in the U.S. and one of the rarest horse breeds in the country," say Frank and Penny Sperlak of Ellsworth, Wis., who are among only a handful of people in the U.S. still raising American Cream draft horses.
The cream colored draft horse has a white mane and tail, pink skin, and amber-colored eyes. "The white markings contrast beautifully with the rich cream color," note the Sperlaks.
Now near extinction, the little-known breed had the great misfortune of coming onto the scene during the 1930's when the emergence of tractors led to a decline in draft horse use. According to the American Minor Breeds Conservancy, based in Pittsboro, N.C., there have been only 250 registered American Creams since the founding of the breed in 1935.
The Sperlaks own two American Creams, a 9-year-old stallion called Champ and a yearling foal. "There are only 40 registered American Creams left in the U.S.," says Frank. "There are a few more that haven't been registered, but we still need a wider pool for breeding purposes. We recently used Champ to breed two mares from Iowa The owner said there were only two American Cream studs left in Iowa and they were so closely related to his mares that he couldn't use them. We're now breeding our two Belgian mares to Champ, hoping the result will be pink foals with white eyes that will later turn amber. Pink skin is the determining factor in securing the rich cream color. In fact, the pink-skin gene is so dominant that no matter what type of horse the American Cream is bred to, the colts usually turn out to be cream colored and pink-skinned."
The average weight of mares is 1,600 to 1,800 lbs. and stallions from 1,800 to 2,000 lbs. They have ample draft hindquarters, well-muscled chest, and short strong legs, and are well proportioned. The horses range in height from 15-2 in. hands to 16-2-in. hands. They have a good disposition and are uniform in color and type, making for an easily matched team.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Frank and Penny Sperlak, Rt. 3, Box 112, Ellsworth, Wis. 54011 (ph 715 273-3048).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1