Whether on the movie screens or cantering into a western sunset, or even experiencing the majestic qualities of these beautiful horses in person, you’ll never forget the personality and powerful presence of the Palomino. The Palomino is not strictly a breed but a colour although it is recognised as a breed in the US. The typical colouring of a Palomino is a golden or yellow colour with a cream or white mane and tail. They receive their colour from a chestnut gene and a cream coloured gene. For that reason there is only a 50% chance of a foal being a palomino even though both of its parents are palominos.
The actual origin of the Palomino is unknown; however, tapestries and paintings have been discovered with pictures of the Palomino dating back to ancient Europe and Asia. Queen Isabella of Spain kept over 100 Palomino’s as her chosen favourites. The word Palomino originates from a Spanish surname which comes from the Latin word for pale dove. There is evidence of the Queen sending the horses into Mexico to introduce the breed to the New World. Palominos were tamed by Native Americans of the Southwest in order to settle the nation’s frontier.
The largest event for Palomino horses is held every year during July in Oklahoma. It is the PHBA Wold Championship Horse Show. Each year some 850 horses and their riders from the United States, Canada and Mexico, compete for prizes totalling $500,000. They were particularly popular in movies and television during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The most famous palomino horse was Trigger, known as ‘the smartest horse in movies’ the faithful mount of Hollywood cowboy star Roy Rogers. Another famous palomino was Mr Ed who starred in his own TV show, and Argo, Xena’s horse in the Xena Warrior Princess series.
The Palomino is a horse of many talents. They are found in ranching, racing, rodeos, pleasure riding, parades, shows, fiestas, jumping, trail rides and all other equine activities. Because of their great versatility, Palomino’s are favourites among horsemen. Their beauty causes them to stand out among the different horse breeds and they easily become their owner’s best friend.