The Nez Perce of the Northwest
bred spotted horses, and these animals became
an integral part of their lives. The Appaloosa
was well known for its intelligence, stamina
and unique color patterns.
Racing was as much a sport to
the Nez Perce as it is to us today. It also
gave the American Indian tribe a measuring stick
by which to select the best horses for the hunt.
Race distances were set from a few hundred yards
to 12 miles.
As the number of races increased,
so did the colorful breed's popularity. Appaloosa
racing is now conducted at more than 40 tracks
throughout the United States and Canada, year-round.
Appaloosas have earned their place in the racing
industry with style, grace and most importantly,
have attained the status of the middle-distance
runner, racing at distances from 220 yards to
Racing with the Appaloosa
The ApHC Racing Department oversees
Appaloosa racing activities, collecting results
and maintaining permanent records of all recognized
The ApHC recognizes horses that
have proven their superiority in racing by awarding
medallions, registers of merit, year-end champion
and regional high-point champion awards.
The ApHC also offers $1,000
to the breeder of the Strike It Rich Futurity
winner, promoting the breeding of Appaloosas
and rewarding those who have bred exceptional
horses from Appaloosa stallions.