Monday, March 11, 2013

Cracker horse breed has rich state history - Full Article

Breed was a part of Ponce de Leon's initial visit to New World

March 10, 2013
Written by Karl Etters
Democrat staff writer

Will Moncrief trotted into the jumping arena Sunday, flashing a smile as he waved the American flag while riding atop Pretty Boy — his grandfather’s cracker horse.

His presence was a part of the Red Hills Horse Trials parade of breeds. Moncrief and his family stem from a long history of celebrating the state’s official horse, which was a part of Ponce de Leon’s initial visit to the New World in the 1500s. Moncrief was thrilled to showcase a breed that has a special place in his family, not to mention a sweeping hand in the driving cattle industry and the settlement of Florida.

“It’s good to let other people get exposure to the cracker horse,” the 23-year-old Tallahassee resident added as he saddled his horse. “We’re excited to be here.”

The parade featured nine other horse breeds, but Moncrief was flanked by two other cracker horses: Sweet Bill and Sally Too ridden by Amanda Carpenter and Celina Murray, respectively.

The three horses represent the three major groups of cracker horses in the state — Harvey, Bronson and Ayers — all receiving their names from family lineages that helped steward the breed through its time into the modern era...

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