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Colorado Ranger

Colorado Ranger Horse
Distinguishing features: Endurance, 'cow sense' and athletic ability, some horses have spotted coats
Alternative names: Colorado Rangerbred
Country of origin: United States
Breed standards
Colorado Ranger Horse Association: Breed standards
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Colorado Ranger is a horse breed named for its Colorado High Plains origins in the United States of America.



The Colorado Ranger Horse Association (CRHA) registers horses that can be traced back to one of the two stallions and which also meet additional registration requirements. The breed traces back to one of the two foundation stallions: Patches #1Z and/or Max #2Z. Patches (a direct descendant of Leopard and Linden Tree - horses given to Ulysses S. Grant by the Sultan Abdul Hamid of the Ottoman Empire) was purchased from the Whipple Ranch. Max (a son of the renowned Waldron Leopard) came from the Governor Oliver Shoup ranch at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

They may only contain the bloodlines of Appaloosa, Arabian Horse, Thoroughbred or American Quarter Horse breeds. There are no color requirements, except that a horse cannot contain paint or pinto bloodlines or markings. A Colorado Ranger horse also cannot be of pony or draft horse breeding.[1]

Appaloosas are the largest source for Colorado Ranger horse bloodlines. Approximately one in every eight Appaloosas can trace their bloodlines back to one of the founding two Colorado Ranger stallions. Despite appearances, the Rangerbred is not a type of Appaloosa. It has its own unique heritage. However, many Rangerbreds are double-registered with the Appaloosa Horse Clubs of both the United States and Canada. There is a one in ten chance that an Appaloosa is a "lost" Rangerbred.

The Colorado Ranger Horse Association has no color preference. Some CRHA-registered horses display Appaloosa characteristics and coloration and some do not.[2]

Breed history

The Colorado Ranger Horse Association is one of the oldest horse registries in the United States, having been founded in 1938.[3]

This breed was developed by Mike Ruby, who kept meticulous records on every offspring he bred. These records include foaling dates, coat patterns and complete pedigrees. The handwritten ledgers that Ruby made are still in existence today and all CRHA horses are still recorded by hand in these ledgers. Modern files are also kept.

One of the great triumphs that came to Mike Ruby during his colorful lifetime was the personal invitation that was extended to him in 1934 by the National Western Stock Show Commission in Denver to bring a pair of his Colorado Ranger stallions to the National Western for exhibition in the Coliseum. The horses chosen (Leopard and Fox) created a distinct sensation and caught the approving eye of the Colorado State University faculty members who urged the adoption of the name, Colorado Rangers - Colorado horses bred under range conditions. Thus the breed was officially named.

Ruby founded the CRHA in 1935 with charter in 1938[3] and was its first president until his death. The Association is still registering horses with the blood of Patches and Max in their lineage. The Home office has moved many times over the past 50 plus years. The CRHA is now officed in Pennsylvania. The CRHA holds an annual National Show and moves its location for the convenience of its members. During the weekend event the members not only enjoy a two day show with almost 70 classes, but they can attend the National membership meeting, the Banquet and the CRHA auction. Besides these activities, the members enjoy just plain good camaraderie. The CRHA is a family of members who enjoy their horses and the company of other Rangerbred people. This week-end event is not only a Show but a family reunion of sorts.


The Ranger horse was bred for cow savvy and performance capabilities.


  1. "Registration", Colorado Ranger Horse Association, Referenced August 12, 2008.
  2. "Myth & Fact", Colorado Ranger Horse Association, Referenced August 12, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dutson, 96 Horse Breeds of North America p. 102

  • Dutson, Judith Storey's Illustrated Guide to 96 Horse Breeds of North America North Adams, Mass.: Storey Pub 2005 ISBN 1-58017-612-7

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