Sunday, 25 March 2012

Linus the Long-Haired Wonder Horse

If you've ever seen the old 1960s TV show Mr. Ed, you definitely know that a "horse is a horse, of course, of course." But you've never, ever seen a horse like Linus the long-maned horse. Born in 1884, Linus was a descendant of the breed known as the Oregon Long-Haired Wild Wonder horses, a herd that roamed freely throughout the mountains of Oregon. The wonder horses were known for their rich chestnut color and, more importantly, the amazing length of their manes and tails. And, after they were bred primarily in captivity, the growth of their hair increased with each generation. But no one was more renowned for their glorious mane than Linus, who was dubbed the Samson among equines. 

And for a horse as majestic as Linus, his story reads like a chapter from National Velvet.
Owned by the Rutherford brothers of Marion, Oregon, Linus was the son of Oregon Beauty (the first stallion of this breed to be captured and rumored to be the leader of the herd) and a Clydesdale female named Oregon Queen. And as beautifully maned as mother and father were, Linus was deemed the best looking of all. Such was his astonishing beauty – and the length and breadth of his mane and tail – that the Rutherfords sold Linus to the Eaton brothers of Maine who made Linus the headliner of their traveling circus show. And thanks to the Eatons' successful promotion of the horse, Linus was even featured in the magazine Scientific American.

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