So having focused on the Galloway in Part 1, we turn to the Narragansett Pacer.
The Narragansett Pacer was an important breed in the United States, and influential in the development of many modern breeds, including many of the Eastern gaited breeds, such as the Rocky Mountain Horse. This excerpt from 1847, clearly shows the significance of this now-extinct breed:
My grandfather, Gov. Robinson, introduced the famous saddle horse the 'Narragansett Pacer,' known in the last century over all the civilized part of North America and the West Indies, from when they have lately been introduced into England as a ladies saddle horse, under the name of Spanish Jannette. Governor Robinson imported the original from Andalusia, in Spain, and the raising of them for the West India market, was one of the objects of the early planters of this country. My grandfather, Robert Hazard, raised about one hundred annually, and often loaded two vessels a year with them...which sailed direct from the South Ferry to the West Indies, where they were in great demand. One of the causes of the loss of that famous breed here, was the great demand for them in Cuba.... This, and the fact that they were not so well adapted to draft as other horses, was the cause of their being neglected, and I believe the breed is now extinct in this section.
My father described the motion of this horse as differing from others, in that its back bone moved through the air in a straight line, without inclining the rider from side to side, as the common racker or pacer of the present day. Hence it was very easy, and being of great power and endurance, they would perform a journey of one hundred miles a day, without injury to themselves or rider. (from "History of the Episcopal Church, in Narrangansett, Rhode Island," by Wilkins Updike, pp 515-516.)
However, Mr. Herbert, cited previously, argues against this account, saying:
In England, notwithstanding what Mr. Hazard states...concerning the importance of these pacers, under the name of Spanish jennets, I never saw or heard tell, having been among horses and horsemen since my earliest childhood, of any such race of ladies' riding horses; nor have I ever read, to the best of my memory, of pacers, in sature, poem, or romance, as a feature of feminine luxury.
In Andalusia and Spain generally, I have no knowledge of a breed of horses to which that gait is native and characteristic; and if it were so, all the English military and many of my own friends and relations, in my youngers days, being thoroughly familiarized to all the Spanish provinces during the course of the Penisular campaigns, I could hardly have been ignorant of the fact. (Herbert, pp 72-73)
Another writer also disputes the Spanish links to the Narragansett Pacer, saying in there is no record of horses imported to Rhode Island from Spain, and that:
Her people were largely made up of refugees from the religious intolerance of the other New England colonies, and they brought their families and effects, including their horses, with them. The blood of the Narragansett pacer, therefore, was not different from the blood of the pacers of the other colonies, but the development of his speed by the establishment of a pacing course and the offering of valuable prizes, naturally brought the best and the fastest horses to this colony... ("The Horse of America in His Derivation, History and Development" by John Hankins Wallace, p 175)
All of this makes me wonder whether "Spanish" was used in the past as a way to indicate that something was glamorous or trendy, in the same way that fine goods now are sometimes branded as if they are French, to convey a sense of luxury. Barring further research, I cannot conclude that the Narragansett Pacer was or was not related to the Spanish horses or to the Galloway, nor can I be sure that the Galloway was or was not imported to the United States, nor whether the Galloway had Spanish ancestry.
to be continued...