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History of NASDHA

The spotted draft as a breed was solidified in the 1990s by breeders in New Mexico and Minnesota. According to an article from 2002 Argus News of Caledonia, Minnesota, Leonard Tostenson once met the owner of a stallion of a breed called the Spotted Moroccan. Mr. Tostenson said that this gentleman would travel from Iowa to southern Minnesota to breed mares.

The Spotted Moroccan was a sturdy horse of saddlebred type which was very popular in the 1940s as a parade horse. According to the article, Mr. Tostensen’s first Spotted Draft, Charlie, was bred by Mr. Tostenson from that Moroccan stallion and one of his Percheron mares. Charlie competed in pulling contests with Tostenson for 20 years, and set a state pulling record in Wisconsin that still stands today. Charlie and a another spotted horse named “Prince” pulled 3100 pounds on the dynamometer in 1976, beating the old state record by 25 pounds.
Mr. Tostenson used Spots, Belgians and Percherons to work on his farm and use in pulling competitions. His affection and respect for the spotted drafts, with their good disposition, love for work and willingness to pull, led him to found the North American Spotted Draft Horse. He and Gail Clark of New Mexico founded the North American Spotted Draft Horse Association (NASDHA) registry in 1995. Pecos Chief was the first registered NASDHA horse. Leonard Tostenson was the second founding member.

The North American Spotted Draft Horse Association registry installed a board of directors with staggered three-year terms, set up a registry bank account, the bylaws, rule and regulations, and started the Spotlight, to become effective Jan 1 of 2000. $2500 was put into a certificate of deposit for the group, and members put some of their own money into the registry to help it stay afloat until the new registrations and renewals came in the following seasonbr.

The current leadership of NASDHA is striving to provide more services for the membership. In the plans are production in the near future of a stud book designed to aid breeders or purchasers of spotted drafts in selection or breed improvement