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Gaited Morgans —- Journey of Pride

We purchased our first Morgan in 1986 who had a perfect trot and smooth rack—Chandel Laurel. We searched for “Naturally Gaited Morgans”. A friend who owned Rockies identified Western breeders who bred only for Gaited Morgans. A trip was made to Wyoming in 2000 and our first Gaited Morgan stallion, Mary Mels Maestro, and mare were purchased. These Gaited Morgans did naturally what our mare did only under the perfect conditions. The following years meant more purchases and our first foals.

chestnut Morgan filly

Chandel Laurel Jellico Farms first Morgan

aka Buddy a Gaited Morgan Stallion

Mary Mels Maestro Jellico Farms first Gaited Morgan

Milestones in Gaited Morgans

filly wins first Gaited Morgan class

Jellico Bliss at the 2006 FOSH World Championship

Friends of Sound Horses, FOSH, President and Head of the Independent Judges Association, IJA, asked Gary to write the judging rules to be used for Gaited Morgan classes at FOSH Shows. This was finished in 2005 and Jellico Farms participated in the 2006 World Championships of FOSH in Lexington, VA.

In 2006, Jellico Farms was asked to demonstrate Gaited Morgans under saddle and in hand at the AMHA Convention and participated in KYOVA Morgan show included Gaited Morgan classes with five participants.

Silvershoe Sundance first show

Silvershoe Sundance at the 2008 Mountain Horse Show

Jellico Farms registered Gaited Morgans with three Mountain Associations and attended eight shows in 2008. The young stallion with only 45 days of training at the beginning of the 2008 season competed in five and over stallions and was always placed in the top five, and finished fifth at the World Championship against 18 other horses.

Jellico was asked to send DNA samples to participate in a study by Capilets from Sweden to develop a gene A test. This test became available to the public in 2014. In November 2014, Gary appeared before the Quarterly AMHA Board of Directors meeting and presented a request to include the SynchroGaited Gene A test and to register the results in the horse’s record. The AMHA Board then gave final approval in February 2015 at the AMHA Convention. Test requests are submitted to the AMHA Registrar for testing through UC Davis. The test would find one of three results:  AA – Homozygous for gait; CA – Heterzygous for gait; or CC – walk/trot/canter.

There were no USEF Gaited Morgan classes, so Gary submitted a proposal and class rules for inclusion of Gaited Morgans. The USEF Morgan Committee reviewed this at the 2017 AMHA Convention and agreed to have the proposal go through the various stages required by USEF with final decision in January 2018. The first classes were available in December 2018.

SynchroGait Gene A Development by Capilets

Current Gaited Morgan Horses and non gaited Morgans trace back to 19th Century as a mixture of Morgan, Saddlebred, Thoroughbred and Standardbred stock. These breed combinations produced today’s Gaited Morgan Horses.

The Morgan is not overall a gaited breed, but during the SynchroGait Gene A testing a random sample of UC Davis DNA registered Morgans showed 17% carried the Gait Gene A and proved gait is inherited from previous generations. There is conjecture as to the Morgan gait sources or which current breeding lines might be the source. Each new SynchroGait Gene A DNA test by Morgan owners/breeders seems to indicate “Gait” can be found across the Morgan breeding lines.

What is SynchroGait Gene A DNA test? How can you use to learn about Gaited Morgans different gaits? The test enables planned breedings project odds foals with preferred AA, CA or CC. This is explained in greater detail in following article SynchroGait Also you might find some of the related research interesting. SynchroGait Reseach

Test Development

Prior to 2012 there was no DNA test to check for a gait gene. Jellico Gaited Morgans submitted DNA samples to Texas A&M as part of the Capilets company study to identify the gait gene. The SynchroGait Gene A test from Capilets became available to the public in 2014.

Odds of the Combinations

AA x AA = 100% of the offspring will be AA
CA x AA = 50% will be AA and 50% will be CA
CA x CA = 25% will be AA, 50% will be CA and 25% will be CC
CA x CC = 50% will be CC, 50% will be CA
AA x CC = 100% CA
CC x CC = 100% CC

Breeding Goal

Jellico Farms is exclusively breeding DNA Synchro Gait Gene tested sires and dams. Jellico Farms’ goal produce horses which do the saddle rack, running walk and rack.

We are using not only the SynchroGait test, but combine historical technique used by some in the previous century in our breeding program. This technique increased chance achieving one or more of the three even four beat gaits. This is explained in greater detail in the following article. Gait Is Made In the Breeding Shed