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Wyoming Horses Sought For Spanish American War 

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Horses from the great state of Wyoming have long been sought by folks from throughout the world. In a 1908 prospectus book selling Wyoming and touting its agricultural advantages it was noted, “We quote the following from the Wyoming 1907 Official Statement, authorized by the Ninth Legislature.” 


It has been proven beyond question that horses raised on the foothills and mountains, in the pure light air of an elevation of 5,000 to 10,000 feet, have better lungs, stronger and better developed bone and muscle and tougher hoofs than horses from any other country. 

This is borne out by the fact that not only the United States Government, during the Spanish War and since, but the English Government, for service in South Africa, have purchased as many as a thousand head of horses in Wyoming as could be obtained. 

No horse in the world can compete with the Wyoming horse in endurance of all kinds of hardship to which horse flesh is subjected by man. This is a broad statement, but we make it without fear of refutation, every horseman and horse in the state stands ready to back it up.  

The article continued, noting unique traits of the state.  

Embracing about 98,000 square miles of territory, nearly every acre of which is clothed in a mantle of the most nutritious grasses and sage brush browse, Wyoming presents a territory for grazing purposes 40 percent larger than what is found in all the eastern states combined. Add to this vast food supply the most delightful climate in the world, with cool summers and dry, mild winters, and it is but little wonder that Wyoming has been called the “Stockman’s Paradise,” and it has become an important factor in supplying beef, mutton and wool to eastern and western markets. 

The requisites for success in the business are a few cattle, sheep or horses, and attention to their wants under the conditions of the country and climate. The man who can do this for a few years will, with common prudence, find himself independent of the world, and his old age may be spent in peace and with plenty. 

In a reference to the Spanish American War and the purchase of horses in 1898, the Saratoga Sun reported, “Cavalry horses for Col. Torrey’s cowboy regiment are being purchased. Horses must be between four and eight years old, geldings, perfectly sound, well-broken, gentle, not under 15-and-a-half hands high, or under 850 or over 1,150 pounds, bay, chestnut, brown or black.” 

The article was in reference to the organization by Capt. L. G. Davis of Carbon County’s Troop H of the Cavalry Rough Riders to join Col. Torrey and Teddy Roosevelt to fight in the Spanish American War. Over 200 Wyoming volunteers joined that troop and each was required to provide his own mount, according to the newspaper. 


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