As Canadians, it’s been tough to ignore the onslaught of political polls and votes occurring south of the border this year (and much more to come), but one vote that you may have missed is this: the Iowa State Senate passed a bill naming the American Cream Draft Horse its official state horse.

“The American Cream draft horse is the only breed of draft horse that can claim it is native to the United States,” Senator Annette Sweeney of Iowa Falls told Radio Iowa.  “In fact, it was foaled in my hometown of Radcliffe back in the early 1900s.”

We wrote about this stunning breed and what makes it so special and rare. The American Cream Draft Horse Association (ACDHA) tells of the origin of the horse on its website: “The roots of this rare breed go back to the early 1900’s and Old Granny”, a mare with the trademark “cream-coloured coat, pink skin, and amber eyes of horses carrying the ‘champagne’ gene.” The mare passed these traits and a coat colour that became known as “champagne gold” on to her offspring after being mated with Percheron and Belgian draft horses.

The breed is considered rare, and according to the ACDHA there are less than 400 American Cream horses worldwide. The horses are smaller than other draft horses, standing 15-16.3 hh, with mares weighing between 1600-1800 lbs, and stallions and geldings between 1800 to 2000 lbs. Its size was part of the appeal of the horse for farmers in the state. “[American Cream draft horses] were more easily handled within our small farms that we had in the early 1900s,” Sweeney told Radio Iowa.

The ACDHA was given a charter by the State of Iowa in 1944, and the breed was officially recognized by the state’s Department of Agriculture in 1950, granting the American Dream equal status with the other draft breeds. So iconic is the breed to the Iowa town of Radcliffe, the welcome sign into the town denotes it as the “cradle” of the American Cream Draft Horse.

There is still one step left before the American Cream Draft Horse gets its honour; it must also win the approval of the Iowa House. We doubt there will be any “neighs” to the bill.