The Norfolk Roadster is probably the
best, most influential road horse ever known. It is also known as
the Norfolk Trotter, and it forms the foundation for most of the
existing trotting horse breeds. It is almost guaranteed that it
had the same ancestors as the Suffolk Punch. This cobby horse, traceable
back to the 15th century, was developed in the flatlands of Norfolk.
It was bred to be a strong, smart, short-legged, and tireless fast-trotting
horse for use either in harness or for riding. It was mainly used
for sustained trotting in light harness and under saddle. They were
also often used to carry farmers, with their wives riding pillion.
For over four hundred years, until the advent of the railroad, the
Norfolk Roadster provided an unbeatable mode of long distance, high
By the last half of the 20th century,
the Norfolk Roadster's numbers were extremely low, and the breed
almost became extinct until a few enthusiasts gathered together
suitable individuals of the Norfolk Roadster type and genes, and
began to breed them again.
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