Already in the 18th century, the quarter mile race was highly popular in the United States.
The legend of Steel Dust was born during the early years of this era. This story takes place at MicKinney, a small village in Texas consisting of only a few dozen houses. The horse race was held on the main road of this town, which was exactly one quarter of a mile long. One of the young race horses was Old Monmouth. His appearance captivated all the spectators, for he was full of energy and radiant passion to run. His rival, Steel Dust, on the other hand, did not look like a race horse at all. With a height of only 150 centimeters, a shape resembling cold blood horses and an overly calm temperament he seemed to have no chance of winning. What made him even more ridiculous in the eyes of the spectators was his age. People kept wondering what a twelve years old horse may be doing in a speed race. The horses lined up at the start line and begun running. Old Monmouth was flying with gigantic jumps, but the small stallion was right behind him. As the half point of the race was approaching, the rider of Old Monmouth reached for his stick, while the rider of Steel Dust did nothing extraordinary. Yet, the crowd was in awe as they watched Steel Dust easily passing and defeating his younger rival. After crossing the finish line, the rider of the winner small horse stopped his horse with a sharp turn within a blink of the eye, while the other stallion kept sprinting past them into the woods. The most optimal race distance for one mile for Old Monmouth, while for Steel Dust, it was a quarter of a mile. The little Steel Dust thus started a new direction in the American horse sport. In the quarter mile distance, the Quarter Horse is still the fastest breed.
The height of the Quarter Horse is around 1.4- 1.5 meters with a weight of roughly 500- 600 kilograms. It has a strong and stocky disposition with a short head, relatively wide forehead, medium length neck, and a wide and deep chest. The Quarter Horse is very comfortable to ride, since the length of the body is short but rather wide and strong, and the shoulders are long. Its hind quarter is round, strong and muscular. The Quarter Horse also has lean legs and hard hoofs. With such features, the Quarter Horse can easily get through the narrow canyons and can stop even from the fastest gallop within only a step or two. The most common color is sorrel, but all other colors can be found as well.
As the name of the Quarter Horse indicates, it is still considered to be the fastest breed on a quarter mile. It is an exceptionally tough, enduring, and reliable breed with a calm and loyal temperament. It is also known for its speed and outstanding ability to turn and change directions. Most of the Quarter Horses have great talent for herding other animals.