Famous Horses in History - Justin Morgan

Third in a series of articles on Famous Horses.

The true story of Justin Morgan is that his real name was Figure and he changed owners many times.

He was a dark horse about 14 hands high born in West Springfield, Massachusetts in 1789 of uncertain parentage. His sire may have been a thoroughbred. Figure was given as payment for a debt to Justin Morgan who owned him from 1792 to 1795 and for whom the breed is named.

Figure was used as a stud, a race horse, a riding horse, a harness horse and a draft horse.

In succession Figure was owned by Samuel Allen, William Rice, Johnathan Shepard, James Hawkins, Robert Evans, Colonel John Goss, David Goss, Philip Goss, Jacob Sanderson, Jacob Langmeade (who abused the horse), Joel Goss, Joseph Rogers, and Samuel Stone. Levi Bean of Chelsea, Vermont was his last owner and Figure died at the age of 32.

President James Monroe used Figure as a parade horse in 1817. Figure was a legend in his own time. He passed on his good looks, conformation, superb temperament, and abilities to all his offspring.

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