The American Creme horse can trace its roots back to one ancestor. It is an all American breed like the Quarter Horse, though it is a very young breed by genetic standards. This horse has gone by different names during this short period of time to include American Albino. After 1963, this line has been known as The American White Horse. It is not to be confused with the American Cream which is a cream colored draft horse. Though this breed was also founded in the United States their histories are entirely different.
The original American Creme horse was a stud by the name of Old King. He was born in 1908 in the state of Illinois. He was owned by a professor named William P. Newall. Old King was true white in color, with pink skin, and brown eyes. He was about 15.2 hands in height and weighed in around 1200 pounds. Old King was very will built with good conformation and well defined muscling. His demeanor was gentle and intelligent and he proved to be very trainable. He could be ridden and driven, was used in parades, and as part of a high school riding drill team.
In 1917, two brothers from Nebraska named Caleb and Hudson Thompson decided they wanted to start a new breed of horse. They purchased Old King to cross with a band of Morgan mares in hopes of making a breed that would be white in color. Using very scientific methods for the time, the brothers ended up being very successful. Old King sired white horses at a rate of 50% when bred to colored mares. From his offspring, 75-80% threw white progeny.
Old King sired many offspring until his death of swamp fever in 1922. His offspring were used for many different activities. The Caleb Thompson family had a traveling show of young troubled teenagers who performed trick riding at rodeos and events. The horses became quite famous because of this show and many people bought their horses to use for driving, riding, entertainment, dressage, jumping and farming.
There are many famous horses who were American Albino including the star of the film “Thunderhead.” In 1937, the Thomson’s founded the American Albino Horse Club to record the offspring of Old King. The first horse registered was Old King’s grandson, Snow Chief 2nd. Originally the registry was only for offspring of Old King, but eventually it opened to include horses of any lineage or breed who met the requirements.
In 1985, the American Albino Horse Club reorganized to become the International American Albino Association.
Though the American Creme has gone by the name American Albino it is not a true albino, as albinism is a recessive gene and the white gene is obviously dominant. There are no problems associated with a recessive gene such as a weak immune system or mental instability. The one drawback of a white horse is that the skin is pink, making the horses more prone to sun sensitivity. They don’t necessarily get dirtier than other colored horses but the dirt definitely stands out more.
The American Creme can be divided into two categories: The American Creme and the American White. The American Creme must have pink skin and its coat color can range from an ivory color to a cream color. Its eyes are usually pale blue or pale amber.
American Crème mares will almost always produce 100% Creme color when bred to another creme. When bred to a colored horse it will usually dilute the color (example: American Creme and chestnut produces a Palomino).
To be classified as an American White, the horse must have pink skin and no pigmentation in the hair coat whatsoever. The eyes will be brown, amber pale blue, or multi-colored. A few small spots are allowed on the skin but the hair coat must be all white. The American White produces 50% white when they are bred to stock that is colored. It will sometimes produce a colored foal when bred to another white.
The conformation of both of these branches is varied due to the multiple bloodlines and breeds that are classified as American Creme/White.
The American Creme Today
Currently the International American Albino Association (IAAA) offers high point year end awards to promote the use and showing of the American Creme. People use them for all types of activities. Some of the most popular uses are English and Western show and pleasure, driving, parade and entertainment, jumping, endurance and working horses.