16114 Idaho Center Blvd, Suite 3
Nampa, ID 83687
1959 – Birth of foundation sire Little Blaze
1967 – Incorporation of the original Blazer Horse Association
1996 – Blazer Horse registry reaches 1,000 horses
1998 – Foundation sire Little Blaze dies at 39
2006 – American Blazer Horse Association reincorporates as a nonprofit
2009 – Death of founder F. Neil Hinck
2013 – Registered American Blazers can be found across the continent
The Story of the American Blazer Horse
The history of Blazer Horses is the simple story of a young man’s dream, rooted in the rugged individualism and pioneering spirit of the American West. It was the early 1950s in Star Valley, Wyoming. Neil Hinck, an enterprising young ranch hand had just returned from the Korean War, a decorated combat veteran. With the help and support of his wife Norma, he set out to accomplish his dream.
Neil was raised on horses and he had a special gift for connecting with them. The descendant of Mormon pioneers who relied on quality horses for their livelihood, Neil understood the importance of a usable, willing horse and his experience with most breeds of the day left him longing for something different. He began his journey with a bay mare he called Lighting, a Thoroughbred-Morgan cross. Lighting had the disposition and heart he was looking for, though she was taller than most ranch horses of the time. When crossed with a Shetland pony, she produced a black mare named Star, who had all of her mother’s heart and disposition, but stood just under 14 hands. Later, Star was crossed with a foundation Quarter horse of the Peppy line. The result was Little Blaze, born April 19, 1959.
By that year, Neil and Norma had moved to Star, Idaho where Little Blaze became the foundation sire of their small ranch. The young sorrel stallion had every quality Neil was looking for. Standing 14.5 hands, and weighing just less than 1,000 pounds, Little Blaze was athletic and versatile, while showing keen intellect and a heart that was eager to please.
With Little Blaze as the prototype, Neil began to search for additional bloodlines to bring in. He searched for sound, gentle horses, caring about their conformation and disposition more than their pedigree. And by crossing these horses with Little Blaze and his offspring, he was able to gradually develop a breed that was exclusive and unique.
In 1967 Neil and Norma incorporated the Blazer Horse Association. It would later become a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the breed. Today, the registered descendants of Little Blaze are called American Blazer Horses and they can be found around the country. They are known for their versatility and athleticism—gentle reminders of the American West, but with a heart and soul looking forward into the 21st century and beyond.