The original "Mother Stud Book " for the American Jackstock was first called the 'American Standard Jackstock Register', and was established in late 1890's. The "Standard" meaning that they had been measured against a standard for quality. The Standard includes criteria such as bone circumference, height, good width, depth, length, strong loin, a well muscled neck, (not over thick and of proper length), feet of good size and shape, and a well shaped head, with the right size in relation to the body, and with large well-set eyes. It continues to this day, and is now known as the 'American Mammoth Jackstock Register' (A.M.J.R).
D.A.B.S.A has a Stud Register established for American Mammoth Jackstock imported in recent years and their progeny, with the aim to maintain a record of bloodlines, origins, and breed standards, thus encouraging the genetic integrity of this breed.In addition, D.A.B.S.A has an established appendix for part bred Mammoth stock, to meet the perceived needs of Australian breeders.
D.A.B.S.A has a stud register established for American Mammoth Jackstock imported in recent years, and their progeny, with the aim to maintain a record of bloodlines, origins, and breed standards - thus encouraging the genetic integrity of this breed of Jackstock.
In addition, D.A.B.S.A has an established appendix for part bred Mammoth stock, to meet the perceived needs of Australian breeders.
The past few years have seen several imports of Jackstock from USA to Australia.
The intention in forming this register was to ensure that the records contain as much information as possible about the breeding, background and physical aspects of the Mammoth Jackstock registered, in order to preserve breeding details, and to allow breeders to make informed decisions.
History in USA:
The original "Mother Stud Book " for the American Jackstock was first called the American Standard Jackstock Register, and was established in late 1890's. The "Standard" meaning that they had been measured against a standard for quality. The Standard includes criteria such as bone circumference as well as height, good width, depth, length, strong loin, a well muscled neck (not over thick and of proper length), feet of good size and shape, and a well shaped head, with the right size in relation to the body, and with large well-set eyes. It continues to this day-and is now known as the American Mammoth Jackstock Register - AMJR.
Europe once had many breeds of Large Donkeys, e.g. the Andalusian, Catalonian, Majorcan, Maltese, Poitou, Portuguese. These animals were up to sixteen hands in height. Most are endangered and near extinct today in their native lands.
In the USA records show that some of these breeds were already being imported before the Civil War. In 1785 George Washington, after expressing an interest, was presented by the King of Spain with a Jack - "Royal Gift", at the same time he also received "Knight of Malta" from Marquis de Lafayette.
From this beginning, stud breeders were to go on to source the best of Europe’s Jackstock to bring to the now established industry of Jackstock and Mule breeding farms. Records were carefully kept, and a studbook opened.
One of the most influential sires was the Jack "Imported Mammoth", imported to North Kentucky during the Civil War - he was reputed to be an outstanding individual of some sixteen hands who did more to improve the bred than any other jack. "Limestone Mammoth" a descendant of "Mammoth" was another good Jack to inherit his attributes. "Limestone Mammoth" was bred by the Col Monsees and Sons, Missouri - one of the stud farms Australia's Mammoth Jackstock was imported from, whose lines and details are now lost here.
History in Australia:
There are records of European Jackstock Breeds being imported to Australia as early as 1860 - shipping records record Maltese Jacks coming here, and later mention of "Spanish" Jacks. Whether this meant one of the Spanish Breeds, or was a generic term for a large Jack is unknown. The AAC imported Chilean Muleteers and their animals and Burra also had a contingent of Muleteers with their Donkeys and Mules.
It is a fact that imports of Large Jackstock were made to Australia over the past 120 years, by both Government agencies, and by private individuals who wished to infuse them into the local working stock, and also for the purpose of Mule breeding. Many of the Jackstock were brought from the best and well-known areas for Jackstock in the USA, Missouri. A large farm at Gunnedah, "Nombi", was in 1909 described as being the largest stud in Australia, standing many Imported American and Spanish Jacks. The NSW Gov had a breeding program, and a yearbook of 1917 stated "Half the farm is given over to the purposes of breeding Mules and Donkeys".
By the time the new century had reached pre WW2, the mechanization of the armies, farms, and rural transport industry had Jackstock and Mules redundant and they became almost a forgotten part of our rural history. Up until perhaps the 1980's the occasional near Mammoth size Jack or Jenny could still be found, but had for the most part disappeared. The last known import was 1935, by the Queensland Government for Mule breeding for the sugar industry.
In the 1960's when the canned pet food industry became a large consumer of meat, many Donkeys in closer areas, that might have survived mechanization, became a resource for the pet food industry.
Donkeys of Mammoth size were still very occasionally found up till the 1970's, but generally did not breed true to size, having been bred from genetically mixed sized stock. The average became what could easily survive and breed in feral herds, where a medium size animal could survive in the arid areas in which they lived. Some studs who used feral aniamls as foundation stock found stud bred Donkeys had an increase of an inch or two over their parents ..but rarely did they breed anything of 13hands and over. The genetic influence of size from the Mammoth Jackstock was now diluted and lost.
Thanks go to Pat Emmett for this interesting and informative read.
(Thanks to AMJR nad AMDS for information on American Jackstock)