Saddling Up With William Shatner

William Shatner horse reining (Photo by Daryl Weisser)
William Shatner horse reining
(Photo by Daryl Weisser)

While he may be best known for captaining a certain starship, William Shatner has a long and loving history with horses. Along with appearing in more than 20 films and 30 television shows (and currently on the road with his one-man show Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It), the Canadian-born entertainer has also lent himself to being the consummate pitchman (Priceline), musician (he recorded the 2004 Ben Folds-produced project Has Been) and health advocate (he’s deeply involved with the American Tinnitus Association).

Shatner’s equine passion led to his being one of the grand marshals for the 102nd Calgary Stampede in 2014 and chairman of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show for the past two decades while raising millions of dollars for local children’s charities. Shatner has also established himself as a respected horse breeder and owner as well as being an award-winning participant in competitive riding events. He recently shared what his favorite breeds of horse are and why.

Standard Breed
Standard Breed

Standard Bred
“They are bred to trot so they don’t canter. They’re not supposed to canter. They trot fast and that gait is very exciting. Standard Breds are the trotting horses and I’ve won championships with Trotting Horses.”



American Saddle Bred
American Saddle Bred

American Saddle Breds
“They are called show horses and I’ve done a lot of winning with show horses. American Saddle Breds are arguably the most beautiful of horses. The high-headed, high-stepping horses—mostly the Civil War monuments to the generals are of them all sitting on Saddle Breds, those noble horses that have the look of eagles as do the generals. They are renowned for their courage and their beauty. Traveler, General Lee’s horse, was a Saddle Bred.”


Quarter Horse
Quarter Horse

Quarter Horses
“These horses at the moment are my passion for a sport called reining. What I love about them so much is their affability, passion and quick-twitch muscles that allow them to sprint faster than any other horse. [These steeds also possess] all-around usability, physicality and nobility of spirit.”

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