The Camarillo White Horse has a romantic beginning with its founding stallion, Sultan, being purchased from the California State Fair in 1921. Sultan’s buyer, Adolfo Camarillo, who incidentally founded the city, was so taken by the horse that he returned with it to his ranch and began developing a new breed.
His resulting collection of pure white horses with pink skin was owned exclusively by the Camarillo family who featured them in the famous Santa Barbara fiestas from 1924 until 1987. When Adolfo’s daughter passed away in 1987, the family’s prized collection of Camarillo White Horses was auctioned off, opening up ownership to the public for the very first time.
Although these horses were eventually reunited in 1991, it was apparent that the future of Adolfo’s Camarillo White was uncertain. At this point, only 11 Camarillo White Horses existed and there was a very real threat the breed would die out.
In 1992 the Camarillo White Horse Association was established to try and improve breed numbers, although it appears to have had little impact. Today, few of these horses exist, with some claiming less than 20 Camarillo Whites can be found anywhere in the world.
All-white horses are difficult to come by. Breeding the Camarillo White Horse is risky, with only a 50% chance of producing a healthy, living foal. Stillborns and deaf animals are common when it comes to this breed.