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The Calabrian Horse is an ancient breed originally from Calabria derived from a group of Arab horses imported from North Africa.
The Calabrian Horse. The history
The history and value of the Calabrian Horses naturally intertwines with the numerous dominations that have followed one another in the territory and, since ancient times, there are many testimonies that appreciate this breed of horses described by Polybius (Megalopolis 206 BC – approximately Greece 124 BC ) “Of elegant and quick shapes, agile and fast”.
The Calabrian Horse during the Bourbon period
During the Bourbon period the Calabrese Horse was crossed with the Andalusian which gave it elegance in the movements and, in more recent times, underwent the influence of the English Thoroughbred, which produced the increase in size, and of the Salernitano Horse .
In addition, in order not to disperse the original characters, occasional use is made of re-blooding with oriental horses.
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The Calabrian Horse. After…
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, with the Lombards, the crossing with Germanic horses increased the size of the Calabrian Horse and, later, the Saracen domination characterized the breeding in Calabria introducing, with a rigorous selection, Arab reproducers and, since the 16th century, numerous documents testify to frequent exchanges with the farms of Salerno and the Neapolitan area.
Scipione Ammirata tells in “Of the Neapolitan noble families” (1580) that the prince Nicolò Bernardino Sanseverino gave the noble Giovan Battista Boscarelli of Bisignano some mares of his prized breed and the Tassoni in “La Secchia Rapita” (1622) mentions the guinea of Bisignano (CS).
Further evidence of the eighteenth century are provided by Giovanni Fiore from Cropani (CZ) in “Della Calabria Illustrata”, by Girolamo Marafioti di Polistena (RC) in “Cronache et Antichità di Calabria” and by Giovan Battista Pacichelli in “Kingdom of Naples in Perspective “which highlight the presence of very generous horses in Bisignano.
The Calabrian Horse in the Hippology treatise
Eduardo Chiari in his treatise on hippology of 1902 speaks of the breed with these words: “the Calabrian Horses that descend from the Arabian Horse crossed with the Andalusian, for their speed, agility, strength and endurance are considered among the most distinct”
The Calabrian Horse. Genealogy
It is possible to go back to the genealogies of the Calabrian Horse from the end of the 19th century thanks to the institution of the Mares and Stallion Registries, established by Royal Decree of 1880 and 1887 respectively.
Since 1890 a public Monta Station has operated in Bisignano where some of the best Italian stallions have operated and the Calabrian Horses have achieved great competitive successes since the early 1900s.
In the 1930s the Decisa mare, from Giovanni’s breeding farm Boscarelli took part in the international event in Piazza di Siena and, in the 1960s, Triumph III °, brought up by Michele Boscarelli, participated in the international events in Rome.
The Calabrian Horse in the second half of 1900
At the end of the 1960s Nino Boscarelli, with a group of breeders from the province of Cosenza, created a riding school in Paglialonga, entrusting the direction to an instructor of the prestigious Military School of Pinerolo (TO).
This experience succeeded in combining the local tradition with the dictates of the Italian Military Riding School on whose principles modern world sports riding is founded.
Thanks to this attitude, the Breed has successfully overcome the conversion from military and transport use to sports use, surviving the post-war crisis.
The Calabrian Horse today
Today, also thanks to artificial fertilization, crossed with the best European genealogies, the horses of Calabrian breed continue to be more than competitive in equestrian sports.
It is in fact an excellent saddle horse, suitable for equestrian tourism and very suitable for jumping.
The Calabrese Horse is a frugal, strong, resistant and fast breed, with a large, lively and docile temperament, easy to train.
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