Murgese Horse

Murgese Horse

The Murgese horse was originated in the Murge, Apulia region of Italy. The Murge district was renowned for centuries for its excellent saddle horses; the Murgese horse has added glory to the name of its native land. From the view of conformation, this horse gives a first thought of a powerful Iberian horse. The horse is known by names of Murghese or Murge Horse as well. The horse is very enduring.

History of Murgese Horse

The Murgese horse saw its origin in Italy when it was under the Spanish sway. It is thought that crossing Arabian and Barb horses with local horses, Avelignese, Italian heavy draft and Neopolitan blood produced the Murgese horses. The new breed was very famous during the 15th and 16th centuries but later declined in numbers until it was about extinct.

The Murgese horse of today was developed from the horses that were selected in 1926. Before the selection began, there were several differences in the physical attributes of the new horse breed. The reason was that the breeding regulations were lacking. Nine stallions and 46 mares formed the group of horses that were original ones chosen to regenerate the Murgese breed.

The Institute for the Improvement of Horse Populations (known as the Stallion Stud at that time) was the original center for selective breeding. Three foundation stallions formed the chief bloodlines of the breed in this day and age. For protection of the Murgese horse breed the Association of Breeders of the Murgese Horse and the Donkey of Martina Franca (ANAMF) was founded in 1948.

The Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry founded the Anagraphic Register in 1990. This was done in order to document equine groups identifiable as individual breeds. These breeds included the Murgese breed. The Murgese horses, since 2005, are more than 1500 as far as breeding ones are concerned. In 2004, a broad study was performed to evaluate the amount of inbreeding present in the Murgese breed. It was concluded that the quantity of inbreeding was up to standard levels.

Physique of Murgese Horse

Head of the Murgese horse has a slightly convex or straight profile. Its forehead is wide and the jaw is sometimes prominent. It has a strong neck which is broad at the base. The withers it has are pronounced and the chest is well-developed. The shoulders it has are sloping. Sometimes its back is hollow and the croup is long and wide. It can be either flat or sloping. The horse has strong legs with large joints. This horse breed resembles the Friesian horse.

Height of Murgese Horse

The Murgese horse usually stands to a height of 14 to 15 hands high.

Body Color of Murgese Horse

Murgese horses may be of black or gray color with black points or brown color. They can also be of chestnut color.

Temperament of Murgese Horse

The Murgese horse is a very docile animal. Its character is lively and compliant. Its learning ability is its another important characteristic.

Uses of Murgese Horse

Usually Murgese horses are used for cross-country riding and trekking. Traditionally, they have also been used for light draft and farm work. On small farms, these horses still enjoy popularity. Here they are required for their flexible usefulness. To produce better riding stock, they are often cross-bred with the Thoroughbreds.

The Murgese horse breed suffered severely apparently from lack of local interest. The modern Murgese is not related to its illustrious forerunner. The Murgese of today is a light draft/saddle horse. At its best, it is a distinctive riding horse. The horse has high resistance to diseases. The resistant power is so high that organic disorders like intestinal diseases and heaves are practically absent in this breed. It has a stout skeleton and muscles, as well as a tough and thick epidermis which plays a significant part in guarding this horse from insect bites and thorny foliage. In a nut-shell, this is a hardy and handsome horse.

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