Pura Raza Española (PRE)

    ( note before I start: The prime horse of Spain has for many always been referred to as the 'Andalusian', however
    as its modern popularity grew so did internal unrest about the name which refers to the part of Spain the breed is
    more often associated with. By inference this suggested the breed was not perhaps so readily available in other
    regions of Spain and thus prejudiced those horse breeders in the new European market. To deal with this the
    breed was Internationally promoted as the Pura Raza Española: 'The Purebred Spanish Horse' )

    Different advocates of the Pura Raza Española (PRE) either support or deny the presence
    of Arab blood in the Andalusian. However; while the Iberian Factor (Sylvia Loch's term to
    encapsulate the collective genetic characteristics of these horses) is undoubtedly dominant
    and pre-potent over other breeds, it is not unusual to find Purebred Spanish Horses
    bearing all the marks of an oriental ancestry.

    There are various theories argued about; relating to accidental or deliberate 'contamination'
    of the Spanish Horse by the introduction of Arab blood over the centuries of wars that
    have swept the Iberian Peninsular.

    For those interested in further reading on the PRE it is worth visiting Yeguada
    Alemany-Bird web for the PRE history.

    Regardless of the trends in opinion, it is a matter of record that as a result of years of
    internal turbulence the breeding stocks of Spain's noble fighting horses had by the mid-
    nineteenth century been seriously depleted. As a result of this shortage of good breeding
    horses, specially selected Arabians were imported in 1850,1884 and 1885 to officially
    upgrade the Andalusian.

    The modern Purebred Spanish Horse is now genetically diverging into two distinct types
    of horse; the classical old (referred to as 'Carthusian' type) Andalusian and a new lighter
    weight and finer boned oriental Andalusian.

    The bullring and competitive sports found that the best horses to perform the demanding High School manoeuvres of close contact fighting were those that tracked up behind and that naturally inherited a highly developed muscle structure. The Spanish Military also retained influence over the development of the horses always selecting for the strength and abilities to be an all purpose remount/cavalry horse meeting both the combat and sports requirements demanded by the Cria Caballar.

    Obviously, while grading selection played its part the best horses proving successful in work and sport were those that ultimately were invested in for further breeding.

    Thus the stresses of the work eliminated from breeding, those with genetic characteristics that could not meet the physical demands required of a fighting horse. Performance has isolated and concentrated the genetics of the traditional, powerful compact fighting horses
    of the old classical Iberian favoured in the days of the Conquistadors.

    Alegre I

    exhibiting the classical heavier build
    Pura Raza Española

    The fiesta and the pleasure, sports industry, on the other-hand, has selectively bred a new lightweight showy parade horse displaying more of it's oriental ancestry. For the comfort
    of the rider and pillion it is not desirable to have a horse with well developed croup and
    that tracks up behind. Thus in this case it is the aesthetic demand for beauty and elegance that has led to a concentrating of the Arab genetics that was introduced originally to
    upgrade the Andalusian.


    despite in fact coming from Carthusian
    Pura Raza Española stock shows the influence of the 'upgrading' with new blood in the 1800's exhibiting the lighter weight phenotype.

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