Just as world wide there has been confusion about exactly what a Hispano-Árabe is there
has been a similar lack of information about the Anglo of the breed known as the
Tres sangres, mixing the two up and confusing them with other horses with Spanish blood.
Historically the Andalusian became the standard by which
all warhorses were measured and were prized for their agility,
temperament, endurance and strength of character.
With Spain's expansion into Central
Europe and Italy in the C16th
the Spanish horse was bred with native
heavy horses thus creating many new
European breeds of war horses.
In the C18th
C19th with the introduction of artillery, military strategies changed
requiring a rapid and incisive cavalry instead of the traditional heavy and slow war horse.
Thus many countries refreshed their heavy breeds with the introduction of Arabian blood
to create the new warmbloods.
In Spain the military reassessed its own established Arabian cross Spanish horses and with
new Arabian cavalry horses reinvested in the development of the Hispano-Árabe as well as
a curious reversal of equine history to now import a number of the European descendant
hybrids of the Spanish horse to incorporate into her own military breeding strategies for
In England the Thoroughbred had been created over time through the steady infusing of
native horse breeds, Spanish mares and Arabian stallions. It had established itself in
the military of the British Empire as well as achieving an unrivalled record in sport. It was
a natural step for Spain to include the English Thoroughbred among the horses her military
would incorporate to expand the capabilities of cavalry remounts.
Early selected Thoroughbred crossbreeding involved
Pure Arabian mares put to Thoroughbred stallions
producing Anglo Arabs, and these in turn were
crossed with Hispano-Árabe stock bred from
The general name for these horses is 'Tres sangres;
Three blood' referring to the use of the Three 'Pure'
blood breeds used. The term has outside of Spain
sometimes wrongly been applied as a name applied
to horses bred with three breeds but not the three
recognised 'pure bloods'.
Variations on achieving the same cross included the less common method of breeding an
Anglo Arab to a Spanish horse which is called a Hispanic Anglo Arab, and more popular,
successful cross of Thoroughbred to Hispano-Árabe; the Anglo Hispano-Árabe.
The military as with all their breeding programmes were not arbitrarily breeding for looks
but for performance and the stock produced was rigorously tested to meet the requirements
of the service both for combat duties and sport. The Anglo Hispano-Árabe proved to be
a more than adequate remount and has retained a position in the Cria with one of its
one of several tres sangres mounts
used by Antonio Domecq
the youngest representative of the
Domecq bullfighting dynasty
Outside of the military the crossbreeding of the Hispano-Árabe has likewise stood the test
of performance in the open fields of the cattle ranches, in Doma Vaquera competition and
in the battleground of the bullring. Alongside the Hispano-Árabe, this cross with the
Thoroughbred to produce the Tres sangres Anglo Hispano-Árabe has become a popular
and versatile all purpose horse that Spain recognises as important in the production of
sports horses and is registered with the Spanish Sports Horse Association CDE .
In the demanding saddle work of the vaquero, working long hours overseeing the famous
bulls of Spain, the eternal search to improve upon his mount has resulted in a number of
different Spanish crossbreds. The collective term to refer to these cruzados is 'Hispano'
which simply put means it is of Spanish extraction. The broad use of the word Hispano has
unfortunately led to many reference sources defining the Hispano-Árabe as being any of the
multitude of stockbreeds Spain has produced, including confusing it with the tres sangres.
First registered and UK bred
Tres sangres Anglo Hispano-Árabe
out of El Cid thoroughbred race mare
by Hispano-Árabe Piyayo.