PRE Origins - Part Two - Perdiz Spanish Horses

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The features of the Purebred Spanish horse are as follows;
 
Tall and imposing, the breed stands from 15.2 to 17high (157 to 172  with long silky manes and tails. The most common coat colours are dapple grey and bay. Their heads are relatively long and sculpted, a straight or slightly convex profile with intelligent gaze. Necks are average size, running to well-defined withers; broad chests; broad muscular backs; strong hindquarters and well-rounded croups.



When treated with respect, they are quick to learn, responsive and cooperative. Their movement is proud, with high knee action, extended, elevated, cadenced and harmonious, with a balance of roundness having strong impulsion from behind. They are known for their agility and their ability to learn difficult moves quickly, such as advanced collection and turns on the haunches.

Their striking appearance and temperament has made them very adaptable to film work having appeared in numerous historical and fantasy epics including Merlin, Gladiator, Tomb Raider, Braveheart, El Cid, Zorro, The Lord of the Rings, and King Arthur to name but a few.
In 1973 Alvero Domecq Romero created the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera. The school is structured for the training of professional riders and their Spanish horses in classical dressage and doma vaquera.



The breed is now recognized as the ‘Pura Raza Espanola’ and according to figures published recently by Ancce, Administrator of the stud book ’


Today there are some 175,000 PRE horses in the world.” According to an Ancce   news report in 2002 “The industry of the Spanish horse reaches 900 million Euros of business income”, proving their popularity.
In dressage, `Invasor`, ridden by Rafael Soto Andrade was placed 6 overall at the World Equestrian Games in 2002 , the Spanish Team being awarded the WEG bronze medal in 2002 followed by a silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics. At the European Dressage Championships the PRE’s ability has enabled a silver medal to be won in 2003 and a Bronze medal in 2005. In the UK the breed is achieving scores over 70% in affiliated dressage.

In Spain,PRE horses can be seen in competition driving and also in traditional harness in teams of up to eleven horses, displaying a dazzling spectacle of colour. The adaptability of the breed to each task is typical, and this includes from show jumping to general pleasure riding.
On the site of the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, is located the ‘Ancce High-performance Center’. This establishment works as a reference point with regards dressage competition evaluation. This offers Spanish PRE breeders an opportunity for an evaluation of their horses aptitudes of character, temperament, functionality, strength and behavior.

The most outstanding attribute of the breed without any doubt, is its docile temperament and ease of handling, not only when in training but also in its rest periods. The PRE is known for its willingness to work with submission to the aids, being a horse which can offer its best qualities to his rider, even after days unexercised.
The Pure Spanish horse carries himself with pride, shows intelligence beyond the imagination and is one of the most versatile horses in existence.
                                                            Lesley A. Partridge  


References

Llamas, J., "This is the Spanish Horse", J. A. Allen, London, 1997
Altamirano, J.C. "El Caballo Espanol", Malaga, 2000
www.ancce.es
Altamirano, JC. "History and Origins of the Spanish Horse."  Malaga, 2002


 
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