Whether you have reached our pages by accident or have been drawn to them by the shared love of the Noble Iberian Horse, we invite you to browse at your leisure.... for anything that is of this magnificent breed...is truly a cause for inspiration, admiration and joyful pleasure.
"...the Lord looked down on a Sunday morning and saw that something was missing - something that represented His patience, His understanding, His love, His everything, indeed all that was good - and He created the horse." ~ Franz MaringerWho We Are The Historic Timeline of the Lusitano
Second Milenium BC: Cavalry's introduction as a war weapon in the Iberic Peninsula - which is modern-day Spain and Portugal or Iberia. The domesticated horse existed in Iberia even before the Neolithic period. Archeological findings, such as the tomb of ancient warriors in the South of the Peninsula, prove that cavalry battles happened during the Bronze Age X through 5th Century BC The Iberian horse continued to be used in battle.
IV Century BC Thucydides and Xenophon wrote about the Iberian Horsemen sent by Dyonisius of Syracuse to help the Spartans during the Peloponnesean Wars .
II Century BC: The description of the Punic Wars by Strabo is full of references to the agile Lusitanian riders, who could easily climb escarpments where no other mounted armies would dare to try. The Carthaginians suffered heavy losses inflicted by the Iberian Calvary. Hasdrubal, Hannibal's brother, took Iberian horses with him from Spain to Carthage. When Hannibal departed Spain to invade Italy he took well over 12,000 Iberian horses with him.
I Century BC to II Century AD. Polybius and Livy, both tell us how the Iberian Horses were terrible opponents for the Roman Legions during the wars that lasted for more than 200 years. "...the Romans never excelled in the use of their cavalry always surpassed by the Iberians," The Romans adopted both the Iberian Horse and riding style of the Peninsula “ Ginete”.
1493 Iberian horses first appear in America : On Columbus's second voyage to The New World he brought horses that eventually migrated from St. Domingo to Puerto Rico, Cuba and Jamaica and from there to Central America and South America. Others arrived in Mexico with Cortez and migrated north. Future Iberian horses arrived to Argentina and Brazil.
Many of these horses that were left after battles with the Indians or Armies abandoning them before returning to their homes, escaped to become the future feral basis of many herds.
"All the horse breeds formed on the North and South American Continents, such as the Mustangs, Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, Seminolas, Cayuses, Crioulos, Mangalargas, Campolinas etc. are direct of indirect descendants of the Iberians."
"Europe of the Middle Ages considered the Iberian Horse as the thoroughly noble blood horse and for that reason it was exported to all the parts of the continent to produce lighter fighting horses," writes Ruy d'Andrade.The Survival of the ancient race....The Iberian Horse.
The long several thousand year history of the Iberian Horse shows that this powerful race survived all accidents and trends. No matter how extensive or how bad the incursions of other bloods or fashions The Iberians survive today with the same nobility of character, physical characteristics and grace of movement as their primitive ancestors A few thousand inferior horses introduced by the barbarian invasions could not alter the essential qualities of a population of over half a million horses that already lived in the Peninsula. For the same reasons the arrival of Arabian blood in the VII century and the later presence of northern races in the XIX and XX centuries did not have a lasting effect upon the Iberian races. The colonization of America has shown that large herds living at large in nature end up returning to the original type and in this process, "the spurious disappears expelled by the inadaptability" (Ruy d'Andrade), The Iberian Horse has thus survived as a pure breed, notwithstanding the differences in size, type and utilization in the many regions of Portugal and Spain. In 1967 the Portuguese Stud Book (Livro Genealogico Portugues de Equinos) was officially introduced under the responsibility of the Portuguese Association of Lusitano Horse Breeders (Associação Portuguesa de Criadores do Cavalo Puro Sangue Lusitano - APSL).The Lusitano in Brazil
In 1991 the Brazilian Lusitano Horse Breeders Association - ABPSL, signed an agreement with the Portuguese Lusitano Breeders Association. According to this, all Lusitanos bred in Brazil are automatically accepted by the Portuguese Stud Book and by all the Associations of all the countries that have a similar agreement with Portugal. The Brazilian Lusitanos are then universally accepted.
All the Brazilian horse breeds were formed from horses brought by the Portuguese colonizers and from those that entered South America following the migration wave started in Central America . In Brazil the Iberian horse formed the Mangalarga and the Campolina breeds.
...The Mangalarga was bred in Minas Gerais by Gabriel Francisco Junqueira, baron of Alfenas. In 1821 King D. João VI gave Junqueira a present in the form of the Alter Real Stallion Sublime and the Baron used it to cover a group of Crioulo mares.... The Campolina dates back to 1840 and is named after the farmer Cassiano Campolina who initiated his horse breeding activities in the South of Minas Gerais using stallions imported by the same D. João VI for the Coudelaria Real of Cachoeira do Campo. ...Little is known about the Lusitano horse in Brazil after its royal introduction last century. It was only in 1974 that it reappeared, brought from Portugal by Mr Antonio de Toledo Mendes Pereira founder of the Brazilian Andalusian Horse Association....In June 1995 the Brazilian Association had 163 members. By the end of 1995 the Brazilian Stud Book had about 3,500 Pure Lusitanos registered, two thirds of them born in Brazil. There are now more Lusitanos in Brazil than anywhere else in the world. More important than quantity is the quality of the Brazilian breed, which is inferior to none. This exceptional result was obtained with the acquisition of some of the best.