Breed History
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Breed History


The Andalusian

In the last few decades the two countries (Spain and Portugal) which are the cradle of the Andalusian horse have chosen to separate their stock into two breeds. Though their foundations are completely linked, the Andalusians of Spain are now registered as Pura Raza Espanola (Pure Breed Spanish) and those of Portugal are now known as Lusitanos.  Outside of Spain and Portugal we still recognize the old breed of Andalusian as being from either Spain or Portugal or both!  We do however recognize the PRE (Pura Raza Espanola) and the Lusitano as sister breeds and continue to accept them into our registry.

It was only in recent history that a distinction has been made between the horses born in Spain and those born in Portugal. In 1912 the breeders of Spain chose to call the Andalusians (as they were know to most at that time) which would be entered into their new stud book, Pura Raza Espanola (Pure Bred Spanish). This was done mainly to appease the breeders from Spanish provinces outside of Andalusia who felt there was an unfair advantage given by the old name to breeders of that region. Breeders however continued to use horses from both countries. In the late 1960’s the Portuguese breeders decided to create their own stud book. Being on no good terms with the country of Spain at that time, they named the horses they choose to put into their registry, Lusitanos, after the Roman name for the region that is now Portugal, which was as important a center of horse breeding as Andalucia had been. Many of the horses which they registered were also registered in the Spanish stud book. Only since these recent events has the Andalusian horse been divided into separate breeds by Spain and Portugal. So new were these names and the division of the breed that many breeders were still calling their horses Andalusians well into the last decade.

In the mean time, horses had been exported from both Spain and Portugal to North America as Andalusians. The first registries in the USA and Mexico are as old or older than the one in Portugal. Naturally we registered their horses as Andalusians, not caring if they originated in Spain or in Portugal. We recognized that the Pura Raza Espanola and the Lusitano were identical in origin and history until recent times.

Though it is no longer possible to register a Pura Raza Espanola in Portugal as a Lusitano (as it was until only two or three years ago) or a Lusitano in Spain as a Pura Raza Espanola (as it would have been only a few decades ago) the longer part of the history of both breeds recognizes them as the same horse. The IALHA chooses to therefore breed and register ANDALUSIANS founded from the old breed on horses imported from BOTH Spain and Portugal.


IALHA LGANCCE, Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse (PRE Mundial)

The Lusitano



The Lusitano Horse, is the name of the modern breed created from the Andalusian Horse in Portugal. Currently the breed is administered worldwide by the Associacao Portuguesa De Criadores Do Puro Sangue Lusitano (APSL) in Portugal.


To be registered as a Lusitano horse, both parents must be registered in the Adult/Breeders Book of the APSL. The offspring must be submitted for Inscription in the Book of Births, microchipped and DNA typed. At the age of at least 3, the Lusitano Horse must pass a strict inspection to achieve Breeding Book status. The Lusitano horse can be of any color.


Each country has its own administering body. The IALHA is the official association which administers the APSL Revision process for the USA (and for now Canada.)

Ridden for over 5,000 years, the oldest saddle horse in the world has reached the threshold of the XXI Century re-conquering the splendor it knew in Greek and Roman times when it was considered the best saddlehorse in the world.

A «hotblood» like the English Thoroughbred and the Arab, the present day Lusitano results from a selection of thousands of years leading to an empathy with the rider superior to any modern breed.

Selected as a hunter and for combat throughout the centuries, it is versatile, docile, agile and courageous. Thus it can compete in the most up to-date equestrian sport with the best specialists of contemporary breeds.

Approaching towards the year 2000, the Lusitano is once more sought as a saddlehorse for sport and leisure, and as a stud horse for its rare qualities of character and genetic: ancestry. As only a small group of 2000 productive mares exists, it is nowadays a very rare breed. In Portugal, origin of the breed, there are only about 1000 productive mares, 600 in Brazil, 200 in France and the rest. spread over Spain, England, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Canada and the USA.

Today, the numbers of the Lusitano breed are growing, especially in Europe and Brazil where great progress has been made.

In Portugal, the quality of the production has improved a lot, and everything points to the establishment of new lines within the breed, so contributing to the assurance of its vitality.

In the XXI Century the Lusitano it will continue to be the best horse for equestrian art and for bullfighting and besides being a horse that gives the greatest pleasure to ride, it will continue to amaze us by its natural aptitude for jumping, and for Dressage and Competition Driving.

Officialy institutionalizing, the Stud-Book undoubtedly marked a decisive step ahead. This gave rise to a far reaching and careful selection process which made it possible to gain a deeper knowledge of genealogies and to perpetuate and take advantage of the bloodlines created by insisting on certain stallions (line breeding).

Indeed, for effective and relatively swih zootechnical progress to be made, breeding must be carried out on the basis of selection and consanguinity. The latter- is early advantageous to the breeder, especially as far as the purity and uniformity of the breed are concerned, and the consequent superiority of' the stallions obtained.


Following characteristics belong to the breed:

  • Noble, dry head, often with a convex profile, with much variation between nearly right and heavily convex
  • A long, curved neck, coming out of the chest quite high
  • A strong, sloping shoulder, offering the horse freedom of movements
  • Pronounced, broad withers
  • A strong, right back with a round change to the lumbar back
  • Lumbar and hind part form one lightly convex line, the croup shouldn't drop too steeply
  • Long, straight, hard and dry legs, with strong but not too heavy bones and hard, quite steep hooves
  • A.P.S.L.


    The Pure Spanish Horse (Pura Raza Espanola)

    Also see the PRE page

    The Pura Raza Espanola, or as it is often called, the PRE horse, is the name of the modern breed created from the Andalusian Horse in Spain in 1912. Currently the breed is administered worldwide by the ANCCE of Spain (the stud book was formerly administered by the Jefatura de Cria Caballar).

    To be registered as a PRE horse, both parents must be registered in the Adult/Breeders book of the Cria. The offspring must then be Inscribed by being inspected at its mother's side, microchipped and DNA typed. At the age of at least 3, the Spanish Horse must pass a strict inspection to achieve breeding book status. This process is called Revision. The PRE can be only Bay, Grey or Black.

    Each country has its own administering body. The IALHA is a member of an association of breed associations which administer the Revision process for the USA (and Canada.)

    ANCCE (Asociación Nacional de Criadores de Caballos de Pura Raza Española) or Purebred Spanish Horse Breeders' National Association was established in 1972 to better defend breeders' interests. For the past twenty-seven years, the activity has continued to grow. Today, there are more than 500 breeders in addition to sixteen regional or provincial associations.

    Promoting The Breed

    ANCCE was founded in 1972 as a way of defending breeders' interests.  It has always been a national organization and its main objectives are: (1) to promote the image of the Pura Raza Española or Purebred Spanish Horse; (2) to create awareness of the Association and, (3) to give out information about the conformation contests that are held all over Spain.

    ANCCE also performs another extremely important task: managing the Stud Book. This work is carried out in collaboration with and under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, as the Ministry effectively owns the Book.

    At the date of publication of this CD-Rom ANCCE members number 536 individual breeders, 834 associate members all over the world and 16 provincial and regional associations.

    Furthermore, ANCCE represents the equestrian sector within COPA (the Committee of Prodessional Agricultural Organizations) which is based in Brussels, and the national chapter of ASAJA (the Young Farmers' Association). We also work closely with the CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations).

    Conformation Competitions

    In 1980, in pursuit of its objectives, ANCCE began to organize the Spanish Conformation Championship in Seville's "Club Hípico Pineda" (Pineda Horse Club). These championships continued to be held until 1987 when they were suspended due to the outbreak of African Horse Sickness in Spain.

    In 1990 something happened that was to change the course of the history of conformation competitions. It was decided that, instead of holding the Conformation Championship at the Pineda Club it would be held at the Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones (Congress and Exhibition Hall/Complex).

    SICAB, the International Horse Fair, was founded in 1991. It transformed the importance of conformation championships and led to massive levels of attendance by the public coming to see the Pura Raza Española.

    In just a few years the sheer number of horses participating has made this fair one of the most important in the world.



    The S/P purebred Spanish/Portuguese horse

    A purebred Andalusian that has Pure Spanish and Portuguese bloodlines.



    Part-bred Horses

    • Azteca - Caballo de Raza Azteca (Information was taken from the A.M.C.C.R.A. website and translated by Alta Vista's translator.  Some errors in translation may have occurred and the content was abbreviated.)

    Mexico's National Horse -The Aztec began from the idea to give back to Mexico its horse, that the Spanish Conquistadors left behind by improving the Creole horses that did not fill the expectations of the Mexican riders with Quarter Horse and Andalusian blood. In the decade of 60´s, Mexico began it's breeding program to create it's own National Horse the Azteca Horse. The horse must have the following characteristics:  Not as tall as the Andalusian but not as short as the Quarter Horse, to have very strong back quarters, very agile like the QH and the arrogance and elegance of the Andalusian, abundant mane and tail but not exaggerated, versatile: that he could be a working horse  but also possess the necessary airs for the classic taming,

    "la doma clásica", the charra rider "la rienda charra", and the rejoneo "paseo y rejoneo".  Mexico and Spain are two countries that traditional and historically always been have bound so once again they return to be united by means of the project to create a Mexican equine race, Don Aryan Antonio Cañadilla man of great ideas, of enterprising character to the task jointly with other criadores the QH and the Andalusian races of making the first crossovers. At the end of the Seventies which was a mere project takes form and the first stallion crossovers of of Iberian peninsular races (Andalusian) with QH mares, and selected Creole mares, several criadores convinced of the project and the success that in near future they would have with this new race risk four or five generations  guided by a team of genetistas veterinary doctors knowing very clearly the objective of the race: VERSATILITY And ELEGANCE.




    Not to be confused with the Mexican National Horse the "Azteca".


    This breed inherits beauty, temperament, pride, agility and spirit from their Andalusian blood and strength heart and speed from their APHA or Quarter Horse Blood. The breed requires there be no more then 3/4 of either breed in the first generations. The American Azteca should be a blood Balance between the between breeds with qualities of both. The average height is 14.2h to 16 hands. Both Quarter Horse and Paint horses proving no more the 1/4 TB can be used for breeding American Aztecas. All AQHA and APHA marking and colors are acceptable.  Aztecas are registered as A,B, C, or D depending on the % of each breed and the generation


    The American Azteca Horse International Assoc.


    The Hispano-Arabe is the result of breeding a purebred, registered Andalusian to a purebred, registered Arabian. This Andalusian-Arabian cross ideally produces an intelligent, level-headed, bold-moving horse of superb quality and presence.

    The Hispano-Arabe usually ranges between 15 and 16 hands in height. The refinement of the Arabian head carries through; the neck is long, muscular, and well arched, a contribution from the Andalusian. The shapely withers ensure good saddle placement. The body is full and strong with a large chest, deep and muscled with great depth through the heart girth. Also inherited from the Andalusian, the Hispano-Arabe exhibits a solid foundation of ample, extremely dense bone, and well shaped hooves which are extremely strong.

    The Hispano-Arabe Registry

    The Half-Andalusian is a wonderful way to get some of that special Andalusian style, power, agility, roundness, collection and presence in combination with the best qualities of other breeds. It is also a more affordable way to own a horse with some of those special Andalusian characteristics that made it the horse of kings. Purebred Andalusians, being a very old and pure breed, is genetically potent and it stamps most offspring with many of its characteristics.


    A rare and exclusive breed, the Spanish-Norman blends the genes of the Andalusian of Spain and the Percheron of France to re-create the phenotype of the courageous horse that thundered across the battlefields of Europe.


    Endowed with the unique combination of presence and docility, the modern Spanish-Norman is 15.3 to 17 hands and is predominately gray with some bays and blacks. Physical characteristics of this athletic breed are large expressive eyes; long graceful necks; laid back shoulders that blend smoothly into short backs; strong hindquarters; and sturdy feet and legs. They are bred to move freely from the shoulder with elastic, fluid movement, featuring engagement and elevation with extension.

    Spanish-Norman Registry


    Friesian/Andalusian cross

    Warlander Registry




        Doma Vaquera -

    Doma Vaquera is one of the styles of equitation in Spain, another being Doma Clasica (classical equitation).

    Doma Vaquera is a style of horse riding which enables the rider to carry out daily duties on horseback on a working cattle ranch and grew out of decades of daily work with cattle in the open countryside.

    The style of riding, tack, dress and discipline of the working horses evolved into what we see today. It is still being used on working ranches, in Doma Vaquera competition and more recently, Doma de Trabajo (working equitation)

    visit for more info.

    Garrocha - 13 foot 1 inch (4 meter) pole or lance used by Vaquero riders to corral, tip, bring down or subdue a bull.


    has become a sport in which the Garrochista (garrocha rider) displays his skill with the lance perfected from movements required to manage and control the magnificent fighting bulls. The rider displays his total control over his horse performing pivots and incredibly delicate movements around the garrocha using cues to his horse almost unseen. Some riders may even maneuver his horse without touching the reins at all.