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This section is devoted to Italian horses breeds. Mariapia Ciaghi dealt with translations.
There are around one million Italians who go on horseback and over 400 thousand animals: an important sector from an economic point of view, involving over 50 thousand professionals and representing an interesting opportunity of income even for breeders of Italian species. By clicking the menu on the left, you can find the information sheets that illustrate and provide data on the particular breeds, with origin, aptitude and morphological characteristics.
The total number of horses in Italy and Europe suffered a great reduction, following the introduction of agricultural mechanisation. An examination of the population dynamics, emphasises the fact that until 1940, in Italy, horses were predominantly bred for the army, for working the soil, for forest management, for local transport and production of meat. Following the Second World War, race horse breeding was well-established.
Since 1950, the number of animals bred has dropped drastically and only in the 80’s new motives for breeding were acknowledged for the horse species (just like for the donkey): from traditional motives (sports and production of meat) to those innovative, related to “reasons for wellbeing”. Hence, the demand for horses as companion animals and also as “form to function” tools for leisure and involvement in cases of therapy.
The Italian breeds having Pedigree Registry Certificates are: Haflinger/Avelignese, Italian Heavy Draft, Maremmano, Lipizzan, Bardigiano, Italian Standardbred and Trotter.
The breeds having a Data Registry are: Ventasso, Norico, Catria, Pony Esperia, Sanfratellano, Giara, Murgese, Tolfetano, Monterufoli, Pentro, Salernitano-Persano-Napoletano and Sarcidano.
The National Union responsible for Increasing Horse Breeds (L’Unione Nazionale per l’Incremento delle Razze Equine - U.N.I.R.E), established in 1932, promotes the increase and improvement of race horse and saddle breeds.
The Italian Breeders Association (Associazione Italiana Allevatori - A.I.A), established in 1944 with the aim to revive Italian zootechnics, devastated in the Second World War, holds the Pedigree Registry Certificates for the Maremanno, Lipizzan, Haflinger/Avelignese, Bardigiano and Italian Heavy Draft horses, and also the Data Registry of species having limited diffusion.
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