Founders of the Spanish Andalusian Horse Breed

In 2004, a paper "Pedigree analysis in the Andalusian horse; Population structure, genetic variability, and influence of the Carthusian strain" was published which explained much of the origins of the Andalusian (Pure Spanish) horse population.

In 2004, the Spanish “studbook” was comprised of over 75,000 horses. 6318 (12%) are Carthusian (old Bocado bloodlines). Average inbreeding of the Andalusian population was estimated at 8.48% and average “relatedness” was 12.25%. The author concludes that inbreeding in the Andalusian breed has a “remote origin” and is linked to Carthusian individuals.

Most individuals in the Spanish studbook (79%) have been registered since 1980.

The Spanish horse breed basically started with about 2000 individual animals of which almost 400 were Carthusian. “Base population was formed by 1465 individuals with unknown parents (280 Carthusian) and 967 additional animals (181 Carthusian) from which only one parent was known. Thus, weighting the unknown parent as half a founder, the equivalent number of founders for the Andalusian horse breed was 1948.5 individuals (370.5 for the Carthusian strain). “

The breeding farm contributing the most to the Spanish horse breed was Dominquez Hermanos.   However, the effective number of founders (those passed down through the generations) was about 40.  Most founders were born before 1910.

A "Founder" is a horse with a particular historical origin - all the most important founders were Carthusian.  AR is average relatedness coefficient. The non-Carthusian ancestor contributing the most was Maluso.

The top ten founding Spanish horse sires and dams were Coronel, Peligrosa, Ramillete I, Principe I, Sola, Odiosa, Mantequera, Inspirado II, Inspirada, and Coronel II. The top ten ancestors of these founders include Americano, Destinada, Celoso III, Oficiala 1913, Maluso, Presumido, Zurrona, Rurita 1919, Receloso 1907, and Hechicero 1914.

The article notes that although the Spanish horse breed is one of the most ancient breeds in Europe, the present population descends from only a few horses that survived the addition of Central European "massive horses" in the 16th century. The recovery of the breed is attributed to the horses bred by religious orders (the Carthusian monks) between the 18th and 19th centuries. The monasteries tried to breed horses without foreign influence.

All the most important founders were Carthusian and the total contribution of the Carthusian founders to the populations totalled 87.64%. In other words, over 87% of today’s PRE horses can trace back to these Carthusian founders. Maluso, a non-Carthusian, can be found in 5.37% of the population.

founders of andalusian breed

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