2007 - What's In A Name? Horse Illustrated Article

picture of horse on horse illustrated

In June 2007, the Horse Illustrated magazine, a national U.S. horse magazine, featured a beautiful photograph of a white Spanish horse in traditional tack on the front cover. The front cover reads“Pure Majesty Andalusian & Lusitano Horses”.

As soon as you open the front cover to read the contents, you’ll see a full length half-shot of Hereje (a stallion at Herradura Andalusians). The small white snippet on his dark grey muzzle, a few chestnut freckles, and his kind expression give him away.

Turn the page one more time and you’ll see “Breed of the Month; Andalusians and Lusitanos. Check out an exclusive photo gallery of these beautiful horses from Spain and Portugal. Chat with other Andalusian and Lusitano horse enthusiasts in the Horse Talk Forums!”

As you browse through the magazine, keep an eye out for the gorgeous Friesian horse used as an advertising model on page 73.

Then turn to page 74 for an eye feast of the gorgeous stallion Gitano MOR (owned by Terri Meador of Herradura Andalusians). Gitano is shown in his full splendor with mane trailing behind him. This horse is given away by his light brown muzzle and the brand on his flank.

“Classical Revival” is the title of an article by Sharon Biggs. The sub header is titled “The current popularity of the Andalusian and Lusitano breed goes back in time.”

Sharon Biggs is an American writer based in England. She writes for many magazines in the US and the UK. She is the author of In One Arena: Top Dressage Experts Share Their Knowledge through the Levels (Half Halt Press).

The article starts out with “Until recently, Thoroughbreds and warmbloods had replaced Iberian horses in competitive dressage, a discipline with which the horses had been synonymous for hundreds of years.”

“Iberian breeds” are defined as the type that “descend from the Iberian Peninsula comprising Spain and Portugal”.

J.P. Giacomini (JP) is quoted as saying “we are currently seeing a strong Baroque revival in the equestrian world.” J.P. is referred to as a spokesperson for the U.S.- based International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA) and is an “international trainer and breeder of Lusitano and Luso-Spanish horses (half Spanish/half Lusitano)."

The Split between Lusos and Spanish Horses - What is the Truth?

The article explains the split between the two breeds as follows: “… there is a great deal of confusion with the two breeds … Although Lusitanos and Andalusians are historically the same breed, nationalistic suspicions between Spain and Portugal in the 1960s separated what was historically one breed into two.”

Note: the above information is commonly given to the public by the IALHA; however, it is INCORRECT. There were DEFINITELY two breeds of horses, more than two, actually (if you count the Alter Real) existing in Spain and in Portugal prior to the 1960s. The IALHA ALWAYS uses this statement to justify its position on the Spanish Portuguese and Americanized horses. When you see it, just think IALHA.

It is a fact that the crossing of Portuguese to Spanish horses in the U.S. to produce the “SP” is not the same as the early breed ventures between Spain and Portugal. For example, even JP has expounded on the crossing of Lusitanos and Spanish horses on a public forum.

He said “Portuguese breeders did this cross carefully and intentionally with horses that were inspected and deemed suitable. Spanish horses used in Portuguese programs (such as Judio from the Andalusian School of Eq.Art) used in Alter and Allegre (Champion of Spain I believe) used by Catherine Vaisse in France, had something very significant to bring to the mix. Judio had excellent "one tempis" and this was his recommendation to come to Alter. Allegre was super athletic. The Andrade sire of: Novilheiro, Opus Neptuno, Nilo, Tranco was called Firme and was an exceptional horse and stallion that was well bred, had superb conformation and gait and proved himself in the bullring.”

In fact, according to a book by the APSL (Lusitano horse registry in Portugal) called "Lusitano Champions, Historic Memory" the Lusitano studbook was a separate section of the National Stud records from 1942.

Another forum writer explains “The usual thing is to refer to the beginnings of the APSL as the beginning of the studbook but that is not the whole story. The fact that the studbook was not actually published until more recently has nothing to do with whether there was a studbook in existence in the past.”

He adds “Again, all Spanish horses used in the Lusitano Studbook came through anapproval process at the National Stud or APSL level at some point. That does not make any old s/p cross done today the equivalent to a registered Lusitano (either with us or Portugal). The Lusitano book has been closed for over thirty years (with two very limited exceptions)”.

Were All Iberian Horses "Spanish" Horses?

The article in Horse Illustrated goes on to explain the history of how horses evolved in Spain and Africa. It claims that from 1578 to 1640, “Portugal was annexed to Spain and all the horses on the Peninsula were called Spanish.”

I have found evidence of this to the contrary. For example, in 1885, Bernardo Lima used the term "Lusitano" for horses born and bred in Portugal. In 1942, veterinarians of the national stud decided to use the name "Lusitano". The studbook was official in 1967.

Even horses brought to this country prior to the 1960s were known by various names (they weren’t all “Spanish” horses). For example, horses brought by the Spanish included the Ginete, Arabian, Villano, Berber, and Barb bloodlines (source Mustangs).

Many people assume that since Spain and Portugal were considered together as “one country” in ancient times, that the horses and peoples were one and the same – therefore the horses were one and the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Differences between “Lusitania” (modern-day Portugal) and “Iberia” (modern-day Spain) in Ancient Times

“Hispania, the name given by the Romans to the peninsula, was a strictly geographic label without specific cultural or political connotation. The peninsula had always been divided into geographic and ethno-cultural regions which differed greatly from each other.” (Source a History of Spain and Portugal)

“The most advanced of the ancient Hispanic communities was the kingdom of Tartessos in the south, covering roughly the modern region of western Andalusia. … Ancient Hispanic societies were increasingly primitive and less politically and technologically advanced the farther they were from the south and east and the nearer to the north and west … antiquity,this western area was largely ignored by the outer world and by the advanced eastern and southern cultures … Even at its height, Roman rule had been unable to eliminate the strong regional and ethnic differences that divided the peninsula, and these became more pronounced again under the Visigoths.”

Portugal remained separate even during the Muslim invasions. “The Muslim "conquest" took only three years, but the Muslims in fact made no effort to conquer and occupy the entire peninsula. That would have been impossible for an army of no more than 30,000 to 40,000 men. They occupied directly only the main strongholds of south-central and northeastern Hispania, the old centers of Roman civilization. The old Suevic district in Portucale to the west and Galicia to the northwest were rendered tributary but not occupied.”

An article The Emergence of Portugal states that “some twentieth-century Portuguese historians have stressed the distinctiveness of their region and what they interpret to be an underlying cultural identity and continuity that reaches well back into the Middle Ages.” “The Roman province of Lusitania was not coterminous with modern Portugal, for it did not include part of the north but did embrace a portion of what was later southwestern Spain. The peninsula's southwest developed an economy with a special geographic basis oriented toward the Atlantic coast, but drew comparatively little attention because of the lack of mineral or other natural wealth.”

Portugal’s Independence can be traced very far back. “The first separate polity organized in the western part of the peninsula in historic times was the independent kingdom established by the Suevi, a small Germanic tribe that invaded the region in 411.” “The term used to refer to the entire area from the Minho to the Douro, and the succinct word Portugal can first be traced from a document of 883”.

“During the tenth century, the post of dux of the Portugalense was held by a powerful local aristocratic family which governed on a hereditary basis for a hundred years. The Viking raids and Muslim assaults of the tenth and early eleventh centuries, together with the contemporary decline of the Leonese monarchy, encouraged local identity and self-reliance. The center of the Portugalense tended toward its southern region, in the Douro valley, for the northern district below the Minho had apparently not been fully resettled even by the end of the tenth century.”

Thus, the Portuguese remained independent, even when their country was under the “throne” of Spain. The full article explains Portugal's rise to a nation. “What was new in Portugal by the beginning of the fifteenth century was not these trends of royal policy, but that the small kingdom had, after three hundred years, finally come of age. Though its population was no more than one and a half million, it had achieved strongly institutionalized government, a sense of national unity, a basis for modest economic development, commercial and maritime forces eager for a more expansive role in the world, a reorganized military aristocracy seeking new fields of adventure, and firm, calculating leadership able to guide the energies of its followers into major enterprises abroad.”

One can assume that with such independence, ancient Portugal was sure to have its own "brand" or "type" of Iberian horse that was different from the horses developing in the southern areas of Andalusia.

One or the Same?

The Horse Illustrated article goes on to explain (somewhat contradictory if the two horses are supposed to be a single breed) how the Lusitano developed from bullfighting and the Spanish horse developed from a driving horse and a horse of beauty.

Then, in 1954, “breeders in both Spain and Portugual attempted to bridge the gap, and proposals to unite each country’s studbook were considered.”

According to JP, the Portuguese wanted to call the horses “Puro Luso/Espanol” while the Spaniards wanted to call them “Pura Raza Espanola”. Disagreement ensued. In 1911, the official name for the Spanish horse became “Pura Raza Espanola” or PRE and the Portuguese horse became Puro Sangue Lusitano.

IALHA’s stance is that “Since our studbook had already been established before Portugal and Spain split [sort of hard if the split occurred in 1911?], we made the decision to stick to the old system of calling all of these horses Andalusians.”

The article claims that the IALHA “doesn’t facilitate the PRE status [in other words, help with revision]. That’s because they CAN’T. Up until 2006, the IALHA was very involved in inscription/revision and still holds classes just for PREs. In 2007 another entity took over inscription/revision (Spanish papers) because the old one wasn’t doing its job.

The PRE Horse

The article then turns its attention to Andalusians and Lusitanos in modern day dressage. Barb Clark of the Foundation for the Pure Spanish Horse promotes the PRE by saying “The PRE horse has proven itself in the dressage arena time and time again both internationally and here in the USA.”

The article ends with a quote from Shakespeare “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.”

PREs Get the Last Word

A large fold-out photo of galloping Andalusian is present at the end of the article. On the back of this photo, stands a promotional piece with large letters stating “PRE Horse”. The photos shows Invasor being ridden in dressage by Rafael Soto. The article begins with “Pura Raza Espanola, or the PRE horse, can only have this designation if it is registered with the Spanish studbook in Spain and has a Spanish passport for equines…”

On page 108 you will find an advertising section full of Spanish and Portuguese horses – advertised as “pure Spanish stallion”, PRE, Pure Spanish Andalusian, Lusitano, Pura Raza Espanola, but no sign of any Luso-Spanish horses which the article so devotedly tries to support!

Skyhorse Ranch - Andalusian horse breeder in Texas with Andalusian horses for sale. Breeders of PRE Pura Raza Espanola horses with cartas from Spain. Selling black, grey, and bay Andalusians. Recommend Andalusian stallions at stud. Pictures, history, facts, and info. Spanish Andalusian horse farm. Bloodlines from Spain in the USA.

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