From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Conservation status
  • FAO (2007): endangered-maintained[1]: 108 
  • DAD-IS (2023): at risk/endangered[2]
Other namesAsturian Pony
Country of originSpain
DistributionAsturias, elsewhere in Spain
StandardPrincipado de Asturias (in Spanish, pages 2–5)
  • Male:
    275 kg[3]
  • Female:
    250 kg[3]
  • Male:
    130 cm[3]
  • Female:
    123–125 cm[4]: 450 
a small black horse dragging a loaded wooden sled on grass
At the Fiesta del Asturcón in the Sierra del Sueve in 2015

The Asturcón is an ancient Spanish breed of small horse or pony from the autonomous region of Asturias in the northern part of the country. It has been documented since Roman times:[5] it has an unusual ambling gait, which was described by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia. It is of Celtic type, and shows similarity to the Pottok and Losino of Spain, the Garrano of Portugal, and the Dartmoor, Exmoor, Fell, Highland, Shetland and Welsh breeds of the British Isles.[4]: 448 


The Asturcón has been known and described since Roman times; it is mentioned in an epigram of Martial, and by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia, where he describes its characteristic ambling gait.[6][7][4]: 448  The Latin word asturco was later used for other similar small horses with ambling gait.[6]

At about the time of the Spanish Civil War, the population of the Asturcón separated into two distinct parts, one in the sierras of Sueve and La Vita, and the other further to the west, in the sierras of El Palo, La Bobia [es] and Tineo. The two populations are genetically distinct.[4]: 449 

A breeders' association, the Asociación de Criadores de Ponis de Raza Asturcón, was formed in 1987;[8] at the time there were 23 mares registered in the stud-book. At the end of 2003, there were 1181 head registered, in the hands of 94 breeders.[4]: 449  In 2007 the Asturcón was listed by the FAO as "endangered-maintained".[1]: 108 

The Asturcón is thought to have given rise to the extinct Irish Hobby, and has been used in attempts to re-create that breed.[9]: 440 


The Asturcón is a small horse: height at the withers is usually in the range 125–135 cm, and never exceeds 147 cm.[10] The average height for mares is variously reported at between 123 cm and 125 cm[4]: 450  or at 130 cm[3], with an average weight of some 250 kg; stallions stand some 130 cm on average, with an average weight of 275 kg.[3]

In the early twenty-first century the only coat colour admitted for registration in the stud-book was black, with no marking other than a small frontal star. There was a small population of bay Asturian horses of Celtic type, but they were not registered in the Asturcón stud-book.[4]: 449  In the breed standard published in early 2012 by the Government of Asturias, the permitted coat colours are black, bay and chestnut, still with no marking other than a small star.[10]: 4 [3]


  1. ^ a b Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed July 2014.
  2. ^ Breed data sheet: Asturcón / Spain (Horse). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed April 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Raza equino caballar Asturcón: Datos Morfológicos (in Spanish). Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Archived 4 December 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Miguel Fernández Rodríguez, Mariano Gómez Fernández, Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo, Silvia Adán Belmonte, Miguel Jiménez Cabras (eds.) (2009). Guía de campo de las razas autóctonas españolas (in Spanish). Madrid: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. ISBN 9788449109461. p. 438–41.
  5. ^ Raza equino caballar Asturcón: Datos Generales (in Spanish). Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Archived 6 December 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Asturco", in: Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short (1879). A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  7. ^ Pliny the Elder, Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff (editor) (1906). Naturalis Historia. Lipsiae: Teubner.
  8. ^ La Asociación (in Spanish). Asociación de Criadores de Ponis de Raza Asturcón. Accessed October 2018.
  9. ^ Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.
  10. ^ a b Albano Longo Álvarez (28 March 2012). Resolución de 28 de marzo de 2012, de la Consejería de Agroganadería y Recursos Autóctonos, por la que se reconoce a la Asociación de Criadores de Ponis de Raza Asturcón (ACPRA) para la llevanza del Libro Genealógico de la raza y se aprueba el Reglamento del Libro Genealógico, el Programa de Mejora y el Programa de Difusión del Poni de Raza Asturcón, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el Real Decreto 2129/2008, de 26 de diciembre (in Spanish). Oviedo: Boletín Oficial del Principado de Asturias, Cód. 2012-06597.