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Galician horse

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(Redirected from Galician Pony)
Other names
Country of originSpain
Distinguishing featuresHeight: 120–140 cm[3]: 463 
Weight: 165–300 kg[4]

The Galician or Galician Mountain Horse, Spanish: Caballo de Pura Raza Gallega,[1] Galician: Raza Equina Cabalo Galego do Monte,[5] is a breed of small horse from Galicia, in north-western Spain. It is genetically very close to the Garrano breed of northern Portugal.[2] It was in the past used as a war-horse and in agriculture; it is now raised principally for meat. The horses are bay or black.[4][3]: 463 



The most commonly accepted theory of the origin of the Gallego is that it, like other small breeds of the northern part of the Iberian peninsula, descends from small dark-coloured horses introduced by Celtic immigrants in the sixth century BC.[3]: 462 

In the Middle Ages these horses were rented or swapped for other horses at the border between Galicia and Castile, since the Galician was more sturdy and suitable for the rugged landscape of the country.[6]

In the 1980s and 90s there was concern that the introduction of stallions of other breeds, with better meat-producing qualities, was placing at risk the original stock of Galician horses.[3]: 462  The Xunta de Galicia published a conservation plan for the breed in 1993.[7] A breed association, the Asociación Pura Raza Cabalo Galego, was formed in 1997, and in 1998 the breed was officially recognised and a stud-book established.[8][9]

The Gallego is regulated and protected by the Galician government,[10] in an attempt to increase the numbers of the feral stock.

Distribution and management


It is distributed through much of Galicia. It is present in the concellos of A Estrada, Cambados, Covelo, Poio, Pontevedra and Santa María de Oia in the province of Pontevedra; of Abegondo, Arzúa, Cambre, Cariño, Cerceda, Curtis, Ferrol, Irixoa, Lousame, Noia, Ortigueira and Porto do Son in the province of A Coruña; of Guitiriz, Muras, Ourol, Mondoñedo, Riotorto, Vilalba and Viveiro in the province of Lugo; and of Castro Caldelas, Coles and Lobios in the province of Ourense.[3]: 463  A small number have been exported to Germany.[3]: 463  In 2013 the total population was reported as 1623.[8]

Almost all Gallego horses are managed extensively, in semi-feral conditions on the mountains of Galicia.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Raza equino caballar Caballo de Pura Raza Gallega: Datos Generales (in Spanish). Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente. Accessed September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Jesús María Martínez Sáiz (2000). Estudio de la varibilidad genética de la raza equina autóctona caballo losino (doctoral thesis, in Spanish). Departamento de Genética de la Universidad de Córdoba. Accessed September 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f 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. 462–464.
  4. ^ a b Pura raza galega (in Galician). Accessed 10 October 2008
  5. ^ História (in Galician). Asociación Pura Raza Cabalo Galego. Accessed September 2015.
  6. ^ O'Flanagan, P. (1996), in "Xeografía Histórica de Galicia", Xerais, Vigo
  7. ^ H. Pose, G. Rivero, A. Fernández, J.L. Viana, G. Santamarina e M. Fernández (2001) Actuaciones para la conservación del cabalo galego de monte (in Spanish). Archivos de Zootecnia 50 (189–190): 251–258.
  8. ^ a b Breed data sheet: Caballo de Pura Raza Gallega/Spain . Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed September 2015.
  9. ^ Asociación (in Galician). Asociación Pura Raza Cabalo Galego. Accessed September 2015.
  10. ^ Alberto Núñez Feijóo (22 July 2011). Decreto 149/2011, Catálogo Oficial de Razas Ganaderas Autóctonas de Galicia (in Galician). Diario Oficial de Galicia 141: 20643.
  11. ^ [Xunta de Galicia] (4 April 2001). Orden de la de 4 de abril de 2001 por la que se establece la reglamentación específica del Libro Genealógico del Caballo de "Pura Raza Gallega" (in Spanish). Diario Oficial de Galicia 119.