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Pentro horse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Conservation status
Other names
  • Cavallo del Pentro
  • Cavallo Pentro
  • Pentro Horse
Country of originItaly
StandardAssocizione Italiana Allevatori
  • 133–142 cm[3]: 494 
  • Male:
    average 137 cm[4]: 106 
  • Female:
    average 133 cm[4]: 106 

The Pentro or Cavallo Pentro is an endangered Italian breed of small rustic horse. It originates in the upper valley of the Volturno in the southern Italian region of Molise, close to its borders with Abruzzo, Campania and Lazio, and takes its name from the ancient Samnite tribe of the Pentri, who lived in that area.[5]: 115  The population is concentrated in the comune of Montenero Val Cocchiara in the province of Isernia. It is one of the fifteen indigenous horse "breeds of limited distribution" recognised by the AIA, the Italian breeders' association.[6]



Like many Italian breeds the Pentro is raised on open land year-round, where it has to fend off wolves,[citation needed] which have returned to the Italian countryside in considerable numbers.[citation needed]

The Pentro horse is threatened with extinction.[7]

In 2003 the total population was about 250, of which no more than 150 displayed the morphological characteristics of the breed. The surviving members live in the Pantano della Zittola, a broad plain extending over about 2200 hectares, lying on the edge of the Abruzzo National Park in the mountainous region between Abruzzo and Molise.[8]

There is no established conservation programme in the area and the horses there are raised as feral animals viewed as characteristic fauna of the land.[7]


  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, Dafydd Pilling (editors) (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: Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Archived 23 June 2020.
  2. ^ Breed data sheet: Cavallo Pentro / Italy (Horse). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed April 2023.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b Élise Rousseau, Yann Le Bris, Teresa Lavender Fagan (2017). Horses of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691167206.
  5. ^ Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594.
  6. ^ Cavallo Pentro: Standard Di Razza (in Italian). Associazione Italiana Allevatori. Archived 13 July 2008.
  7. ^ a b G. Cicia, E. D'Ercole, D. Marino (2003). Costs and benefits of preserving farm animal genetic resources from extinction: CVM and Bio-economic model for valuing a conservation program for the Italian Pentro horse. Ecological Economics. 45: 445–459.
  8. ^ Arianna Bruzzone, Daniela Lamartino, Michele Blasi, Fabio Pilla (2003). The Pentro horse: genetic characterization by microsatellite markers. Italian Journal of Animal Science. 2: 223-230. doi:10.4081/ijas.2003.223.