Salerno horse

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For the Thoroughbred race horse, see Salerno (horse).
Country of origin Italy
Equus ferus caballus

The Salerno or Salernitano is a warmblood type of horse from the Italian province of Salerno. It resulted from crossbreeding Andalusians and Neapolitans.


Salernitano horses usually have a light and well-set head. They also have a long muscular neck. Their backs are generally well-proportioned. These horses have sloping shoulders, muscular quarters, and strong, slender legs. The breed averages 16 to 17 hands (64 to 68 inches, 163 to 173 cm), and the horses are usually solid bay, black, or chestnut. They are reputed to have a good disposition.


The Salernitano originate from the province of Salerno, in Italy. There was no fixed breeding system for these horses until the 1780s. At that time, people began to selectively breed at the Persano Stud. The foundation bloodstock was made up of Neapolitan, Spanish, and Oriental blood. This breed was promoted by King Charles III, who was the King of Naples, and Spain.

Persano Stud[edit]

At the Persano Stud, a combination of the local stock and Lipizzans were introduced to the Salernitano breed. Three Lipizzan stallions were particularly influential on Salernitanos at the stud. Their names were Pluto, Conversano, and Napoletano, and are considered foundation sires. The Persano Stud was closed in 1864. The Persano is a different breed which was also bred at the Persano Stud and which more closely resembles an Anglo-Arabian.

20th century influences[edit]

During the 20th Century Thoroughbred blood was introduced. These new bloodlines helped the breed by making its size increase, and by refining it. The newly built Morese Stud became one of the most influential studs on the breed. It also was located close to the original Persano Stud.


The Salernitano has become a first-class riding horse, and a cavalry mount. They also make superb sport horses, and have a good and natural jump.

Famous individuals[edit]

Two of the most famous Salernitano horses are Merano and Posillipo. They were both ridden by Raimondo d'Inzeo. Raimondo rode Merano at the 1956 World Showjumping Championships, and led the team to victory. Posillipo led d'Inzeo to the gold at the 1960 Summer Olympics.