Sardinian Anglo-Arab

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sardinian Anglo-Arab
Conservation status
Country of originItaly
Distributionprincipally Sardinia
StandardMIPAAF (in Italian)
Useriding horse
  • 450–600 kg[3]
  • 158–170 cm[3]
  • bay
  • brown
  • chestnut
  • grey
  • black[4]: 197 

The Sardinian Anglo-Arab or Anglo-Arabo Sardo is an Italian breed of riding horse from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.[5]: 118  It derives from cross-breeding of local mares with stallions of Arab, Anglo-Arab and Thoroughbred stock. Breeding began in 1874; the breed was officially recognised in 1967.[6]: 98 [7]: 500 


Breeding of what would become the Sardinian Anglo-Arab began in 1874, when the Regio Deposito Stalloni or royal stud was established at Ozieri in the province of Sassari in northern Sardinia. There indigenous Sardinian mares were put to Oriental stallions of the Purosangue Orientale breed, with the aim of producing riding horses suitable for military use in the army of the new Italian state.[6]: 98 [8]: 2  From 1883 both French Anglo-Arab and Thoroughbred stallions were also used; from 1915 to 1937 the use of these was discontinued and only Arab stallions were employed.[6]: 98  The demand for military horses was already substantially reduced by this time, and following the Second World War became negligible; from that time the horses were bred principally for competitive sport. Since the 1960s the major influence on the development of the breed has been the French Anglo-Arab.[6]: 98 

The Anglo-Arabo Sardo was officially recognised in 1967.[7]: 500  It is registered in the second section of the stud-book of the Sella Italiano.[6]: 99  Like other sporting horses, it falls under the Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali, the Italian ministry of agriculture; the stud-book is kept by the Associazione Italiana Allevatori, the national association of animal breeders.[9]

In 2018 the breeding stock stood at just over 3000 head, consisting of 134 stallions and 2871 brood-mares.[2] In 2022 the conservation status of the breed was reported to DAD-IS as 'at risk'/'endangered'.[2]


The Sardinian Anglo-Arab is markedly Oriental in appearance.[10]: 348  It is dolichomorphic in outline, lightly built but strong. The head is light and square, with a straight profile, small ears and large eyes and nostrils.[11][3] The skin is fine, the coat fine, short and silky, with abundant mane and tail; the principal colours are bay, chestnut, less often grey.[11][3]


The Anglo-Arabo Sardo was originally bred as a riding horse for military use. Since about the time of the Second World War it has been bred principally for competitive sport. It is particularly suitable for three-day eventing, but is also used for show-jumping and in races held specifically for half-blood horses, of which there are many in Sardinia;[6]: 99  most of the horses that run in the Palio di Siena are of this breed.[4]: 197 

In the three-day event, an early success was that of Rohan de Lechereo, ridden by Marina Sciocchetti, in the team which took the silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980.[12]


  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. ^ a b c Breed data sheet: Cavallo Anglo-Arabo / Italy (Horse). Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed July 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Libri genealogici: Cavallo Orientale, Anglo Arabo e Sella Italiano (in Italian). Rome: Ministero delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali. Archived 3 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b Elwyn Hartley Edwards (2016). The Horse Encyclopedia. New York, New York: DK Publishing. ISBN 9781465451439.
  5. ^ Élise Rousseau, Yann Le Bris, Teresa Lavender Fagan (2017). Horses of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691167206.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Daniele Bigi, Alessio Zanon (2008). Atlante delle razze autoctone: Bovini, equini, ovicaprini, suini allevati in Italia (in Italian). Milan: Edagricole. ISBN 9788850652594.
  7. ^ a b 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.
  8. ^ Andrea Giontella, Francesca Maria Sarti, Irene Cardinali, Samira Giovannini, Raffaele Cherchi, Hovirag Lancioni, Maurizio Silvestrelli, Camillo Pieramati (2020). Genetic Variability and Population Structure in the Sardinian Anglo‐Arab Horse. Animals. 10 (6): 1018. doi:10.3390/ani10061018.
  9. ^ Relazione sulla Gestione e Bilancio 2020 (in Italian). Associazione Italiana Allevatori. Accessed July 2022.
  10. ^ Elwyn Hartley Edwards (1994). The Encyclopedia of the Horse. London; New York; Stuttgart; Moscow: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0751301159.
  11. ^ a b Anglo Arabo Sardo (in Italian). Regione Autonoma della Sardegna: SardegnaAgricoltura. Archived 19 September 2020.
  12. ^ Caterina Vagnozzi (2005). Sciocchetti, Marina (in Italian). Enciclopedia dello Sport. Roma: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. Accessed July 2022.