Portugal’s centuries of equestrian tradition took off from from a long time and in the 17th and 18 century with the royal houses taking interest in the sport with a mix of European and Arabian as well as the local horse breed. Some inbreeding must have taken place and the result is a sturdy breed that has enjoyed world patronage as a fast and easily trainable horse in the Lusitano. The tradition lives on with several major annual sporting events celebrating the Lusitano breed throughout Portugal.
The Breed’s Roots
The Lusitano breed is one of the most distinguished horse breed in the world. It is believed to have come from inbreeding of the native Iberian Berber horse that have been a product of inbreeding with various European breed that came with the conquering Carthaginians, Romans and Germanic tribes. With the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Muslims in the Middle Ages, the inbreeding with the Arabian horse gave the Lusitano new breed characteristics.
But it was only in the 1940s that a serious concerted effort by the National stud farm to come up with a thoroughbred to distinguish it from the Spanish breed came to fruition. The Lusitano as the world knows it today was officially distinguished as a Portuguese breed in 1962 from a similar horse from other Spanish breeders. The Lusitano horse breed is a Portuguese horse highly appreciated amongst equestrian aficionados the world over. They can be found in abundant numbers notably in Brazil, France and Mexico and often seen in shows and equestrian events.