The Hispano, also called
the Spanish Anglo-Arab, originated in Spain as a result of a
cross between mares of Arab and Andalusian heritage and English
Thoroughbred stallions. The breed is also for this reason referred
to as tres sangres, meaning "three blood" - the three
blood lines up on which the breed is founded. The resultant
Hispano is a horse of Arabian features with the quality and
stamp of the Thoroughbred and characteristics of the Andalusian.
Sometimes these horses can vary quite considerably in physical
appearance, with either the Arab, Thoroughbred, or Andalusian
becoming the dominant feature They are characteristically extremely
bold and courageous and are often used to work the young bulls
in preparation for the bullring, as well as being used in competitions
in the bullrings.
The Spanish have a
long tradition of using bulls in sporting events, one of which
is the acoso y derribo. In this, the competitor on horseback
has to bring a bull to the ground using along stick. The horse
ahs to be extremely quick and agile as well as being highly
trained, because invariably the bulls will get up and charge.
The Hispano have a quiet but lively temperament and are highly
versatile and talented, making very good competition horses
in both dressage and jumping. For the most part, they combine
all the most admirable qualities from the three breeds in one
horse, making them highly desirable as riding horses.
In appearance, they
have a correctly proportioned fine head usually with a straight
profile, although sometimes the Arab genes come out in the shape
of the head. They tend to have a light frame, which belies their
toughness and strength. Te neck is elegant and longish, and
well set on, with a gentle curve from the withers to poll. They
should have a wide and deep chest with a good sloping shoulder,
which allows for a nice free-flowing action. The back is straight,
strong, and quite short with muscular quarters and a well-set
tail. The legs should be clean and tough, with well-defined
tendons and strong hooves. Generally they are bay, gray, or
chestnut, and stand between 14.3 and 16 hh.
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