This documented work shows the vicissitudes which the Spanish Horse had to live through during one of the most unsettled political and social periods in the Spanish history. It covers the years from 1700, the year which coincides with the arrival in Spain of the Bourbon kings, until the beginning of the 20th century. It explains the historical development of this breed of horses which, ever since its creation in the second half of the 16th century, kept expanding through continuous endogenous crosses carried out mainly by the Andalusian breeders. The aim was to try to uniform the rest of the equine population, based on the morfological and psychological characteristics for which the Spanish Horse had gained its status of being perfect. The book examines all different aspects of its evolution during those two centuries, placed in the historical, social, military and economic context in which it occurred. In this way, it analyzes the various changes of regulations concerning horse breeding that were issued, and through which this horse breed was being controlled, ever since it had emerged from its cradle: the Royal Stud Farm of Córdoba. It describes its morphology during that period and the process which had led to the end of the religious orders´ predominance in horse breeding. It also clarifies the confusion existing around the supposed crossbreeding of the Spanish Horse in some moments in history, like those it endured during the French invasion, in which it found itself on the verge of disappearance. The subsequent arrival in Spain of new breeds of horses, like the Arab, the English Thoroughbred or the Norman, together with the tax grants they were being awarded, the Ordinances concerning the breeding of mules issued in order to stop the progressive stagnation of the horse population, and the obtaining of the Lusitano horse through crosses are amongst the other aspects also studded in this work.
We are talking here about a work of special interest, one that provides the key which allows us to understand, to large extend, the present situation of the Spanish breed. Furthermore, this book is the second part of the History and Origins of the Spanish Horse (Historia y origen del caballo Español) which, only a year after it had been published, was regarded by the specialized press as one of the ³classics², and awarded with words such as ³fundamental², ³brilliant² and ³revolutionary work². In it, it has been shown and documented that the Spanish Horse was not the fruit of natural evolution, as it had been claimed, but the result of the first genetic megaproject in history undertaken in order to obtain a breed of horses whose characteristics had been laid out by the classical Greeks as being ideal for an equine. This was the project ordered to be carried out in the city of Córdoba, in 1567, by the king Philip II.
Chapter I. Horse breeding in the first half of the 18th century.
1.1 Historical context. Philip V and horse breeding (1700-1746).
Chapter II. Charles III and the development of horse breeding (1759-1788).
2.1 Reorganization of horse breeding.
3.1 Carlos IV y los picaderos reales.
Chapter V. The evolution of the breed and the work of the stablemasters.
5.1 Liberalization of the horse market under the regency of queen Maria Cristina (1834-1840).
El Caballo Espanol con los Reyes Borbones
The Spanish Horse Under the Bourbon Kings
by Juan Carlos Altamirano
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