Europe - Italy

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The original Murgese traces back at least 500 years and originated in the Orfano district near Gravina, Italy. During the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century the governor of Monopoly kept Murgese stallions and several hundred brood mares in order to provide remounts for the cavalry. Over the years the breed died out with the modern Murgese dating back to the 1920's.
It is a light draught horse, showing little uniformity of type and is of a lesser quality than the Irish Draught. If fully trained Murgese can make useful riding horses and are used by the Italian police force. A better riding horse is produced by mating a Thoroughbred or warmblood stallion with a Murgese mare giving the progeny better paces and quality.
In Italy the breeding of quality leisure and sports horses is less advanced than in other European countries but gradually progress has been made to develop an Italian Saddle Horse.

variable conformation, overall light draught horse
Head: plain head; honest expression
Body: strong body; fairly poor hindquarters
Tail: low set
Color: predominantly black, also other solid colors
Height: 15 to 16hh
Temperament: good
Qualities: strong, trainable

Murgese horses are used for light draught work and can be trained to be riding horses. In Italy they are used in the police force.