conformation small head, strong shoulders, short body,
deep girth, hard legs
colour bay, brown, grey, occasionally chestnut
height 15-16 hands
uses quality riding horse, suitable for High School
if the Iberian kings-the magnificent Andalucian and the noble Lusitano – can be said to have a poor relation, it is perhaps Portugal’s Alter-Real, even though the ’Real’ part of his name means ‘royal The breed was established in 1748 in Alentejo to provide horses for the Royal Stables at Lisbon.These horses had to be suitable for classical equitation and carriage driving. After eight years the stud was moved to Alter, a town known for its mineral-rich soil and nutritious grazing, from which the breed received the first part of its name. The Alter-Real’s foundation was 300 fine Andalucian mares imported from Jerez, Spain, and Arabian stallions. The stud was sacked by Napoleon’s troops, who took the best stock for the Peninsular War (180¢1—14). Attempts were made thereafter to upgrade remaining stock using Hanoverian, Arabian and English bloodlines, but it was not until the further introduction of Andalucian blood in the late 19th century that the fortunes of the Alter~Real improved. Portugal’s equine expert Dr Ruy D’Andrade saved a small percentage of breeding stock from which he line·bred two stallions. ln 1932 the stud was given to the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, which has further improved it by culling unsuitable mares and using only the finest sires.
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