The Hispano-Árabe History

Courtesy of: Epona Hispano – Arabe Stud – The Premier Hispano-Árabe Stud of Great Britian

Photo: Incauto – Champion Stallion and Absolute Champio Equisur 2012. Yeguada Hnos Alvarez Lorenzo

The Hispano-Árabe has been bred in Spain for centuries to produce a pre-potent
blend of the Andalusian and Arab, resulting in a versatile all purpose riding horse.

Like the Lippizaner, the Hispano-Árabe is considered a breed of horse in its own right;
derived from the Pure Spanish Horses (PRE). It is not a partbred despite the continued
selective use of Pure Spanish Horses to improve breeding programmes through the years.After years of lobbying, Alvero Domecq, a strong advocate of the excellence of the Hispano-Árabe , brought about the official acceptance of this versatile breed and recognition of the need to protect and preserve it’s dwindling numbers with the introduction of a breeding regeneration programme and inclusion of the breed into a special Section of the Spanish Stud Book. The Hispano-Árabe and the Pure Spanish Horse are regarded as two different breeds each demonstrating the characteristics correct to the breed to which they belong.

The Hispano-Árabe like the Pure Spanish Horse is subject to a grading procedure before being granted approval for breeding. This grading is to ensure that only sound horses with well defined characteristics are used for breeding.

“The Spanish Horse crossed to perfection with Arab and got a masterpiece, the Hispano-Árabe which relieved the breed and provided it with greater speed, without losing an ounce of arrogance”

Alvaro Domecq of Diez
‘Horses in Spain’caballo_304_711_1


Breed Profile 

Courtesy of: The British Association for the Pura Raza Hispano –  Arabe

The breed of horse is a native of Spain, classified for special protection, according to the effective Catalogue of Breeds of Agricultural Stock of Spain, due to its small numbers it has become necessary to conserve it and to administer a regeneration breeding plan and increase public awareness, acknowledging it as being a genetic resource of sociocultural and zootechnical importance.

The Hispano-Árabe evolved and developed through its agricultural application in the cattle industry, however the demands of the vaquero work has honed this breed to display a great adaptability to diverse equestrian disciplines and it has been officially designated by ANCADES (The Spanish Sports Horse Association) as a Sports Horse.

The Hispano-Árabe earliest conception as a breed dates to the Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsular and has it’s origins from two pure breeds, namely the Spanish and the Arabian. The regeneration breeding strategy currently being implemented uses the reintroduction of Pure Raza Espanola (PRE) and Pure Raza Arabian (Prá) bloodlines to expand and consolidate the breed.

The racial prototype of the Hispano-Árabe breed is determined by the following characteristics:



General characteristics:

The Hispano-Árabe breed has good proportions and is of medium size with graceful silhouette and a overall harmony with elegant movements. Generally; and given the origin of the breed (and current breed improvement), the ethnic characteristics can be very varied, without for this reason, constituting reason for disqualification or objection. General harmony and corpulence that a slim figure provides, of graceful silhouette and harmonious proportions.


Morphological characteristics:


Relatively small and pyramidal head that ends with a discrete widening at the muzzle. The nasal profile is straight or slightly undulating in prolonged S shape.
Their ears are medium sized and very mobile, discreetly separated with a tendency for the tips to point towards each other. The forehead is flat or slightly arched, and broad. Eyes are clear, quite large and round, level with the face and expressive, with marked orbital arches. The face is straight or very discreetly sub-convex. In the union of the cranial region with the facial region may show a certain depression giving a prolonged S shape profile. Terminal portion of the head widens and is square off, forming a clear angle with the face. The nostrils are open and project forwards. The lips are fine with an extensive jaw with an angular edge.

A light neck, extended and slightly arched along the top line. It is well connected to the head and to the body.

The trunk is strong and deep with the wither being pronounced and extended smoothly towards the back. The back is slightly curved, with ample loins which are muscular and horizontal and well-coupled both forward and back. The croup is rectangular, strong, horizontal or slightly sloping. The tail begins in the line with the croup, and is lifted considerably when the animal is in action. Deep chest, protruding thorax, with gently arched ribcage, open flanks and well tucked up belly.

The legs are medium to long with good vertical lines.
The forelegs:-shoulders are long and extended back, wide and obliquely set; well directed arm and forearm, that are strong and correctly positioned. Knee is large and neat with cannon-bones of good length and well defined tendons.Apartado 22006
Pasterns are proportionate and hooves of dimensions in agreement with the body development.
The hindquarters have a well developed thigh with a long rump and ample and strong legs and hocks.
The lower legs are of similar characteristics to the front legs..

Functional characteristics:

The physiological inheritance from the union of the two parent breeds provides the Hispano-Árabe a particular intermediate style of movements, in which good elevations with ample extensions are associated, without those being too much pronounced. The horses are easy to handle and quick to learn and mutually work with riders and handlers.

Constitutional characteristics:

The breed is extremely docile, agile, with lively temperament and fast responses. It is hardy, steady and strong, capable of overcoming adverse situations without concerted effort.


It is a riding horse, with particular predisposition for sport, especially for cross-country, jumping, as well as for the classical disciplines of dressage and doma vaquera work associated with cattle work. It also has the temperament suited for the equestrian le TREC (Technical of Equestrian Route of Competition), long distance rides, and group sports.


Defects are those general to all horses, morphological, physiological, and temperamental.


Hispano – Arabe Associations:




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