Sardinian Anglo-Arab Horse

The Sardinian Anglo-Arab is a breed of riding horse in Italy. The breed was created through a crossbreeding of local mares with stallions from Anglo-Arab, Arab, or Thoroughbred stock. Throughout its history, the breed has remained relatively uniform, despite the fact that genetic variability has been reported. Below is a brief description of this Italian breed.


The Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse originates in the island of the same name. This type of horse is a result of crossbreeding Thoroughbreds with Sardinian Arabian horses. Its small stature makes it agile and versatile, making it ideal for a variety of sports. Its coloration is often described as a light chestnut.

The SAA was a renowned breed in Italy with a significant historical background in Sardinia. Genetic variability of the breed was determined through pedigree data and mitochondrial DNA analysis. The results showed a low level of inbreeding and close to 100% pedigree completeness. Therefore, the breed is considered to be well-managed. Genetic diversity is an important component in the conservation of the species.

Captain Grattarola, the director of the Ozieri remount station, crossed his finest 600 mares with Purosangue Orientale stallions sourced from Bedouin desert tribes. He also crossed these horses with Thoroughbred stallions on mixed mares. In 1967, the Sardinian Anglo-Arab Horse was officially recognized as a separate breed. In the meantime, Giontella and her colleagues studied genetics of the Sardinian Anglo-Arab Horse.

The breed stands between 12-13 hands high at the withers. This breed was originally wild and roamed the entire island. The Giara plateau was the perfect habitat for wild ponies. They may have been imported from Numidia by the Carthaginians. In medieval times, wild ponies were used for threshing. Females were captured at the start of summer and worked in the Campidano fields during the summer. After the summer season, they were set free to roam the Giara plateau.


The Anglo-Arab breed is a mixture of Thoroughbred and Arabian genes. It is considered desirable by many breeders because of its speed, endurance, and versatility across several disciplines. Although primarily used for sport, the Sardinian Anglo-Arab is also a breed in its own right on the island of Sardinia. This hybrid horse originated when native mares were crossed with Arabian lines, and it has become a popular horse breed in the region.

The original breed of the Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse was imported from Spain by the Italian military in the mid-15th century. These imported horses were used for eventing and as calvary mounts. These horses have a short, muscular neck and a refined head. They stand between twelve and thirteen hands at the withers. Their shoulders are powerful and sloped.

The Anglo-Arab breed has been recognized in Italy since 1967 and has been officially recognized in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Associazione Italiana Allevatori. In 2018 the AAS breeding stock comprised over three thousand head, including 134 stallions and 2871 brood-mares. The DAD-IS plans to grant conservation status to the breed by 2022.

The Anglo-Arab breed originated in Sardinia and has been crossed with Thoroughbreds and Sardinian Arabian horses. Its small stature and agility makes it ideal for a variety of sports. Although the Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse was first bred as a sport horse, it has since been crossed with Arabian stallions.


The size of a Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse depends on its type. Anglo-Arabs are generally medium-sized and weigh between 16.3 hands. They are tall and correct in action. Although not as large as their Arabian cousins, Sardinian Anglo-Arabs are still larger than Arabians. Their head shape is similar to that of a Thoroughbred, but their face and ears are more prominent.

The size of a Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse varies greatly. It can range from about 12 to 13 hands at the withers. They are known by a variety of names, including Sardinian Anglo-Arab or Giara. The Giara horse was a pre-Roman breed that was crossed with Arabians and Thoroughbreds. Today, the Sardinian Anglo-Arab is a large and athletic breed.

The Sardinian Anglo-Arab is an important Italian breed, with a long history in Sardinia. The study team evaluated SAA pedigree and mitochondrial DNA to assess genetic variability in this breed. The study found a high percentage of founder mares, a characteristic of the Sardinian Anglo-Arab. The authors have no conflict of interest and do not receive significant financial support.

In 1874, the Ozieri Army Remount Station in Italy was founded and supplied mounts to its cavalry units. In the years that followed, indigenous Sardinian mares were crossed with Oriental stallions, including the foundation sire Osmanie. As early as 1883, Anglo-Arabians were also included in the breeding program. The Ozieri Army Remount Station was reestablished in 1905.

Genetic variability

The Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse was developed from the crossing of Arabian and thoroughbred horses. Its small stature makes it a highly versatile animal for a variety of sports, including dressage, hunting, and racing. Here is an overview of the history and genetics of the Sardinian Anglo-Arab Horse. To gain a better understanding of the SAA’s genetics, let’s first examine some of its characteristics.

The researchers used a medium-density SNP genotyping panel to determine the genetic diversity of three Sicilian populations. They compared these data with the average relatedness of each population, including the Maremmano, Murgese, and Bardigiano horse breeds. They concluded that the Sardinian Anglo-Arab Horse exhibits high genetic diversity and is well-managed by breeding programs.

Using this data, the authors derived a high index for the young horse, r(TI), based on the data of both parents. The index of r(TI) was increased from 0.27 to 0.54 when genomic information was used to estimate the heritability of a specific trait. These new markers may provide a valuable tool for early selection decisions. The study included a large number of mares, as well as an estimated 1,000-year-old Arabian.

The percentage of Thoroughbred and Arabian blood in the Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse was similar among all breeds, but there was a significant impact of inbreeding on WH and other morphological traits. The inbreeding effect was greater in the Spanish and Lusitano horses, but was not as large in the Arab horse.

Relationship with ancient Spanish horses

The Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse is a famous breed of Arabian-type horses, which originated from crosses between indigenous Sardinian mares and Arab stallions. It was also bred with Thoroughbreds and the WH gene, which is important in determining color. These horses also exhibit endurance. They were used to breed horses for equestrian sports, such as polo and dressage.

The study compared the genomics of Italian horses to those of the other native Italian horse breeds, as well as other breeds in Europe and Asia. The Italian horses show the highest proportion of this gene, with more than 70 percent of the genome being related to the Sardinian. The ROH% in the SAN and SIC populations was above seven percent, with the corresponding percentages in the other three populations being slightly lower.

The ancient Greeks believed that Spain was the birthplace of the Sardinian horse. The Sardinian horse came to Europe and northern Africa during the Vedic Era. The Greeks learned about horses and domesticated them. They traded Indo-Iranian horses with the Iberians for silver and gold. The Assyrians also traded with the Iberians for silver and gold, and eventually the Cimmerians invade Italy and invade Wales. The Romans under the command of General Aetius defeated the Huns at the Battle of Chalons. King Theodoric is killed in a cavalry charge, and the Visigoths leave for Spain.

In the fifth century BC, the Celts conquer the Iberian Peninsula, bringing with them their Italian-bred horses. The Romans use their horses for military purposes, and the Lusitan horse is the most famous of all. The Romans also use their horses as racehorses. Meanwhile, the Hsiung-nu horsemen attack Western China. The Huns take Carthage and Phrygia and capture them. After that, the Greeks establish the colony of Cyrene in Libya and imported Spanish horses.

Crossbreeding with Thoroughbreds

The Sardinian Anglo-Arab horse (SAA) is a famous Italian breed with a long history in Sardinia. It has been bred since the early 1900s, but its history goes much deeper than that. A study examining SAA’s genetic variability found that their pedigrees were near-perfect, with a pedigree completeness rate of 99%. Inbreeding rates of around 50% were also assessed.

To be a candidate for breeding purposes, a Sardinian Anglo-Arab must contain 25 percent Arabian blood. Some breeders consider a cross between Arabians and Thoroughbreds desirable, because they both possess speed, endurance, and versatility across various disciplines. In Sardinia, the AAS is considered a breed in its own right, although its popularity extends beyond the island. Its ancestor is the Giara, a smaller native horse of Sardinia.

The AAS was bred by crossing Arabians and large Andalusians. The result is a horse that is both powerful and graceful. It is often a great choice for equestrian sports. It has replaced the Thoroughbred in many horse races and Grand Pries. The breed is both sure-footed and hardy, and is a great alternative to the Thoroughbred.

The Anglo-Arab horse has a long neck and a prominent wither. Its conformation is similar to that of the Arabian. A long neck, wide shoulders, a deep chest, and small, fine heads are typical features. Despite their Arabian heritage, they have a much lower rib cage. They are also less likely to have a dished profile.

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