The Siciliano Indigeno Horse

The Siciliano Indigeno Horse is a breed of horse that originated in Sicily. It is a product of admixture between African Horses and Oriental Horses, with African Horses contributing the most to the breed. The breed is renowned for its beauty and agility. Read on to learn about the characteristics of this breed and how it came to be. A closer look will reveal what makes this horse so unique.

Haplogroup diversity

In the West Mediterranean island of Sardinia, there are many autochthonous species, including horses, which are considered endangered. Three horse breeds on the island are endangered and the Y-chromosome distribution highlights genetic characteristics unique to the native populations. This study analyzed the genetic variation of 125 samples from 34 stallions. It revealed that the Siciliano Indigeno Horse belongs to haplogroup L, which is found in all of its subgroups.

Giara horses are characterized by high NRY frequencies. This suggests that the Giara horse originated from the Middle East, and its modern population is a descendant of ancient Phoenicia. Nonofficial records indicate that the Giara horse was brought to Sardinia by Phoenician sailors in the first millennium BCE. Recent studies suggest that there was extensive exchange between Phoenician populations and broader Sardinia, and Phoenician sailors may have introduced horses to Sardinia.

The haplogroup diversity of the Siciliano Indigeno horse has been studied extensively. Using non-recombining genetic systems, the animal exhibits high variation in maternal lineages, but limited variability among paternal lines. These findings are consistent with previous studies, which show that this ancient horse has a high level of genetic diversity. The haplogroup diversity of Siciliano Indigeno Horse is the result of two distinct groups: eastern and interior Sicilian. The eastern Siciliano Indigeno Horse has a light and long build; the interior group is muscular.

Italian riding horse breeds were also studied. The Italian hotblood and warmblood horse breed, the Sarcidano, and the Arabian were included. The results revealed that the Siciliano Indigeno Horse and Arabian horses exhibit a high level of haplotype diversity. Although the research did not identify the origin of the Siciliano Indigeno Horse, it is worth noting that the Italian riding horse is an ancient breed and was used as a breeding stock by many other people.


The Siciliano Indigeno horse has been characterized by its high levels of homozygosity. These results were consistent throughout its genome, and suggest that the breed evolved in a climate-rich island. The study examined the genetic structure of the Sicilian horse and its close relatives, the Purosangue Orientale Siciliano, Maremmano, and Arab. Genetic analyses of Sicilian horses revealed significant genetic similarities to the Arabian horse and Arab breeds.

In Sicily, the Purosangue Orientale Siciliano is an example of mesomorphic and meso-doligomorphic horses. The Purosangue Orientale Siciliano horse originated from crossbred North African and Asiatic horses. Despite its mesomorphic ancestry, this breed is an excellent saddle horse, with its robust, well-developed conformation and endurance over long distances.

A broader perspective on the genetic structure of horses could be gained by studying the heterozygous population of the Siciliano Indigeno. The Siciliano Indigeno Horse’s heterozygosity was observed at four different loci. The first gene was called SCPEP1, while the second gene was named MSI2. The last gene, AKAP1, has been implicated in the development of melanoma in horses.

The Siciliano Indigeno Horse has a stable population, with an estimated 8,000 animals across the different provinces in Sicily. Breeding outside of Sicily was prohibited by AIA guidelines. However, there are several strains of the Siciliano Indigeno horse and the genetic diversity of the breed is well preserved. The future of the breed lies in the preservation of its distinctive genetic makeup and ability to adapt to climate changes.

In conclusion, homozygosity is an essential component of genetic diversity. In Sicily, the heterozygosity of equine traits reflects the morphological characteristics of the breed. Besides identifying reared horses, genomic data are essential for the proper management of small populations. The information obtained will enable breeding managers to plan mating pairs and manage the inbreeding rate.

The high-resolution network graphs of mtDNA haplotypes and admixture revealed distinct substructures by origin. The mtDNA population had the highest mean genome coverage followed by Slovakia and Hungary. The ROH island analysis identified five common islands in ECA11 and ECA14, with two outlier populations linked to Hungarians and Slovakians.


The Purosangue Orientale Siciliano Stud Book was established on 09/19/1875. The Sicilian population has maintained a high degree of homogeneity and low consistency. This type of Sicilian horse is characterized by a low level of inbreeding despite the periodic introduction of Arab blood. This type of Sicilian horse exhibits an unusual FROH, lower than those of the Arab horse.

The Sarcidano breed originated in the town of Altopiano del Sarcidano in the province of Oristano in Sardinia. Today, it is one of fifteen native Italian horse breeds with a limited distribution. The AIA has listed it as a critically endangered species. However, it is not one of the 15 indigenous breeds listed by the organization. Inbreeding in Siciliano Indigeno Horse is the process of combining the characteristics of two or more different equids.

Although the genetics of Maremmano and Siciliano are similar, it is important to note that the two breeds have different amounts of inbreeding. This is because Maremmanos are smaller than the Purosangue Orientale Siciliano, which is the most common population in the region. The Purosangue Orientale Siciliano population has approximately 200 horses. It has undergone selective breeding to achieve its unique characteristics.

Genetic studies of the two Siciliano Indigeno Horse populations indicate that they were domesticated from Dinohippus-like ancestors. This ancestor is believed to have crossed with the Pliohippus lineage, resulting in a stilt-legged horse. There are also numerous fossil forms of this equid. Some of these fossils are assigned to different species, including the genus Pliohippus.


The Purosangue Orientale Siciliano is a mesomorphic, half-breed horse native to the island of Sicily. The breed is suitable for light draft work and saddle riding, and has a distinctive predisposition for running. The horse’s ancestors are Asian and North African horses, and it was domesticated and bred in Sicily until the 16th century. It has a unique combination of traits, including disease resistance and longevity, and is well-suited to Sicily’s climate and poor quality of feed.

The equine diversity of Sicily is an important genetic reservoir for the species. It is suitable for equestrian tourism, and conservation efforts must safeguard this genetic diversity. Conservation programmes must identify reared horses and monitor them to determine the population size, as well as the genetic characteristics. Genomic and genealogical information are important tools in managing small populations, as it can help determine mating pairs and reduce inbreeding.

The Siciliano Indigeno horse is a rare breed found in parts of Spain and Portugal. The horse was derived from crossbreeding between African and Oriental horses, but refined by selective breeding. The breed was a staple of the Italian cavalry during the Great Italian Wars and was praised by poet Claudio Corte in his 16th-century work “II Cavallarizzo.”

The population of local breeds in Italy has declined due to continuous crossbreeding. The only remaining autochthonous coldblood breed in Italy is the Italian Heavy Draught Horse. The first generation was born in 1927 and recorded in a Studbook. DNA analysis from 52 mitochondrial DNA control-region sequences was conducted to determine genetic diversity. In addition to examining phenotypic and genealogical data, this study evaluated the genetic diversity of ten Italian horse breeds. The results revealed significant differences between Italian breeds.

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