The Hispano-Árabe Recovery Strategy

                               The core source of this report is from the translation of an article by
                                                          Commander Juan Manuel Lopez
                                                 'Los Hispano-Árabes en la Yequada Militar'

   The breed Hispano-Árabe(Há) receives its name from the two breeds it originated from; namely the  
   Spanish and the Arab. Its earliest conception as a breed in Andalusia dates back to the Muslim
   invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1883 formal deliberate creation or selection for the breed in
   Spain started, partly as a result of the importation of Arabian horses specifically to upgrade and
   expand other horse breeding programmes (although there are some archive records showing earlier
   Hispano-Árabe breeding stocks as far back as 1778). From those early days to today despite its
   popularity as a working horse for the cattle men and military of Spain its expansion and consolidation
   as a breed has been slow.

   Part of this has been due to lack of quality of the stock produced in some of the earlier breeding lines.
   Another factor possibly influencing its slow expansion as a breed was the popularity of its own
   Thoroughbred part-bred the Tres sangres  “Three bloods” (AHá)/ Anglo Hispano-Árabe that was
   very much in demand by the military both as a Cavalry horse and sports horse and also greatly   
   demanded by the cattle breeders for working their livestock.

   With these factors and the increase in national and international demand for the Pura Raza Español
   (PRE), the Hispano-Árabe breed of horses were themselves dwindling in number and effectively
   by the mid 1980's a minority rare breed. In 1986 the Hispano-Árabe (Há) was officially given   
   consideration as a breed requiring “special protection”; and consequently given their own Stud Book.

   In 1990 Spain, the Cría Caballar (a division of Spain's Department of Defence; specifically assigned
   responsibility for breeding/rearing equine young stock) started a number of strategies on military
   stud farms to conserve several indigenous breeds of equines and to aid the recovery and
   improvement of the Hispano-Árabe breed.

   As the numbers of Hispano-Árabe mares were very small, an urgent breeding strategy was
   implemented to increase the number of Hispano-Árabe's being produced, using PRE and Pura
   Raza Arabian(Prá) mares to produce (F1) 50% generation Há and to try and obtain further
   established Hispano-Árabe mares of fixed phenotype to add other bloodlines to the programme.

   From this beginning of a small established handful of broodmares a designed Plan for the recovery
   and improvement of the Há breed was set up based on two strategies:-

   First:  selection of stallions to be used; dividing their use between breed selection stages of
           4-5 years, revisable every 2yrs; and weighing up which stallions to cover the new mares.

   Second: define the aptitude tests that would be applied to the new generation of mares and   
              stallions allowing for the changes due to the breeds of  mares and stallions being used
    in the recovery programme, but would also be acceptable to the requirements of the  
    Registration Book and subsequent valuation for grading and approval for breeding.
   From 1992 to the present day Spain's Plan for the recovery and improvement of the Hispano-Árabe
   breed has passed through three stages and currently nearing the end of its fourth stage.

   Stage 1: (1992-1995) - is marked by the use of foundation Há stallions being bred with
       (F1)50% mares bred out of PRE dams x Prá sires.

   Stage 2: (1996-1999) – in this second stage, five selected Prá stallions were used to cover
         the Há mares and a PRE stallion selected to cover Prá mares.

   Stage 3:  (2000-2005) – was dominated by the use of PRE horses for covering more than 80%
       of the Há mares.
    There was also a dedicated breeding programme producing F1 Há from PRE mares
       being covered by both Prá stallions and five new generation Há stallions of 50 and
        75% ratios. (note: the % ratio refers to amount of Arab blood.)
       One military herd of Prá mares was also being covered by PRE stallions, as in the
      previous stage not many of this type of crossing had been produced.

   Alongside all these controlled breeding strategies some mares had been freely covered by Há  
   stallions with the aim to producing quality F2 and F3 stock to progress and improve the breed.

   Stage 4: (2006 – present day) has had to be designed to deal with the matured F2 stock with
            the percentages of Arab blood that previously was very difficult to find in the
        Hispano-Árabe horses; such as 62.5% and 37.5%, and is an occurrence of the breeding
    stages involving foundation lines of Há and natural progression of out-breeding the 25%
        and 75% Há stock to PRE or Prá.


   **It should be noted here that the 25 -75% breeding ratio originally applied as a guide in the
     regeneration plan is facing anomalies of progeny outside of the limits; however the strategy is to
    breed for the breed standard not for a paper calculated ratio. The breed evaluation system
     throughout the years has been modified to take account of the new generations and has in fact
    shown that the successive generations regardless of %Arab blood are consolidating into
    exceptional examples of the breed standard.

     It must also be remembered that the Hispano-Árabe is not passing down a simple quantifiable
    amount of Arab and PRE genetic codes but a 50% genetic amalgamation unique to the breed
    and no longer definable in ratio terms as either from Arab or PRE; it is simply all Hispano-Árabe!

   The second strategy of the Military Plan for the breeds recovery and improvement was looking at   
   defining tests to evaluate the qualities in the Hispano-Árabe stock being produced through this
   programme to ensure that they reflected the breed standard.

   In the early years the Military Training Centres applied the same tests to the Hispano-Árabe as they
   were devising for the Anglo-Árabe(Aá), another breed project they were working on. After several
   years gaining experience, a different set of tests were devised for the Hispano-Árabe assessing them
   as they grew, through early training/backing and through a complete range of classical ridden work.

   When a young 50% Hispano-Árabe stallion Ultraje proved himself qualifying and completing in tests
   for ANCADES (Asociación Nacional de Criadores del Caballo de Deporte Español, ie   Spanish
   Sports Horse Association ) testing young horses in a complete test of riding skills and obtained very
   promising result, the Military modified their initial strategy.

   Now future stallions will have a duty to demonstrate that they do pass their traditional quality and
   qualities on to their offspring in the same way other breeds do, without in principle resigning the
   horse to any discipline.

   In effect the Hispano-Árabe is to retain the qualities that made it a versatile working horse and
   show aptitude to become an all round sports horse. In this respect the Cría has continued a project
   they started in about 2006 in collaboration with several military horse farms to compare the
   Hispano-Árabe stallions in recruitment for sports competition.

   At the time that Commander Lopez produced his article on the recovery programme he noted that
   the Hispano-Árabe stallion Relámpago from Jerez was already involved in a career as a competition
   sports horse.

   It is important to note that alongside this strategic Plan for the recovery and improvement of the
   Hispano-Árabe, exists the premise year after year that all the decisions taken by the Technical
   advisory Board (the Junta) regarding the military stud farm mares is by necessity a 'Drastic
   Selection' process. Apart from helping in the recovery of a breed the studs involved in the
   programme must determine the Hispano-Árabe model that will be present in any horses of the breed
   produced elsewhere.

   The implication is that in future the selection of stallions and mares will become far more demanding.
   The original article Commander Lopez wrote was aimed at and taking consideration of the Spanish
   Hispano-Árabe breeders; predominantly the ranchers and cattlemen for whom this breed is so vital.

   He noted that the requirements of the military for an exceptional sports horse exhibiting beauty and
   distinction as well as the greater bone development and seriousness for the competition discipline
   had to coexist with the requirements of the stock men for a horse of great nobility that makes daily
   handling pleasant, without being sluggish, the requirement for a comfortable ride, a good mouth,
   endurance and a great capacity for learning.

   His article concluded with a postscript referring to the important changes affecting the Cría Caballar
   in Spain (this would be in reference to the designation of the Stud books to independent
   organisations with specific interests in those breeds of horses the Cría had originally been assigned     
   responsibility for) and the importance of cattle ranches to become pro-active in promoting the
   reputation of the breed, and to take serious measures to recreate the breeding stages for their
   Hispano-Árabe mares such as that started by the Cría in its Plan. He exhorts the ranchers to likewise
   evaluate their resultant stock and do as much as possible to expand the Hispano-Árabe breed.  

   In 2002 with the results of the Cría strategies to regenerate and conserve the Hispano-Árabe breed
   proving successful the Ministerio de Agricultura, Pescay y Alimentación MAPA(Spanish Ministry of
   Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)  issued Order APA/3277/2002, of the 13 December setting out the
   definitive regulations of the breed profile and evaluation standard. MAPA then set about organising
   the system the Cría had set up to be brought into action and applied to all Hispano-Árabe breeders,
   running a high profile publicity campaign about the Hispano-Árabe to heighten awareness of the
   need for its own people to work towards protecting the breed.

   Prior to this, it appears that not all the ranchers/cattle stations in Spain were co-operating with the
   Cría breeding plan; more out of wariness that it might not take account of the agricultural
   requirements of the Hispano-Árabe and thus ‘create’ a breed that was not of use as a working stock
   horse for the vaquero. However, the strategy applied did take consideration of these requirements,
   while at the same time applying the breed’s adaptability and versatility to implement changes
   regarding its breeding and commercial viability to the modern market as an all around sports horse.

   The concerns of the ranchers were taken seriously and in 2006 the Studbook for the Hispano-Árabe
   was passed into the care and control of the Unión Española de Ganaderos de Caballos de Raza
   Hispano-árabe UEGHá (Spanish Union of Cattle Dealers and of Pura Raza Hispano-Árabe).
   Effectively these are the men who by their work shaped the evolution of the Hispano-Árabe horse
   and for as long as the demands of their work and leisure (as seen in the sport of Doma Vaquera)
   continues then the breed is safe and unlike other horse breeds will not become distorted by the
   ever changing fashion of whatever ‘look’ is in vogue.

   The Hispano-Árabe is a breed in its own right formerly recognised worldwide and given special
   consideration for protection hence the concerted efforts of Spain to implement an expanded
   breeding programme involving reintroduction of Pure Spanish and Arabian bloodlines in an effort
   to drag the breed back from the edge of extinction! It should also be noted that when it is considered
   that Spain has restored the Hispano-Árabe population and breed type to a secure path of breed
   development, the measures of introducing permissible PRE and Prá breeding for first generation
   F1 horses to improve and expand the Há population could well be removed altogether or retained on
   a controlled basis much like the Lipizzaner studs retain a controlled use of PRE stallions.

© Leopard Studios
  Há 75%
= foal Há 68.75%
  Há 75%
=foal Há 55.25%
  Há 50%
= foal Há 56.25%
  Há 50%
= foal Há 42.25%
  Há 25%
= foal Há 43.75%
  Há 25%
= foal Há 30.25%
Há 62.5%  X
Há 37.5%
= foal Há 50%
Há 37.5% X
Há 37.5%
= foal Há 37.5%
  Há 62.5%
= foal Há 62.5%
  Há 62.5%
= foal Há 50%
= foal Há 31.25%
= foal Há 17.75%
= foal Há 81.25%
= foal 67.75%