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The Minorcan breed

At the beginning of the 1980’s in Minorca, interest grew in the establishment of a distinct equine group entitled “Minorcan”, which was to be closely linked to the popular local equestrian fiestas called “Jaleos”. Initiatives both private and institutional were directed towards the official recognition of this group as a separate breed and to the foundation of a genealogical record. These objectives were recently achieved and codified in the study by Sanchez Belda in 1987, and in the official acceptance and maintenance by the Minorcan Government of the founding register of the breed.

Strength and Elegance

The study of the genetic structure of the Minorcan breed by means of genetic markers (blood groups and biochemical variations) are being carried out while the official guidelines of this racial group are established, and a sufficient number of horses typifying the group are available. This classic system of analysis is now reinforced by the protectionist attitudes promoting biodiversity conservation as invoked at the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Conference in Brazil.

The Balearic Islands, located at the cross-roads of ancient civilizations, gives rise to the supposition that the Minorcan race of horse has not remained isolated from diverse equine populations introduced over a long period of time and which have given rise to the present Minorcan breed. Based on this theory, a comparative study is under way with three other breeds of horse which arrived on the island at distinct periods, ie, Arab, English Pure Blood, and Spanish Pure Breed.

General Characteristics

Their form is subconvex, eumetric, well-proportioned, with a svelte silhouette.

Physical Characteristics

Their form is subconvex, eumetric, well-proportioned, with a svelte silhouette.

a) HEAD: elongated, of medium size, lean and well-proportioned, with a straight frontonasal profile, or, if a slight convexity is apparent, it relates to the facial portion only. Ears of medium size, with a slight deviation at base, well set on the head and with tips slightly divergent and mobile. Eyes are round and animated, with prominent orbits. The nostrils are not prominent and contribute to the elongated shape of the head.

b) NECK: sturdy, of medium length and slightly arched. Muscular, powerful and well-set into the head and body. The mane is strong and abundant.

c) TRUNK: elongated and with a tendency to taper towards the hindquarters. The withers are narrow and unobtrusive. The back is straight with moderate muscular development, as is the spinal column. The croup drops slightly, and the tail is set low between the hip joints (ischiums) and does not rise above the level of the croup, irrespective of the gait. Chest of medium size with rib-cage slightly flattened. Stomach tight and moderate flanks.
Miembros toracicos
d) FOREQUARTERS: long and well-planted. Shoulders deep and somewhat slanted, connected to robust forelegs and strong knees. Slender canon bones with strong and prominent tendons. Pasterns are well proportioned and hooves are solid but not large.
Miembros pelvianos
e) HINDQUARTERS:Hind legs are relatively short with little muscle to the thighs and haunches. Hocks are powerful and well-angled. The remaining parts of the hind legs as per fore legs.