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Breed of Horses Act 1535

The Breed of Horses Act 1535 (27 Henry VIII, c. 6) was a piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of England in 1536 designed to improve the national stock of horses through equestrian eugenics. It was repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1863.

The Act mentions a marked decay in the quality of the breed, the cause it is claimed that "in most places of this Realme little horsis and naggis of small stature and valeu be suffered to depasture and also to covour marys and felys of very small stature".[1] The statute thus required each owner of enclosed deer-parks to possess a minimum of two mares whose height was to be above thirteen hands high in order for them to be bred with horses of no shorter than fourteen hands high.


  • Stanford Lehmberg, The Reformation Parliament 1529-1536 (Cambridge University Press, 1970).


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