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Campolina mare
Country of origin: Brazil
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Campolina horse breed of Brazil is named after Cassiano Campolina, the farmer who developed the breed. Beginning in 1870, they were developed using several different breeds of horses. The Campolina is one of the larger Brazilian breeds, and may be found in any color. They are a gaited breed, with an ambling gait. They are used mainly for leisure riding and driving and are increasingly used for dressage within Brazil[1].



The Campolina breed dates back to 1870, when it was formed in Entre Rios de Minas, Minas Gerais in Brazil. It was developed by a farmer named Cassiano Campolina, on his farm Fazenda Tanque, beginning when he received a black mare named "Medéia" from his friend, Antonio Cruz[2]. The mare was Brazilian, of Barb ancestry, and Campolina bred her to a pure Andalusian stallion. The stallion belonged to Mariano Procópio, to whom it had been presented as a gift by Dom Pedro II.[3]

The resulting foal from the breeding was a gray colt named "Monarca", who lived until 1898 and served for 25 years in Campolina's herd; he is considered the foundation stallion of the Campolina breed.[2] Other breeds that Campolina used in his herd were Anglo-Norman, Clydesdale, Holsteiner, and American Saddle Horse. Bloodlines from the Mangalarga Marchador, were also added to refine the Campolina. The herdbook was closed in 1934 and the breed standard first defined.[3] In 1938, the Professional Consortium of Campolina Horse Breeders was formed to formally organize the breed, and in 1951 the organization was renamed to the Campolina Breeders Association, the breed standards were formally adopted, with the organization based in Belo Horizonte.[4] There were further updates to the breed standard in 1975[3] and 1993. There are currently around 85,000 registered Campolina horses, with slightly over 7,300 registered breeders. Around 4,300 mares were bred in 2003.[5]

Breed characteristics

File:Pampa Campolina.JPG
A two-year old pampa (pinto) stallion

The height of the Campolina varies. Older works state the average height is from 14.1 to 15 hands (57 to 60 inches, 145 to 152 cm). However, more recent sources state the height is 15-16.2 hh.[4][6] A common view is that the most beautiful Campolinas are silver-grey, a position that may reflect a sentimental tradition for the first Campolina. Other popular colours for this breed include dun, bay, buckskin, and “Pampa” or pinto.[7] The appearance of markings such as white socks or a star on the forehead neither adds nor detracts to the horse in terms of official judging.


File:Adult male head.jpg
The desired head shape of a Campolina
Hyperconvex nose, exaggerated beyond breed ideal

The head of the Campolina is described as trapezoidal in shape,[5] but the silhouette of this horse is smoothly rounded.[7] Between the ears, the poll should be visible and raised by a few centimeters above the temples. The forehead should be flat,[4] and the nasal bones apparent near the mid point of the face in the rostro caudal plane. The head in profile should be convex.[5] Campolinas are not, however, described to have a true Roman nose, as the convex profile begins approximately two finger widths below the base of the orbit. The muzzle should be soft and rounded, usually dark in colour as are the inner ear, mane and tail relative to the coat over the torso. The nostrils should be equal in size and should have a fine layer of flesh around the dorsal surface allowing for approximately one centimeter of separation between the thumb and pointer of the evaluator when the thumb in inserted into the nostril at a depth of around one inch. The outer edge of the nostril should be slightly thicker. The lips should be full and taut about the teeth. The ears should be evenly placed when viewed from the front of the horse and not extend vertically more than three times the width of the eye, (measured across the inner pinnae). The pinnae should close to a clean tip at the “top” of each ear.[citation needed] Eyes should be expressive.[7]

Neck and body

In addition to the prominent curvature of the nose, the shape of the crest is also an important feature of the Campolina silhouette. In the relaxed forward pose, the ventral line of the neck from the caudal most point of the cheek to the top of the chest is quite straight. However, the dorsal surface of the neck should have a clear curvature, or arch. This prominent crest accentuates the arch formed between the head and neck when the horse is flexed during riding. In a relaxed state, the balance of the face and neck from the side view can be evaluated by drawing a tangent from the points of maximal curvature. In the case of balanced conformation, the tangents should intersect roughly one inch in front of the ears (in the forward alert position).[citation needed]

The weight range for Campolina stallions and geldings is 550 to 600 kilograms (1,200 to 1,300 lb) and 350 to 450 kilograms (770 to 990 lb) for mares.[8] In well-bred, well-conditioned animals, the chest is well developed. One symptom of poor breeding is a narrow chest with fine musculature between the front legs. This is a particular concern with the crossbred "Mangolina" (Mangalarga Marchador x Campolina) Visually, however, the breeding practice frequently results in animals that are heavy in the rear end and look weak and unbalanced in rostro-caudal plane when viewed for the animal’s full length.[citation needed]

The underline of the Campolina should appear well fleshed but not overly rounded. There should be a good inverse symmetry in silhouette or side profile between the curvature of the underline and the fully outstretched neck and head. This conformation has been difficult to achieve in many animals, with many horses having the appearance of a short neck due to the curvature of the crest. The back of the Campolina should be a bit "long". When evaluating the animal's side profile, special attention should be paid to overall anatomical balance, which in this breed can err in over development of either the withers or the croup. Unbalanced horses tend to produce a rough ride and are referred to as having a "hard" gait. Specifically, the withers should have a powerful musculature but should not appear exaggerated or considerably higher than the highest point of the croup; Campolina used for Dressage have a slightly lower rear end to facilitate collection of the horse during riding.[9]

In evaluating the hindquarters of the Campolina, the croup should be quite full and not overly muscular except in stallions.[7] In those animals used for Dressage, the preferred build goes against the breed standard. Dressage horses are preferred to have an "uphill build" where the croup is even with or slightly lower than the withers.[9] The tail of this breed should exit the rump at around the 1 o’clock position.[10] Tails are typically mid to mid-low set. Very low tail sets often indicate mixed bloodlines with a likely influence of the Mangalarga Paulista in the genetic make-up of the animal under observation, but can be accounted for by a number of other breeds.[citation needed]


The Campolina is a gaited horse breed with a smooth, four-beat ambling gait.[11] It is the largest of the three gaited Brazilian breeds, due to the influence of heavier breeds from Northern Europe. The gait is called the true marcha or marcha verdadeira.[5]


The Campolina is used for pleasure and trail riding including Dressage, and also driving.[5]


  1. http://www.lusitano-interagro.com/adestra.htm
  2. 2.0 2.1 L.S. de Andrade,(2000)Campolina O Grande Marchador, Um Seculo de selecao, Historic Album, Revista Brasileira do Cavalo de Marcha
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Campolina". Breeds of Livestock. Oklahoma State University. August 31, 1998. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/campolina/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Hendricks, Bonnie L. (1995). International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 96–98. ISBN 9780806138848. http://books.google.com/books?id=CdJg3qXssWYC&pg=PA97&dq=campolina+horse&lr=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES#PPA96,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 da Silva, Paula. "The Campolina: Equine Musician of Brazil". Breed Profiles. The Gaited Horse Magazine. https://dadair.securesites.net/thegaitedhorse.com/campolina.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  6. Swinney, Nicola Jane and Bob Langrish (2006) (Digitised online by google books). Horse Breeds of the World. Globe Pequot. p. 158. ISBN 1592289908. http://books.google.com/books?id=k--QG6CTpXMC&pg=PA158&dq=campolina+horse&lr=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES#PPA158,M1. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Morfologia" (in Portuguese). Cavalo Campolina. Brazilian Association of the Horse Breeders Campolina. http://www.campolina.org.br/padrao.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  8. "Campolina" (in Portuguese). Cowboy do Asfalto. http://www.cowboydoasfalto.com/guiacampolina.html. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://www.eques.com.au/dressage/jan06/conformation_dressage_horse.htm
  10. Meneguini, Leonardo dos Santos (2006). "Morfologia e Genética do Cavalo Morphology and genetics of Horse" (Translation from Portuguese). Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais University Federal of Minas Gerais. http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.icb.ufmg.br%2Fbig%2Fpg-gen%2Fteses%2Fmestrado%2FLeonardo_Santos.pdf&sl=pt&tl=en&hl=en&ie=UTF-8. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  11. "Marcha" (in Portuguese). Cavalo Campolina. Brazilian Association of the Horse Breeders Campolina. http://www.campolina.org.br/marcha.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 


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