|Country of origin:||Italy|
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
- For the dog breed, see Maremma Sheepdog.
Maremmano horses, also known as Maremmanas or Tuscan Horses, are bred in Tuscany and Latium in Italy. They are the traditional mounts of buttero, or Maremma cattle men, although they are also used for light draft and agricultural work.
The history of the Maremmano breed is not fully known, but it is thought that they were developed from North African stock that was combined with Spanish, Barb, Neapolitan and Arabian blood. During the 1800s, Thoroughbred, Norfolk Roadster and other blood was probably added. By the end of the 1800s, the breed's characteristics had become fixed, although a studbook was not created until 1980.
For several decades, the original Maremanno type has been crossbred with additional Thoroughbred blood, resulting in a taller and more refined type, but at the expense of the hardiness and stamina of the original breed. Crossbreeding with Freiberger horses in the Pesaro province of Italy has resulted in a breed known as the Catria Horse. The pony of Monterufoli is also a variation on the Maremmano breed.
The Maremmano breed generally stands between 15 and 15.3 hands high, they are usually bay, brown, dark chestnut or black, although gray and roan are occasionally seen. They have a long, slightly heavy head, a muscular neck that is broad at the base, high, well-muscled withers, a full chest and sloping shoulders. The back is short, the croup sloping, and the legs solid and sturdy with good joints and strong hooves. The breed is known for their solidity and their ability to adapt to bad weather and rough terrain.
Maremmanos are the traditional mounts of Maremma cattle men, known as butteros, and are also used for light draft work. They have often been used as cavalry mounts and today they are used as mounts for the Italian Mounted Police.. Horses of this breed were amongst the protagonists of the last successful classical cavalry charge in history in August 1942 near Isbushensky on the Don river by a cavalry unit of the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia (Corpo di Spedizione Italiano in Russia, or CSIR) on the Eastern Front. The 2nd squadron of the 3rd Dragoons Savoia Cavalleria Regiment of the Prince Amedeo Duke of Aosta Fast (Celere) Division, armed with sabres and hand grenades, outflanked an estimated 2,000 Soviet infantry while the remainder of the regiment took Isbushensky in a dismounted attack ,. The maremmano proved to be tough enough to brave the russian steppe, a feat which few foreign horses can boast about.
- ↑ "Uncommon Horse Breeds". Equisearch. Referenced February 9, 2008
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Maremanna". Equine Kingdom. Referenced February 9, 2008.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bongianni, Maurizio. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Horses and Ponies. 1988, pg. 23. ISBN 0671660683
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Horses and Equine Breeds: M-N". Lexique du cheval. Referenced February 9, 2008.
- ↑ Dr Jeffrey T. Fowler, "page 45 "Axis Cavalry in World War II", ISBN 1 84176 323 3
- ↑ Nicholas Farrell (October 31, 1998). "Sabres for savoy". The Spectator. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_199810/ai_n8817479. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- "Italians prepare mounts to retrace Silk Road" - Telegraph.co.uk