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Salerno (horse breed)

Country of origin: Italy
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Salerno or Salernitano is a warmblood type of horse from the Italian province of Salerno. It resulted from crossbreeding Andalusians and Neapolitans.



Salerno horses usually have a light and well-set head. They also have a long muscular neck. Their backs are generally well-proportioned. These horses have sloping shoulders, muscular quarters, and strong, slender legs. The breed averages 16 to 17 hands (64 to 68 inches, 163 to 173 cm), and the horses are usually solid bay, black, or chestnut.


The Salernitano was originally from Salerno, in Italy. There was no fixed breeding system for these horses until the 1780s. At that time, people began to selectively breed at the Persano Stud. The foundation bloodstock was made up of Neapolitan, Spanish, and Oriental blood. This breed was promoted by King Charles III, who was the King of Naples, and Spain.

Persano Stud

At the Persano Stud, a combination of the local stock and Lipizzans were introduced to the Salerno breed. Three Lipizzan stallions were particularly influential on Salernitanos at the stud. Their names were Pluto, Conversano, and Napoletano, and are considered foundation sires.

There is also a breed called Persano which is more closely resembles an Anglo-Arabian.

The Persano Stud was closed in 1864, and most of the Horses were transferred to the Italian Army Remount Station in Grosseto, where they can be found to this day. Some have been purchased by private owners.

20th century influences

During the 20th Century Hackney and Thoroughbred bloods were introduced. These new bloodlines helped the breed by making its size increase, and by refining it. The newly built Morese Stud became one of the most influential studs on the breed. It also was located close to the original Persano Stud.


The Salernitano has become a first-class riding horse, and a cavalry mount. They also make superb sport horses, and have a good and natural jump.

Famous individuals

Two of the most famous Salerno horses are Merano and Posillipo. They were both ridden by Raimondo d'Inzeo. Raimondo rode Merano at the 1956 World Showjumping Championships, and led the team to victory. Posillipo led d'Inzeo to the gold at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

See also



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