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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Campolina   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Campolina is a Brazilian gaited saddle breed, which is known for its iconic convex head.

The Campolina was created in the second half of the 19th century, by a Brazilian breeder called Cassiano Antonio da Silva Campolina. Cassiano had a black Barb mare named Medeia, which he bred to an Andalusian stallion. The foal, a dark-grey colt named Monarca, grew up to be the foundation sire of the Campolina breed. Cassiano crossed Monarca with various mares, and female offspring were bred to an Anglo-Norman stallion named Menelicke. The result of these cross-breedings was a strong breed with a sturdy conformation.

When Cassiano passed away in 1904, his farm and horses were inherited by his friend Joaquim Pacheno de Resende, who continued to improve the breed. In order to refine the Campolina, and to improve its athleticism and gaits, Joaquim bought several new stallions: a bay Clydesdale named Golias, a Holsteiner named Teffer, two Thoroughbreds named Sao Lourenco and Carlito, and two American Saddlebreds named Yankee Prince and Niagara. All of these stallions had a major influence on the Campolina breed.

While all of the above mentioned breeds improved the appearance and action of the Campolina, Joaquim still sought to improve its gait, so he decided to incorporate one more breed into the breeding program. That breed was the Mangalarga Marchador, a famous Brazilian gaited saddle breed that was famous for its comfortable ambling gaits: the marcha picada and the marcha batida (see the 'Mangalarga Marchador' for more information.)

The Mangalarga Marchador stallion that Joaquim chose, named Rio Verde, passed his gaiting ability to the Campolina and thus made the Campolina even more comfortable to ride. In fact, Rio Verde had such a positive influence over the Campolina that breeders continued to cross Mangalarga Marchadors with Campolina horses until 1934, when the Campolina breed was considered to be fully formed, and the studbook was closed.

Today, the Campolina is a popular breed in Brazil because of its comfortable gait and good endurance, which make it an ideal trekking horse.

Campolina horses naturally perform the two marcha gaits that they inherited from their Mangalarga Marchador ancestors. The first is the marcha picada, a 4-beat lateral gait that is similar to a broken pace. During this gait, there is a phase where both the hind and front legs of the same side are elevated, but the hind leg always lands before the front leg, meaning that there is a phase of triple-leg support before the two legs of the other side go up. This support enhances the smoothness of the gait.

The second gait is the marcha batida, a 4-beat diagonal gait that is similar to a broken trot. During this gait, there is a phase where the hind leg of one side and the and front leg of the opposite side are elevated, but the hind leg always lands first, meaning that there is triple-leg support between each diagonal. That said, the length of this support phase is shorter than in the marcha picada. Overreaching is common in marcha batida, but the hooves don't hit each other because an instant before the hind leg lands, the horse starts to execute the next diagonal, so when the hind leg lands the hoof of the front leg is already flexed forward (with only its tip touching the ground.) Therefore, there is always space between the hind hoof and the front hoof of the same side.

The conformation of the Campolina is very iconic, especially when it comes to their rectangular head which looks narrow near the chin groove from a profile view, and has a convex profile which can be anywhere from mildly convex to extremely convex. The neck of the Campolina is arched and high-set, and the withers are prominent. Additionally, compared to other breeds, the croup of the Campolina is more horizontal, and the girth is not very deep. Overall, except for its head, the conformation of the Campolina is light and athletic. The mane and tail are silky.

Campolina horses are usually dun in color, but they also come in the colors of bay, brown, black, chestnut, grey, roan, buckskin, palomino, and smoky black. Double-cream dilutes are not found in this breed, and therefore it is not recommended to cross two heterozygous (Cc) Campolina horses. The coat can be solid or tobiano.

Campolina horses stand between 14.1hh and 16hh.

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