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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Mangalarga Paulista (MP)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Mangalarga Paulista (meaning 'Mangalarga that is native to Sao Paulo,' also known as '53') is a gaited Brazilian saddle breed. It should not be confused with the Mangalarga Marchador, because even though the two are closely related, they are still different breeds.

In 1902, a Brazilian breeder called Jose Frauzino Fortes Junqueira moved to Sao Paulo. He brought his Mangalarga Marchador horses with him (see the 'Mangalarga Marchador' for more information,) with the intention to ride them during deer hunts. This was the first time that Mangalarga Marchadors were introduced to Sao Paulo, and the unique horses quickly attracted the attention of local breeders who sought to breed and use them for hunting and working cattle.

Sadly, despite their comfortable gaits, the Marchadors didn't perform well as hunters nor as cattle-workers. Therefore, breeders decided to improve their Marchadors by crossing them with Thoroughbreds, Anglo-Arabs, and American Saddlebreds, as well as with Arabians, Hackneys, and Lusitanos to a lesser extent. Following these cross-breedings, a new form of a Mangalarga horse, called 'Mangalarga Paulista,' has emerged.

The Mangalarga Paulista still possessed the two 'marcha' gaits found in Mangalarga Marchadors, but they weren't as smooth and comfortable as the gaits of the original Marchador. This lack of smoothness, together with the fact that the Paulista wasn't as pure as the Marchador, led breeders to separate these two breeds completely, and to establish two separate registries, one for each breed. Today, the Mangalarga Paulista has a closed studbook, and crossbreeding is not allowed.

Except for their smoothness, the marcha gaits of the Mangalarga Paulista are identical to the marcha gaits of the Mangalarga Marchador. The first gait 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.

Despite being less comfortable to ride than the Mangalarga Marchador, the Mangalarga Paulista still became popular among Brazilian breeders, because of its cow-sense, athleticism, and energetic temperament, which made it a good cow-horse and hunter. Today, the Mangalarga Paulista is a popular breed in Brazil, and is used for sport disciplines, recreational riding, and working cattle.

The conformation of the Mangalarga Paulista is similar to that of the Mangalarga Marchador, but with more influence of the Thoroughbred and Anglo-Arabian breeds. Compared to the Marchador, the conformation of the Paulista is lighter and more athletic, and is characterized by a longer and lighter neck, more prominent withers, and longer legs. Because of the latter, Paulistas are taller on average than Marchadors.

Mangalarga Palusitas come in the colors of bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, dun, and roan, with the coat being solid, sabino, or tobiano. The colors of palomino, buckskin, and smoky black also found in this breed. However, double-cream diluted horses are banned from registration due to their blue eyes. Therefore, it is not recommended to cross two heterozygous cream (Cc) Mangalargas. In addition, horses who have an albino-like coat are also banned from registration, which is why sabino-1 (Sb) is not found in this breed, and why horses with a maximal pinto coat will be penalized.

Mangalarga Palusitas usually stand around 15hh, but the complete height range of this breed is 14.2hh to 16hh.

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