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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Persano   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Persano is an endangered Italian saddle breed, that is named after the village of Persano where it originated. This breed should not be confused with the Salernitano, because although these two are closely related, they are still different breeds.

The Persano was developed in the second half of the 18th century, in the Royal Stud of Persano, a stud that was founded by King Charles III of Spain. In this stud, Salernitano horses were crossed with Oriental and Andalusian horses, as well as with Mecklenburgers, Thoroughbreds, and Lipizzaners. The aim of the breeding program was to turn the Salernitano into a better racehorse, and the new breed that was eventually created was called 'Persano.'

The stud functioned until 1874, when it was closed, and all of its horses were auctioned. The lack of a proper breeding program led to a significant reduction in the number of Persano horses. In fact, even though the Persano was re-established during the early 1900s, it never regained its original popularity, and its numbers remained low. In 2012, only a few dozens of Persano horses were left, making the Persano one of the rarest Italian horse breeds.

In general, the conformation of the Persano is similar to that of the Salernitano from which it was developed. However, there are three main differences between the two breeds. First, the profile of the Persano is concave below the forehead, and convex closer to the nose, contrary to the straight profile of the Slaernitano. Second, the neck of the Persano is more arched than the neck of the Salernitano. Finally, the legs of the Persano can be thinner than the legs of the Salernitano.

Persano horses come in the colors of bay, brown, black, chestnut, and grey, though the latter is rarer. They always have a solid coat. Roan, pinto, and leopard don't exist in this breed, as they are banned from breeding. Persano horses stand between 14.3hh and 16.1hh.

(For more info about Salernitano horses, see the 'Salernitano.')

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