Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
Our Massive Real World Equine Reference!


[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: San Fratello (Fratello)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
There have been horses on the beautiful island of Sicily at least since the time of the Greeks and no doubt long before that. Sicily has, in turn, been conquered, reconquered, absorbed into other countries and out of them; but it maintains its distinctive, "rustic" horse breeds. In fact, the San Fratello is considered Sicily's "wild" horse, as for most of the time it is left on the mountainsides to fend for itself.

The exact history of the Razza di San Fratello, or San Fratello, a breed living on the slopes of Mount Etna, has been lost to history. No doubt there have been infusions of the the various breeds brought by every culture that has made a home on the island, but the San Fratello's main traits descend from its semi-feral life, and the nutrition it receives eating plants growing on Etna's volcanic soil. One known infusion has been from Lombardy, the mountainous area around Milan; heavy horses used by knights were brought from this area, but exactly how much they contributed to the San Fratello is unknown.

The modern San Fratello is always black, dark bay, or dark brown. Many have a much-prized redness to their coats. White markings are limited to a small star. The breed stands between 15hh and 16hh and is active, affable and extremely agile. It retains its rustic characteristics in its long, wavy mane and slight feather.


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