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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Sardinian Anglo-Arab (SAA)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
The Sardinian Anglo-Arab ('SAA' for short, also known as 'Italian Anglo-Arab'; in Italian: 'Anglo-Arab Sardo,' or 'AAS') is an Italian sport horse breed. In Italy, this breed is also known as Anglo-Arab (without the "Sardinian.") However, it should not be confused with the generic "Anglo-Arab", as the latter is a different breed which originated in France.

The development of the Sardinian Anglo-Arab began in 1874, when Sardinian mares were crossed with Arabian stallions. During the following years, Thoroughbreds and French Anglo-Arabs were also added to the mix. The Sardinian Anglo-Arab was officially recognized in the 1960s.

Originally, Sardinian Anglo-Arabs were bred to serve as cavalry horses. However, as the need for cavalry horses declined and the need for sport horses increased, Italian breeders began to selectively breed their Sardinian Anglo-Arabs for their performance in equestrian sports. In addition, crossings between French Anglo-Arabs and Sardinian Anglo-Arabs improved the athleticism of the latter. Gradually, Sardinian Anglo-Arabs became known throughout Italy for their energetic temperament and excellent performance as sport horses, and today, they are popular among Italian riders.

Sardinian Anglo-Arabs are used for various equestrian sports, though their specialty is show-jumping and cross-country. In addition, many Sardinian Anglo-Arabs serve as mounts for riders who participate in various festivals that take place in Sardinia. Among these riders, there are acrobats who perform acrobatics on the backs of Sardinian Anglo-Arabs while they canter at maximum speed.

In terms of breeding, Sardinian Anglo-Arabs can be crossed with French Anglo-Arabs, English Thoroughbreds, and Arabians. However, the foal must have at least 25% Arabian blood in order to be registered as a Sardinian Anglo-Arab. Therefore, in Horse Isle, Sardinian Anglo-Arabs can be crossed only with Arabian horses, and crossing them with other breeds will result in a non-pure foal.

When it comes to their height, Sardinian Anglo-Arabs (SAAs) are divided into three groups: SAAs whose height is 15.1hh or 15.2hh are called "small SAAs;" SAAs whose height is 15.3hh or 16hh are called "medium SAAs;" and SAAs whose height is 16.1hh or above are called "large SAAs." There are no special breeding or additional conformation restrictions on any of these groups though.

Sardinian Anglo-Arabs usually come in the colors of bay, brown, and chestnut, though grey and, more rarely, black, also occur to a lesser extent. The coat is always solid. The minimal height allowed for Sardinian Anglo-Arabs is 15.1hh, and there is no maximal limit. In Horse Isle, however, they stand between 15.1hh and 16.3hh.

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