The enchanting beauty of the Iberian horse excels in the dressage arena
Reprinted from the November 2017 issue of USDF Connection
Andalusian and Lusitano horses from Spain and Portugal on the Iberian peninsula represent the original bloodlines of perhaps the most famous horses in the world: the Lipizzaners of Vienna. Prior to the establishment of the Spanish Riding School and since that time, this horse of kings was simultaneously being used for the military, ranching, and bullfighting. All of these uses required a compliant, tractable character with the ability to move with finesse and alacrity.
Hundreds of years of selective breeding have produced a temperament and athleticism that distinguish these horses from many other breeds. Andalusian and Lusitano horses, also referred to as Iberians, are characteristically light in the hand, easy to sit, and as a rule do not refuse their riders.
Along with trainability and tractability, today’s Iberian horses display the extensions and scope desired in dressage competition. The ready relationships these horses form with their riders make them ideal for anyone. Dressage has always been a forte of the Andalusian and Lusitano breeds, and contemporary variety available in the United States makes it easy to find a horse to fit the rider at all levels of dressage.
Andalusians and Lusitanos you might know: Evento and Invasor II both competed in dressage in Olympic Games, and the stallion Fuego XII (aka Fuego de Cardenas) competed for Spain at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Lusitano stallion Barroco (by Torre), owned by Candace Platz (ME), was the 2015 International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association All-Breeds champion at Fourth Level and reserve champion at Prix St. Georges. Last year, he was the IALHA All-Breeds Intermediate I Open champion and the I-I Musical Freestyle reserve champion.
The International Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association: The IALHA is an association of breeders, owners, and aficionados of the ancient and magnificent Andalusian horse. We hold true to the long and glorious history of this breed and acknowledge the original Andalusian bloodlines, which include horses from both Spain and Portugal. We maintain a registry for purebred Andalusians, Lusitanos, and half-Andalusians; publish a magazine about them; provide shows for them; and promote their unique qualities to the world. We are also the official representative of the Lusitano horse in the USA and Canada, and represent the Portuguese stud book through the APSL Commission.
All-Breeds awards offered: (In 2017) top five placings in all award categories, in two divisions: Purebred and Half-Andalusian.
How to participate: The horse must be registered with the IALHA, and the owner listed on the horse’s registration papers must be a current IALHA member.
Learn more: ialha.org or (205) 995-8900.