About San Fratello Horses
The Sanfratellano dei
Nebrodi, or San Fratello,
horse is an Italian breed originating in Messina (Sicily).
The account of its
origins is of great historical and sociological interest. It was not a
“padronal breed”, raised by a noble or baronial family enjoying ascendancy
during a certain historical period, but rather a population of horses connected
to the people and history of a particular part of Sicily. Today, as 1000 years
ago, the Sanfratellano di Nebrodi horse lives free and well-protected in its
“cradle of origin”, a Natural Park extending for 87,00 hectares and containing
21 inhabited communes. The breed is the subject of “studies and research”,
undertaken, in particular, by the “Istituto Sperimentale Zootechnico di
Sicilia” ( Sicilian Experimental Zootechnical Institute) in Palermo, in
collaboration with various regional and national experts and institutions.
The origins of the
breed are uncertain: according to some it derives from oriental horses imported
by the Moors, while others believe it descends from Nordic horses which arrived
on the island with the Normans. In the past Spanish, Anglo-Arab and Salertine
blood has been introduced into the breed. More recently, it has been crossed
with the Hungarian Nonius horse, amongst others.
It is a horse for
riding and pulling light carriages. Nowadays, it is bred in Sicily in a
semi-wild state and used for leisure riding. It is strong and hardy.
Content and photo source: Agraria.org