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Rare & Endangered Breeds

The aim of this section is to help promote less well known or endangered breeds. If you know of a breed which should be featured in the is section please let us know:

 A herd of rare Sorraia horses The Sorraia Horse
 The Sorraia horse is a primitive horse of South Iberia, not a breed for all we know, but a subspecies. Its discoverer, the Portuguese scientist Ruy d'Andrade, believed it to be a direct descendant of an Iberian wild horse, and the main ancestor of the Andalusian, Lusitano, and Barb horses. Horses of Sorraia type were depicted in prehistoric cave paintings in South Iberia, like the one in Escoural (Portugal) and La Pileta (Spain). The population in 2000 numbers only around 200 head. To learn more about this fascinating horse click here

A Tiger Horse

The Tiger Horse

Does it have stripes? Does it roar instead of neigh?

Well no, but the Tiger Horse is certainly worth roaring about!

El Caballo Tigre has a long proud history which stretches back into the mists of antiquity in Spain, and, in the New World, changed the course of history for Native Americans. These smooth riding, colorful horses have come down to today in sheltered pockets almost unchanged. For more information on the Tiger Horse, click here

 A Skyros pony  The Skyros Pony

The law in Skyros does not permit the Skyrian ponies to leave the island and there is great concern about their future.
A census last year revealed 140 ponies left on Skyros, but not all are pure-bred!!! If you have an outbreak of African horse sickness or something similar on the island of Skyros, the entire population will be wiped out. Hopefully this will not happen, but still there is great danger that the breed will slowly but surely cease to exist.
To find out more about the Skyros ponies and their plight click here.

The Eriskay Pony

The Eriskay Pony is the last survivor of the native ponies of the Western Isles of Scotland. Its origins are ancient, certainly with Celtic and Norse connections. Although numerous in previous centuries, numbers decreased dramatically around the beginning of 19th century. Eventually, only a handful remained on the small island of Eriskay, which lies between South Uist and Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The last survivors of this ancient breed have become inextricably identified with this tiny island, hence the name Eriskay Pony. These ponies are still more rare than a giant panda - to find out more click here.
An Eriskay Pony

 A group of Exmoor ponies The Exmoor Pony 

Exmoor ponies are listed as "Endangered" on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust list and of major concern, in addition to the low numbers, are the few bloodlines remaining and therefore little genetic diversity.
Exmoor Ponies need support, emphasis must be on increasing and preserving the ponies natural environment and producing a breeding programme to ensure a sound genetic base for the future of the breed.
To find out more about Exmoors click here.

 Oaten Whinbush Bay, a gorgeous Cleveland Bay owned by Margaret Ashton
The Cleveland Bay

 The Cleveland Bay is the oldest British Breed of horse in the UK, dating back from Medieval times, and is sadly now one of the rarest breeds in Britain, rating Critical on the Rare Breeds Survival list. The horse stands between 15.3hh and 17.hh in height. To find out more click here.

Back to Breeds Index