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Neapolitan horse: characteristics and character

Neapolitan horse: characteristics and character


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Although it is difficult to find it in circulation, we want to dedicate it to Neapolitan horse an article to remember its importance in history and that of the city of Naples itself. Yes, that's right, it is said that equestrian art was invented in the capital of Campania, today a bit forgotten in our country but very much alive elsewhere, in countries such as Austria, for example, or Spain and Portugal. If we go back with the times, however, we can discover that it is in Naples that horse riding really began to be considered a true art and not just an activity called to satisfy the needs of human beings, for example in transport or agriculture. This has also happened thanks to the presence of very expert riders who have been able to teach horses, ai Neapolitan horses, real acrobatics and sometimes even dance steps, to put on shows that people could run to see.

This flourishing of horse riding in Naples is also evidenced by some writings that spoke abundantly of these animals such as the treatise on horse riding written by Federico Grisone, Neapolitan author, the first after Xenophon (4th century BC), who wrote about it towards the end of the 16th century. Then others came but this text of his paved the way and that is why it is still considered very important.

Neapolitan horse: origins

Although perhaps this breed name does not say anything to most people, believe us that there was a time when all the kings of Naples, from the Angevins to the Bourbons, were jealous of this animal, in fact, not by chance at the time only the sovereigns of the kingdom had the possibility to possess one.

At the beginning of the twentieth century the Neapolitan horse was even declared extinct but fortunately there are those who did not give up in the face of his disappearance and managed to recover the breed, recently, in the nineties, first of all Giuseppe Maresca, owner of a roasting company and great horse lover. Also thanks to him, the Neapolitan breed is among those recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture and has its own regular register.

Maresca's was by no means an easy undertaking and it is worth stopping to tell it to show his tenacity and give him due credit. Still very young to recover the Neapolitan, Maresca did research far and wide for at least three decades, with the aim of finding the descendant of a Neapolitan horse. He found it after much research, in Serbia, was at that time in the war. This horse in 1790 was sold by the Carthusians to the emperor of Austria. Once this specimen was found it was very difficult to get it to Italy: anguish, interminable bureaucratic processes and a lot of patience but finally in 1990 the Neapolitan made his return to his land of origin, in his stables of Piano di Sorrento. About two hundred years later if you think about it. Our horse of about twenty years, called Neapolitano, mated with a mare of an ancient breed bred by farmers from Capua, and thus Neapolitano II was born, which in turn gave birth to Neapolitano III, Nereo, Scaramuzza, Teodora ...

Today there are less than a hundred specimens of this breed but we can say that it is not extinct and that Maresca has been able to recover it. For Naples it is not just a horse but a symbol of one's identity and a testament to its history as an ancient kingdom.

Neapolitan horse: characteristics

The Neapolitan horse is remembered and considered by all as a truly exceptional animal, with a muscular and powerful physique but at the same time able to proceed in a way agile and light. We find it described in many historical documents and it is from these that we draw a rather faithful description.

It has a head with a broad forehead, small and straight ears and eyes that are not too large but have a lively and intelligent look. The nostrils have an elongated shape. The neck is slightly arched and then there is a rather thick tuft that continues with the mane. Also the tail is bushy and also very long. Returning to the body of our horse we can say that it has a rather straight belly and legs, muscular but not squat limbs that end in small feet with a hard and elongated hoof.

Neapolitan horse: character

It is also thanks to its character that today this animal is still highly regarded and sought after. It is a majestic horse that is conquered by its gait alone admiration and trust. It is also a decidedly intelligent animal and able to obey and interact with people in a wise and docile way.

Neapolitan horse: attitudes

Knowing of their ancient propensity for equestrian art, we can safely say that this horse has interesting qualities for all that is competition or equestrian show. It has a good one learning ability and an agility that allows him to make movements that not all his peers can do. It is certainly also suitable for tourism.

You may also be interested in our articles on the following horse breeds:

  • Murgese horse
  • Persano horse


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