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Murgese history

Found in the area of Murege, Apulia in Italy the breed is rare. The herdbook was established in 1926.

The Murgese ancestry is undetermined, however, there is an obvious coldblood foundation with a possible eastern influence. These horses evolved in the Murge district of the Puglia region southeast of Italy in the dry limestone hills. Because of this area the horses had good, hard hooves with a sound constitution. These horses were in demand for the cavalry as remounts in the 15th and early 16th century. Then about 200 years ago interest for these horses decreased and the Murgese almost disappeared. In the 1920s there was a revival of the Murgese, however, the modern Murgese is basically a light draft horse and bears no direct relationship to the old Murgese. The Murgese can be ridden and the better specimans are useful for light draft work in the agricultural field. The Murgese mares provide a good basis for crossbreeding and are often crossbred with Irish Drafts to provide a suitable build or a Thoroughbred or half-bred stallions to produce a better riding horse. The Murgese mares are also used to produce good strong mules, which are needed in the area.

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