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Mangalarga Marchador Horses

Breed History:

The most popular and widespread horse in Brazil is the Mangalarga Marchador, which developed in 1740. Joao Francisco of Portugal settled in Brazil at the hacienda Campo Alegre, where the Marchador horses began to emerge. Francisco adopted the surname Junqueira to designate his native city. One of his twelve children, Gabriel Francisco Junqueira, the Baron of Alfenas, is credited with the expansion and development of the breed. His friend, Dom Pedro I (1798-1834), Emperor of Brazil and son of Joao IV of Portugal, gave him an Alter Real stallion named Sublime.

The stallion Sublime was the descendant of two horses brought from the breeding farm Coudelaria Alter do Chao in Portugal by Dom Joao VI during the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Napoleonic troops. In Brazil, Sublime was crossed with mares of the hacienda Campo Alegre: Spanish Jennets, Criollos and Andalusians. Most of the Spanish horses used at the hacienda in launching the breed were the famous Spanish Jennet, known to be a fast, smooth ambler. The offspring of Sublime produced horses with the characteristics of the present-day Mangalarga Marchador horse: docility and smooth gaits, with a cadenced rhythmic gait called the marcha.

Breed Description:

The Mangalarga Marchador averages between 14.2 and 16 hands in height and weighs between 850 and 1100 lbs. Although grays are dominate, chestnut, black, bay, buckskin, palomino and paint horses are also present.

The Mangalarga Marchador is very versatile. As with many Spanish breeds they are good cattle horses. They are known for setting the Guinness Book of World Records endurance ride of 8,694 miles in 1994. A perfect trail horse, they could also excel in other disciplines that require agility, stamina, speed and a sound mind.

Training of this breed is facilitated by its intelligence, and uses for the breed are unlimited. In work with cattle, in sports, in Brazilian functional trials, or in cross-country horsemanship, the Marchador is outstanding and is obtaining excellent results in comparison to other breeds. This breed is extremely docile and is commonly mounted by children.

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