Photos and informations about the rare Napoletano horse breed, Forgotten Horses a photographic project about endangered equines by The Pixel Nomad


Risk Level: at risk
Local Risk Level: Critical
Listed by DAD-IS
Rare and endangered horse breed

Informations about the Napoletano

The Neapolitan Horse is a rare and endangered horse breed that originated in the plains between Naples and Caserta, in the Campania region of Italy, but which may have been bred throughout the Kingdom of Naples. The Neapolitan horse was frequently mentioned in literature from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and is noted for its quality. Some sources state that by 1950, the original Neapolitan horse was deemed extinct, but its lines were incorporated into other breeds, most notably the Lipizzaner and Murgese. 


A rare and endangered breed

The Napoletano as it is known today is one of the 15 indigenous horse “breeds of limited distribution” currently recognised by the AIA, the Italian breeders’ association, its status was listed in 2007 as critical by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In 2005, a total population of 20 mares and four stallions was registered.

History of the Napoletano

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, Naples and the surrounding regions were known for their high-quality Neapolitan horses. The best horses were bred by nobles for transportation and cavalry. At the beginning of this time, the horses were likely small, coarse, and heavy, suitable for carrying heavily armored warriors. However, as elsewhere, the use of firearms brought on the desire for a more attractive, agile horse. 

Neapolitan breeders, it seems, regularly exchanged stock with those in Andalusia, which would have encouraged the Barb influence. As a result, the Neapolitan horse fit the Baroque horse mold. 

Neapolitan horses are often mentioned in the history of European horse breeds. A modern breed considered similar to the ancient Neapolitan is one of its descendants, the Lipizzaner.

Other names of the Napoletano horse

Napoletano — Neapolitaner — Cavallo Napoletano — Neapolitano — Napolitano — Neapolitan horse — cheval Napolitain

Explore my Napoletano Photos


All my pictures of rare and endangered horses can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage and ordered as Fine Art Print. The albums only show a part of my large archive. Contact me directly if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Where to find the rare Napoletano

Here are some places where you can see where you can support the rare and endangered breed. A big thank you to everybody who works with me.

Napoletano horse
Take part in my project

Napoletano Photoshooting

Take part in my projects Forgotten Horses and Free Horses and make an impact that matters. By photographing rare and endangered horses we can raise awareness to disappearing horse breeds and preserve equine diversity.

photo archive

Photography of Forgotten Horses

Are you looking for professional photos of rare and endangered breeds? You will find a small selection of my pictures in the breed posts, but you may ask for more specific photos directly. All my pictures can be licensed for private, editorial and commercial usage.

Check out more forgotten and free horses

Have you already met one of these breeds? Learn more about Forgotten Horses and Free Horses.