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