About Napoletano Horses
Neapolitan, Horses originated on the plains between Naples and Caserta, in the
Campania region of Italy, but may have been bred throughout the Kingdom of
Naples. Neapolitan horses were frequently mentioned in literature from the 16th
to the 19th century and noted for their quality. Corte wrote in 1562: ‘in Italy
the horses of the Kingdom of Naples are greatly esteemed; [there] many fine
coursers are born ... suitable for use in war and in the manège and for every service
that the rider may require.’ The decline of the breed was noted in the early
20th century by Mascheroni (1903) and Fogliata (1908). 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, however, a breed
called the Napolitano exists in Italy today, and is recognized by the Italian
government. According to Gouraud, ‘a dedicated breeder is hoping to be able to
rebuild the breed.’ La Repubblica reports that the attempt is based on a single
stallion, Neapolitano ‘Il Vecchio’, which belonged as a foal to Marshal Tito and
passed when old to a Serbian farmer, from whom it was purchased and imported to
Italy in 1989.
are as they are known today is one of the fifteen indigenous horse ‘breeds of
limited distribution’ currently recognized by the AIA, the Italian breeders'
association, under the terms of Ministerial decree D.M. 24347 dated 5 November
2003; 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 4 stallions was registered.