Middle Ages

 

Middle Ages

Lusitano horses were ridden by kings.

 
Lusitano-040The fact is that during the Middle Ages, Lusitano horses were ridden by kings.   William the Conqueror had two black stallions with him in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.   Richard the Lionhearted and his Crusaders rode them into battle in the name of God and Christianity.   Nobody imagined that in the years to come, the Iberian horse would almost disappear because of politics and the whims of a king.
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Lusitano-017During the 16th century and beyond horses moved constantly from Spain to Portugal.   Breeders in both countries searched stud farms and the countryside looking for perfect animals to bring to their stables in an ever present attempt to improve on this or that characteristic. The war between Spain and Portugal (1640-1668) brought this to a standstill.   Portugal won and historians give credit for this victory to the superb cavalry units the Portuguese sent to battle mounted on Iberian horses.
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Lusitano-060In an attempt to decrease and finally stop horse breeding in Portugal, King Phillip III of Portugal also known as Phillip IV of Spain, prohibited the breeding and further enhancement of horses in Portugal.   Some historians speculate that he attributed his defeat to the skill and courage of the Portuguese cavalry so he decided to “cut the evil at the root” and get rid of the horse producing machine.   Many horse breeders at the time, believed in what they were doing so they continued their work secretly, risking the king’s wrath.   Politics, once again, almost extinguished the pure bred Betico-lusitano.
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