Brief Mangalarga Marchador History
The Story of the Mangalarga Marchador has its roots long ago in Portugal. The finest Lusitano were collected by Portugese Royalty, and developed into a strain referred to as "Alter Real" or "Alter Royal". The Alter Real horses were well known for their intelligence, beauty and athletic grace. At one time developed for war, then afterward for haute d'ecole and dressage.
In 1807 When Napoleon was on his way to invade Portugal, King Dom Joao VI gathered his family and his best horses and embarked for Brazil, where he settled. In 1812, the Prince Regent Dom Pedro provided his friend the Baron of Alfenas, with a particularly exceptional Alter Real stallion named "Sublime" which was crossed with the local Brazillian horses, including the gaited Spanish Jennet (now extinct), and the Barb horse. The resulting offspring were referred to as "Sublime Horses" as they attracted attention with their unique gaits, stamina and intelligence that so many horse owners were looking for. One rancher purchased a number of the offspring of Sublime and took them to his farm, and eventually they were referred to as Mangalarga horses, after the farm where they were raised.
In 1949 a Mangalarga Marchador Association was formed to preserve and promote the pure Mangalarga Marchador breed, this association became the ABCCMM.
And so it started. The Mangalarga Marchador breed attracted attention and was in demand for general transportation, and espeically for deer hunting in the mountains and working cattle on the vast ranches of Minas Gerais.
The Mangalarga Marchador horse is considered rustic, and is much the same as it was long ago. The moderate sized horse, with strong bones and joints, kind and willing and versatile with the ability to perform a number of functions for the rancher, land owner and family.
200 years later, The Mangalarga Marchador is the National Horse of Brazil, and can still be found being used for transportation, for hunting, for cattle work, and for the comfort of land owners touring the countryside. Now there are even more uses for the breed in Brazil. The Marchador's metabolism and atheltic build allows it to succeed in Trail riding and Endurance Racing over mountainous country, it's frame and coordination make it a competitor in competition of different types, including Dressage, even in Polo. And, the Marchador also excells as a horse for Mounted Drills and Mounted Archery.
The Modern Mangalarga Marchador is truly part of the culture in Brazil. Weekends will find many gathering to watch Mangalarga Marchadors displaying their abilities at gaiting competitions. In these competitions, the Marchador will gait with other horses of his class, around and around a large arena, with the crowd gathered to watch and discuss the qualities of the various Marchadors, and of course to socialize. Once per year, a National Mangalarga Marchador show is conducted by teh ABCCMM, there can be thousands of people and hundreds of Marchadors all meeting to compare horses, compete and learn what each other are doing with their breeding programs.
In addition to being Brazil's National Horse, The Mangalarga Marchador is also the most popular horse breed in Brazil. Apx 500,000 Marchadors are registered with the ABCCMM. There are over 5,000 breeders who register approximately 70,000 Marchador foals every year. This makes the Mangalarga Marchador the third largest breed of horse in the world.
First Mangalarga Marchadors Imported
- USA - 1990
- Canada - 2007
- The Netherlands -
- Germany -
- Argentina -
As the Mangalarga Marchador is recognized around the world, the demand grows for this unique breed.