Carthusian horse, one of the descendants of the Andalusian

Cartuja lineage

Source: YouTube

The Cartujano horse, also called «Cerrado en Bocao», receives this name because began to be raised by Carthusian monks in Santa María de la Defensión (Jerez de la Frontera), around 1484. The monks stud farm was for more than three centuries one of the most appreciated due to its comfort in walking, its elegance, nobility and stamp. It was expanding to the most emblematic places of the time, like The School of Versailles with Louis XVI. In addition, they were those favored by emperors, kings and consuls.

The Carthusian race is a lineage within the Purebred Spanish Horse (PRE), also known as Andalusian Horse. These equines constitute a genetic reserve of great value for the PRE However, not only stand out for having very pure genetics when only specimens of this family intervene (hence the name "closed"), but also, in their morphology the difference is appreciated. It is a breed with a characteristic beauty as we will discover throughout this article.

Do we know them better?

To understand the Carthusian Horse well, we must first count the roots of the Andalusian horse. The Pure Spanish Blood Breed is the result of a search for aesthetic perfection and nobility.

Within the Spanish culture, the origin of the horse and its influence coincide with the flourishing of the first great civilizations of the Iberian Peninsula. Let's look at some examples: the Carthaginians incorporated numerous horses into their armies, valuing their strength and endurance. The Romans knew how to appreciate the Andalusian Horse and enhance it both as a transport and as a worthy distinctive of kings and emperors. The importance of equines is reflected in numerous testimonies written by authors such as Homer or Pliny.

Fortunately, the characteristics of the Andalusian Horses were not affected by the invasions of the Germanic peoples since they mostly went on foot. In addition, Roman legislation was developed that was maintained for quite some time, to defend these equines of Spanish breed.

Carthusian horse

Would be At the end of the XNUMXth century, when in the Monastery of La Cartuja the breeding of a slope of the Andalusian Horse arose: The Cartujano Horse. For about three centuries these Carthusian monks turned their stud farm into one of the most famous and appreciated of the time. But we will see the history of these equines later, let us first know what they are like.

How is it?

They are animals of great bearing, distinguished, with wide and high movements, something that makes them desired as studs even in herds that do not breed Carthusian horses.

With a height at the withers around 160 cm, they are equines of stocky, shapely body, with deep chest and muscular hindquarters.

The neck has excellent musculature which allows it to carry the graceful little head erect during riding. The whole set reflects a very elegant figure and aesthetics. 

It is an equine that it has adapted phenomenally to Mediterranean climates. It has large nostrils that allow it to breathe well in the hot and humid climate characteristic of much of the Mediterranean areas. Another characteristic of its adaptation to the climate is found in the fur. In these equines the gray capes in a wide variety of gray scales and black spots that help animals do not get burned by the sun's rays by dispersing the rays of the star without damaging the horse's skin. On rare occasions, black or brown capes can also be seen.

In addition, we found some stud farm in the north of Spain. There the equines have adapted, becoming a little more rustic while maintaining the elegance that characterizes this breed. A good example is the one shown in the video below:

As for its character, we are facing a noble and docile race, with fair reactions. It is strong and energetic and at the same time soft.

A little of you history

During the century XV there was an alarming decrease in mares in Andalusia, largely due to sales to other regions or countries and to mule production. This led to Jerez City Council to publish an order that prohibited the sale of these mares outside the area without permission of the Corregidor. Later it was forbidden to cover these mares with donkeys.

Twenty-four years after these prohibitions, the Carthusian friars of Jerez formed their stud farm, that would end up evolving and becoming known as «Cartuja» with the passage of time. They would be themselves too, who would save this breed during the French invasion by moving them and hiding them on another farm.

The history of these equines is mixed with legends. One of them says that the priest Pedro José Zapata, an excellent rancher and farmer at the time, around 1810 the selection of this breed of horses began starting with buying horses and mares from the prior of the Cartuja de Jerez, where these horses had been kept since the end of the XNUMXth century. TO the descendants of these equines began to be called "Hierro de Zapata" and over time they would be called more officially Cartujano or Cerrados Horses in Bocao.

The race begins to spread. An heir to Zapata, in 1857, sold a batch of mares and horses to Vicente Romero, whose niece would sell two batches, one to Curro Chica and the other to Juan Pedro Domecq. The latter's heirs would sell to Roberto Osborne, who in 1949 would sell most of his equines to Fernando de Terry, and the rest to the Marques de Salvatierra and Juan Manuel Urquijo.

Today we can affirm that all Carthusian Horses come from these three herds: Urquijo, Terry and Salvatierra. 


Source: youtube

These stud farms have a Incalculable value from the genetic point of view and improvement of the Purebred Spanish, since it remained during something more than five centuries without external influences. Furthermore, Terry's stud farm in March 1990 became part of the Heritage. Later, in December of the same year, the Yeguada Cartujana del Hierro del Bocado was officially acquired from EXPASA, a company owned by the Spanish State Heritage.

The Carthusian breed of horses are a great representation of the roots of the Spanish Thoroughbred. What's more, He has contributed to the formation and improvement of many famous European and American herds above all.

Today, the Yeguada de La Cartuja can be considered the largest reserve of horses of this breed. Some two hundred animals graze there with the “Hierro del Bocado” banner created by Zapata in 1810.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it.

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