View Full Version : Catarina Sforza de España Antigua

Aug. 5, 2011, 09:01 PM
Here is a video I just uploaded of my 2 month old purebred California Vaquero Horse filly named Catarina. The video shows off her gorgeous trot. Dressage anyone?!


Aug. 5, 2011, 09:37 PM
She's a cutie!

Aug. 5, 2011, 11:00 PM
Yea, she will be perfect for someone that is looking for an athletic quality dressage horse, but doesn't want a huge horse. My mare's size is absolutely perfect for me (I am 5'5"). She is a very sensitive mare and extremely athletic. She is like riding a Ferrari! Nothing else I have ridden can compare to her. I feel like I can go anywhere vs. riding a larger and longer horse I have to plan out my route of where I am going more as they cannot handle the turns at speed, etc.

Aug. 6, 2011, 02:49 PM
Catarina has finally fully shed out her foal coat and she is the same color as her momma! A slate grulla. Catarina has intense dun factor just like her dam and sire. I love these old Iberian hot blooded, firey, obedient, bold, and sensitive horses!

Aug. 6, 2011, 03:15 PM

Aug. 6, 2011, 06:25 PM
I am a 4th generation Californian and have had horses since the late 50's. I have never heard of a California Vaquero horse. I have only been gone from CA for 11 years. Not that much could have changed. :)

Aug. 6, 2011, 06:28 PM
I think they must be California Gypsy Vanner equivalents or mustangs.

Aug. 7, 2011, 01:23 PM
The short version of this breed: They are a critically endangered breed (I cannot count 100 of them) whose ancestors were bred the Spaniards who helped to establish the territory of California. The Spanish were very superstitious about color and thus bred them for the dun and grulla colors as they felt that made the best working horse. Though the 1820’s and 1840’s, raids were conducted on the Southern California missions by Indian raiders. One such raid was noted in history due to the vast amount of horses that were stolen. This was the raid conducted by Chief Wakara and Thomas Smith. They stole 3000 horses with the Spanish getting back about 1200 of them. During this time, stolen horses were herded down The Old Spanish Trail. This trail passes only 40 miles away from where a remnant herd was discovered during the middle of the last century. People would still go in and try to catch these valuable old Spanish horses even after they were gone from the California territory due to the racing industry (Spanish horses are not as fast as a Thoroughbred!). Which of course was not the big commercialized industry as it is today.

During the 1950’s, ranchers turned loose draft stock to try to breed up these smaller old Iberian horses. However, old timers that lived near the area noted how the Spanish horses actually avoided the other stock and went higher up the Needles Mountain Range into what is called the Mountain Home Area. This terrain is so tough and rugged that most domestic horses today would not be able to go into this area without shoes and leg supports. During the 1970’s the Bureau of Land Management sanctioned off about 200,000 acres for the Sulphur Springs Herd Management Area. During the 1980’s the BLM discovered what the old cowboys already knew, that there was a herd of horses on the mountain that were remarkably similar in type and were of a dominant color: grulla and dun. A genetic study that was released in 1997 from Dr. E. Gus Cothran from the University of Kentucky (he is now at Texas A & M) confirmed these horses what was seen in their phenotype. Now, genetics proves that these horses are indeed true old Iberian horses who tested so purely Dr. Cothran could not determine if or what type of other breed had influenced them. They only have the mtDNA pattern of the D1 and D3 Iberian/Barb genotype. They also tested to have a specific mutation in the Est system which the university had not seen in over 200,000 individuals tested and over 180 breeds tested. It is a specific mutation to these old Spanish horses which indicates a singular founding population.

Just as we don’t know the pedigree of the Lusitanos running loose on Carpe Diem doesn’t take away the fact that they are still Lusitanos (even though you could call them mustangs), the same holds true for California’s heritage breed. It is by a miracle that a pocket of horses were discovered and proved to be what was seen in their phenotype. They survived intact from the days that California wasn’t even a state. They survived the cross breeding to the Thoroughbred and the change from the Spanish way of being a cowboy to the American way which proved them to not be as useful. They survived this because they were far away up on a mountain in Utah. Today, I cannot count even 100 of these horses and am bound and determined to preserve them and promote them for what they are and that is California’s heritage Spanish breed.

Aug. 7, 2011, 05:08 PM
Very interesting. Thanks.

Aug. 7, 2011, 05:51 PM
Kinda like our Florida Cracker horses.