Menorquín horse

Menorquín horse

Menorquín horse and rider
Alternative names Cavall Menorquí, Menorquina
Country of origin Menorca, Spain
Breed standards
Dirección General de Recursos Agrícolas y Ganaderos Breed standards
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Menorquín or Caballo Menorquín (Catalan: Cavall Menorquí) is a breed of horse indigenous to the island of Menorca in the Balearic Islands, from which it takes its name. It is closely associated with the Doma Menorquina style of riding. The Menorquín was officially recognised as an indigenous breed in 1989,[1] and is listed in the Catálogo Oficial de Razas de Ganado de España in the group of autochthonous breeds in danger of extinction.[2] The FAO lists it as Endangered.[3] In April 2011 the total population was reported to be 2995, of which fewer than 200 were outside the Balearic Islands.[4] A breeders' association, the Associació de Criadors i Propietaris de Cavalls de Raça Menorquina, was formed in August 1988.[5]

Menorquín horse and rider at Ciutadella

In some English-language publications, the Mallorquín and Menorquín are not listed, but horses of the Balearic Islands are merged into a breed entry or a grouping called the "Balearic horse" or "Balearic pony."[6][7][8] [9][10] However, authoritative sources, including the Government of the Balearic Islands,[11] the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino of Spain[2] and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,[3] do not list a "Balearic" horse or pony and clearly define the Mallorquín and Menorquín as two separate breeds.


The Menorquín may only be black, in all its variations; horses of any other colour can not be registered. Limited white markings are permitted. It is harmoniously made, tranquil and obedient, noble and elegant. The average height is 1.60 m (15.3 hands),[12] and the minimum permissible height 1.54 m (15.1 hands) for males and 1.51 m (14.3 hands) for females.[13] The profile is slightly convex, the body and limbs long, the eye round and lively. It is strong and energetic, slender, powerful and muscular, and suited to any type of saddle or driving use. Its most valued quality is its suitability for the traditional festivals of Menorca, where it is irreplaceable, and for the elevade and bot movements of the Doma menorquina.[11][14]

The breed has remained agile and slender as it was not employed for agricultural work, for which the Balearic donkey was traditionally used.[15]

Menorca was under Moorish domination from 903–1287. According some sources, research has shown links between the Menorquín and Arab breeds, while others have shown it to be of Berber origin, and yet others believe that it was brought to Menorca from central Europe by King James I of Aragon.[14] According to the Government of the Balearic Islands, it belongs to the eastern group of indigenous Iberian horses which also included the now extinct Catalan horse.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Haller, Martin and Ulrike Schaeben (April–June 2011). "Menorca – Insel der Pferde" (in German). Equus (2011:02). Retrieved July 2011. "Menorca – Island of horses" 
  2. ^ a b "Raza Autóctona en Peligro de Extinción" (in Spanish). Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Retrieved July 2011. "Autochthonous breed in danger of extinction" 
  3. ^ a b "Farm Animal Genetic Resources". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved Apr 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ganaderia: Raza equino caballar MENORQUINA" (in Spanish). Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Retrieved July 2011. "Livestock: MENORQUINA horse breed"  (Click on MENORQUINA in the EQUINO CABALLAR section, then Datos Censales tab)
  5. ^ "La nostra associació" (in Catalan). Associació de Criadors i Propietaris de Cavalls de Raça Menorquina. Retrieved July 2011. "Our association" 
  6. ^ Lydekker, Richard. The horse and its relatives - Page 137-138
  7. ^ Bauer, Mary Ellen. Which Horse of Course p. 61
  8. ^ Walker, Stella A. Summerhays' Encyclopaedia for horsemen, p. 23 (1975)
  9. ^ Sliver, Caroline. Guide to the Horses of the World, Chartwell Books, 1991 and Illustrated Guide to Horses of the World, Longmeadow Press, 1993 appear to be the same book, p. 102
  10. ^ Nendricks, Bonnie L and Anthony A. Dent. International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, p. 60
  11. ^ a b c "Razas Autóctonas de las Illes Balears" (in Spanish). Govern de las Illes Balears. Retrieved July 2011. "Autochthonous breeds of the Balearic Islands" 
  12. ^ "Menorquina" (in Spanish). Federación Española de Asociaciones de Ganado Selecto. Retrieved July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Resolucion Menorquin 10 marzo 2010: normativa raza y programa de mejora" (in Spanish). Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino: Dirección General de Recursos Agrícolas y Ganaderos. Retrieved July 2011. "Resolution: Menorquín 10 Mar 2010: Breed standard and programme for improvement" 
  14. ^ a b "El Caballo Menorquín" (in Spanish). Yeguada Binibernat. Retrieved July 2011. "The Menorquín horse" 
  15. ^ "Traditions and fiestas". Retrieved July 2011.