The Spanish Horse - Regulations

Regulating Ministerial Order (Decree) of Pure Spanish Breed Horse. Law in force since January 2003. (Translation from original document in Spanish).


The purpose of the present ordinance is developing, for the Pure Spanish Breed Horse, the Royal Decree 1133/2002, from October 31 st , by which it is regulated in the area of horse strains, legal regime of the pedigree books, the associations of breeders and the zoothechnic characteristics of the diverse breeds, with the aim of establishing the basic criteria for the zoothecnical regulation of this strain, the definition of the racial prototype, the features of the pedigree book and the breeder's valuation (appraisal).

The Pure Spanish Breed Horse is the most representative autochthonous equine strain which has experienced a big progress in the last years; and which is spread at a worldwide level. So, it is essential to guarantee its protection on the part of the State, as guarantor of a genetic patrimony that cannot suffer any damage, avoiding possible risks of dispersed criteria that could endanger its adequate preservation.

On the other hand, within the new framework of stockbreeding productions, it is necessary the modernization of the traditional norms that have regulated the Pure Spanish Breed Horse. So by means of the present order, rules are established to carry out them in order to get an improvement of this breed, having into account the technological advance and the accomplished scientific investigations, so that without loosing the genetic variability and its magnificent racial qualities fixed throughout many years, it is allowed to take advantage of its multifunctioning and improve all its productive possibilities.

The actual Ministerial Ordinance presents and eminently technical characteristic and it is enacted under the protection of what is stipulated in the first final order of the Royal Decree 1133/2002, of October 31st . In its preparation, the self-governing Communities, the War office and representative entities of the sector have been consulted.

In its virtue, I provide:

Article 1. Aim.

The present order establishes the zoothecnical conditions that must observe the Pure Spanish Breed stallions and mares, for the consideration of its racial purity, by means of settling the features of the pedigree book and the criteria for the animal's appraisal.

Article 2. Passing of Norms.

It is passed the rules of Pure Spanish Breed that appear in the appendix of the present decree.

Transitional Ordinance. Registration in birth certificate.

It will not be applied maximum age limit to practise the registration in birth certificate to which it is referred the article 7.2.e of Royal Decree 1133/2002, to the equines of Pure Breed which could not register under the protection of the earlier norms, for not fulfil these or its ancestors some of the requirements; but it can be fulfilled under the protection of the present ordinance, provided that filiations had been checked. The holders will have available a period of two years starting from the coming into force of the present decree in order to apply for the registration.

Final Ordinance. Coming into force.

The present Order will come into force the next day to its publication in the "Official Gazette".

Madrid, December 23rd 2002.


Norms of the Pure Spanish Breed Horse

1. Definition.

With the object of the present order, the Pure Spanish Breed Horse is defined as that which is registered to birth in the pedigree book of this strain.

2. Division of the Pedigree Book.

The pedigree book will be integrated by the following registers:

a) Births Register: For those horses of both sexes born of breeders belonging to the Main Register and which had honoured its conditions officially established for its inclusion in the pedigree book.

Main Register: For those breeding specimens which are 3 years old and which proceeding from the Births Register comply with the racial prototype and proves the absence of the disqualified faults provided in it; according to what has been established in the present appendix, by means of Certification issued for that purpose by the official staff.

  Within this register will exist a special register for the animals which have suitably overcome the qualification proofs established in the present Ministerial Decree and that it will be named "Qualified Breeders Register".
  It there will also be a Register for Elite Breeders, for those specimens subjected to a genetic evaluation within the framework of selection plan.
c) Merits Register: For breeders of the Main Register, qualified and/or of elite who, after his yields checking in competitions and shows, prove outstanding functional and morphological qualities.

Racial Prototype of the Pure Spanish Breed Horse.


General Characteristics:


Balanced, mesolineal, sub convex to straight profile. With proportioned shape, notable and general harmony and with great beauty, with appreciable sexual dimorphism. Bright, energic, measured and flexible bearing, with distinguished raisings and extensions and clear easiness for reunion. With a fiery temperament, noble, meek and balanced, with a great capacity of learning.

B) Morphological Features:

Head: Proportioned, of medium length, lean, with a brow - nose profile from subconvex to straight. Medium size ears, very movable, well inserted and parallel. Slightly broad forehead and moderately convex. Lively and triangular eyes and with an expressive look, with orbital arcades which must not stick out his profile. Relatively long face and moderately narrow (more in mares), sub convex or narrow and scrawny. Pointed nose, with soft and curved projection from the face. Almond and not overhanging nostrils. Wide, lean cheeks and with elongated edge and discrete arch.


Neck: With medium size and length, slightly curved and muscular (less in mares). Well inserted in head and trunk. Abundant and silken mane.


Trunk: Proportioned and strong. Withers modestly wide and prominent, in soft prolongation with the dorsal line. Solid, muscular and near straightness back. Short, wide, muscular and a little arched back, well adjoined to back and croup. Rump with a medium length and width, rounded and slightly sloping. Low start tail and adjoined among ischiums. Thick with abundant, long and often wavy horsehairs. Breast with a good width and deep. Arched, long and deep ribs; extended flanks and correct belly.


Thoracic or front members: Long, muscular oblique and elastic back. Strong and with good slant foreleg. Powerful, medium length forearm. Developed and skinny knee. Proportioned length cannon bone, and marked and wide tendon. Lean, prominent fetlock joint and with scarce fetlock. Pasterns with good conformation, inclination, and direction, with proportioned length. Compact hoofs, with balanced dimensions, well developed.


Pelvic or back members: Muscular thigh, slightly curved buttock and long leg. Strong, broad and net hocks. The regions placed under tarsal articulations will have the same characteristic as for the front extremities. In both, limbs must be correct.


Phaneroptical features:

Fine and short horsehair.
Chestnut-brown and dapple-grey coats are prevailing and others admissible.


Behaviourist characteristics and temperament:

Rustic, sober, balanced and resistant animals. Patient and spirited. Noble and meek. Easiness for learning and adapting itself to diverse services and situations.


Functional characteristics and capacities:

A great ability to carry out different functions with easy response to the rider's helps and with a nice mouth, so they are obedient, with easy compenetration with the horseman and with extraordinary comfort. Its main service is for saddle, with great easiness for dressage (higher horsemanship, classical and western saddle), for bullfight on horseback, pursuit and knocking down, for harnessing, for cattle handling, fieldwork and other equestrian disciplines. Its movements are nimble, high, extensive, harmonic and measured.
Special predisposition for joining and turnings over the back third.

F) Faults: In addition to the general ones of the species, are included:

General Defects: Fault of development, lack of harmony, disproportion among regions and bodily size. Front-nose concave profiles in their diverse gradations and ultra convex profiles, objecting the convex ones.


Regional Defects: Head excessively voluminous or too small. Big fallen, convergent ears, and/or with irregular movements. Too wide or flat forehead. Prominent orbital arcades. Bulging or round eyes dispigmentary in their contour or outline. Square and wide nose. Round and/or dispigmentary nostrils.
Thick cheeks and with bended profile. With protruding upper teeth, thick-lipped or blubber-lipped, fallen lips, dispigmentations. Too short or excessively thick neck, deer-shaped or inverted, unstable or with tendency for falling down, of bad insertion with trunk or filled in its union with head. Narrow and little deep chest. Low or non-prominent withers. Flat, saddle backed or excessively ascendant backwards (high of back). Sunken back, carp-shaped or little muscular. Narrow and above all sunken breast. Flat ribs in its upper third or excessively arched. Too rounded croup; horizontal, double or broken rump; desk-shaped, knocked down and broken, with discontinuous front-back profile. High, unstuck or trunk-shaped insertion horsetail, with skin cancer under it, in anus or perineum.
Monorchids or cryptorchids. Bad vertical limbs, mainly left, bowlegged and curved. Pasterns too long or excessively short and vertical. Little or with bad conformation hoofs.


Movements: Little high, irregular and little extensive movements, and specially the "Swagger".


Disqualified Faults: The presence of "gato" or "gatillo" (blister-fatty accumulation in excess) when it is defeated, inverted or deer-shaped neck. Monorchids and cryptorchids and measuring of height at the withers made with stick, which will be considered excluded for the animals that do not reach the minimum height of 1.50 metres in mares and 1.52 metres in stallions.


Capacity for Reproduction.


The specimens of Births Register will accede to Main Register after having proved to fulfil the breeding prototype and the absence of disqualified faults provided by it, by means of a given certificate by the legal staff.

2. The specimens of Main Register will be valued on request of their owners by the established commission for that purpose.

For its qualification as "Qualified Breeders" or "Elite Breeders", the Pure Spanish Breed Horses will be subjected to appraisal that shows its locomotive genetic and breeding qualities with the following types:

"Qualified Breeder": Those specimens three or more years old, mares and stallions, which join the basic capacity for reproduction, according to established criteria in section 5, referring to breeding prototype or morphology, functional proof and examination of the breeding system and veterinary checking.
This qualification will appear in its passport or pedigree.

"Elite Breeders": Those breeders seven or more years old, mares and stallions which are included in the qualified Breeders Register and which had been subjected to genetic analysis, within the framework of selection plan; through control of morphological, functional and breeding parameters of the own animals and of their descendants and collaterals.
Likewise it could be considerate elite breeders, those animals male horses and mares, which although they are not included in the qualified breeders register, had had descendants with remarkable sports merits within the framework of breed improvement plan.


Qualification System

5.1 Qualified breeder The stockbreeder will show his animals at the age he thinks proper, but with a minimum of three years old. According to the breeding prototype, qualification will be carried out through the points method, being accepted as qualified breeders those which reach 70 or more points in the final mark, which it will be the mean mark of the following sections A and B with a weighing of 75% an a 25%, respectively and that had passed the exam of section C. The parameters will be qualified from one to ten points, with the following valuation:

Excellent 10 points
Very good 9 points
Good 8 points
Acceptable 7 points
Regular 5-6 points
Deficient 4-3 points
Bad 2-1 points


Those which do not reach the required punctuation, will be again recognized at the request of their owners, in the following cases and in unique revision, whatever its specimen's age may be, in order to obtain the qualification of "qualified breeder" and in the mark's file there must be proof of the reason of its disqualification:

1. Animals qualified between 60 and 70 points.
2. Animals, which demonstrate to have overcome the cause of its disqualification.

The qualification of "qualified breeder" could be taken away in case of the animals or their descendants later develop serious defects, which imply their disqualification.
In order to carry out the qualification, concentrations will be fulfilled in concrete places with adequate instalments, which join the necessary requisites and observe the norms in force in the matter of animal's health and welfare, with the object of qualify in standard conditions to all the specimens.
This qualification system can be replaced by other alternating systems, as it can be the lineal qualification.


Morphological and behaviourist characteristics:

  The parameters considered for stallions and mares, will be the following, which must adjust to the breeding prototype of section 3:

1. Head
2. Neck
3. Back and withers
4. Back and loin
5. Breast and thorax
6. Croup and horsetail
7. Front limbs and set of the legs
8. Back members and set of the legs
9. Breeding accuracy and whole of shapes
10. Behaviour, character and temperament

  It will be disqualified those animals which:
  Receive punctuation inferior to 5 points in any of the former parameters.
Have defects that force to their disqualification.
Have other very clear defects and with a transmissible nature.
Do not observe the measuring of height at the withers that will be considered excluding: 1.53 metres for mares and 1.55 for stallions.
B) Movement and functioning:
  The animals will be qualified by hand, with a rope and/or free with the three gaits: step, trot and gallop. The Pure Spanish Breed Horses will be punctuated from 1 to 10 and, in particular, its flexibility, balance, coordination, regularity, harmony, rhythm, tucking in of back limbs, raising of extremities and extension of stride.
Those animals, which obtain less than 5 points in the final mark, will be disqualified.
C) Veterinary Checking and Breeding characteristics:

The animals must pass a veterinary control which discards serious defects of transmissible characteristic, either general or of the limbs, through a radiological study, carried out over the tarsus (hock) and articulations of fetlock joints and hoofs which puts aside osteochondrosis (cartilage immflamation), osteoarthritis, any other periostitis (periosteum immflamation).
Likewise they must pass the examination of the breeding system:

Stallions: It will be mandatory the fulfilment of a sperm's analysis, which proves the adequate zoothecnical and sanitary features of semen, according to age, season of year, sexual activity, etc. In the same way, they must pass the clinical analysis of their breeding system and not having defects or faults, which damage them negatively for reproduction or with a transmissible characteristic, in addition to monorchidsm or cryptorchidism, inguinal or scrotum hernias and others.

Mares: They must have given birth once at least or being in phase of gestation and pass the clinical analysis of their breeding system by means of an ecographic exploration which determine the absence of congenital defects or transmissible anomalies of zoothecnical and sanitary characteristics. These proofs must be carried out by a skilled veterinary that will hand the animals' owners for its provision before their morphological and functional qualification.

The sanitary proofs will observe the established criteria by the law in force.


Elite Breeder:

  It will be considered elite breeders those specimens subjected to a genetic analysis which, within the framework of the selection scheme approved for this strain, proves being improbable and transmit the most favourable qualities to their descendants, according to what is provided by section 4.3, b).