The Lusitano, also known as the Pure Blood Lusitano or PSL (Puro Sangue Lusitano), is a Portuguese horse breed, closely related to the Spanish Andalusian horse. Both are sometimes called Iberian horses, as the breeds both developed on the Iberian peninsula, and until the 1960s they were considered one breed, under the Andalusian name. Horses were known to be present on the Iberian Peninsula as far back as 20,000 BC, and by 800 BC the region was renowned for its war horses. When the Muslims invaded Iberia in 711 AD, they brought Barb horses with them that were crossed with the native horses, developing a horse that became useful for war, dressage and bull fighting. In 1966, the Portuguese and Spanish stud books split, and the Portuguese strain of the Iberian horse was named the Lusitano, after the word Lusitania, the ancient Roman name for Portugal. There are three main breed lineages within the breed today, and characteristics differ slightly between each line. There is also the Alter Real strain of Lusitano, bred only at the Alter Real State Stud.
Lusitanos can be any solid color, although they are generally gray, bay or chestnut. Horses of the Alter Real strain are always bay. Members of the breed are of Baroque type, with convex facial profiles, heavy muscling, intelligent and willing natures, with agile and elevated movement. Originally bred for war, dressage and bullfighting, Lusitanos are still used today in the latter two. They have competed in several Olympics and World Equestrian Games as part of the Portuguese and Spanish dressage teams. They have also made a showing in driving competitions, with a Belgian team of Lusitanos winning multiple international titles.
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Alpha HM is an IALHA FEI-level Champion. The most successful son of the magnificent Portugal (who represented Brazil in the 2010 World Cup in Lexington, KY), Alpha was bred at the famed Haras Modelo in Brazil by Jose Carlos Garcia. He was imported to the US at the age of four and traveled around the United States performing in classical Portuguese exhibitions and quadrilles. In 2016 he began his career at the USDF National Level at Prix St. Georges. In 2017 he became the Adequan/USDF All-Breed Champion (IALHA) at Intermediare-I, Open Purebred, with an average score of 68.816%. During the regular season he consistently scored in the 70’s with scores of “8” for his walk, canter half-pass, and pirouettes in both directions. Judge’s comments have included, “. . . super ability to sit and carry.” In 2017 Alpha was also the Wisconsin Dressage and Combined Training Horse of the Year for the FEI Levels.
Alpha has three correct gaits and a calm, focused work ethic. He is able to compete successfully against the larger, more popular warmbloods in the dressage ring. Alpha has passed these superior characteristics on to his offspring making them beautiful, well-mannered and well-conformed. Alpha HM will undoubtedly add performance-based success to any breeding program. Alpha will be campaigning in Wellington, FL during the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival.
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