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Country Italy, I
Location San Fratello, Messina, Sicily, Italy
Species Horse
Synonyms Messina, Sanfratellano, San Fratello
Management feral
Population size less than 800
Morphology Stallion: 150-155 cm, 530-580 kg, Mare: 500-550 kg, bay, orig. from local with Oriental, Thoroughbred, Maremmana and Nonius blood
History They´re called Sanfratellani for San Fratello, a town at the foot of the Nebrodi Mountains in eastern Sicily. Sanfratellano is usually identified as a local breed with Thoroughbred and Oriental bloodlines, related to the local Italian breeds known as Sardinian, Murgese and Sicilian, as well as the Camargue of France and Germany. It is more distantly related to the Andalusian. The herdbook has only been kept since 1990, when the Italian government´s horse breeding association took an active interest in preserving this unique breed. Though it has often been pressed into service as a workhorse, and even butchered for its meat, the Sanfratellano boasts a distinguished pedigree. The breed has existed, in some form, for centuries. In the Middle Ages, the Arab (Arabian) breed became popular among the Norman nobility, having been preferred by the Saracens who ruled Sicily until the eleventh century. It was a strong, if high-spirited, horse that could bear the weight of a fully armored knight, and in mountainous Mediterranean regions a battle horse´s strength was often more important than a lighter horse´s speed. It was for this reason that the Normans in Italy, following the example of the Visigoths in Spain, made use of the very breed favored by the Moors. Eventually, perhaps inadvertantly, the hardy Arabians were bred with local breeds descended from those used in Sicily´s remote past by the Greeks and Romans. It has been used in the breeding of mules.
Source of information


San Fratello:


Giuseppe Majorana - Alessandro Zumbo ,