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The Anglo-Arab originated in Britain but is bred elsewhere, especially in France, where great attention has been paid to the production of a specialist all-around horse for more than 150 years. Both in Britain and France this horse is recognized as a composite breed, but as yet no standard has been laid down.
In Britain, an Anglo-Arab is a cross between a Thoroughbred stallion and an Arabian mare or vice-versa, with their subsequent re-crossing. These are the only two strains in the pedigree.
In France, a number of permutations are possible, though to be entered in the stud book, there must be a minimum of 25% Arabian blood, and ancestors must be Arabian, Thoroughbred or Anglo-Arab. The Anglo-Arab's place in earlier days was largely filled by native mares carrying eastern blood.
In theory, the Anglo should combine the best of the Arabian and Thoroughbred. It should retain the Arabian's qualities of soundness, endurance and stamina while incorporating the scope and some of the speed of the Thoroughbred, but without its excitable temperament.
The mane of the Anglo is fine and silky, as are the tail and coat. The head is more Thoroughbred than Arabian. The profile is straight, ears mobile and eyes expressive. Although there is no breed standard, the Anglo also tends toward the Thoroughbred, rather than the Arabian, in overall appearance. French Anglos from the southwest are lighter in type and have specific races reserved for them. Anglo withers are more prominent than those of the Arabian, and the well-set neck is longer. The back of the Anglo is usually short, the chest is deep and the shoulder very oblique and powerful. The quarters have a tendency toward being long and horizontal. The frame is well up to weight and is more solid than the Thoroughbred. The limbs are sound and uniformly good. Any lighness of bone is compensated for by its density and good quality. The height of the Anglo-Arab is between 16 and 16.3hh. The speed of the Anglo is not as great as that of the Thoroughbred, but the best are enormously agile and athletic and are distinguished by the correctiveness of their action.
The Anglo from Pompadour is a larger, more muscular specimen, noted particulary as being an excellent jumper. The overall object is to produce tough horses of the best riding type that will race, jump, go cross-country and compete at dressage.
Reference: The Ultimate Horse Book, Elwyn Hartley Edwards, 1991
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