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Caspian Horses

Chippendale Bahram Marida Manzel

 


The Caspian Horse was believed to be pets of the Royal families of Persia (now called Iran.)  King Darius would use these brave and agile horses to pull his chariots in public demonstrations in battling lions, to prove his strength as a leader.  He valued his little horses so much that they were engraved on his Royal Seal in 550 B.C. 

 

The caspian Horse was know by differen names in ancient Persia, such as Lydian, Moulecki, Pouseki, Pumpelli horse and was last shown in 224 A.D. on a rock relief of King Ardashir where he is mounted on a horse wo small that the kings feet are almost touching the ground .

 

King on Caspian

 

Then came a great war in 637 A.D.  This was the last recorded sighting of these fine purebred horses, the Royal court of Persia was destroyed and the Caspian horses were lost, until one day......

 

 

Charioteer 1**Charioteer 2

Shown here are two Charioteers. Their horses performed in the Roman Circus Maximus.

An American, from Virginia Louise Firouz, opened a riding school for children in Iran.  In 1965 she began searching the villages nearby to find horses suitable for her students.  She was surprised to find a herd of small refined horses running wild in an area near the Caspian Sea. 

 

Palace of Persepolis>

Persian Palace of Persepolis

She immediately realized these were the same horses that were pictured on the ancient Persian palace of Persepolis.  Although there were less than thirty, this was the lost breed - still alive, 1300 years after they were supposed to have vanished.   

After capturing several of them, she returned to her riding school.  The horses were quick to learn and soon became special friends and companions to the children.  These remarkably kind and gentle horses were named Caspian, for the area in which they had been found.   

Extensive research was conducted and the horses were tested by geneticists including Dr. Gus Cothran, Texas A & M to confirm that they were the "lost breed". 

 

Hopstone Bonafsheh meets the Queen   

 Louise was intent on saving them from extinction, and began carefully collecting and breeding only the purest Caspian horses.  Political problems in Iran were threatening the survival of the breed, so Louise decided to ship some of the horses out of Iran before they vanished again.  In 1971 Prince Phillip wanted to help, he imported three Caspians from Iran into his stable at the Royal Palace in England.   

Between 1971 and 1976, nine stallions and seventeen additional mares were imported to Europe.

These horses and their offspring had been saved from the tragedies that happened to most of the horses left behind in Iran.  In 1993, Louise was able to get seven more Caspians to England. 

With the thoughtful care and concern from their English owners, the Caspian horses flourished and their number increased.  Some of these horses were exported to Australia and New Zealand to start breeding programs.   

Due to the unending dedication and love for the unique Caspian horse by the owners and breeders from Iran, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand, this marvelous horse became available for transport to the united States.   

Between 1994 and 2002 two major breeders , of the CHSA one of which was MCC Farns, have imported into the United States 135 of the finest Caspian horses available in the world. The inmported Dams and Stallions have produced 216 foals of extraordinary quality. 

Although the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy has listed the Caspian horse as a 'Critical Rare Breed", this regal horse is slowly but surely being restored to it's former honored place among the noblest of horses. 

 

Caspian Driving

 

The Caspian Performance

Horse

The Caspian horse is pony size (10-12 hands high) but is in fact a purebred horse.  The genetic testing of blood-type and bone structure conclude that the Caspian is a forerunner to the hot-blooded horses of today.  It exhibits the fine build of the Thoroughbred and the beauty and endurance of the Arabian.  The breed has prepotent genes for smooth movement, quiet temperament, and extreme athleticism.  

The Caspian breed is known to be incredibly versatile.  They are natural jumpers and are            especially suited for children, because their conformation, gaits and temperament is like that of small horses, rather than a pony.  

The Caspian is also well suited to be an elegant harness horse.  Their acceleration, maneuverability, endurance and intelligence bring them considerable success in the show ring.

 

 

 

 

Caspian Horse Breed Type and Standard

*The eyes of the Caspian are almond shaped, large, dark, set low and prominent, a graceful neck, supple with a fine throat latch.   

* The head possesses a vaulted forehead, slight concave appearance to the face, prominent cheek bones and large nostrils set low on a fine muzzle.  The ears are short and turned in.  

* The body is slim with a deep girth, close coupled, with well defined hind quarters.  Long sloping shoulders, slender limbs with dense flat bones.  

* The hooves are oval shape, with an extremely strong wall and sole.  These horse are rarely shod even under the most extreme conditions.  

* The colors that are prominent are bay, gray, chestnut and occasionally black.  Grays can go through many shades of roan before maturity.

 

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