Breeds of Horses - A to Z
French Anglo Arab
Anglo-Arab refers to a combination of Arab and Thoroughbred blood and the
Arab horse society in Great Britain rules that they have no other blood in
their pedigree other than Arab and Thoroughbred. The French Anglo-Arab has
the same ruling but also must have at least 25% of Arab blood. The most
usual combination is to put a pure bred Arab stallion to a thoroughbred or
France has been a notable producer of Anglo-Arabs since the beginning of the
19th century. The French Anglo-Arab dates back to two eastern stallions,
Massoud an Arab and Aslam believed to be of Turkish origin. Both were
imported from Syria and crossed with three English Thoroughbred mares, Daer,
Comus Mare and Selim Mare. These three filly's became the foundation stock
of the first French sports horse. Originally used by the military and as a
riding horse, the breed went on to become a very successful competition
horse, winning at Olympic standard.
Pierre Jonqueres d'Oriola, the dual Olympic champion favoured the French
Anglo-Arab, the most famous being his Grand Prix and Nations Cup horse
Marquis 11 and Ali-Baba with whom he won his first Olympic title in Helsinki
in 1952. Since than the French Anglo-Arab has gone on competing and winning
at top level in dressage, show jumping and three day eventing. They have
been successful performers in European championships and Olympic events.
Many of the studs in France continue to specialise in breeding the French
Anglo-Arab, in Pompadour they have imported stallions from North Africa and
Syria. The aim of crossing Arab and Thoroughbred blood is to produce a horse
with some of the speed and elegance of the thoroughbred along with the
endurance and hardy soundness of the Arab. It is also hoped to achieve the
slightly calmer Arab temperament. Over the years with the careful use of
selective breeding, the French have been successful at achieving this aim.
Crossing an Arab stallion with a thoroughbred mare often produces the
largest horses, and though the height and conformation vary, the average
size is between 15.3 and 16.3h.h. The head is usually more thoroughbred than
Arab with a straight profile, alert well shaped ears and bright expressive
eyes. It has a long elegant neck and it is generally higher in the wither
than an Arab; good sloping shoulders; a short back and strong body with a
deep girth and chest; the quarters are slightly long; the limbs are strong
and fine with good hard well-shaped feet. Overall the breed is slightly
sturdier than the thoroughbred.
The French Anglo-Arab has had a relevant influence on the development of the
Selle Francais, a more recent French sports horse.