Here we don’t want to explain the history of the andalusian horse, witch you’ll find easily over the internet. We want to clarify the difference (if there’s one) between the spanish, the lusitano and the andalusian horse. To do that, here’s a copy of the text you will find on the l’IALHA website
The Pure Spanish Portuguese Andalusian (PSP) is the oldest definition of an Andalusian, that being with no distinction between the Spanish and Portuguese blood. This was the horse that before the 1960s and throughout history was known as the Andalusian, The Horse of Kings, The Royal Horse of Europe, the Iberian Horse, etc. The PSP Andalusian represents the ancient Iberian horse and was one of the original Andalusian bloodlines imported to the US. Only 17 percent of the IALHA registry is comprised of the PSP making these bloodlines more difficult to find. Being the « Best of Both Worlds, » the PSP has a great many benefits to offer the modern day equestrienne and the genetics of the modern horse.
The first registered Andalusians imported to the U.S. in the early 1960’s from Spain were mostly pure Spanish, but a few were a mix of Spanish and Portuguese bloodlines. A few years later a handful of Lusitanos entered the U.S. from Portugal. In the mid-1960s when Spain closed their studbook and a few years later the Portuguese did the same, they renamed their horses Pura Raza Espanol (PRE) and Puro Sangre Lusitano (PSL) respectively. In effect they began two new breeds based on the original Iberian Horse. The “Andalusians” of mixed Portuguese and Spanish blood were no longer under the control of these books, but they are still recognized and registered by the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association for what they are, purebred Andalusians of the oldest and finest tradition of that ancient breed.
Many breeders of the Pure Spanish Portuguese Andalusian have been involved with Andalusians from those early days and see very little distinction between the three bloodlines recognized by the IALHA. As these breeders watch the PRE and PSL diverge further into different directions, some feel that the PSP is now the foundation of the true ancient Iberian Horse. For many, they are all PSP’s because how can you go back and sort the genes from before the studbooks even began?
Some people think of the PSP as the American Andalusian. What could be further from the truth! The Spanish/Portuguese horse was imported to the U.S. from Spain and registered in that country as an Andalusian. But, certainly America is their adoptive home as the IALHA, which registers them, is an American-based registry. PSP breeders see themselves as preservationists, just like the Foundation Quarter Horse and Arabian people stayed truer to the origins of those breeds.
There are other breeders around the world though who have continued to breed the PSP, as well. One of those is Dr. Alvaro Lebrija of Mexico who in 1972 imported the reigning Spanish Champion Stallion and many of the Champion mares to Mexico to be his foundation stock. Several of those mares were Lusitano (in the early 1970s the PRE and PSL still competed together in Spain and Portugal). Since Dr. Lebrija was the leading supplier of fighting bulls for the Mexican bullrings, these horses were meant primarily to be bullfighting horses. Dr. Lebrija continues to breed the Pure Spanish Portuguese Andalusian to this day.
In France, Catherine Campaigne crossed the Champion of Spain, Allegre XIX on the renowned Lusitano mares of Roger Bouzin to create fabulous open dressage horses. At the time, other breeders told her it was a “mistake” to breed the PRE and PSL together. But Catherine had faith in her decision and went on to great success.
Most PSP aficionados see more difference among the respective breeders of the PRE and PSL than among the PRE, PSL, and PSP. In other words, the differences between the Spanish breeders Cardenas, Escalera, Terry; or the Lusitano breeders Andrade and Veiga; are as great if not greater than the differences between the PRE, PSL, and PSP.
The quality of the Pure Spanish Portuguese Andalusian speaks for itself in his many National Championships and growing popularity despite the backing of any country, large breeding group, or “seal of approval.” The PSP breeders have always had confidence in the integrity of their horses to quietly continue breeding these fine animals for themselves and for posterity.
Linda Crull, Andalusians de Plata
We firmly believe that these 3 breeds should stay united. Breeding quality PSP andalusian is as hard as breeding Spanish of Lusitano horses, great care must be taken when chooing the mare and the stallion, we believe in the quality of our Andalusian horses, and our clients too.