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Spanish horses – differences between the P.R.E., the Andalusian & Co.

by Michelle Holtmeyer
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Spanish horses cover a variety of breeds. In order to provide a general overview, we will present a list of their main characteristics. With this information, you will be able to recognize a purebred P.R.E., identify other breeds and understand why it is useful to request a breed test through ANCCE for P.R.E.
When thinking of the noble Spanish horses, terms such as “Andalusian” or “P.R.E.” immediately come to mind. Likewise, the P.S.L., the Cruzado or the Lusitano are terms and breeds that are often mentioned in connection with Spanish horses. However, and despite sharing a common denomination, there are significant differences between each of these breeds, which we will show you below.

P.R.E. – Pure Spanish Horse

“Pura Raza Española” translates to “Pure Spanish Horse”. A Spanish horse can only be called P.R.E. if it has a pedigree record that confirms this. In other words, both parents must have complete identification documents, both must be registered in the stud book of the Association of Breeders of Purebred Spanish Horses (ANCCE by its Spanish acronym) and must also be licensed. Licensed P.R.E. horses can be recognized if they have a yellow, red, blue, green or gold ribbon next to their name on the studbook website. The yellow ribbon is a sign of basic approval, while the other coloured ribbons highlight the parents as particularly good breeding animals. So if you want to know if a horse is a P.R.E., you should look for the full name in the online studbook. In exceptional cases, some P.R.E.’s are not listed in this book, but it is always possible to complete the registration at a later date.

The Andalusian horse – How it differs from the P.R.E.

Many people place the P.R.E. and the Andalusian at the same level. However, there are significant differences between the two. While the P.R.E. are purebred Spanish horses, an Andalusian is a horse with a Spanish pedigree, but in which at least one of the parents is not registered with ANCCE and/or is not approved. Therefore, the horse cannot be registered with ANCCE and therefore will not receive the documentation that certifies it as a P.R.E., beyond its corresponding equine passport.

P.S.L. – The Lusitanian Pure Blood

The P.S.L. is a purebred Lusitano, the horse breed originating in Portugal. In 1967 the Portuguese and Spanish stud books were separated, so that the corresponding descendants constitute completely different breeds. A horse is only a P.S.L. if both parents have complete documentation, are registered in the P.S.L. stud book and have the corresponding license. It is possible to recognise registered horses by the so-called LGN number. On the other hand, it is possible to identify licensed horses by the LGA number. Therefore, a horse can only be registered as a P.S.L. if the parents have both the LGN and the LGA number. If you want to know if a horse is a P.S.L., you should look up the full name in the online studbook.

The Lusitanian horse and the differences with the P.S.L.

Like the P.R.E.s and the Andalusians, the P.S.L. and the Lusitano are often considered as one single horse breed. However, a Lusitano is a horse that has a Portuguese pedigree and at least one of its parents is not registered with the breeding association or is not approved. Therefore, a Lusitano cannot be registered with the relevant association and will therefore not obtain breeding documents.

The “Cruzado” horse

When researching Spanish horses, one often comes across the term “Cruzado”. This refers to a horse that is the product of a cross between Lusitano or P.S.L. horses with Andalusian or P.R.E. and P.S.L. and P.R.E. Also, P.S.L./P.S.E. horses can be crossed with very different breeds. Consequently, the animals cannot be registered in the studbooks and cannot receive breeding papers.

If you have any further questions about Spanish horses, please let us know in the comments!

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