American Sorraia Horses or Spanish Mustang

This was from my friend Jolie Alongi and I feel it is worth the read; “American Sorraia Horses”

While doing research for I stumbled upon someone disputing that the “American Sorraia Horse”, was a strain of foundation “Spanish Mustang”.

When the Spanish Mustang Registry was formed, the name, “Spanish Mustang”, was given to a select group of horses. That is the name that most people know these horses by, a title given to them when a registry & studbook was started in 1957. Like the Portuguese Sorraia, Spanish Mustangs didn’t always have that name…either did the river, Sorraia, that the Sorraias were named for.

One of the foundation Spanish Mustang strains of foundation Spanish Mustangs is the “Bookcliff”. It is actually an area in Utah where a large group of what we have named “American Sorraia Horses” were originally found & collected. Two of those mares that are also foundation Spanish Mustangs, carry Sorraia mtDNA.

The American Sorraia Horse is not just a grulla or dun colored horse. It also has phenotype & can be traced back many generations of Sorraia type. In many horses the stallion lines have dams & granddames who carry mtDNA. No wonder they look the part! The American Sorraia Horse falls under strict criteria & will continue to be evaluated in such a way.

We have never stated that the American Sorraia Horse is the same horse as the Portuguese Sorraia. The American Sorraia Horse has a history all his own but his phenotype is unmistakably Iberian…& he does have a connection to the Sorraias in his past or he would not look the part….In my humble opinion.

It is documented that the horses that Queen Isabella purchased for the 1493 voyage to the new world, were of the finest breeding. They were switched at debarkation with common bred cow horses. Those horses were mouse dun or dun, bay & red. They also had convex profiles & the duns were noted to carry primitive markings. Sounds like Sorraia- in my opinion.
More than one different type of Iberian horse was brought to the Americas from 1493–1510. Queen Isabella put an embargo on anymore horses leaving Spain in 1510.
She realized that the best equines were being exported to the new world… Smart woman!

The original horses that ultimately became registered “Spanish Mustangs” were thought to be the purest Spanish Mustangs in existence at that time. Were they all of one type? No, but they were chosen because they were Iberian….not modern bred European horses.

We chose the name “American Sorraia Horse” because he is an all American breed.
Being an American, I’ll stand by that name.